The right way to recruit for Truck Drivers / Transport Industry

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a battle going on right now in this country. No not the Presidential debates, it is a battle for qualified CDL drivers.

That’s right. There’s a shortage in the country of qualified short and long haul drivers and companies are waging battle to grab the best candidates for the thousands of open positions that exist right now due to lower fuel costs.

Truck driver (30s) sitting in cab of semi-truck.

The problem is, with so many jobs available, how do you, as a transport company owner or manager, get the best people? How do you inform them of your openings and offers?

Let’s run the 1st phase of a MITTON Media analysis of how to reach Drivers:

  1. Where do these people spend most of their time?
  2. Behind the wheel of a big rig.
  3. What media are they in contact with while they are driving?
  4. Well let’s see, they can’t watch TV while driving. They can’t read a newspaper while they are driving. They can’t surf the internet while driving. BUT, they do listen to the radio while driving. AND they might see a billboard while driving.


So are billboards effective?

The Facts: You have on average about 3-7 seconds of viewing time on a billboard when you are driving 60+ miles per hour. So that gives you about seven words. How much can you say in seven words? Let’s give that a try with a sample Trucking Company we’ll call Friendly Trucking:

Driver Billboard

OK, that’s seven words counting the phone number, except that:

  1. Friendly Trucking may be hiring, but you haven’t given the driver any incentive to call. If he or she sees this message while driving it means they already have a job, and the message doesn’t give them any reason to switch jobs. All they know is you are hiring, but since they were driving when they saw your billboard, they’re working and Friendly Trucking gave them so reason to change that. There is no incentive or “What’s in it for me” in the message.
  2. Call Us. Sure there’s a phone number but will they remember it?   Do you remember any billboards from your drive today? Did you write down the phone number while you were driving? Of course not. Did you see any billboards with messages to go to a company website? Do you remember the website?

Billboards have their place. They are great a re-enforcing other media campaigns. But as a standalone media they are a poor choice.


With Radio you have the opportunity to reach Drivers because that’s the media they have on in the truck. You can tell a completely story of who you are, who you are looking to hire and why it would be a smart move for a driver to come to work for you, to give them a “what’s in it for me message” that makes them want to change careers, whether it’s a signing bonus or guaranteed home time, or some other thing that sets you above your competition as an employer of choice.

Here’s an example:

Note how the commercial appeals to drivers is several ways:

  1. A real driver telling them why driving for WM is a great career move
  2. The “what’s in it for me” that a driver gets when changing careers to Waste Management
  3. The ad qualifies the candidates because it tells drivers exactly who they are looking for and the qualifications they MUST HAVE
  4. Exactly how to apply for these positions and how to contact Waste Management
  5. The radio commercial can drive candidates to a website where they can learn more about your offer and even apply

That’s how you recruit drivers; you drive them to you with creative messages that reach them behind the wheel and motivate them to come to you for a better job.

Is there more to it? You bet. To find out what, give me a call or shoot me an email.

David Foster


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