Driver onboarding: How to keep the commitment and avoid being ghosted by new driver hires

How often does this scenario play out at your fleet? Your recruiting team has successfully nurtured and converted a driver lead into a committed new hire, and you have them scheduled for onboarding and orientation. But then — orientation day comes, and your new hire is a no-show. They’ve ghosted you, and they’ve vanished from answering any calls or emails.  

What happened? They likely accepted a job at a different company and never looked back. Or they simply decided to stay put at their existing fleet. Either way, it leaves a gap in your recruiting goals and is a pain point for everyone from your recruiters, to your trainers, and to your operations team who needed that driver onboard yesterday.  

What can your fleet do to improve your commitment-to-onboarding percentage? Here are a few strategies to leverage to keep commitments firm and to help prevent new hires from dropping off between their commitment date and onboarding date:  

Drown out the noise of your competitors 

Don’t stop recruiting your driver hires after they’ve committed. Drivers will continue to see job ads on social media and Google, on billboards, and in their email inbox. They’ll also likely continue to be fielding recruiting calls from other companies, too. Stay engaged with your driver hires by utilizing technology with personal touches, such as text messages that provide updates and that tell them you’re excited for them to start, or a personalized voicemail drop from someone in operations making an introduction. Also, use the power of social media and email content to continue to promote why they chose you and why your fleet is their desired destination.  

Offer and promote transition pay 

When drivers change jobs, they often arrive short on cash or resources to fill the gap for the weeks between their last full paycheck at their prior company and their first full paycheck at your fleet. Also, as they get acclimated to their new schedule and routing, their productivity may not be as robust in the initial weeks at your company, and thus their earnings may be strained. Help them bridge that gap by offering a transition pay incentive to keep them committed and show new hires you support them during this period of change. Also, promote your transition pay as the great incentive it is and as another reason why new hires should remain committed to you.

Use engagement to backfill your pipeline  

Once a driver has committed to your fleet and as you’re staying engaged between commitment and onboarding, remind them about your referral bonus opportunities even before they show up for orientation. Have your recruiters relay the message about other opportunities at your fleet in case their friends or peers are looking for a job. Not only does this approach allow you to engage and continue to sell your fleet’s message, it also helps your recruiters build their pipeline, too.  

Provide a quality onboarding experience and promote it heavily  

Consider your fleet’s onboarding process through a driver’s eyes, and work to build a solid orientation program that includes quality travel, lodging, and meals. Use this quality experience as a marketing tool to your commitments — sell them on how great the experience is and why they should look forward to showing up and starting their time with you.  

Need more insights about prevalence of incentives like transition pay, sign-on bonuses, referral bonuses, and guaranteed pay, among the many other attributes and trends of driver compensation plans?  Learn more about how NTI’s data products can provide your fleet with tools to make critical internal decisions. 

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