Why Your Safety Director Should Never Be Your Recruiter

If you are like most carriers, you are probably tasking your “Safety Director” with your recruiting. 

On one hand, this makes sense. If you are a top-tier carrier, safety is THE top priority so you want your safety director to screen all future hires right?

According to the team at No Risk Recruits, that could not be further from the truth and they have the numbers to back this up. 

During one of their beta tests, one client had a 1/80 hiring ratio with their safety director at the lead… and by changing this, their ratio quickly changed to 1/10!

One of the greatest “mistakes” in recruiting high-quality drivers is having their safety director as the first person a prospective driver talks to and here’s why…

There Is A Driver Shortage

It is a new era in recruiting and good-quality truck drivers are in HIGH demand. They are the prize and they have LOTS of choices. With this shift, your recruiting has to be taken to a new level because no matter how great your company is, you have to maximize the interview process and sell high-quality drivers on working for you.

Recruiting Is A Sales Process

This means that your recruiting position is largely a SALES position. It is rare to find a safety director who’s strong in sales… and essentially that’s what the first few calls with a high-quality prospective driver are all about. Today’s market is more like recruiting for a sports team. When we talk to quality drivers they are involving family, pay, benefits, and company culture in these conversations. They want to feel from that conversation that they are valued and will continue to be valued once they are out on the road.

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Competition Is Increasing

Even the top carriers in the nation are now in a competitive pool of sign-on bonuses and big offers so once you get a quality driver through the door it’s imperative that you have someone on the phone that has the time to really connect with this prospective driver and “sell” them on your company.

A Different Set Of Skills Are Required

Prospects need to feel that “warm and fuzzy” feeling about committing to your team. Many drivers a disillusioned by broken promises from carriers, so simply hearing the so-called “facts” about working for your company is no longer enough. They are looking to build trust. This level of recruiting takes immensely more time and a people skill set that your safety director likely does not have. In fact, their attention to detail and metrics over the soft skills on the relational side is what makes a GREAT safety director.

Now, here’s the next big problem with having your safety director at the head of your recruiting process…

Their time is “expensive” and any focus away from safety is likely even more “expensive”. Even when you have the BEST safety director (and we’ve worked with some great ones!), their attention needs to be primarily focused on safety-related items. Every top-tier carrier knows that safety must be its prime concern. Not only want do they want to keep their drivers safe and promote a culture of safety, but they also MUST stay dialed in on safety scores to ensure liabilities don’t close the company doors or significantly increase insurance premiums.

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With such important tasks at hand even the hardest working, most well-intentioned safety directors will push recruiting to the back burner. The good news is that they CAN still be involved in your recruiting effort and stay in their wheelhouse.

At No Risk Recruits during Beta testing, they do all the recruiting calls and follow-up scheduling for drive tests and final in-person interviews and connect with your Safety Director to examine prospective drivers’ MVRs, PSPs, and any other safety-related items.

They work with the safety director to understand the exact safety metrics they are looking for to deliver qualified candidates to the carrier. This process takes the safety director around 10 minutes maximum keeping your safety director squarely focused on the single greatest task at hand, safety.

Learn how you can hire high-quality truck drivers without any costs upfront by visiting No Risk Recruits and seeing if you qualify for their beta program.

Joel Curtis

Joel Curtis from Texas is a 30-year veteran in the trucking industry. He's driven refrigerated, flatbed, tankers, intermodals and more. You can find him as the primary author at America's Driving Force and at industry events.

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