Straight Talk Builds Trust

On a recent episode of the “Dave Nemo Show” (Sirius XM) the conversation turned to the topic of driver retention—and what can be done to turn around a driver turnover rate that’s rising fast and approaching 100 percent annually. At Crete the turnover rate is about half that but still not as low as we’d like. Crete President and COO Tim Aschoff told Nemo that building a trusting and respectful relationship with a driver is a key to keeping drivers. And that begins with the recruiting experience.

“Unfortunately as an industry we’ve had too many folks that have set high expectations and not delivered,” said Aschoff.

Many drivers have become skeptical of claims made by a recruiter. At Crete Carrier, Shaffer Trucking and Hunt Transportation we take a “straight talk” approach with drivers who are considering our companies, based on one our principles, “Say what you mean and mean what you say.”

“We stress to our recruiters that we only sell what we can deliver,” said Aschoff.

Recruiters work with the operations team to learn specifics about particular fleets so they can help a driver understand up front what to expect from that job.

Setting expectations up front is important. But Aschoff says feedback from drivers is an important check on the process. Crete hires an independent third party to ask drivers about their recruiting experience. They’re surveyed after being on board seven days, and again after 45 days.

“We’re asking how things went when they came on board—but more importantly—are the expectations set by our recruiters being met,” said Aschoff. “We take that feedback to see if we haven’t delivered on what we sold.”

The continuous commitment to matching expectations with reality can help build that foundation of trust with drivers, office and shop staff, and customers.

“As a company, we’re built on people. To have a solid foundation when you’re build on people you have to have a relationship of trust and respect. And that comes by fulfilling your promises.”

To hear Tim’s full interview with Dave Nemo—including Tim’s outlook on the trucking industry heading into the fourth quarter—visit our Soundcloud page.