(Photo courtesy Omni Studio)
Retention is a recruiter’s most important job—and that means maintaining relationships even after the hire.
Baggett Transportation’s Daniel Buckhannan has been a recruiter for trucking companies in Florida and Alabama. Formerly part of an operation employing over 1200 drivers, he jumped at the opportunity to join family-owned Baggett as Director of Recruiting—in part because Baggett’s smaller fleet enabled him to concentrate more on relationships than call volume.
“It’s one of the great advantages of a smaller company: We don’t just say Baggett has a family atmosphere. We show it. Every day. And that’s important to me as a recruiter. For starters, when you invest the time to really get to know drivers you’re recruiting, you’re a lot likelier to make good hires.”
Recruiting Is Very Much A Sales Process.
The best salespeople in any industry focus on meeting needs and keeping promises; rewarding the trust they’ve developed before a prospect becomes a customer. Which just happens to be a term Buckhannan uses to describe his drivers: “From the day they sign-on with us to the day they leave (which is hopefully when they’re ready to retire), our drivers are our customers—and we treat them that way.”
Don’t Just Say It. Show It.
Communicating, and (more importantly) demonstrating, that genuine level of value Baggett places in each driver has its benefits, Buckhannan notes. “After all, the more satisfied they are with us, the likelier they are to offer me referrals.
“And a big part of demonstrating the value we place on our drivers is taking the time to get to know them as people. At the larger companies where I worked, I knew recruiters who felt like they weren’t doing their job if they were on the phone with a prospect for more than five to ten minutes. Don’t get me wrong, these were good recruiters; I just have a different philosophy about recruiting and retention.
Starting At First Contact.
“As far as I’m concerned, retention starts long before you hire someone. And if someone knows I’m willing to spend 30 minutes talking about their grandson’s T-Ball games, I’d like to think they can count on us to listen when they have job-related concerns.”
Because at the end of the day, you’re not just recruiting drivers. You’re hiring people.