The brainstorm of three friends who met while in business school, the website CDLCareerNow.com got its start soliciting applications for truck driver training schools, but it's branched out into driver recruiting for fleets.
The family of one of those friends was in the driver training business. The other friend was handling advertising for the school, and got frustrated by the expense and lack of results from traditional advertising and lead generation methods.
Looking for a better way
"He came up with this idea that he could do this so much better himself, not only for his own training school but also for training schools nationwide," explains Craig Jablonski, CEO of CDL marketing Group LLC, based in Birmingham, Mich. The friend called on Jablonski to handle the business side of the venture. That was about two years ago.
"Training schools across the nation were signing up with us, and they were having great conversion rates," Jablonski says. But they noticed they got a lot of experienced drivers filling out the applications, as well.
"We had so many experienced drivers that already had their CDL and a year of experience," he explains. "There's this huge void of freight looking for drivers. So we started offering a program for fleets looking for experienced drivers."
The online application features half a dozen questions designed to screen out unsuitable drivers, such as experience and criminal background.
One of the unique things about the program is that each participating trucking company gets a monopoly on the areas they are signed up for.
"We do not sell a lead more than once," Jablonski says. "If you sign up with us and say,' We'd like the Dallas, Texas, area, we will give you exclusivity in that area." The applications are sorted by zip code, and you could have, say, the whole state of Montana or just the Billings, Mont., area.
Part of the value, he says, is fleets only pay for what they get. If a fleet receives 10 qualified applicants, that's what its pays for. If it gets 200 applications, it pays for 200.
"It's definitely a cost-effective approach for them," Jablonski says. It starts at about $30 per application, with better price offerings for more volume.
In addition, participating fleets can access a password-protected website that allows fleets to enter comments on applications so, for instance, "Joe Smith is coming in this Friday at noon, John Doe is no longer interested."
"Our goal is to have a trucking school recruiting from every major city, which we have pretty much succeeded at," says Jablonski. "The goal is the same for the experienced drivers program. We'd like to have a carrier recruiting from every city, every state throughout the U.S., so every driver who applies is going to a freight carrier."