Repositioning a 35 year old staffing company for growth and scale

Client

Truckker

Expertise

Strategy, Product Design, Development

Website

Truckker sounds like an 80’s metal band that might open for Slayer or Megadeth back in the day. It’s not that of course, instead it’s the rebranded trucking division of TPI Personnel, a 35 year old staffing company based in Oakville, Ontario. Amongst other staffing areas, TPI specializes in recruiting truck drivers for hauling companies in need of pre-qualified and vetted resources.

Hiring truck drivers is a complicated affair. Finding drivers you can trust to deliver precious cargo hundreds or even thousands of miles across the country is no easy task, but after three decades in the biz, TPI had perfected their hiring process down to a science, except for one little detail. It was all paper based.

Enter Paul Weatherhead, entrepreneur and visionary behind the Truckker initiative at TPI. Paul’s idea was pretty straightforward on the surface - take the paper based process and digitize as much of it as possible. Once it’s digitized, automate as many parts that were traditionally handled manually. We used a similar approach on another transformation project for Riverside Millwork.

We started out by understanding and mapping out the entire manual process end to end. It looked something like this:

  • A truck driver applies for a job
  • The driver goes through a number of tests and proof of skills with proper documentation
  • Driver references are validated
  • Driver information is collected and filed away in binder

The hard part was matching the driver with the right amount of experience and skills to satisfy the needs of the job. This part was left up to the staffing agents' expertise.

Prior to our first UX workshop, we saw some immediate opportunities to reduce friction in the onboarding of new drivers. With sticky notes and sharpies we sketched out a driver onboarding process that could be completed by the prospective driver on their smartphone. It involved moving drivers though a multi-step form and included taking selfies to validate their identity and photos of documents as proof of driving skills. 

We tested some high-fidelity prototypes with a representative audience and saw good results, which gave us the confidence to take our designs to code.

April 2020, our release candidate shipped and driver intake began. Just in time too, as covid-19 discouraged in-person interviews. The new digital onboarding tool proved to be a winning strategy at the first peak of the pandemic as registrations for new drivers soared and job placements were available.

The next big challenge was optimizing how candidates were matched with potential jobs. It’s a lengthy process but, in short, it uses a matching service to find the best candidates for the job. 

Think of the matching service as being responsible for all the work to not only find the matches but also reach out to the candidates and get them to apply for positions. And the best part is that all communication is done via SMS and not email as you might have expected. Turns out, the conversion rate of SMS for this particular audience was 10x more effective than email.

As Truckker continues to grow its operations, Paul and the team have their eyes set on scaling the business with a technology platform that is ready to scale with them.

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