Amber Egierski’s first job after earning a 2008 degree in Business Management was as Marketing Director at an Orlando car dealership. When she joined Towne Air Freight in 2011, she had no previous driver recruiting experience. And yet, in less than two years, she convinced the 50-year-old company to abandon long-held biases about how to successfully recruit truck drivers today.
Which leads to a pretty obvious question: What happened?
Tech-Savvy Drivers: The New Reality
“The simple answer would be,” says Towne Air’s VP of HR Jerry Scott, “that Amber convinced us Owner Operators were more technically-savvy than we thought they were. Most of us who’ve been with the company for a long time would freely admit to having an Old School mentality. At the same time, we realized something important: We recognized that we didn’t know what we didn’t know; particularly when it came to interactive recruiting media.
“Amber helped us catch-up quickly to what a leading-edge company in this industry does today. Having grown-up with technology all her life, she was a lot more comfortable in that arena than we were. Just as importantly, she was, and continues to be, very passionate about it.”
Exploring Alternatives To Traditional Advertising
Even more importantly, it might be argued, Amber did her homework. “When I joined Towne Air, I saw real growth potential for my place in the recruiting department. I was certainly aware of the explosion of Mobile among my own age group—where it’s almost like, if you don’t have a Smart Phone, you don’t exist. So I started researching alternatives to traditional print advertising.”
“Since Owner Operators are independent contractors, I figured there would be a high penetration of Smart Phones among that group—which also meant they would be more likely to conduct job searches either online or through mobile apps.”
Turning A Budget Upside Down. And Succeeding.
Scott continues, “Once we bought-in to Amber’s argument about Owner Operators’ technological savvy, we basically turned our media-buying budget upside down. Two years ago, we spent 95% of our budget in print publications. Today, we’re down to 10%—and the rest is in online advertising and mobile.”
Result? “In 2012, we had the best recruiting year in our company’s history.”
Because Success Takes More Than Empty Promises
So does that mean that interactive and mobile alone led to Towne Air’s phenomenal success? “Far from it,” says Scott. “We also modernized our package of pay, benefits and retention incentives. In short, we put meat behind our advertising message. We didn’t just tell drivers what they wanted to hear. We found ways to give them what they wanted and needed.”
Proof, once again, that there are no easy answers in successful recruiting.
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