Recruiting expert stresses importance of building trust in hiring process

Recruiting a new driver or any employee begins by getting to know the applicant.

That’s the advice of Kelly Anderson, President of the Kelly Anderson Group, a commercial driving recruitment firm. He’s coined the phrase, “No name, no relationship; no relationship, no trust; no trust, no hire. 

Kelly Anderson

“So I get his name right off the bat and I’m talking to him as a person,” Anderson shared during his United Motorcoach Association Town Hall presentation on Aug. 26.

Anderson started his career in the U.S. Coast Guard and worked in federal law enforcement before becoming a professional driver, driver trainer, driver recruiter, safety supervisor and safety manager over a recruiting department for a 1,720-truck fleet.

He knows the driver side of the recruitment equation and the hiring side, too, giving him unique insight into ways to solve recruitment issues to allow operators to get reliable and well-trained teams in place.

Before he talks about the benefits of the company, he gets to know the applicant to learn what they care about. 

Strategies that work

“I’m going to find out specifically what’s going on with” the applicant, said Anderson, whose commercial driving recruitment firm provides seminars, e-Learning, driver engagement surveys and recruitment services to help fleets find, recruit, retain and train drivers.

Another way to be responsive to applicants is to have a “live person” answer the phone rather than letting calls from prospective employees go to voicemail. 

“Don’t let it go to voicemail because half of them will hang up,” Anderson said. 

For online inquiries, he recommends responding within five minutes and strongly suggests a dedicated microsite for recruiting that collects online applicant information.

His six recruitment strategies are:

  • Have a conversation, not an interrogation.
  • Identify symptoms before writing prescriptions.
  • Focus your solutions on drivers’ problems.
  • Be first to show acceptance.
  • Create an action plan. Schedule the next talk. Ask the applicant to call you. 
  • Have the driver manager call the applicant before class or orientation. 

To learn more, watch Anderson’s entire presentation from the UMA Town Hall session


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