Recruiting Team Truck Drivers in Today’s Trucking Industry
Building Relationships Leads to Increased Driver Recruiting Success at R & R Trucking, Inc.
JOPLIN, Mo. March 04, 2017
R & R Trucking, Inc. a leader in providing specialized truck transport of sensitive cargo in North America, has found that building long-term relationships with Over-The-Road (OTR) truck drivers – even with drivers who don’t work for the company – increases driver recruiting success.
R & R Driver Recruiting Specialist Dan Howard says relationship building begins the moment he first speaks to a prospective driver. "Due to the specialized nature of our business, our team drivers have to meet stricter requirements than most companies," Howard says. "So when I talk to quality drivers, even if they're not looking for a new opportunity, I make it my job to get to know them."
"It's important for me to know their family, their likes and dislikes, if they like fishing, hunting, riding a motorcycle – friendships have always been first with me,” said Howard. He points to ongoing relationships with the parents of children who now drive for R & R as proof the pay-it-forward philosophy works.
James Carr is one-half of a father-son team Howard recruited. Carr had a great job when a friend first told him about R & R, so he didn't come to work for them immediately. But through the months he kept in contact with Howard, Carr never felt like R & R sugarcoated the job. And once he and his son joined the company, they did so with the facts they needed to make a good decision.
"Other companies I've worked for have had what I call a honeymoon period," Carr says. "They promise you money and other perks then forget about you after a couple of months. The recruiting department told me up front what to expect financially. In fact, this past January was our best month ever in the business. When I know qualified people who are tired of getting the runaround, I don't hesitate to give them Howard’s name."
Emphasis on Trust
Driver Recruiting Specialist Dorena Burns echoes Howard’s emphasis on trust; it's a vital recruiting tool she uses too. "We don't want to fail anyone," Burns says. "Two-way relationships benefit us, our drivers and their families," she adds.
As in any personnel-related job, R & R recruiters have technology on hand to keep track of dates, phone numbers, and emails. But Burns says knowing people personally is infinitely more valuable in making great hiring decisions.
"I've helped people get started in this industry with different companies, only to rediscover the same folks 10 years later," said Burns. "You can't have relationships like that unless there's a foundation of trust."
Stewart and Melody Anderson are another team Burns recruited who've made driving for R & R a true family affair. Stewart Anderson originally joined the company with one nephew; now Anderson and his wife, Melody, comprise one team and his two nephews make up another. "They mean it when they say R & R is family oriented," Stewart Anderson says. "For that reason alone they're by far the best company I've worked for."
Kevin McKelvy, R & R Vice President of Administration, says there's a direct correlation between the company's high driver retention rate and its recruiting philosophy. "A large percentage of our teams have been with the company for six years or better," McKelvy says. “You cannot keep drivers as long as we do without having strong relationships with them.”
McKelvy describes R & R as a big family where everyone depends on each other for success. "The benefits are circular. By being up front about what drivers can expect, we establish trust from the beginning. Our drivers are more at ease with their choices, and they see us constantly working to keep our promises, so they stay longer," said McKelvy.
Last year, R & R implemented a military veteran hiring program to assist veterans in obtaining a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). According to Lisa DesJardins, Military Veteran’s Coordinator for R & R, the company's philosophy of building long-term relationships is well received among veterans she talks to. "People in the military build strong bonds with their fellow soldiers – a spirit of camaraderie,” said DesJardins,” and I can assure you that veterans appreciate finding a company like R & R that reflects that value.”
About R & R Trucking, Inc.
R & R Trucking, Inc. – with its group of carriers, AATCO and NEI – is North America’s premier trucking company that specializes in the transport of sensitive cargo. Their logistic and equipment capabilities encompass tanker, dry van, flat bed, dromedary and specialized transportation equipment. Its mission is to provide transportation services to customers safely and efficiently by utilizing quality personnel and resources.