These mistakes might be costing your FXG business solid drivers and, ultimately, lucrative contingency contracts. Learn the most common mistakes we see and how you can avoid them.
Are You Making These Common FedEx Contractor Hiring Mistakes?
Beans Recruiting has processed over 180,000 candidates for contractors of every size, type, and level of experience, and we’ve noticed some common mistakes that might be keeping FedEx Ground contractors from getting candidates out of the hiring pipeline and into trucks.
1. They Get Complacent in Recruiting
We know. Recruiting can be exhausting. It can seem like a carousel you can’t get off because driver churn remains a huge issue for FXG contractors. When you get enough drivers to cover your CSA comfortably, it can be tempting to take a step back from recruiting.
This is one of the biggest mistakes we see contractors make, and it can cost you big. We’ve seen it happen.
We worked with a contractor out of Detroit starting in January. He needed fifteen drivers, and he was doing great. He was very proactive and recruited aggressively. In April, he asked us to stop our recruiting efforts. FedEx terminated his contract after he was unable to service his area for about 40 days during peak season before he began using Beans Recruiting. Contract cancellations are common around Q2 as things slow down. Had he begun recruiting more efficiently and more effectively with Beans before peak, he would have likely been able to hold onto his contract.
Our advice? Never stop recruiting. It takes 14-15 days to get new drivers through the hiring funnel at best, and that’s if you know exactly what you’re doing. Even in business, life happens. Drivers get hurt or become ill. They leave for a job with benefits. They want a vacation. Whatever the reason, it’s likely you’ll wind up short-handed at some point if you’re not consistently recruiting.
Continuous recruiting has other benefits, as well. It allows you the luxuries of picking the best possible recruits, enforcing a no-nonsense policy, and leaves room to cut the fat by eliminating your bottom 10% of drivers. Maintaining a solid driver pool also takes stress off your drivers, the BCs, and you.
When you don’t have enough drivers, you’re unable to enforce culture expectations, safety standards, and service standards, so keep recruiting!
2. Their Expectations of Candidates Don’t Match the Job
We often see contractors whose expectations don’t fit the job they’re hiring for. For example, they may expect a candidate to answer the phone at the drop of a hat or to meet a certain dress standard for their interview. Maybe they look at the candidate’s resume and simply aren’t impressed.
However, those expectations aren’t really fair based on the job description and expectations, and holding onto these unrealistic expectations isn’t productive.
Applicants may not be able to answer the phone the first time a contractor calls because they are currently working a full-time job where they can’t answer their phone during normal business hours. This doesn’t mean they don’t want the job badly, just that they don’t have the luxury to wait by the phone. They may not feel like they need to dress up for an interview for a blue-collar job, or they may be coming straight from another job to meet you. It doesn’t mean they aren’t responsible or that they are unable to act professionally. A less-than-stellar resume doesn’t indicate a poor worker.
A little bit of empathy goes a long way.
Drivers often don’t come from the same situation and background as owners, so we must check our unrealistic expectations at the door. If a candidate doesn’t answer your first call, leave them a voicemail or send them a text message. Give them a little leeway in the dress code department. We’re not asking you to lower your standards; we’re simply reminding you again that a little empathy can go a long way toward hiring the right people.
3. They Don’t Proactively Reach Out to Candidates
We’ve seen countless contractors who won’t engage with a candidate until they have their drug test completed. These contractors often feel that if the candidate isn’t being proactive in getting through the steps in the hiring process, they don’t want the job that badly or that they’re not responsible enough to work for the contractor. This attitude leads to not moving forward in the hiring process with candidates who haven’t completed drug tests, and we can see the logic. Drug tests are make or break in FXG recruiting.
However, you don’t want to miss out on a great candidate just because you weren’t proactive. It’s a fast process respectively, and communication is the biggest reason for attrition. Candidates are often applying for other jobs and if they don’t hear from you, they’re likely to move on.
Don’t automatically assume that because a candidate hasn’t completed their drug test, they’re not fit for the job. A lot of candidates already have full-time, hourly jobs. They may not get PTO and they can’t take time off to do a drug test for a job they don’t know they have yet.
We suggest that you call for a road test as soon as their background check is completed and they become eligible. Schedule a face-to-face interview so you can get a feel for their fitness for the position and physically hand the candidate a copy of the DOT forms that need to be completed. Show them that you want them to work for you. Be proactive.
Reaching out and letting them know you want them for the job motivates candidates to take the last couple steps of the hiring funnel, and it may ultimately lead to signing on some great recruits.
4. They Have Bare-Minimum Paperwork Standards
Did you know that candidates looking at your job postings on sites like Indeed might not believe it’s a real job? It’s true. Job scams are common these days, and the pay is just good enough to make applicants question whether it’s real. It may keep them from progressing through the hiring process or applying in the first place.
You can keep that from happening by ensuring your paperwork looks and feels professional to candidates. FedEx has minimum compliance standards for paperwork, but it makes a big difference in the professional face you put out there for candidates.
A simple offer letter on company letterhead with a potential start date, pay rate, and an explanation of benefits can help you bring candidates on board. Ideally, offer letters will go out after a drug test and road test is completed, but if you have a candidate you don’t want to slip through your fingers, you can write up an offer letter contingent on a passed drug test and road test.
Your new hire paperwork doesn’t have to be complicated; it just needs to convey the necessary job details and easily allow candidates to provide the information you need to get them hired. This will lead to more new hires that show up on day zero.
The job market isn’t normal by any means. FedEx contractors are still competing with other industries for candidates and getting enough candidates through the pipeline is not a given. A continuous flow of new candidates can help you develop a more positive culture, offer you the luxury of replacing non-productive drivers with productive drivers, and facilitate building a strong, lucrative FXG business.
There’s a simple, sure-fire way to make sure you never make the last mistake again. You can get a free new hire packet to get your new drivers off on the right foot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.