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Leading with integrity to recruit auto haulers — Taking the Hire Road

This week on Taking the Hire Road, host Jeremy Reymer, founder and CEO of DriverReach, sat down with former U.S. Marine Tommy Valenzuela, director of recruiting at Hansen and Adkins Auto Transport.

Auto hauling isn’t for everyone as it is very laborious and intensive work, according to Valenzuela, and requires a lot of safety efforts and responsibility. Lack of attention to detail could cost hefty amounts of money in damages or could even be the difference between life and death.

“You are responsible for multiple vehicles worth a couple of a million dollars,” he said. “You have to be able to use the tools you’ve been given to deliver those things with care, with safety in mind. We try to hire people who are ready for this.”

Because of the complex aspects of the job, auto hauling does come with recruiting challenges. Valenzuela is looking for safety-conscious CDL holders with a passion for hauling and a desire to go the extra mile.

“A lot of the individuals we go after are the guys who are delivering the cases and the sodas to the stores because they’re used to getting out there and putting that work in,” he said. “But auto hauling isn’t as labor intensive as moving cases of sodas for 10 to 12 hours a day.”

With seven years of recruiting experience, Valenzuela has learned passion is key to growing individually and as a team.

“You should revisit everything at least twice a year — don’t get complacent,” Valenzuela said. “I think events have the capability to reignite passion for the industry. Hearing different speakers has given me the passion to fight again.”

Successful recruiters also emphasize company culture and treat employees like human beings — making them feel like a part of the family, added Valenzuela.

“Hansen and Adkins is not a traditional truckload carrier. We go that extra mile with our people,”  he said. “You’re not just a truck number or a driver. You’re more than your role. Once you join our team, you’re considered family. I think this is what really sets us apart.”

Auto hauling already comes with recruiting challenges, so recruiters should lead with integrity, according to Valenzuela.

“Truckers often come with that ability to tell when someone is ‘blowing smoke,’ so one thing I have always told my team is to lead with integrity,” Valenzuela said. “Understand and believe what you’re saying and others will follow suit.”

Click for more FreightWaves content by Britni Chisenall.

More from Taking the Hire Road:

To recruit the best, focus on the driver

Making fleets more efficient through partnerships

Effective driver training could help save lives