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Driver News

A Little Driver Recruiting Secret

Each day we get dozens of calls from recruiters and fleet managers asking what they can do to attract larger numbers of qualified drivers. Our response is always the same. The two single biggest factors in driver recruiting are:

1. Geography – where you are hiring at
2. Desirability – how desirable your position is in relation to others in the same market

For most recruiters geography is fixed and can’t be manipulated. That leaves the “desirability” aspect. No matter where your open driving job is located you are no doubt competing with other jobs and carriers for the best drivers; and as you know, the most desirable jobs always have the greatest numbers of applicants and hires.

The question is “What can you do to make your driver jobs more attractive?” Obviously, if your open driver job offers great pay and benefits you will likely be able to fill it more quickly. However, if you’re like most carriers, with limited resources to increase pay for prospective drivers, you will need to look elsewhere for ways to improve the appeal of your positions.

One area of opportunity that few carriers think to exploit is the notion of “predictability”. This may sound foreign to you but a few subtle changes can go a long way in making your positions more appealing. Certainly its great to put together flashy ads with eye-catching pictures of trucks and mountain scenery, but most drivers are sharp enough to see past the fancy ads and recognize a worthless opportunity for what it is. Instead, you will want to focus your creativity on the substance of your open job rather than the substance of your job-advertisement. After all, you can have a great advertising message and communicate it thoroughly to the masses, but as they say, “Even if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.”

While many in the industry have accepted “quality of life” (QOL) as the Holy Grail of driver recruiting, few have been able to impact QOL enough to make their positions more desirable. Most of the typical enhancements miss the mark on what QOL truly means to a driver.

QOL is more than just comfy truck seats, or a computer application that shows families where dad’s truck is on a map, or saying that “You’re not just a number here.” Those things certainly help, but they fall short of QOL.

QOL begins with the security of knowing what to expect on a daily basis. Being able to predict with some degree of certainty in five crucial areas can significantly enhance the desirability of any driving job. These five areas are “when”, “where”, “what”, “how much”, and “how long”. This is a simple yet powerful concept. Companies that are able to address these questions adequately can greatly improve their ability to recruit qualified drivers. Let’s look at the five crucial areas;

– When? – When will I work? When does my day start? What days will I work?
– Where? – Where will I be most of the time?
– What? – What will I be doing, driving, sitting-waiting, loading/unloading etc…?
– How much? – How much will I make each day, week?
– How long? – How long will my shift/run/load last? How long before I’m done? How much downtime before the next shift/run/load?

Note that most local driving jobs are inherently better able to answer these questions than their long-haul counterparts, and as a result, they are typically more desirable and easier to fill.

Drivers, like everyone else, strive for stability and predictability in their lives. Like most of us, they have bills that need to be paid on a regular basis, doctor’s appointments to schedule, personal events they would like to attend, and the need for predictable downtime. Drivers want to be confident that they will be home for Aunt Sally’s birthday party next month, or to see their son play in the big game. Ask yourself whether or not you could ever consider a job that didn’t answer all of these questions precisely. Would you want to go home and tell your spouse that you are considering a job where you’re not sure how much money you will actually bring home, or how often you will be home? Could you be comfortable not knowing how frequently you might have idle or unpaid time?

A good starting point to offering better QOL comes through offering drivers greater predictability in their work-life. While we understand that shippers often make it challenging for carriers to plan, or offer, more predictable schedules, we have seen how a proactive campaign on the part carrier to create more structure can pay off over time, in a big way. From there, the driver can build in the aspects of life that ultimately bring him the feelings associated with QOL.

For most, driving is not a very attractive profession. However, for every job out there, there’s someone who thinks that it’s a perfect fit for him/her. You simply need to apply as much structure as possible to your jobs for them to compete more closely with other mainstream jobs. The old school thinking that the driver’s job “is what it is”, must go away.


Celebrating National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

Since 1998, each year during the third week of September Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) set  aside a week to thank and recognize all their professional drivers, also known as National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (NTDAW).

TCA’s chairman Robert Low expressed his concern about the growing health problems truck drivers face due to a sedentary lifestyle, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, obesity and high blood pressure.  Low not only wants this week to be about honoring and thanking our nation’s truck drivers but also wants it to be about awareness of drivers’ health. He is changing National Truck Driver Appreciation Week to National Truck Driver Appreciation and Wellness Week (NTDAWW).

During NTDAWW, trucking companies will be hosting events at truck stops throughout each state to honor drivers. Low asks that health awareness be incorporated into events.

TCA will also be hosting a “Ditch the Pack” event on September 20th, to encourage truckers to quit smoking for 24 hours. This is to raise awareness on the benefits of quitting and to show support for those who have chosen to start living the smoke free lifestyle.

Drivers who want to locate these events during NTDAWW can go to www.driverappreciation.com.  You will also be able to see what type of events and activities are available at each location.


Increase in Outsourced Driver Recruitment Expected

Recession factors continued to slow the freight transportation industry throughout 2009, but many fleet operators have used the business downturn to rethink their driver recruitment strategies.

Spectrum Driver Recruiters, a specialist provider of Recruitment Processing Outsourcing to the transportation/logistics industry, is seeing an increasing demand high-efficiency services that will grow as freight tonnage increases as expected in 2010. The companies’ recent, pending contracts with large private corporations and commercial carriers indicate that the industry is gearing up for better days, according to Principal Ken Walker.

Many industry experts are predicting that the driver shortages of the past will soon return with much greater ferocity, as many drivers who have been unable to find work have abandoned the trade for other occupations. “Even with current lower levels of business and reduced demand for drivers, fleet operators have been realizing that they must deal with leaner times by identifying recruiting methods that are far more effective then those relied on during the past driver shortage,” said Walker. “As freight tonnage goes back up, it will take much longer for the number of available drivers to rise and get to the point where we reach the previous ’shortage’ levels of the past.”

Spectrum uses proprietary advertising techniques coupled with their own national database of over 340,000 commercial truck drivers to efficiently identify and qualify higher numbers of “right-fit” candidates for consideration, based on the client’s specific needs.  Spectrum handles background checks and certifications, and can assume full responsibility for strategy, services and compliance, providing turnkey service if desired.

Outsourced recruitment processing has proven to be highly beneficial when the fleet operator’s recruiting function serves multiple locations (typically with inconsistent recruiting strategies), when the transportation function relies on a generalist HR department, or when the company has limited in-house resources.

“Fleet operators have a large pool of experienced drivers to tap into right now, but it appears that a return to the days of driver shortages and retention problems are not far off,” Walker added. American Trucking Association (ATA) demographic studies have shown that key age groups for drivers are shrinking, causing the potential for shortages that will increase the time and cost of finding drivers.

Spectrum Driver Recruiters’ clients include small fleet owners, large commercial carriers and Fortune 50 companies. An Spectrum-developed software tool, offered free-of-charge, helps fleet operators to calculate the total costs of recruiting drivers, including both the labor hours needed for screening applicants, and the outside costs.

For more information on Spectrum Driver Recruiters, go to www.spectrumdrivers.com.


Spectrum Driver Recruiters Introduces Guarantee

Spectrum Driver Recruiters has announced a program that guarantees their customers a minimum savings of 25% off their current in-house recruiting costs for commercial truck drivers.

A specialist serving the North American transportation industry, Spectrum Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) services reduce costs for private and commercial carriers by as much as 50%, due to proprietary methodologies and resources. Spectrum Driver Recruiters has announced a program that guarantees their customers a minimum savings of 25% off their current in-house recruiting costs for commercial truck drivers. A specialist serving the North American transportation industry, Spectrum Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) services reduce costs for private and commercial carriers by as much as 50%, due to proprietary methodologies and resources.

Competition for commercial drivers remains fierce, resulting in high costs for recruiting and retaining the best candidates. On average, the task of filling one to three open driver positions requires about 100 respondents and between 130 to 176 man-hours to process them, according to industry research. Spectrum reduces both the hiring timeline and the associated processing labor by using their proprietary techniques and their own national database of over 300,000 commercial truck drivers.

Volume-based communication processes ensure that open positions are announced within minutes, via phone, text messages, email blasts, and industry specific job boards, as well as Spectrum contacts in the driver community. “More drivers are reached in the first few hours after receiving
a request then most company’s internal initiatives can reach in weeks of truck driver recruiting,” says Ken Walker, Spectrum Driver Recruiters. “Our processes reach local drivers as well as drivers who are out over-the-road and may not have access to local newspapers. We have an on-going referral system, and can also identify ‘hidden candidates’ by using internet sites, career events, professional associations, and other means.” Spectrum also markets open positions to passive candidates who are already working elsewhere but willing to consider new job opportunities. Most transportation companies do not otherwise have the ability to reach out to working drivers.

Spectrum customers range from Fortune 100 companies to small and medium-sized fleet owner/operators. Spectrum eliminates the need for these companies to predict hidden and variable costs associated with driver recruitment. Costs for non- hire screening, support staff, supplies, and
communications, are all included in the Spectrum RPO program, greatly simplifying the budgeting process. Spectrum typically develops a one, 12, or 24-month plan to meet specific operational targets.

Spectrum performs targeted searches on behalf of its customers based on their specifications. Before submitting a driver candidate to its customers, Spectrum completes an in-depth series of interviews, license verification, a check into the past ten years of employment, and other capability, background, and compliance checks or tests. A complete DOT compliant driver file is provided. Spectrum teams are well versed in driver retention, regulatory compliance, DOT file maintenance and 3PL operations management.

Spectrum can also assist in determining the appropriate compensation level for drivers. “The bottom line is that we are delivering better candidates to our clients, faster, and at less cost,” Mr. Walker continues. “And, our retention rate is more than six-times higher than internally-managed recruitment efforts that typically average a retention rate of only one in three drivers after the first 30 days of employment. We become an extension of our customers’ business, assuming full responsibility for strategy, services and compliance.” For more information, email Chris Rzeppa at;

chrisr@mtsdm.com


Spectrum Offers Truck Driver Recruitment for Clients in North America

Spectrum Driver Recruiters is a driver recruiting firm specializing in finding qualified, commercially licensed truck drivers for transportation clients anywhere in North America. Spectrum is able to supply more qualified candidates than typical in-house recruitment efforts because the company’s proprietary recruitment system puts an open position in front of more people, faster than any client could do on his own. As a result of finding more qualified applicants for a position, Spectrum can then filter through these to identify the very best driver for the position, and then present that driver to a client for his approval.