“The biggest change that we’ve seen–other than the sheer number of companies who are now using our website to advertise their driving jobs–are the types of companies who are doing so,” said CDLjobs.com president, Darin Williams.
These kinds of recruiting effort boosts have seen widespread utilization among motor carriers as the long-term truck driver shortage has been strained even further due to the explosion of e-commerce and other pandemic-related consumer demand increases.
CDLjobs.com is an online service which aims to easily transfer data related to driver job applications to specific carriers (the service has an advertising platform just for truck driver jobs). Pre-pandemic, the website typically catered to major carriers, but things have changed quickly in that regard throughout 2021.
“Post-pandemic, we are representing carriers who never had to advertise,” Williams explained. “Private carriers, union carriers, [and] ‘mom-and-pop’ carriers.” In 2020, CDLjobs.com represented 86 carriers; that number jumped to 135 in August of 2021, bringing a 53% sales increase for the company by the end of last year and a 110% overall sales increase by July of 2021.
Additionally, around 52% of professionals in the transportation industry are aiming to boost job advertisement spending throughout 2021, according to an August U.S. Transportation Spotlight Report released by background screening and workplace solution provider, HireRight. The report also showed that 86% of industry workers who participated in the survey deemed the difficulties in finding properly-qualified candidates for job openings a primary concern.
“In the past, carriers typically worked individually with multiple service providers and media partners to generate [leads on drivers],” said Conversion Interactive Agency’s vice president of marketing and training, Priscilla Peters. “It involved lots of time, lots of phone calls, and lots of unconnected data and analytics.”
These kinds of efforts have been proven obsolete in the currently highly-competitive marketplace, especially with more and more carriers across the industry looking to obtain better methods of boosting their overall brands and their knowledge regarding the most effective strategies for recruitment.
“This year, we’ve found ourselves in conference rooms on Zoom calls digging in deep with more and more carriers to identify what their driver persona is, and how we can create a marketing plan that includes multiple media partners but has one strategic message and goal,” said Peters. “Carriers of all sizes are committed to building a brand preference with drivers more than ever.”
Throughout the pandemic’s trucker shortage, The Alabama Media Group–a digital marketing agency–has doubled the amount of trucking companies for which it advertises from 50 in 2020 to more than 100 this year.
“We’ve seen a big increase in trucking firms of all sizes,” said Alabama Media Group vice president of marketing, Bart Thau, “but especially in the small-to-mediums, [and] the sort of 50- to 1,000-truck range firms. What they’re trying to do right now is differentiate themselves and try to get the recruiting funnel directly connected to them.
In fact, fleets are looking to reach job seekers who may not even be searching for roles in the trucking or transportation sector at all, Thau explained.
“We’re developing marketing strategies that help trucking companies brand themselves in the workplace for potential recruits,” he noted. Some of these outreach efforts focus upon making the trucking world appear as appealing as possible, especially through social media. This involves portraying workplace atmosphere, lifestyle, benefits, and pay as being highly lucrative and irresistible.
“The majority of the inquiries that we’re getting now are from smaller fleets that really never had to advertise,” added Pat Hightower, CEO of Hightower Agency. “They could always find drivers, through referrals, or through word-of-mouth, and they could do a little advertising internally. Companies with, say, 150 trucks or less [could do this].”
Nearly 1.1 million new truck drivers will need to enter into the industry over the next ten years to keep up with increasing demands and worker retirements, the American Trucking Associations has predicted. This comes out to almost 110,000 new truckers needed each year.