PreCheck Celebrates Global Talent Acquisition Day


Global Talent Acquisition Day, celebrated on the first Wednesday of September each year, is a day dedicated to recognizing and appreciating the essential role that talent acquisition plays in organizations worldwide. 

This day was established by the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals and KRT Marketing to shed light on the efforts of talent acquisition professionals who tirelessly seek out and engage top talent for their organizations. 

Global Talent Acquisition Day serves as a platform to celebrate the contributions of recruiters, HR professionals, and everyone involved in the recruitment process. 

Recruiting in Transportation 

We spoke with Matt Zarras, Vice President of Recruiting at The Dart Network, to learn about his experience with talent acquisition in the transportation space over his seven years in recruiting.

How did you get into the field of recruiting? 

I saw an advertisement one day for a driver recruiter spot, and I thought to myself, “Well, I used to be a truck driver. I know what they go through. I can do this.” 

So I applied and got the job, and I've been in it ever since.

What’s your favorite thing about your job in talent acquisition? 

There are no two days in our industry that are the same, and that's what I absolutely love. Every person is different, every situation is different. 

Everyone has a story to tell, and it's really trying to figure out if their story fit our needs, and matchmaking people with the right job. 

What’s the biggest challenge you face? 

These days, it's my peers in terms of competition.

Especially in truck driver recruiting, we've seen such a dynamic shift in the past few years. Typically, if you and I get a job and something goes wrong, we're normally going to talk to our employer, and we're going to work it out. 

These days, if we're not perfect or almost perfect, we typically lose candidates to another carrier right away.

The job hopping, and moving to another place instead of wanting to work with us, has really increased especially in the past few years.

I mean, drivers do own the market, and they have the choice. It's our job as a carrier to make sure that we give them as close to a perfect situation as we can. If not, someone's going to take care of them better than us.

How has recruiting evolved over the span of your career? 

Technology is now taking such a big part of the beginning of the journey for us.

When you apply at Dart, we reach out to you immediately. We have some technology that does that for us, because we're trying to engage with a candidate even quicker.

The recruiting process is still one on one, it's still with a person, but technology is really making it quicker to connect us to drivers. 

Before, drivers would call us up to learn about our company. Now, everything's at the tip of the fingers for someone. They can look you up while talking to you, check your reviews online, check Indeed, and everything like that.

It's really changed in terms of you know the way it used to be, when you'd see a little newspaper ad for a job. Now it shows up in your Facebook newsfeed.

In truck driver recruiting especially, we're going after a lot of passive candidates who are pretty content in their situation. But I'm trying to show that I can make their situation even better with pay route, home time, and stuff like that.

When I talk to people outside our field, they're like, “I don't understand how you're always hiring.” Well, you're always hiring because there's always a different opportunity for someone. 

Unfortunately, as an industry we have really high turnover. It's nowhere close to where we want it to be. Typically, 80-90% turnover in our industry is celebrated as a success, and it's disappointing that we've gotten to that point.

What advice would you give to a recruiter who is just starting out their career? 

This job is one of those where you don't need to know everything about trucking. It's really your ability to communicate with people.

Recruiting is also an extension of sales. Let's be honest, you need to be able to close.

You need to be able to figure out why the driver is looking. Does what they're looking for match what our needs are?

At Dart, one of the things that I really emphasize with my recruiters is that I don't want them to put people in the job just because they “qualify.” That does us no good. All we're going to do is hire our own turnover. We place more of an emphasis on long term retention. 

It's not for the faint of heart. You’ve got to be able to take rejection. I tell my recruiters that if they’re closing at 5% and getting drivers in, that's a really good success rate. You’ve just got to take a lot of “no’s” before you find a “yes.”

Any closing thoughts?

For my team at Dart, we're stable, and what I mean by that is most of my team has been here over a year, and I have people that have been here almost 15 years.

I think that speaks to the environment that you put people in, especially in this field, because it's high pressure sales. An unsuccessful recruiter is going to typically wash out in three months. So the foundation you give them when they start is really important. 

Especially if a recruiter don't have a trucking background (and once again, they don't need it) but I better set them up for success. I better teach them the basic trucking lingo, because if a driver calls and the recruiter knows nothing about trucking, why would they want to come work for us?

So typically, I think more departments see success the more you invest in your people.

Another thing is, I am also in charge of the orientation at Dart. Recruiting and orientation are basically married, and everyone in my group is cross-trained, so orientation can be recruiters, recruiters can be orientation. 

We don't do that so they will do each other's jobs. They need to understand what their coworkers are doing, because I want them to set the table correctly for a new hire.

If a driver talks to one of my recruiters, we need to be able to explain what the job is, what's going to happen in the onboarding process. Then when they meet my onboarding team, you know it's the same message.

I always tell recruiters they need to make sure that they’re getting the commitment from the driver, and that they’re also following up regularly. They can't have one conversation and expect the driver to show up to orientation.

That's not how a new relationship works for anybody.

Celebrating Global Talent Acquisition Day

Global Talent Acquisition Day provides an opportunity for companies to express gratitude to their talent acquisition teams and strengthen their commitment to attracting and retaining top talent. 

Businesses can not only celebrate their recruitment professionals but also foster a culture of appreciation and collaboration within the organization. 

So, whether it's a heartfelt thank-you note, a team-building event, or a simple recognition program, taking the time to honor the hard work of your talent acquisition experts can go a long way in achieving your organization's recruitment goals and overall success. 

Happy Global Talent Acquisition Day!

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