Your technology must serve the goal of facilitating, not obstructing, incoming contact from driver candidates.
Several years ago at MATS, I had the genuine pleasure of meeting dozens of recruiters—most of whom graciously accepted my card, and invited me to follow-up with them the following week. The trouble started when I attempted to actually do that.
First, let me emphasize that I know how time-stretched recruiters are most days. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take simple measures to demonstrate your commitment to personally interacting with every driver candidate who reaches-out to you.
Here are the three main problems I experienced in conducting my follow-ups:
1. Insufficient Business Card Information.
Over half the business cards I received last week included no direct phone number. Several listed no email address. To be sure, a powerful brand-messaging platform (deployed through an effective, integrated marketing campaign) is your greatest long-term advantage in attracting good driver candidates. But as I’ve pointed-out elsewhere in this space, actions speak louder than words. And the more barriers you place between yourself and good candidates trying to reach you, the likelier they are to give up on you.
2. Recorded Messages. Phone Menu Hell.
The overwhelming majority of non-direct numbers I called were answered not by people, but impersonal recorded messages which invariably included the following: “Please listen carefully, because our menu options have changed.” Several of those menus sent me places I didn’t want to go. Bear in mind: Trucking companies are not falling over each other for my services. So if I found it aggravating to reach those individuals, how much more irritating are their phone systems making it for highly-desirable driver candidates (who know they’re in demand) to get them?
3. Baffling Websites.
As I’ve also pointed-out elsewhere in this space, way too many trucking company websites look like they were designed by Grampa Ned down at the retirement home in the mid-70’s. But even some of the homeliest sites I’ve seen offered one critical feature a number of technically and creatively first-rate sites lacked: Contact Us pages a single click away from the home page, with actual human contact names listed on them. On one breathtakingly-designed, hi-tech site in particular, I spent literally minutes clicking around—and never found a single individual contact name, email address or personal number.
People are a lot likelier to call people than they are to call nameless, faceless Recruiting Departments. That doesn’t mean incoming calls to your published direct number can’t roll-over to the next available recruiter when you’re unavailable. But at least your personal outgoing message (and yes, it should be in your own voice) could give callers the option to either go to that next person OR leave you a message to call them back.
That said, here’s one simple low-tech solution for you:
Make it painfully obvious how mobile-savvy candidates can text you. On your business card, list the mobile number as “Cell/Text”, instead of just “Cell”—as a subtle reminder that people don’t necessarily have to take the time to call (and maybe get stuck on hold) in order to reach you personally.
Here’s another one:
Dedicate a single cell phone in your department to incoming text messages. Publish its number, and, in your marketing messages, encourage busy respondents to save time by texting requests for call-backs. I recently ran that idea past a good friend in recruiting. He thought about it for a second, paused, and exclaimed, “Wow! Why didn’t I think of that?” Answer: Because I did. After all, that’s my job!