Whether your recruiting department is stretched to its limit or you can’t justify hiring a full-time recruiter, a contract assistant may be your answer.
Dianna Lambert and Viki Garrison of The Trucking Virtual Assistants are two independent industry vets who are now integral components in several companies’ growth plans.
I called Dianna for a brief interview the other day. At one point, she had to take a quick call on the other line. “That was my husband,” she explained. “He’s hauling a load from North Dakota to Pennsylvania, and he asked me for the toll rates. I said, ‘Shouldn’t your company give that to you?’ He said Sure, but I could get it a lot faster for him!”
That little story says a lot about her value to the people who actually pay her. Dianna’s clients typically count on her for a variety of services; recruiting support is one she added by necessity.
“I have a client, based in Montana, who had a full-time girl handling their recruiting—and one day she just quit. They asked if I could handle her job, and of course I said yes.” Now, Lambert does everything from posting the company’s job openings on Twitter and various Classifieds boards, to reviewing job applications, to working with new hires through Orientation and Safety Training. All from her home office in South Alabama.
“Another client, based in Wisconsin, calls me when they’re looking for specific kinds of drivers—and I’ll conduct candidate searches for them. Typically, I’ll check with my network of contacts, then dig through a variety of online resources—including forums and Craigslist. So far, it’s worked well for them.”
If there’s one area where Lambert (a former trucker herself) has strong feelings, it’s communication—particularly during the pre-employment and orientation phase. “Nothing is more important in ensuring a driver’s success with a company than maintaining clear lines of communication. And when your drivers are successful, they’re a lot likelier to stay with you.”
Lambert points to one client’s experience in particular. “Before we implemented new communication policies, they had an annual turnover rate of well over 50%. The first thing we did was reach-out to the drivers and ask them to tell us when they were experiencing problems. That gesture made it clear that we cared. Then we introduced a safe-driving bonus, and a longevity bonus. The bonuses were just $100 each, but it really meant a lot to the drivers. And as a result, their turnover dropped to 19% within 3 months.”
With all her other client responsibilities, you’d have to wonder why Dianna and Viki aren’t overloaded themselves. “That’s a problem we’d love to have,” Dianna says. “In fact, we’ve already got a network of contacts ready to sign-on with us as soon as we get to that point.” Sounds like a plan.