By Randall C. Resch
I watch how companies are using some of today's social sites to recruit tow operators. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Craigslist are some of the favored web locations where companies go to look for or advertise for potential drivers, dispatchers and support staff.
According to Randall-Reilly Market Intelligence, drivers are a fleet's primary Facebook audience, citing that more than 96 percent of a company's drivers have a Facebook account. That's a huge number to consider when looking for potential towers or driver-related positions.
For many commercial truck carriers, Facebook has become the go-to resource for drivers looking to change careers. I see companies like Crete Trucking, C.R. England and others periodically run ads on Facebook that target certain demographics like commercial truck drivers. It makes sense for tow companies to follow suit. There are qualified drivers out there who actively use Facebook and other social media to find prospective employers.
The key to using social media is producing an effective narrative and overview of your company's strengths and reputation, and listing the agencies, entities and accounts you serve.
Consider these ways to use social media to your advantage:
• Build a list of tow industry-related or similar sites, or persons involved in trucking, automotive, military, first responders, etc.
• Answer all inquiries with complete answers; don't play games with anyone's time.
• Have in mind the details you want prospective employees to know about your company, such as work hours, benefits, salary and insurance.
• In the same manner you'd hire any employee, be aware, be concerned and be responsive to those honestly looking for career employment.
• Don't be overly anxious to fill that empty seat.
• It's a two-way street; employees look to find great employers, while employers are looking for the best match for their company.
Rest assured, most people in today's social media have enough smarts to know that they're being conned by someone only trying to fill that vacant seat. Your social media response has to go far beyond minimal answers to convince the respondent that your company offers them what they're looking for.
Sometimes, those posting or responding on social sites are fishing for a greener pasture. How you respond should answer why your company is more attractive than your competitors. Be truthful, and do as you promise. Making promises up front and then not keeping them could result in a disgruntled employee writing a scathing narrative that trashes your company. If you're a company that stands by its word, this shouldn't be a problem for you.
Social media is simply another way of reaching out to find qualified and interested applicants. It could be beneficial with little effort on your part. If it leads you to finding a great employee for your team, you'll have served your time and efforts well.Randall Resch is American Towman's Operations Editor, a former California police officer, tow business owner and retired civilian off-road instructor for Navy Special Warfare. Randall is an approved instructor for towers serving the California Highway Patrol's rotation contract. In September 2014, he will be inducted into the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame in Chattanooga, Tenn.