Doubling down on driver referrals


Long before Internet search engines and social media networks, drivers connected with their peers on a smaller scale using CB radio. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and other media now give them limitless opportunity to provide feedback, ask for recommendations and give referrals on career choices.

“Who are you working for?” “How much are you making?” “How do you like it?” are examples of routine online discussions.

Who do you believe?

Word-of-mouth has always been the most effective form of advertising. The magnitude of social media has expanded its reach to drivers all across the country in search of jobs.

According to a 2017 Connectivity Study from Randall-Reilly, company drivers most often find their jobs using an Internet search (48 percent) and word-of-mouth (39 percent). For independent and leased owner-operator drivers, word-of-mouth tops the list at 48 percent followed by an Internet search at 31 percent.

Recruiters as mentors

Driver referrals are the most valuable recruits on several fronts. The acquisition cost for a referral, such as a referral bonus, is typically less than other recruiting methods. Also, and perhaps more importantly, drivers who come in through referrals tend to stick around longer. Fifty-nine percent of fleet respondents in the 2017 Q4 Driver iQ Retention Survey said word-of-mouth referrals have the highest retention rate after two years.

The retention advantage of referrals comes from tenured drivers having a vested interest in the success of new hires. Fleets often structure referral bonuses to pay out over a time period, such as six months, to encourage their drivers to be an official mentor as new drivers “learn the ropes” and successfully integrate into their workplace.

Rewarding for referrals

One avenue to encourage more referrals and increase mentorship is the Stay Metrics Driver Rewards platform. Carriers using this expansive online platform are able to give drivers more opportunities and reasons to stay engaged in the recruiting process.

A fleet could reward points to drivers when they submit an electronic form with a recruit’s contact info, for example. They could reward another set of points when the new recruit attends orientation training. Rewards could continue as the newer driver reaches certain employment milestones.

Besides increasing driver engagement in the mentoring process, using the Driver Rewards program for referrals helps to retain your experienced drivers. By increasing their opportunities to earn points, drivers continue to build loyalty and move closer to redeeming their points towards items they want.

Rather than budget more money for non-driver recruiters and impersonal advertising, consider the benefits of rewarding drivers for promoting your company and mentoring new hires. Rewards also deliver greater results for retention.

To discuss using Stay Metrics Driver Rewards for referrals and for many other possibilities for engagement and retention, give us a call at 1.855.867.3533 or send us a message at