If the truth was to be told, there are far more than 7 tips to know before hiring a truck driver recruiting agency. Actually one could write an article listing 100 things you should consider before hiring a truck driver recruiting agency. As a matter of fact, you might be able to write more than that!
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You might be thinking, “Yeah right”. But it is true. Before I even get into the meat of this article I feel there is one very important piece of advice I should share. Not all recruiters are created equal. Not all recruiting agencies are the same. Some actually know what they are doing and are actually very good at it. They are knowledgeable and will work hard to find you best possible candidates.
But many are not. The bad ones are about numbers. They get truck driver resumes just for the sake of having resumes. A potential client will ask, “Do you have a pool of truck drivers”? The recruiter will say, “Yes”. They will then show you this huge list of ‘garbage’.
Many of those ‘candidates’ aren’t qualified drivers, or they are no longing looking for work, and some aren’t even OTR drivers (they are truck dispatchers, looking for local CDL jobs, support staff resumes and freight brokers). But it looks good to the unknowing. For them they follow the old saying, “if you throw enough crap on the wall, something will stick”. Meaning, if they collect enough resumes one of them will be ‘good enough’.
Though most people might be thinking that, “It’s just recruiting, how hard can that be”? You write and post a few announcements, the resumes roll in, you screen them; interview the best candidates, and ‘POOF’ you have your new truck driver. Not so. Any good truck driver recruiting agency, or a recruiter for any field, knows this is not the way it works. Ok, it sort of is, but there is much more to it than that.
Just because a person is a recruiter doesn’t mean they can recruit for any job field. There are several things to consider:
- What is their background and industry related knowledge?
- Do they know the lingo and how to speak with professionals from that sector?
- Can they communicate with people of all walks of life (different backgrounds)?
- Are they just about the numbers or is it quality more important?
Because contrary to popular believe not just anyone can recruit for any profession. People with law enforcement, military, and such backgrounds tend to act differently than people from accounting or administrative backgrounds. The same can be said for any industry. But trucking industry is one of those that require a recruiter with an understanding of the people and the industry; so people skills and trucking industry knowledge is MUST if you are to involve in the process.
So with that said, you will truly want an agency that specializes in the trucking industry and knows all about the factors affecting the trucking world. A truck driver recruiting agency should have recruiters who know about the industry and can then better assist you in finding and hiring the best drivers. This is because when they speak with a potential candidate they will know whether the person is for real, if they actually have been driving and understand the rules and regulations that are so present in the every day driving.
Think about it, you wouldn’t take your Freightliner to a Peterbilt mechanic for a major problem. So why would you go to some generic staffing agency to find new drivers? If you do, then you found the first flaw in your hiring program. If you are going to use an outside service, stick with a true truck driver recruiting agency. An agency that really does understand your needs and can find you what you want out of a candidate.
Ok, so I think I made my point. Just like you would go in an actual tire shop to get a wheel and tire alignment, you would go to an actual truck driver recruiting agency to find drivers. So then how can you pick the best one? How can you know that the truck driver recruiting agency is any good?
Well in life there are risks. Back in the day you would open a phone book, close your eyes, and drop your finger on some random name. You’d do this in hope of finding what you needed. Well now you have the Internet, newspaper ads and a many other options. So once you find a potential agency, how can you make sure they are any good?
Start with these seven tips that are listed below, and I am sure you’ll find a truck driver recruiting agency that will be right for you. Remember, finding a truck driver recruiting agency is just like hiring a new driver; you have to screen them first.
Ask For Their References
This is the same as when you hire a new driver. Before you hire a driver you want to know what they are like. Are they reliable? Are they dependable? Do they actually have all the skills and expertise they claim to have? You can check with the various truck drivers’ forums and associations, both in the trucking world as well as in the recruiting circles.
Check all their licenses, they’re standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), check with the state business boards (and Secretary of State from your state), check out their recruiters. That’s right, look into the actual recruiting staff and see if they attended school or have other relevant experience. Personally, I would prefer someone who has been working in the trucking industry with no HR experience over a college grad with no real world experience. Of course the best would be someone with both!
Talk With Their Previous Clients
Any reputable truck driver recruiting agency will have a list of past and current trucking companies they have worked with who can verify their experience. These are actually clients who have used their services while hiring drivers. Of course some won’t want to take the time to speak with you, and that should not be a sign of anything, positive or negative. But, if clients had a bad experience they will be quicker to share that than a positive experience.