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R&R 2018 Kicks Off with Record Number of Attendees

Today kicked off the 15th Annual Recruitment & Retention Conference in Nashville, with hundreds of recruiting and retention professionals in attendance. This unique annual event gives us the opportunity to come together and explore new strategies and innovations to manage driver recruiting and retention challenges and network with other like-minded industry leaders. The theme for this year’s conference is “Redirect”, which focuses on ways you can take your recruitment and retention strategies in a new and fresh direction.

The first general session for the conference this morning focused on the importance of great salesmanship when it comes to recruiting. Worldwide leading sales trainer Phil Jones delivered an inspiring message to driver recruiters about the art of the sell. Attendees then heard from Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations, as he gave a recruiting and retention economic and industry update in the second general session.

After these morning sessions, attendees had the opportunity to choose from an array of workshops throughout the day. Our own Beverly Ringstaff, Conversion Interactive Agency creative director; Lori Furnell, vice president of communications for Boyd Bros. Transportation; and Brad Vaughn, vice president of recruiting at Maverick Transportation (and 2016 Recruiter of the Year), talked about the importance of using social media and online reviews to manage your reputation and improve your digital brand in “Managing the Influence of Your Carrier’s Online Reputation.” In this workshop, attendees learned specifically how Boyd Bros. and Maverick Transportation are using social media and online reputation management tools to increase recruitment and retention. In “Reengineering Driver Pay,” Leach Shaver, chief operating officer for The National Transportation Institute, shared about trends in driver pay and their impact on driver recruiting and retention. Other workshop sessions were: “Rethink Retention: Proven Strategies to Improve Driver Turnover,” “Evaluating the Driver Perspective: Straight from the Source,” “Flipping the Script on How You Work Your Driver Leads,” Exploring the Data Behind Recruiting & Retention in Today’s Driver Market,” “Redefining the Recruiting Experience for Drivers,” “Examining the Recruiting & Retention Challenges Facing Small to Mid-Size Fleets Today,” “Large Fleet Analysis: Driver Turnover & Other Issues Facing Large Carriers in the Market Today,” “Retention Review: Understanding What’s Important to Drivers in Today’s Market,” “Closing the Gap on Navigating Young Drivers in the Market,” and “The Road to Retention Runs Through Socializing: Skipping the Early Turnover Exit.”

Chris Spear, president and CEO for the American Trucking Associations, told us about ATA’s workforce initiative and how driver recruiters can be a part of it in the “American Trucking Associations Update & Workforce Development Initiative” general session. Curtis Midkiff, senior advisor for social business strategy at Southwest Airlines, spoke to us in the last general session of the day about the value in engaging drivers through digital and social media and the importance of making connections with drivers.

We’re closing out the day with a special concert at the BB Kings Blues Club. The concert features the Stacy Mitchhart Band. Today’s events were a great start to this year’s Recruitment & Retention conference. We’re looking forward to hearing from some more industry experts tomorrow!

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