Industry

How Transport & Logistics Firms Benefit From RPO

Recruiting CDL drivers is complex and time-consuming work. Getting it right takes time and industry know-how that a generalist recruiter or an HR team doesn’t always have. That’s where Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and the right recruitment tech can help.

Trucking – and the transport infrastructure around it – keeps the wheels of the economy turning. Right now in the US, demand for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders far outstrips supply. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2028 there could be a shortage of around 160,000 qualified drivers, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA).  

Recruiting CDL drivers is complex and time-consuming work. Getting it right takes time and industry know-how that a generalist recruiter or an HR team doesn’t always have. That’s where Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) – outsourcing the recruiting process (or part of it) to a third-party specialist – can help.

We spoke with Peggy O’Donnell – owner of TransDirectUSA – to discover why transport and logistics firms are turning to RPO to fill roles in the industry.

It’s An Industry That’s Always Moving

Peggy O’Donnell started TransDirectUSA back in 2015. Since then, the company has grown to 10 recruiters, serving transport and logistics firms across the US with everything from high-profile executive searches to long-term partnerships for recruiting and onboarding. 

With more than 25 years combined experience of recruiting in the sector, Peggy and her team are specialists, sourcing and recruiting candidates for a variety of roles, including fleet managers, dispatchers, route planners, diesel mechanics, and drivers. 

It’s not necessarily that there’s a driver shortage – there’s a lack of drivers with the right level of experience – 1 to 2 years – for insurance purposes.

Peggy O’Donnell, President & Owner, TransDirectUSA

Right now, around 90% of the firm’s open roles are for CDL drivers. With 30 years in the industry plus her background in operations this comes as no surprise to Peggy. The reason? It’s not an easy industry to break into, and it’s a tough life out on the road in the early stages of a career – certainly for the first few years when gaining experience.

Once drivers have the necessary years of experience, it’s possible for them to get a much better work/life balance. On top of that, post-pandemic, the transportation sector has been catching up in terms of pay (with increases of up to 20%) making truck driving a more appealing career choice. After all, truck drivers are a vital part of the economy. Without them, deliveries aren’t made, and companies lose revenue. The challenge for transportation and logistics firms is how to recruit and retain the best CDL drivers. 

RPO Drives the Open Highway For Hiring

For HR departments and in-house recruiters, acquiring and retaining CDL drivers is uniquely challenging. Putting out job ads, using job boards – even paying for Google Ads – are all valid options. But more often than not, they have limited success.

In terms of the numbers, the TransDirectUSA team find that on average out of 100 potential candidates for a CDL driver role, around 4% will meet the criteria. Of those that are put forward for interview, 1% are placed. That makes recruiting CDL drivers expensive and labor-intensive.

Most companies in the industry spend more per hire on CDL drivers than any other roles. Bringing in a specialist can help companies place more drivers and keep down hiring costs.

Peggy O’Donnell, President & Owner, TransDirectUSA
Photo by Quintin Gellar: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-volvo-semi-truck-on-side-of-road-2199293/
Outsourcing CDL driver recruitment to a professional agency can help HR managers focus their efforts on internal tasks and improve overall efficiency of workforce development.

In the past, Peggy and her team would deal directly with transportation managers — those people in charge of the drivers and usually the hiring manager. These days, this is typically done as part of HR. But HR teams have a lot on their plate (retaining good people, running training programs, and so on) beyond just looking after drivers. They’re considering every role in their organization, from the warehouse floor to the C-suite. 

RPO for CDL drivers is a cost-effective solution, enabling companies to streamline and improve their recruitment and hiring processes. By outsourcing one of the trickiest and most expensive pieces of the puzzle, HR teams reclaim valuable time spent on sourcing and calling candidates. In exchange, they can focus on other HR activities that add more value to their business.

Driving Candidates Down The Final Mile

Like any niche or sector where the best candidates are in high demand, recruiting CDL drivers is complicated by the fact that they’re usually already in a role. That’s where the benefit of RPO comes into play. Peggy calls it ‘organic sourcing’ – reaching out to passive candidates to alert them to better opportunities. To do that effectively takes time and expertise. It also takes the right recruitment tech.

In her own words, Peggy – like many recruiters – is not a tech person. It’s a people business, after all. But the backbone of her operations over the years has been PCRecruiter. It’s powerful enough to do the heavy lifting, yet simple for non-technical team members on a daily basis. 

When hiring drivers, there’s still what I call ‘the final mile’. When a driver’s talking to a recruiter, they want to talk to somebody, who knows their business. And to get them to that placement, you need expertise.

Peggy O’Donnell, President & Owner, TransDirectUSA

In fact, Peggy and her team only use PCRecruiter, so that everything happens from inside one system, from form letters to candidate tracking. Recruiters can also track their call goals, and Peggy runs a daily report. It’s also used in Business Development for recording conversations. 

Peggy’s first to admit she’s still discovering new ways to use PCRecruiter to streamline her workflows and processes. Right now she’s excited about growing her use of automation and integration between candidate applications and the pipeline. She’s leveraging online applications to save time on manual data entry and to reduce human errors.

To discover how PCRecruiter can support, strengthen, and streamline your recruitment activities. Contact us 

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How Transport & Logistics Firms Benefit from RPO
Industry

How Transport & Logistics Firms Benefit From RPO

Recruiting CDL drivers is complex and time-consuming work. Getting it right takes time and industry know-how that a generalist recruiter or an HR team doesn’t always have. That’s where Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and the right recruitment tech can help.

Read more

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