Optimizing Freight Brokerage Recruitment Processes

Our latest State of Logistics report shows that market forces in the logistics industry have pushed organizations to invest more in “sales-oriented” roles. Sales skills like high-converting cold outreach, technological proficiency, negotiation, problem-solving, and relationship-building are especially vital today.

This “change” pressures new hires at freight brokerages to develop skills to build a robust book of business quickly. Ill-equipped employees don’t last long: Nearly 95% of newly hired freight brokers turn over within their first six months! This excessive turnover squeezes margins and replacement costs mount quickly. As a result of this new current market, freight brokerages want to hire great talent with long-term potential from the onset.

Maximizing your new hires’ potential is especially important as freight brokerages adjust to a downturn. The massive and sudden demand for shipping consumer goods that arose immediately following the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided. Mass layoffs have resulted as companies seek to fit their operational needs into a shrinking marketplace.

More talent is available on the job market, but finding the best still invites stiff competition from other brokerages. High-quality, sales-oriented employees know their market worth, and attracting the best performers requires comprehensive recruitment and hiring strategies.

10 Practical Improvements for Freight Brokerage Recruiting Processes

As you evaluate and build your recruitment strategies, consider implementing the following steps to achieve greater efficiency and attract and close the best performers for each role:

1.  Understand Logistics Industry and Brokerage Talent Needs

Before you hire for your freight brokerage, know your industry and the specific gaps in your operation the candidate will fill. These early decisions will make or break your hiring outcomes.

Freight brokerages must find and grow top talent to manage complex buyer relationships and alleviate margin pressures using high-quality sales proficiencies. These talented individuals seek places where talent can develop professionally, realize untapped market opportunities, work with supportive leadership, and operate in a forward-thinking culture.

Additional steps include a strategic analysis of recruitment costs and any technological tools you may implement during this process, such as an applicant tracking system (ATS) or other AI-driven tools.

2.  Identify Relevant Talent Acquisition Data and Patterns

Review the successful hires you’ve made over the past two years. How did you find them?

  • Job Boards? (Indeed, Monster, Linkedin Jobs, or ZipRecruiter)
  • Social media (Linkedin, Twitter/X, Facebook, TikTok)
  • Referrals
  • Recruiting Firms

Analyze the path that candidates took to reach you, whether or not they are still part of your freight brokerage. Can you see patterns in the data? While yesterday’s hiring practices may not reflect today’s, this exercise still establishes an important reference point as you navigate the brokerage hiring process.

3.  Define Clear Job Descriptions and Expectations for Freight Brokers

Define the job’s roles and requirements to fit the market and internal needs you’ve identified. Include information like:

  • Mandatory skills, abilities, and experience
  • Qualifications or certifications (like TIA’s CTB certification)
  • Expected day-to-day job responsibilities
  • Career advancement opportunities
  • Team and company culture

Clarity wins here. Avoid vague generalities or “duties as assigned.”  You can move on top talent faster when you know exactly who to target and what they’ll do.

4.  Leverage Logistics Niches on Job Boards and Social Media

Use job boards like Indeed, Monster, or ZipRecruiter to post job openings and sell the job to candidates. LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social platforms offer free or low-cost ways to advertise your jobs to target audiences. When you do choose a way to promote, do it well. Your company and job description have to stick out from the plethora of opportunities that are out there on the market. The more mediums that you have to facilitate more candidates joining your organization, the better.

5.  Implement an Employee Referral Program

A referral dramatically increases the likelihood that both the company and the client will think favorably of the other in the hiring process. Starting an employee referral program can open a trustworthy avenue for top-tier candidates. When implementing such a program, remember to:

  • Provide clear instructions to your employees on the referral process.
  • Offer a sizable incentive for successful referrals.
  • Keep employees informed of progress toward hiring goals regularly.
  • Recognize successful referring employees throughout the organization.

6.  Modernize the Logistics Candidate Experience

The days of multiple interviews with weeks between steps are over. Top logistics candidates lasts only 10 days on the open market! To keep pace, you need a modern, streamlined candidate experience.

Simplify your application process by eliminating unnecessary job interview steps. For instance, you can combine two or three 1:1 interviews into a panel-type one. Also, with many people still working remotely, consider video conferencing software like Zoom or Skype for initial interviews. Provide clear instructions and test the technology beforehand.

7.  Refine Your Freight Brokerage Employer Brand

Top freight brokers have the freedom to choose their preferred work environment. This means you need to establish a strong employer brand, which includes everything from work schedule to compensation, to benefits, and culture.

Top companies will offer a comprehensive compensation package with benefits, paid time off, learning and development opportunities, and a positive workplace culture. Publicize your company’s values on social media to demonstrate to potential candidates that you mean what you say.

8.  Track Your Recruitment Process Metrics Closely

KPIs are important but often misused. To track the right KPIs, identify the desired outcome and work backward.

At Top Talent, our core KPI is placements. We work “backward” from placements because to get placements, there needs to be “additional interviews.” From there, we keep going backward to include “first-time interviews”, “screening calls”, and “reach outs.”  This lets us achieve our desired outcome of “placements” from the very beginning of the process when we start looking for the right talent. Your KPIs will vary, but the reverse-engineering process remains the same.

9.  Regularly Review and Revise Your Freight Brokerage Recruitment Strategies

A fast-paced job market means situations change quickly. Prepare for those shifts with an iterative approach to recruitment focused on regularly collecting feedback and using data analysis tools.

Analyze factors like job posting frequency, job board fees, and candidate sourcing methods to understand the true cost of your recruitment strategies. Continuously refining your strategy helps you attract the best talent and build a strong team.

10. Break Down Freight Broker Hiring Costs with Our Hiring Cost Calculator

While many resources online offer tips and tricks on managing hiring costs, few offer a view into the granular details of planning your costs. Our proprietary hiring cost calculator can help you assess the costs of hiring top talent and give you the data you need to optimize your hiring process.

We start with a list of details concerning the job and potential candidates, including:

  • Industry focus
  • Hiring timeline
  • Role level and seniority
  • Geographical location
  • Salary spectrum
  • Recruitment strategy (internal or external)

Equipped with these data points, our hiring cost calculator breaks down your expected costs, including:

  • An aggregated cost of securing a new team member
  • An analysis comparing the cost differences between using internal HR resources or engaging external recruitment agencies
  • Insights into expected retention rates and predicted time to fill the role

This tool is extremely valuable for decision-makers at all levels and will help you navigate the freight broker job market with data-driven confidence.

Exceed Your Freight Brokerage Recruitment Goals with the Right Partner

Top freight brokerage talent doesn’t stay on the job market for long. You must be ready to pursue, attract, and close great candidates when they arrive.

Achieving that level of recruitment readiness can prove challenging for even the best brokerages. An external recruiting partner experienced in the logistics industry can share paths forward, help you understand total recruitment and hiring costs, and deploy insights gleaned from years of helping companies hire top talent.

Start with these ten recruitment process improvements to streamline your candidate experience and reach the right people for your freight brokerage.

If you’re ready to better understand your costs, try our Hiring Costs Calculator and chat with a Top Talent representative today.