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Truck Driver Recruiting: How to Hire Truck Drivers
17 mins read

Truck driver recruiting is challenging – now more than ever. With driver shortages and high turnover rates, finding good, dependable drivers can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Or, worse, your job postings are met with crickets.  

All is not lost, however. You won’t need to climb into the driver’s seat to keep shipments moving. If you need staff, you need to step up your CDL driver recruiting efforts and make sure your company stands out and catches the eye of skilled truck drivers.  

In this guide, we’ll take you through your options and share our top tips, tricks, and strategies to find truck drivers for your business.

Where to Find Truck Drivers for Hire

If you’re struggling to find truck drivers, or perhaps just the right truck drivers, then you may be looking in the wrong place. While the average age of a truck driver is 50, this is 2021 and most people pull out their phone when they have a question, no matter their age.

That means they’re looking for jobs online, and so if you’re spending time putting ads in newspapers or industry print publications, make sure you’re seeing an ROI (return on investment) from your efforts.

Where to Recruit Truck Drivers: Social Media 

These days, almost everyone is on social media. Over 72% of Internet users in the US check Facebook regularly, and 75% of truck drivers check it daily, so if you aren’t utilizing Facebook as a tool for recruitment, you’re leaving a lot of stones unturned. 

Don’t forget that your page is not your only asset on Facebook. Facebook pages are notorious for their poor levels of organic reach, so think outside the box. An increasing number of users largely use Facebook for the groups feature, so seek out groups that allow you to post about your job listings in the locality and industry you’re targeting.  

If you find some that look like they may be a good place to post, join and look at what people are talking about. If you think you may be able to reach potential drivers there, ask the admin if you can post, or post the link to your job listings if the group rules allow.

Other social media platforms are also useful, like Instagram, especially if you’re looking to attract a younger demographic.  

Where to Hire CDL Drivers: Job Boards 

You’re likely familiar with job boards like Indeed, but you may not be utilizing them to their full potential or be using the right ones. There are plenty of boards exclusively for businesses looking to hire truck drivers, so take advantage of the ones that look like a good fit for you. Here are some of the most popular:  

Regardless of what platform you’re using to promote your open positions, you need to optimize the job description and what you’ve got to offer to attract the right drivers. In this article, we’ll guide you through best practices and how to finally attract the attention of the best drivers out there.  

Don’t Panic, Be Selective  

When your driver numbers dwindle it can be tempting to hire any driver you can find. However, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make and often leads to high turnover rates and wasted money. You may need drivers yesterday, but hiring 5 unreliable drivers will cost you more than taking a little extra time to ensure you hire one good employee.  

Ensure Your Job Description is Accurate  

If you’ve been looking to hire truck drivers without much luck, chances are your job description isn’t selling your company the way it should. Your first port of call should be to check its accuracy and look if it has any missing information a discerning driver would be suspicious of.  

Make sure your description outlines not just what you need from them, but what you can offer. You’d be surprised how often a job description lacks essential information, and a lot of reliable drivers won’t give your company a second look if you don’t tell them upfront what they need and want to know – especially if another company does.  

Ensure Your ATS Supports You  

Make sure your ATS (applicant tracking system) supports your efforts. A good ATS will allow you to customize your application, link it to your job ads, and create an applicant profile. This can make the process much easier for both you and your applicants.  

Respect Your Applicants' Time

Don’t wait too long between when you receive applications to when you reach out to applicants for the next step. Remember, it’s highly unlikely your listing is the only one a driver has applied to, so you may find another company has snapped up the best applicants by the time you reach out.  

Call Applicants  

Arrange a short call with each applicant you’re interested in. It can seem like a lot of work, but a quick five to 15-minute call gives you plenty of time to get a feel for someone and screen out anyone who won’t be a good fit. That means you can reduce the number of people you invite to an on-site interview.  

Best Way to Hire CDL Drivers: Foley's 9 Top Tips & Strategies  

#1: Make Sure Career Information is Easy to Find

If you’re actively looking for drivers, make sure the “careers” information is easy to find on your website. So many businesses have it buried under other pages or hidden, but if you’re actively searching for drivers, you’ll want it on the main menu of your website.  

#2: Don’t Set the Standard Too High

There’s a difference between making sure someone is paying attention and forcing them to jump through dozens of hoops just to get their application in front of you. Get the applications and then filter down. Using an online application will make things easier for your applicants and your staff, so consider using driver recruiting software like ours so you can tailor your application and not have to deal with miscommunication. 

#3: Make Sure You’re Mobile-Friendly

Whatever application platform you use, make sure it’s mobile-friendly. Most people are searching and doing things on the move, and this is even more true of truck drivers. Make sure your applications are easy to complete from a phone, not just in size ratio, but practicality. If you’ve ever tried to fill out a form while memorizing the requirements from a page before, or scrolling up to see them, you’ll know how frustrating it can be. You want to give drivers the sense that it’s easy to work with (and for) you – right from the beginning.

#4: Sell the Job

Selling the position to drivers doesn’t involve talking about how successful your company is – you’ve got to speak their language. Think about what drivers are looking for in a role. They’re thinking about:  

  • Hourly rate or salary  
  • Flexibility (an understanding of family life and hobbies)  
  • A positive and fun environment  
  • Wi-fi access if they’re driving long haul  
  • Compensation in other forms (time off, bonuses, health insurance, dental care, etc)  
  • Being able to bring a furry friend along for the ride  

You don’t have to offer it all, and you don’t need to put yourself out of business paying more than any other company out there – you just need to show that you care about your drivers as people. Think about what you offer and why they’d care, and put that in your job ad.  

If you’ve lost a lot of drivers recently and they left of their own accord, do you know why? Could you speak to them or your current drivers for feedback? Yes, it will be uncomfortable, but it can be one of the best ways to recruit CDL drivers, improve morale, and keep your drivers for the long term.  

#5: Try Referral Incentives

You’ve likely received emails from stores offering you and a friend a discount when your friend makes their first purchase, and you can do the same thing for your drivers. Ask them to refer other drivers to you and give them incentives for doing so.  

Try offering something small for each applicant who applies and was referred by them, and then if you hire them, give them both a bonus. Ideally, this bonus would be given 1, 3, 6, or 12 months after you made the hire so you don’t have to pay for anyone who doesn’t work out, but if you wait until the 12-month mark, the bonus will need to be of more value than something given after 1 month.  

Note that “bonus” doesn’t have to be monetary (though that’s often the most effective), you could give them extra vacation days or something else your drivers value.  

#6: Actively Advertise

Job boards and social media are great for free visibility, but often, they just don’t compare to what you can achieve when you put a little money into your truck driver advertising. Consider trying paid promotion opportunities (sometimes called a “sponsored” post) and social media ads. This will help you drastically increase your visibility and reach people who may not be actively looking for a new position.  

#7: Do a “Drive”

Are you always advertising for new drivers? Whether you’re doing Class A driver recruiting or Class B, being “always open” for applications can be a turn-off. People won’t know if you’re actively accepting applications if your posts are old, and if you are constantly updating them, they may think you can’t hold onto staff.  

Instead, try doing a marketing campaign for your truck driver recruiting. When you give a limited window for applications, you give them a reason to act quickly, and you have a chance to go all-in on your marketing before processing your applications. Keep the window short, and then close applications while you process them. That way, when you next open to applications, people will start to feel a sense of urgency and that you’re a sought-after company to work for.  

This route won’t be right for every company, but if you prefer to hire new drivers all at once a few times a year to make onboarding and training easier, this can be a great option.    

#8: Use Social Media to Show the Lifestyle

One of truck drivers’ biggest complaints is work-life balance, so use social media to show what it’s like working for your company on a day-to-day basis. This will help candidates get a realistic feel of what working for you would be like, and attract them to apply.  

#9: Be Willing to Train Drivers

If you can’t find good, experienced drivers, hiring recent CDL grads can be a great way to reduce costs and train people in the way you want them to work. One of the problems with experienced employees is they already know how they do things, and getting them to change isn’t easy.  

It’s also a good opportunity to hire people who are enthusiastic about their new role and generally getting overlooked for other roles. The driver shortage means there are a lot of available roles, but only for those who can jump in the truck and hit the road tomorrow. If you’re happy to show them the ropes, advertising roles for recent CDL grads will give you a much bigger pond to fish from.  

Truck Driver Recruiting Services  

We’ve discussed a lot of the best truck driver recruiting techniques, but if you don’t have the staff available to put all of this into practice, a truck driver recruitment agency may be the right choice for you. CDL driver recruiting companies will do all of the hard work for you in return for a fee. 

They’ll advertise for you, write the ads, and screen candidates, allowing you to make the final interview(s) and hire the best candidate for the position. If you’re happy to relinquish a lot of the control, working with a truck driver recruiting agency may be the best move for you. 

Costs: How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Truck Driver? 

This figure varies depending on where you are, what you do, and who you ask, but the general consensus is that the cost to recruit a truck driver is $5,000 – $12,000, depending on whether it’s an additional driver or a replacement. Some replacement figures are higher, at as much as $10,000 – $25,000.   

Best Truck Driver Recruiting Strategies

We’ve covered a lot of tips and strategies that will help you find truck drivers who will stick around for the long haul. With the right strategies, working environment, and truck driver recruiting software, you’ll never struggle to find available truck drivers again. 

Foley's hiring, screening, and onboarding software, Dash, has helped companies like yours grow their applicant pool (and business overall) in a matter of days—not weeks.

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