Last week, we shared an exclusive interview with Tucker Robeson, CEO of CDL Helpers, a company that’s out to solve a $5 billion dollar problem in the trucking industry. (Because 89% of truckers who sign on with large trucking companies don’t stay on for longer than a year — there’s a huge cost of staffing and training. Not to mention safety.)
When we sat down with Tucker, we were wildly impressed not only by what he’s doing with his business — but also by his innovative approach to hiring. A former recruiter who studied entrepreneurship in college, here’s his take on the best ways to score your next job.
Get creative with how you approach employers.
I know it’s tough, because sometimes it means spending more money. I’ve been there. However, there are lots of low budget ways to reach people outside of the box.
For my last resume, I actually included charts that showed how I spent my time in my past jobs – this helped employers see what I was good at and what I had done in the past.
Want another way to do this? Interview someone who works in the industry you’d like to work with. Ask them to share their biggest challenges. Then write out examples of times you’ve solved problems similar to those challenges – and share those examples – in your cover letters, in interviews – and in any situation where you talk about why you’d like to work in the job and the industry.
Tip: An easy way to find out what matters to current employees is to check out employee reviews. Track any job you’ve applied to in StartWire and you’ll see a quick link to that company’s information — as well as salary ranges and interview questions you may be asked. (It’s a free back door to Glassdoor.)
Focus on adding value to the company.
Companies that weren’t planning on hiring will find room for someone they truly believe will add more value to the company than they cost in wages. Don’t think about meeting requirements. Think about, “How am I going to make this company a better company because I am in it?” It will show during interviews and during conversations with network connections.
Be friendly – even when asked tough questions.
Even if you’re asked a challenging question that you feel challenges your credibility, show you can be polite and encourage open, unthreatening dialogue. “I know I’m right doesn’t get offers.”
One of the questions we love to ask is: “When someone tells you that you are wrong, but you know… you are certain… that you are right, how do you handle it?”
People that truly love to learn and adapt well to a new job usually show it by answering in ways that are polite and encourage open, unthreatening dialogue. We want to see employees who are open-minded to other opinions. Would you want to work with someone who isn’t?
Don’t sign up to do something you know you won’t like.
You will be terrible at it. Eventually, your dislike for your work will seep into your soul and make your whole life less enjoyable, and everyone will notice.
Be open to re-location.
The economy is tough right now, especially for recent grads and people in the 18 to 25 year-old age range. Our entire nation was built on the efforts of a migrant and mobile workforce. The only reason the Midwest exists is because people were willing to move here, away from their families in the cities, and make something happen. I truly believe everyone has the potential to add value to the world in a unique way. Sometimes, it’s just hard to find the right spot, so you have to go find it.
Speaking of relocation, are you hiring?
Yes, we’re hiring for three spots right now. You can see them on our Careers website.
We don’t do applications, and we don’t have normal interviews. We just want to see a basic resume, and some reasons we should hire you. We ask people to be creative. We like to see candidates who show they can think on their feet.
Basically, if you’re energetic and have demonstrated through basic work history that you can learn and adapt yourself with passion, we can train you to do the rest.
We want to be the Zappos for truck drivers. We’re hiring people to help us listen to truck drivers employed by our clients.We literally start every call by saying, “How can your day be better, and what can I do to make that happen?” One time, I conference called in a divorce attorney for a driver, because he was so stressed about issues with his wife and his divorce. The poor guy didn’t have the time, being stuck out on the road, to look up someone reputable in his home area and get some advice. So, we made it happen. Whatever it takes.
We gather confidential feedback from our drivers and then share strategies with our clients so that they can help their employees feel more connected to the company and engaged. Truck drivers often feel isolated and cut off from their work just after they make a delivery. Giving a check in, “hey, how are you doing?” call just after the delivery can boost employee morale – and also help companies get valuable information about their clients. Members of our Tactical Management team gather and share this data – those are the primary roles we are hiring for right now.
You can reach Tucker Robeson on Twitter (@tuckrobeson or @CDLHelpers). If you’d like more free tools and strategies for your job search, we encourage you to check out StartWire and send us a tweet — how can we help you in your search?