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Is Word of Mouth Impacting Your Driver Hiring Strategy?

November 20, 2023

Is Word of Mouth Impacting Your Driver Hiring Strategy?

When it comes to hiring drivers, your actual driver staff may be your greatest asset (or your biggest adversary).

The Experience of Your Driving Staff Matters.

Ask any truck driver how they evaluate an employer, and they'll likely tell you that it's based on a few key things: The routes they can get, the money they can earn, the growth opportunities they have access to... and the experiences of other drivers at your company. 

There are few more powerful tools than firsthand accounts. One only need to open Glassdoor or Google reviews to validate this information. And in trucking? Reputation has  3.8 million voices and +2,500 truck stops across the USA to circulate in. 

Stop obsessing over channels and start obsessing over experience.

The biggest challenge your organization will face in managing brand reputation is the fragmentation of voice. Today, there are hundreds of online channels for your drivers to share their experiences on. Most of these channels are "dark" and undetectable - like WhatsApp groups, or other forms of organic community.

You can develop a community management team to try and wrangle the online messaging (🤑🤑🤑) but you can't sit them at truck stops across the country to negate the lived experiences shared by comrades.

Instead of pouring your resources into community management, why not pour them into enhancing the quality of your drivers experience with your business?

6 Actionable Tips for Enhancing Your Employer Brand

Prioritize Transparency and Communication

Creating an open feedback loop between your business and your drivers is essential to understanding how they view employment with your company. By implementing an open and anonymous channel internally, you can proactively identify and address the concerns of your driving staff. You can also leverage the channel to provide important company developments, and involve drivers in your companies decision-making processes where possible.

As you get started on your journey to becoming a more transparent and communicative business, set up focus groups and conversations with your driving staff. Collect their feedback, learn what you are doing well and what you could be doing better to define an initial set of prioritized actions. It's important to include a broad range of perspectives in these sessions, so be sure to include more than your top performers.

If you do one thing from this list - Let it be this one.

Embrace Drivers as a Part of Your Big Picture

One of the simplest ways to boost motivation of your employees is to explain to them how their role impacts and is important to the business. Here are some ways your business can do this:

  • Develop onboarding videos that include a welcome from the CEO and explains how important drivers are to the business 
  • Invite drivers once quarterly to your company headquarters as a part of employee onboarding to share with them what they make happen each day
  • Find continuous ways to give thanks and show appreciation in context of your business (for example - customer reviews of your drivers distributed internally once per month)

TransForce customer, Air Products, has minimal driver turnover. They credit this low turnover to their excellent onboarding and ongoing retention strategy for drivers. In addition to offering drivers competitive wages and benefits, drivers are often invited to their corporate HQ to learn more about the companies development, and how they play a role in it.

Collect and Celebrate Success Stories

Showcase the achievements and success stories of your drivers within your organization. Whether it's acknowledging milestones, awards, or acts of heroism on the road, celebrating these accomplishments not only boosts morale but also creates positive narratives that drivers are eager to share with their peers.

You can distribute these stories internally with a company newsletter, on your intranet, and/or collect them in the form of reviews.

Cultivate a Positive Work Environment

Creating a positive work environment is the cornerstone of any successful employer brand strategy. Show appreciation for your drivers, provide competitive compensation packages, and prioritize their well-being. Happy and content drivers are more likely to speak positively about your company, amplifying your reputation through word of mouth.

Embrace Technology and Innovation

Leverage technology to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and enhance the overall driver experience. Modernizing your operations not only makes the job more appealing to prospective drivers but also demonstrates your commitment to staying ahead in the industry, making your company a desirable choice for employment.

Continuously Gather and Act on Feedback

Actively seek feedback from your drivers through surveys, one-on-one discussions, or anonymous suggestion boxes. Use this feedback to identify areas for improvement and demonstrate your dedication to creating a driver-friendly workplace. When drivers see their feedback leading to positive changes, they are more likely to speak highly of your company.

The Bottom Line

You can spend a lot of money to manage and defend your online reputation, or you can put the money where it counts. Enhancing your recruitment operations, employee onboarding experience, and general practices as an employer will pay out longer term dividends. It will also help get you out of the cyclical turnover that's plaguing your driver recruitment team.

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I am covering my teams journey to a performance focused recruiting department, the challenges we have faced and how we have overcome them on my podcast Truckin' Genius.


Craig Ferguson
President, Driver Recruitment Marketing and Operations
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