Hiring CDL drivers in the transportation industry has always been a challenge for smaller companies, and a large expense for bigger companies. So we wanted to provide 10 realistic ways to improve your driver hiring process so you can get safe and qualified drivers on the road sooner.
Include a phone number on applications
One of the best ways to help drivers get through the long process of filling out employment documents is by providing a support line that drivers can call if/when they run into problems. Rather than intaking an application with errors and going back and forth, getting the application filled out properly the first time will speed things up and make a strong connection with the driver which builds trust.
Automated Intake and Review
Applications that contain errors or omissions are very common, especially for companies that operate in areas with fewer English-speaking candidates. Automated systems like DOTReady can identify problems as the applicant goes through the forms and provide suggestions when an answer doesn’t fit into one of the preselected categories, for example. Eliminating the back-and-forth and costly violations should the files ever be pulled for review by the DOT.
Mobile Friendly Applications
If a driver doesn’t have access to a desktop computer, filling out applications can be extremely tedious and frustrating. One simple step is to ensure that the applications have been designed to work on mobile phones and have been tested on different devices. DOTReady makes this easy with our job site-specific application links and support team.
Clear Job Requirements
Making sure the job requirements are clear on the job listing is essential for filtering the quality of applications you get. For example, be sure to include things like work hours, experience requirements, endorsement requirements, and health requirements if the freight is moved by the driver (such as LTL drivers that use pallet jacks).
Have a quick follow up process
A lot of applicants will lose interest in your job listing if the follow up process is delayed or their experience interfacing with the company is negative. Ensuring that applicants are taken care of and have support available if they run into problems will show that you value their time. Keep in mind that the application process is a challenge in itself.
Highlight Training and Advancement Opportunities
Having incentives lined up before the applicant begins filling out forms is a great way to make sure they make it to the end. Sharing information about what they can expect after getting the job can motivate them to keep going.
Include Detailed Instructions
Getting stuck on one section is an all too common occurrence that leads to a driver abandoning their application. For example, unclear directions about employment history can lead to partially filled out applications that then require going back and forth with them to fill in the blanks. By including directions, you can avoid having to go back and forth to gather the required information.
Include Progress Bars
Filling out a 10-page application can take a long time. Having a progress bar that shows where the applicant is at in the process is a small thing for easing the nerves of frustrated drivers and getting more completed submissions.
Including a feedback section at the end of applications can be a great way to gather feedback about issues in the process as well as sections that might not be clear enough. Driver feedback is a great way to identify areas for improvement and make changes accordingly.
Conduct Regular Audits
Annual file system and application reviews come highly recommended by DOTReady. Whether it be bringing in an outside service provider (which is more affordable than you might think), or having your team do scheduled reviews and reporting on files reviewed with the corresponding errors found in them. Not only are these great team building exercises, but also allow for safety & compliance managers to identify problem areas.
In conclusion, hiring drivers in the transportation industry can be a challenge, but by making simple changes to the application process, companies can improve the quality of applications, increase efficiency, and build trust with drivers. Some of the tips include adding a phone number for questions, using automated systems like DOTReady, making the application mobile-friendly, clearly stating job requirements, having a quick follow-up process, highlighting training and advancement opportunities, including detailed instructions, using progress bars, encouraging feedback, and conducting regular audits. These steps will help streamline the process and make the experience better for both the company and drivers.