Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Transportation

Is there ‘false advertising’ in your fleet’s driver recruiting process?

This article appeared originally, here, on the NTI website. Our CEO Lane is featured in said article, published below.

From ads and organic posts on social media platforms like Facebook to job boards, your landing pages, email campaigns, recruiting calls, advertisements in local media and more — motor carriers and private fleets lean on a myriad of tools in today’s recruiting environment to reach potential driver hires and market their opportunities.

Having so many platforms gives fleets a fantastic window to persistently tell their story to potential recruits and share why their fleet is worthy of consideration by professional drivers. But it also opens the door to inadvertent “false advertising” of your driver jobs, such as inconsistencies or inaccuracies around pay and benefits, home time, equipment type, schedule and routes, bonus and incentive structures, or any other component of your driving jobs you’re marketing to drivers.

While almost always unintentional, errors in job ads can lead to immediate distrust with new driver hires if they receive inconsistent information during the job evaluation and hiring process or after they’ve been onboarded. As we explored in the NTI blog last year, those expectation gaps between what a driver thought the job would be and what it actually entails are a fast track for early turnover and churn of new driver hires.

Fleets must be vigilant and intentional about establishing trust and credibility so they can foster a culture for long-term retention. Building that foundation of trust starts from your very first touchpoint with a driver prospect – such as the first time they learn about your company on social media, on Google, from a job board, in their email inbox, or in a call with a recruiter.

NTI recently talked to Lane Williams, founder and CEO of Fusion Now, about best practices for fleets to keep their information current and accurate across all their driver-facing recruiting marketing collateral to ensure trust and transparency are established from the first time you interact with a driver and through the entire recruiting process.  

Fusion Now, based in Kansas City, is an agency that specializes in driver recruiting and retention marketing. The first step they often take with fleet clients is to perform an audit of their driver-facing information, “coming at it from a job seekers’ position,” says Williams, to help companies focus on effectively marketing their job ads to potential recruits. They help fleets refine their approach and install processes to ensure accurate information is posted and promoted. Here’s his advice:

 Know everywhere your information is being shared

The first step fleets should take to mitigate inadvertent false advertising is to know and track every place their data is being shared so they can have a strategy in place to update every driver-facing channel when there’s a change to their job offers. “Whether there’s a pay change that’s positive or negative, a benefit addition, anything — you can automatically say here are the 20 places we know our information is being shared and where updates are needed,” says Williams.

 Build a central content repository

Second, have an internal content repository that’s consistently refreshed with the latest, most accurate information, and ensure the repository is being accessed by all relevant internal and external stakeholders. Have a centralized source of information “by job, by division, by terminal, so that everyone has a place to go,” says Williams, to check to make sure they’re communicating factually to driver candidates, whether that’s in-house recruiters making calls, social media managers interacting with drivers on Facebook, or external vendors like Fusion — all of whom need to know and communicate accurate information. 

“Transportation moves quickly, but communication can move a bit slower,” says Williams. “Sometimes a recruiting team or a marketing team could have information that’s 60 or even 90 days old, and that can make a world of difference to how competitive your company can be.” 

Also, ensure departments within your organization like operations and payroll have access to that repository, too, so they can make corrections as needed. It’s not just overselling positions that can be an issue, says Williams. Often, recruiters and job ads can undersell pay or other benefits. “That’s also to the detriment of the company, because of how much more traction they could make with a candidate with the right information.” 

 Appoint gatekeepers to manage and verify job offer details

Task a point person or, in the case of larger fleets, a small group of point people to take ownership of that repository and the information being shared in job ads and by recruiters. Have them regularly check for details that are “outdated, false, or incorrect,” and make sure they have the right sources internally to run those quality control checks. 

 Leverage a ‘healthy feedback loop’ with driver hires

If you don’t have one already, implement a check-in and follow-up process with new driver hires and incorporate their feedback into your recruiting marketing. “If you have that structure in place, and you know you’re going to be touching base with drivers in their first week or few weeks, you’re going to get ahead of those miscommunications [in recruiting] fairly quickly,” Williams says.

For example, if you hear of an issue or discrepancy from new hires, “you can say, OK, we have a problem here,” he says, and then double check with operations or other departments to correct or clarify what’s being shared. “That feedback loop is important, because not every driver is going to be vocal. If you don’t ask the question, don’t expect them to give you that information. From there, you can analyze what they heard from recruiting, what they learned in onboarding, and what happened with they started with your company and understand where the communication gaps are.”  

 Focus on telling your fleet’s story through a driver’s lens

Reading, viewing, and hearing your offers from the perspective of your audience — drivers and job seekers — should consistently be a point of emphasis, says Williams. He recommends that fleets find ways to reinforce their offers with driver testimonials and other examples that bolster the details being shared. “Whenever you’re making a connection with a driver, have a real story that backs up your statements,” says Williams. “If I’m a driver recruiter on the phone talking to a driver, I’m not just looking at a PDF reading off talking points. Instead, I can say, ‘I talked to X person, and here’s his experience, and he’s allowing me to share it with you.’ Build a story around your job offers and it will keep people more engaged.”

Lastly, he says, identify ways to remove vagueness in recruiting marketing and swap in something material. Williams cited this example: Our drivers earn more than the industry average and run regional routes. “That’s what’s called puffery,” he said. “Putting something out there that isn’t easy to prove or disprove. Also, regional could mean one thing to one driver and something else to another. Instead, be specific. ‘Our drivers earn an average of $80,000 a year and are home five days out of every 14,’” he said. “Even if it’s not the most competitive offer — often the most competitive offer doesn’t win. It’s the clearest offer that gets the most interest.”

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