You Only Get One First Impression With Drivers, So Make It Count

When it comes to hiring and retention in the trucking industry, there are a lot of moving parts. But your company’s actions have a big impact on whether drivers choose to work for your company — and whether they choose to stick around. 

Why First Impressions Matter in Hiring

Let’s face it: Hiring can be a “dog-eat-dog” process in trucking. That’s due in part to the volatility of employment in the industry, where drivers can uproot from an existing employer and flip to a new one seemingly in an instant. 

Your trucking carrier is competing with other carriers, and you’re trying to carve out your space as a preferred employer among professional drivers. Part of doing that is ensuring that your entire company and your driver-facing benefits and programs are top-notch.

But another part of standing apart from the competition is the impression you leave with prospective employees. Your first impression can make or break a prospect’s trust, before he or she even gets any further into the hiring process.

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What you do and say matters from day one. As the saying goes, you can never get back a first impression. So, you need to make it a good one.

Nailing Your First Impression With Prospective Hires

If you’ve read any of our past blogs, you’ll know that we talk a lot about the importance of building trust. Having mutual trust between a driver and your company can be the difference-maker when it comes to whether that driver stays around for the long-term.

Trust is built over time, but that process can start from the very beginning. When you first engage with a driver, it’s important to view that touchpoint as an opportunity to begin the trust-building process and set the tone for a mutually beneficial relationship moving forward.

But what do you want that first impression to be like? Before stepping into an in-person meeting or a video call with a potential new hire, take some time to think through that. 

Consider the three key elements of creating a positive first impression:

  • Moderate the tone. Can you remember a recent conversation where the topic discussed didn’t leave you with a bad taste in your mouth but the tone of it did? Odds are, the answer is yes. Most of us have interacted with people who left a bad impression simply by the way they interacted, not necessarily by what they had to say. How you make prospective drivers feel is every bit as important as what you say in many cases, so be thoughtful about your tone and demeanor.
  • Share the details. Information that may be commonplace to you and others who’ve been in the industry for a while may be brand-new to many drivers. This is definitely the case when it comes to company-specific details and programs. When you’re talking with a prospective new hire, make sure you’re sharing information in a novice-friendly way. That means identifying pertinent information and sharing those details, but not necessarily diving into the nitty-gritty. You can also share websites or other resources where prospects can gather further details when they’re ready for them.
  • Stay engaged. It’s important to pair this tip with the previous one. While you are sharing information about your company, the job opportunity, and the industry, the conversation shouldn’t be a one-way street. The fact-gathering portion of your first interactions with a prospect is particularly important. Asking questions and truly listening to a driver can help you collect information about what makes that person tick. You want to come away from a meeting with a true understanding of what a prospective hire needs and who that driver is from a big-picture perspective. And by engaging with the driver with genuine interest, you’re leaving a major impression — one that says you’re truly invested in your company’s drivers as people, not simply as employees.

Want to identify where your company could make a better impression on prospective drivers? Seek the feedback of your current drivers! Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help.