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How to Better Recruit Owner Operators

It’s no secret that owner operator truck drivers are a strong asset to any carrier. The obstacle? They are few and far between, making up only 9% of truck drivers on the road today. So how do trucking companies find them? Owner operators are independent by nature and are focused on opportunities that support their own success. They want to drive for themselves. The name of the game is sharing with them that in driving for you they are driving for themselves. There are three things you need to master to be able successfully recruit owner operator truck drivers. The Vehicle (pun intended), the Messaging, and the Conversion.

The Vehicle
Variety is key in reaching owner operator drivers, but you want to make sure that all sources and efforts are working together towards the same goal. Because owner operators are a more targeted niche of truck driving, you may not use the same sources to reach them as you do for other company driving divisions. The most important thing in choosing a vehicle to deliver your message is that the vehicle is one that your audience can be found on. According to the Owner Operator and Independent Driver Association, most owner operators become independent contractors past the age of 35 and many have been driving for more than 20 years. What does this tell us? Most owner operators are Baby Boomers. Where do Baby Boomers like to go? Facebook. By advertising on Facebook, you’re catching your audience on their home turf. According to Statista, 65% of Baby Boomers are on Facebook. Be sure you have an up-to-date company profile that can hook your audience and ultimately lead to an owner operator converting into a hire.

Messaging
Once you have chosen your vehicle, you must choose how you want to use that vehicle to communicate with owner operators. When it comes to targeting independent contractors, the best messaging to tap into is independence, freedom, and flexibility. Show them they are their own boss and you are simply their partner. They own the truck. They drive for themselves but work with you to deliver the load and put bread on the table for their family.

Conversion
In the conversion phase of recruiting, be sure your tactic as a recruiter is in line with the same strategy that got the driver to engage with your brand in the first place. Make sure you know who you’re talking to. Owner operators likely have a lot of experience under their belt and are going to be very knowledgeable of the trucking industry. They are also going to know what they want,so be mindful of that. The benefits of an owner operator are different than other company driver benefits, so be clear and share the information that applies to them.

Lastly, they are likely making a transition for a reason, so ask them about it. Ask them why they are looking for a new opportunity. This can tell you a lot about a driver and you can use that knowledge to find out what they want from you as a carrier.

Bottom line, if you want to find truck drivers that are owner operators, choose the vehicle and source where they are showing up, speak their language, and take their experience into consideration. Do these things, and you’ll have yourself a fleet of owner operators in no time.

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