During initial contact with a new client, I usually start by looking for the low hanging fruit, the quick fixes that involve little investment other than some amount of time and can have a big positive impact, fast. Here are a couple items that come up more than others and I thought I would share with you these missed opportunities.
1. Not bragging about an outstanding safety record, one of the best draws for recruiting new drivers any carrier can have is a good solid safety record. Think about it, you can’t buy it off a shelf, you can’t shop for it like a new truck, you can’t trick your way into one. The only way you can get a good safety record is by being dedicated to it and by doing the right things right. Where would good quality professional drivers and owner operators be drawn to when shopping for a new carrier, first and foremost they have to be a safe company? In our TCA Retention Project Plan, we call this a de-motivator, if your company does not have a strong safety program it likely can be quickly identified as a primary reason for your company’s high turnover. If you have a good to great safety record bring the awareness of it to the front of your image efforts and let everyone know, shout it from the rooftops. If you have a poor safety program, fix it and fix it fast because without it, your likely not attracting the professional drivers and O/O’s you need to sustain your future.
2. An effective communication strategy is essential to reducing turnover and recruiting the right type of drivers and owner-operators. Specifically, the use of social media or lack thereof is usually a glowing mistake of many carriers. I believe an effective strategy would involve every area of a business, including not just the driving force but your customers, suppliers, communities you operate in, inside the wall’s personnel etc. But to focus specifically on social media as a platform, I see carriers tell the visitors to their site that they need drivers and they use this need as the focus of their SM effort. Guess what folks, everyone needs drivers, so how is making this a focus anything from the ordinary. What needs to be communicated is your companies’ culture, it’s history, it’s operational values, tell your story, celebrate your people, celebrate your safety record if you can. Apply for awards and celebrate the accomplishments through your social media platforms. Telling folks, you need drivers is as dry as dirt, and all you’ve accomplished by it is to reduce your company to a monitory decision, okay they need drivers, how much do they pay, next, it’s like shopping for any other commodity. Let the folks know that you’re more than just a number that there is a culture that is celebrated and that the company pays homage to its past and its people, now I’m listening, tell me more.
Mr. Ray Haight has enjoyed a successful career in transportation starting as a company driver and Owner Operator logging over one million accident free miles prior to starting his own company. After stepping down from a successful career managing one of Canada’s 50 largest trucking companies, Ray focused on industry involvement including terms as Chairman of each of the following, the Truckload Carriers Association, Professional Truck Drivers Institute, North American Training and Management Institute and the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities voluntary apprenticeship of Tractor Trailer Commercial Driver, along with many other business interests, he enjoys a successful consulting business, also sitting on various Boards of both industry associations a private motor carriers. He is also Co-Founder of StakUp O/A TCAinGauge an online bench marking service designed to assist trucking companies throughout North America focus on efficiency and profitability within their operations. All posts by Ray Haight