How to find CDL drivers

How to find CDL drivers

Learn how to find and hire first-class CDL drivers with these practical tips.

It’s getting harder for employers to find qualified drivers with Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs). More and more drivers are retiring, and not enough new hires are coming in to replace them. This means that now more than ever, you need to find the best candidates to fill the open positions in your trucking company. The driver shortage is a problem that will not go away any time soon. It’s a complex issue that affects the entire industry. The good news is that you have options. You can take steps to find CDL drivers more easily, so you can quickly fill open positions.

How to hire a CDL driver

A step-by-step guide for hiring qualified experienced CDL drivers and building a reliable trucking team. These best hiring practices apply to both independent owner-operators and trucking companies.

  1. 1

    Find out what it takes to attract the best CDL drivers

    What sets your company apart from the competition? What do you do better than others? List your company’s unique selling points. For example, you might be a top carrier in your region, you pay higher than average wages, or you give drivers more opportunities for home time. Whatever you do, make sure your best CDL drivers know about it. Drivers want to work for a company that rewards their hard work, offers growth opportunities, and provides a good family atmosphere. Make sure your drivers know that you are the right choice for them.

    Some things CDL drivers are looking for are:

    • fair pay,
    • safe trucks,
    • regularly scheduled runs,
    • good home time,
    • company support and good communication,
    • opportunities to grow,
    • competitive benefits,
    • consistent freight.

    It’s a good idea to think about the particular type of commercial drivers you’re targeting. What do they care about? What do they want? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you find CDL drivers who are a good fit for your company. For example, if you’re hiring truck drivers for local routes, you want someone who is happy to drive in their own community. If you’re hiring drivers for long-haul routes, you want someone who is happy to drive hundreds of miles every week. Older drivers might be seeking more predictable home time, while younger drivers may be looking for the opportunity to work overtime. Drivers with families tend to seek more consistent freight.

  2. 2

    Create an appealing CDL driver job post

    Stand out from the crowd. Follow these tips to create one of the best job advertisements in the trucking industry.

    • First, write a job description. It should include the minimum requirements for the job, such as the type of CDL (Class A, Class B, or Class C license) required, years of experience, and the minimum amount of time you want the driver to stay with your company. The more detail you give, the better. Be specific about the location the position is based in. Also, be transparent about possible weekend trips, the chances of night shifts, and working during state holidays. For example, if you expect drivers to handle hazardous materials, make it clear. You don’t want to sugarcoat the reality of the job.
    • Next, include a list of the things the company offers. Do you offer competitive pay, benefits such as medical insurance, vacation time, retirement plans, and growth opportunities?
    • Be sure to include a description of the company culture. What’s your company’s mission? Your drivers will want to know what your company stands for. Do you have family values that you believe in? Do you treat your employees well? What are your drivers’ roles in the community?
    • Also, explain the hiring process. You should explain how to apply for the job, what the next steps are after the application, and what the typical process looks like. Your drivers should know what they can expect.
    • List the salary for this position. Don’t forget to include overtime pay, bonuses, and incentives.
    • Finish with your contact information. This should include the address of the company headquarters, the name of the individual the applicant should contact, and a phone number for follow-up.

    The detailed CDL job description will save you valuable interview time and increase the odds of hiring an ideal candidate.

  3. 3

    Advertise the position

    Now that you have created a solid job posting, it’s time to advertise the position. It’s essential to reach as many potential drivers as possible, and that means you should post the job on as many sites as you can.

    Your first step is to post your job on the trucking industry’s top job sites. Then, post the job on the major job boards. You can also post on local job boards and industry-specific boards like:

    • Recruiting sites
    • Trucking forums
    • Social media is a great way to reach and engage potential CDL drivers. There are several groups of truck drivers on Facebook who are looking for work. Facebook has an excellent job posting tool:

    Here are some great sites to start with:

  4. 4

    Post your job on social media sites

    Social media is a great way to reach your target audience. Share your job posts on your company’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. When you’re posting on social media, be sure to use hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to attract the attention of potential drivers. Some hashtags to try include:

    • #truckingjobs
    • #classacdljobs
    • #classbcdljobs
    • #classccdljobs
    • #careercdljobs
    • #commercialdriversjobs
    • #careertruckdriver
    • #careerdrivers
    • #careertruckdrivers
    • #careerwithtrucking
    • #careertruckers
  5. 5

    Invest in building a solid referral program

    Offer CDL driver referral bonuses. Ask your existing employees to recommend their friends and reward them for successful referrals. (Make sure that both parties know the hiring criteria like scheduling, the amount of highway driving, night shifts, salary, and of course, perks). Referral programs will help you reduce the hiring time and encourage the existing employees – a win-win!

  6. 6

    Don’t dismiss female applicants

    FreightWaves has recently published findings from a survey that showed that a little over 10% of truck drivers were female. “Women drivers take fewer risks, and accidents involving men tend to be at higher speeds.” Now that the trucking industry faces a labor shortage, consider hiring a woman. Single women or women with older children are ideal candidates -- they will not likely turn away a more extended trip.

  7. 7

    Consider hiring military veterans

    The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the demand for truck drivers will increase by as much as 48% by 2026. The reasons for this are clear: the trucking industry needs an influx of new drivers as the current generation retires. The military trains people to perform under pressure, which is precisely what truck drivers must do. They are used to traveling across the country, which is ideal for long-haul routes. Veterans are accustomed to working as part of a team. They will fit in well with your existing drivers. Reach out specifically to military veterans. Post your job on the websites that are geared towards veterans. Also, consider partnering with a veterans’ organization to reach out to potential recruits.

Good luck! You’re now on your way to hiring the best CDL drivers. Use these tips to build a reliable trucking team that will help you stay competitive and grow your business.

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