Sharpening the Saw: Efficient & Productive Recruiting

Two Ways Your Recruiting Tools Become Dull

1. Change 

As time goes by, systems, people, and businesses change, and smart carriers respond to these changes. Carriers who use the Tenstreet platform are already familiar with how our system is always improving, growing, and changing for the better, but even carriers who haven’t used our platform will inevitably encounter change in their systems and operations. The people whom carriers work with, for example, are always changing. The faces you see day-to-day working at your business will change, through both turnover and new hiring. While turnover isn’t as high among recruiters as it is with drivers, it certainly exists. In our systems alone, we have more than 7,000 users who have worked for multiple Tenstreet clients at different points in time. Even those people who remain a constant at your company are constantly changing through growth – growing in their capacity to do a given job and the sophistication they bring to their work. As people and the systems they use change, so, too, do the businesses that employ them.

"a lot of the complex solutions that carriers have in place that once made sense aren’t workable anymore"

You might not think much about it, but every day your company continually changes and adapts to the vagaries of both the driver market and your customers, evolving to meet new needs and challenges as they arise. These changes can take many different forms, both big and small. Maybe it’s using new terminals in new parts of the country, acquiring a business, or deciding to sell off or shut down a part of your own business. Maybe you used to never hire student drivers, and now you’re starting to recruit less-experienced candidates, or even running your own academy. Perhaps it’s just your operations that have changed, modernizing how orientation and onboarding work, or your recruiting process itself, so that you can run your business more efficiently. Whatever changes you’ve made, it’s a guarantee that there are more to come in the future. When you look at the way that all carriers and businesses adapt and evolve over time, it becomes clear that successfully running a recruiting operation is more of a journey than a destination. The driver market itself is always changing; the response times and channels that were once best practices are no longer competitive. The technology platform you’re using might be capable of things today that it couldn’t do when you first started using it, and the procedures that you put in place a few years ago may not be appropriate anymore. The most successful carriers are continually looking at what needs to change and taking advantage of new techniques and technologies.
2. Complexity
One thing that we at Tenstreet have observed through our years in the industry is that a lot of the complex solutions that carriers have in place that once made sense aren’t workable anymore. We often see needlessly complex application routing, complex workflows between recruiting, processing, and safety, and complex approval cycles still in place. Many complex solutions are initially required by the circumstances at hand – most people don’t build complex solutions unless they absolutely need to, after all. However, circumstances can and do change, and sometimes the complex solutions that were initially crafted out of necessity stick around long after the circumstances they were built for. The result is that you end up with these outdated and complex procedures costing you more money to operate, when a far simpler solution would cut costs or eliminate them entirely. If you aren’t regularly taking a step back to evaluate your procedures and policies, and asking yourself, “Do all these things I’m doing still make sense?”, you could quietly continue to bleed money without ever knowing it. The other thing we’ve seen while working with clients over the years is the way incremental changes can add up over time, and often make less and less sense as they go. For instance, Tenstreet Xpress has a tagging feature that allows clients to create an almost unlimited number of custom-defined fields, and use powerful tracking and analytic reporting functions. Sometimes we find that as time goes on and the client’s needs have changed, the clients have slowly created a tagging system with hundreds of tags in use. The unintentionally tangled and complex tracking system they’ve set up for themselves causes the platform to lurch into confusion, and it becomes of limited use.

“it’s in your best interest to find all the opportunities you can to simplify”

Keys to Stay Sharp

Find Opportunities to Simplify 
Sometimes it makes sense to take a step back and simplify. Without vigilance and forethought, it’s easy for changes to start piling up and weigh your systems and procedures down. When you’re looking to solve a new problem, it’s in your best interest to find all the opportunities you can to simplify. For example, it might make more sense to investigate whether it would be better to restructure the workflow instead of adding additional steps, or use internal forms instead of adding five more tags to the tracking system. Whether that comes in the form of complex solutions that have outlived their usefulness, or once-simple solutions that have been modified over time until they grow complex and unwieldy, complexity can end up getting out of hand and weigh down your business. But as we mentioned before, sometimes complex solutions are necessary. So how do you avoid pitfalls when implementing needed complex solutions? One way is to review your solutions periodically, to make sure that they are still the best way to solve the problem. The other way is to make sure that your complex solutions are uniformly applied.
Training and Technology
Complex solutions, even when they are absolutely necessary, can end up costing your business in the long run if the way the solution is being applied varies from user to user. Anytime a complex solution is used, it is important that all users understand how the solution works and how it should be applied. Without proper training or retraining, carriers can find themselves with one recruiter doing things one way, and another recruiter doing it another way. In such situations, not only are business goals not being uniformly achieved, but something as simple as metrics can become skewed as well. If you have a status value for a candidate such as “Driver Declined,” and recruiter A takes that to mean that the driver declined a job offer, while recruiter B takes it to mean that you declined to hire that driver, you’ll have a very hard time using metrics to determine why drivers are turning you down or what you need to refine about your marketing systems or compensation packages in order to improve. The bottom line is that although change is constant and necessary for a successful business, it’s important to keep in mind the changes you’re applying and how they affect the rest of the procedures and systems you have in place, and try to plan ahead for new changes that will inevitably be needed. In order to maintain an efficient and productive recruiting department you should regularly:
  1. Review complex solutions (and those that have grown more complex over time) to make sure that the business circumstances that justified them before still call for those same solutions now.
  1. Train and retrain recruiters on how you want your solutions and recruiting strategy to operate – what data you want to capture, what the procedures are – and make sure new hires learn the right methods and procedures from the beginning. Going slow on these fundamentals will help you and your recruiters work faster and more effectively once they are well trained.
  1. Educate yourself about what your technology platform and new technologies are capable of. Our system at Tenstreet does things today that it didn’t do a month ago, and it’s often a challenge for fast-growing technologies like ours to keep our clients up-to-date with the new functionality and features available to them. Help us help you by reading posts like these, reading the login announcements, and attending webinars.
7 habits of effective driver recruiter poster series

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