Vice President, Sales
For the last few months, I have been having issues with our home computer. I tried self-diagnosing the problem by doing a bit of research on the web, with some suggestions telling me I should uninstall and reinstall certain programs. After many hours of grief and frustration, I decided to seek the advice of a professional, who seemed to have a pretty good handle on things.
After explaining all the issues I was having and running a few scans of my computer, he suggested I try a “system restore” to undo some of the changes I had made. The entire process only took 30 minutes and doing so got things running again – not perfect but better than before. The whole process got me thinking, How different life would be if we had a system restore button that could take us back a few minutes, days, months, or even years. The sales pitch we lost, the comment you should have kept to yourself, and the meeting that I was late for, could all be undone!
Over the years, I have talked to hundreds of drivers, many of which had left a carrier and after a few weeks, wished they would have stayed put. In some cases, they admit that they let a small issue that appeared to be big at the time, be the final straw. They hoped the grass would be greener if they made the switch to a new carrier. It’s proven that in many cases these drivers would have returned to their original carrier if they knew the door was really open and they would be accepted back, no questions asked.
A lot of recruiters wait for a driver to call them back before they offer to rehire them. When a driver leaves, why not decide right away if you would ever want them back? Kelly Anderson, a well-known speaker/trainer from Impact Training Solutions Inc. and an expert at recruiting and retaining drivers, suggests the best way to do this is to send them out a rehire letter 30 days after they left. He says, “When you ask them at that time why they left, in many cases you will get a very different answer from when they left your office 30 days earlier”. His rehire letter reads, “The reason for this letter is to inform you that the Rehire Review Board has already voted “YES” for your rehire. A simple telephone call could get you back behind the wheel of one of our trucks where you belong.” (Contact Kelly@impacttrans.com if you would like a copy of his full letter). “The reason this process works so well is that 75% of turnover happens in the first 90 days of employment”, says Anderson, “Sending it out at that point catches them before they make another employment change”. Kelly also suggests sending a similar letter out any time you make any significant changes to your pay package, or in early December as some drivers are looking to make a change in the New Year.
The industry is currently faced with a huge dilemma. Freight has picked up, and there is definitely a shortage of quality Drivers and Owner/Operators out there. Advertising in industry publications is an integral part of the recruiting process, and bringing quality drivers back is another. Let’s face it: We have all have messed up and said or done things that we wish we hadn’t. Sadly, we can’t hit the system restore button to take things back, but in many cases, it’s not as tough as we think to repair.
If you’re not already doing so, why not go back after some of the quality drivers that left your company over the years? Send them out a ‘no questions asked’ rehire letter or just give them a call and invite them in for a coffee and chat. You may find that it’s one of the easiest and more cost-effective ways to help increase your fleet size.