Energizing Technicians and Steering Drivers to Your Doorstep

Posted: 05/28/24

Good help isn’t hard to find. You just need to know where to look.

by Richard Rutigliano, PriMedia, Inc. 

Your next star employees may not even be looking to change jobs. That doesn’t mean they won’t join your team once they know you’re hiring. The trick is not necessarily finding help, but in getting the right message to the right people.

Getting the message to the right people is what marketing is all about. It doesn’t matter if you are marketing for new drivers, technicians, office staff or marketing your heating and cooling expertise. The message may differ, but the process is the same. You want your message to be seen by your target audience and you want them to contact you.

With that in mind, why would you advertise for drivers and technicians on broad-range, corporate-focused platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, or similar website? How many of your employees have a LinkedIn profile? Do you know of anyone who had a positive job search result from the recruitment sites? Most people I know who have signed up on these boards were bombarded with insurance sales opportunities regardless of their stated industry, skills, or job title, but rarely a “matched” position!

The March 2024 jobs report recorded a near-historic unemployment rate of only 3.8 percent, with a labor force participation of 62.7 percent, comparable to pre-pandemic levels. Of course, your drivers and technicians must have specific skill sets and some level of experience. That does not mean they are not out there! The Unintentional but Social Recruit

Approximately 75 percent of professionals are passive job seekers. They are not actively in the market for a new job, but would be interested if something promising dropped in their hands. Those hands are on their cell phones and using social media.

Social recruiting works. Approximately 84 percent of job seekers use mobile devices to search, and 86 percent are searching on social media. Social platforms enable users to tag their passive job-seeking friends on your recruitment ad. That is why one in ten jobs are filled through social media, and 70 percent of employers say they have hired applicants from social media. The ease and speed of communicating via social media makes initial contact and screening that much simpler.

Our company’s experience bears out these statistics. In a recent client campaign social media recruitment boosted posts and ads were regularly tagged by friends. Nearly 68 percent of visitors to their job pages came from mobile or smart devices. After several successful campaigns for drivers, technicians, sales personnel and inside staff, the company has held on to those employees and successfully completed their recruitment efforts.


Taking the Wheel

What did that client do right? They combined a multi-platform marketing campaign with smart targeting and reporting.

  • Campaign Assets: Several unique ads were created for each position, easily identifying the target audience. These led to position-specific landing pages with simple contact forms for visitors looking to continue their interactions with the company. In addition, each ad placement had appropriate tracking mechanisms for accurate ROI for each ad platform.

  • Targeting: The target audience was carefully curated, within Equal Employment guidelines and each platform’s requirements for recruitment campaigns. Not only experience and location, but interests and hobbies, parallel work and life experience, and other personal attributes that were common for people in those positions.

  • Social Media: Facebook removed its “Jobs Board” a few years ago, but that did not stop this client from boosting detailed posts and running separate display campaigns. Their messaging was displayed in news feeds as “sponsored posts,” the ads were shown as viewers scrolled through their feed, on the “right rail” on desktops, and across Instagram and other Meta properties. Users tagged friends or shared the posts, interested parties commented on the posts, messaged the company, or clicked through to the landing pages. Facebook also offered a very low cost per thousand (CPM) of approximately $5, and cost per click (CPC) under $1.

  • Google Ads/Display: The assets were used for display/banner ads across the Google Ads network. Google’s platform pulls its data on the user to match attributes from the campaign’s targeting, including user history, search and browsing patterns, interests and more. Display ads provide some of the widest reach available at a CPM of less than $10, and CPC of under $1.

  • Google Ads/Search: Also known as pay-per-click advertising, recruitment search ads are shown directly to users actively looking for work. Google places the ads at the top of the screen, before any organic results, and couples keywords with user history. This company’s search campaigns averaged an eight to ten percent click-through rate (CTR). The CPC was comparable to the Social Media and Display ads at just over $1 per click, and these respondents were some of the more qualified and engaged in the job search.

  • Programmatic Advertising: Programmatic offers thousands of filters with which to target your campaign. It delivers at a CPM of approximately $5, and a CPC of under $4. There are two very important benefits of a programmatic campaign. (1) It reaches outside the Google network, displaying your recruitment ads on apps, games, connected TVs and more. (2) It offers pinpoint, GPS targeting. One of our client’s biggest “selling” points for drivers was that they would be home most nights. To reach those long-haulers who were tired of sleeping in their cabs, our campaigns targeted individuals who were in the “Truck Parking” sections of Thruway rest stops overnight. Other campaigns targeted individuals at fuel wholesale and transport facilities, trade schools, and equipment supply houses.


Keeping the Good Ones

Earlier, we discussed passive job searchers, those individuals who were not actively looking for a job, but would consider moving for the right opportunity. If 75 percent of professionals are passive job searchers, how many of your employees have one eye out for a better offer? 

It is a lot less costly to provide consistent and meaningful raises than it is to have to search for and train new recruits. Your current staff know your company, your policies, and your customers. A happy team works better and is your best recruiting tactic. No employee is going to tell a friend to join your company if they feel underpaid and unrecognized. Word gets around, and disgruntled employees talk – to friends and family, on social media, and in other online forums. Paying at or above the going rate and offering benefits and PTO are the least expensive options for your recruitment efforts!

What else can you do for your employees and company morale? While split shifts and flexible scheduling may not be possible during the heating season, and technicians and drivers cannot “work from home,” you may want to consider offering some flexibility in the spring and summer. Many fuel retailers work very hard to keep their staff full-time, year-round, but some employees might be interested in changing shifts on the off season. You might also consider expanding your vacation and personal time off policies.

You regularly provide your technicians with training on new equipment, either from manufacturer reps or through association or NORA programs. Do you offer any other education benefits? Perhaps you have a technician who would like to move into a service manager slot, or a driver looking to get off the road. This benefit might not be within the budgets of all retailers, but larger operations, wholesalers, producers, and others should consider them as investments in their own companies’ futures.

As we move through the next few months, liquid heating fuel retailers, wholesalers and related companies will be updating equipment, rehabbing vehicles, and thinking about staffing. This is the time to look at your previous recruitment efforts and consider something new.

Richard Rutigliano is President of PriMedia, Inc., an integrated marketing and communications firm specializing in the home energy sector. He can be reached at 516-222-2041 or