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How to stop being ‘ghosted’ by driver applicants

CDL recruiters looking for a proactive solution should start at the source: the recruiting process itself.

Ghosting is a social phenomenon in which a person simply goes dark. While typically used in the context of dating, the phenomenon also applies to driver recruiters well. Ghosting happens frequently in CDL driver recruiting. Because of the driver shortage, it’s increasingly a driver’s market. With many jobs to fill and not enough drivers to fill the gap, drivers can job search with relative ease.

While this is great news for drivers, recruiters are sick of being ghosted. So, it’s time for recruiters to reevaluate their strategies. Drivers have many options for employers, so all it takes is a small hiccup for them to take their talents elsewhere. CDL recruiters looking for a proactive solution should start at the source: the recruiting process itself. Prospective employers must deliver a user-friendly, driver-first application experience to weed out potential ghosters.

Here are three actionable steps to improve the driver application process:

1. Audit your recruiting process and give it the facelift it deserves.

Because the CDL industry is such a traditional one, sometimes processes and procedures can be stuck in the past. The driver recruiting process is no different. Usually, applicants go dark because the applicant experience is too convoluted and too confusing, or because there are too many “quiet” periods. To improve conversion rates, do a quick audit of your recruiting process. Are there any places where your team waits around for drivers to contact you? What about periods of indecision where there isn’t any contact at all? An audit of your recruiting process should turn up places where these processes are outdated so your team can proactively introduce new, driver-focused procedures.

2. Ask your current drivers why they converted and share this same messaging.

It’s a popular adage for a reason: when in doubt, go to the source. If you don’t know why drivers are ghosting you, or even why they signed on with your team in the first place, why not ask them? Send out surveys or questionnaires to your current drivers asking about their experience with your application process. Was there anything they liked or disliked about the process? What do they think your team could do better in the future? Knowing the answers to these types of questions will allow your team to uncover what’s actually important to drivers, and then leverage this messaging and content across your recruitment materials.

3. Add a personal touch to your applicant experience.

While trucking is often a solo industry, being a CDL driver doesn’t have to be a solo enterprise. Most drivers crave a sense of community in their work, and they tend to shy away from companies that don’t seem “community-driven.” To ensure that drivers aren’t going elsewhere for professional relationship building, add a personal touch to your applicant experience. Consider an interview that is either in-person, or incorporates a video call, to instill a sense of personal engagement. Host quarterly or annual gatherings with your entire team to really grab hold of the ‘community’ feeling, and make sure you mention this attention to personal relationships during the interview process.

A stellar recruiting strategy takes time and effort to build. It won’t happen overnight. Because drivers are always looking for a perfect fit in an organization, it's easy for a small inconvenience to make them abandon the process. The most effective way to increase applicant conversions is to structure the process from the driver’s perspective. How will they interact and engage with the team, technology and organization as a whole? Does the company present itself in the best way possible? Would a driver want to be associated with the company? These are the questions that will guide your recruiting strategy and ward off ghosting.

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