Despite attempts to increase pay, improve working conditions, and hire non-traditional candidates, trucking and logistics companies are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain long-haul truck drivers. One such company, Fidelis Freight, a Jacksonville, Florida-based transportation company, is committed to building sustainable solutions for their shipper and carrier partners.
Recent estimates from the American Trucking Associations show that the industry is short about 60,000 drivers — a number that is expected to continue to grow over time, resulting in critical labor shortages. As a natural reaction to this shift, companies like Fidelis Freight, which rely on truck drivers to run their businesses, are not only raising pay, but also developing new methods of recruiting and retaining existing drivers.
Haley Lanigan, Recruiting Manager at Fidelis Freight, is responsible for contracting truck drivers to help her logistics company fulfill carrier loads. Given the shortage of drivers and high rate of turnover in the trucking industry, Haley’s job is a difficult one. She recruits potential candidates in a number of ways, including social platforms such as LinkedIn, email marketing campaigns, and offline initiatives. In aggregate, these methods have proven to be effective but had also become increasingly time-consuming.
The Challenge: Recruiting New Prospects and Combating Turnover
In addition to the challenge of finding new drivers, Haley also contends with fluctuating demand for their services based on the needs of Fidelis’ carrier and shipper partners. With hiring targets rapidly shifting, Haley must be able to contract new hires quickly to meet the demands of her company’s business goals. She constantly finds herself making changes to her recruiting strategy to attract and retain drivers.
Over time, it had become clear to Haley that using email and social channels alone were insufficient to help her meet this rapidly changing target. To maximize her time and fulfill all partner contracts in a timely manner, Haley needed a more efficient way to reach and engage with potential candidates.
The SMS Marketing Solution for Fidelis Freight
Haley began looking for an automated, affordable solution that would allow her to recruit and engage with candidates. Since long-haul truck drivers live and work on their trucks, she felt an SMS solution, geared to reaching a mobile workforce, would perform better than email.
To test her theory, Haley began by building a mobile subscriber list, including contractors who had either previously worked with Fidelis Freight or had expressed interest in potentially doing so in the future. She sends regular texts to her subscriber list, building engagement by letting them know about trends in the industry as well as weekly fluctuations in the company’s per-mile pay rate. By giving the drivers a sense of the payout they would receive with Fidelis Freight, she believed she could better entice them to consider opportunities with the company.
"Even I was surprised at the high engagement rate text messaging delivered! Almost no opt-outs, lots of follow-up, and very positive impact on recruitment."
-Haley Lanigan, Recruiting Manager, Fidelis Freight
How Fidelis Freight Grows Its Workforce and Retains Employees
To get started with text communications, Haley chose to use EZ Texting, a lightweight communication tool with rapid contact uploading capabilities. She loves that the platform is easy-to-use and integrates seamlessly with existing systems, allowing her to get started quickly as well as leaving her with more time to complete her remaining work responsibilities.
And even more importantly, text marketing has worked! Mobile communications are a great fit for long-haul drivers and Haley finds that candidates are reaching out to her for next steps, requesting job applications, and joining the workforce at a far faster rate than ever before.