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Alternative Methods for Recruiting Staff

Posted in: Great Ideas, Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators


Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators. The author, Darren Schulte, NATSO’s vice president of membership, brings to NATSO a wealth of knowledge about our industry.

Join Darren here every other Thursday for his biweekly retail column.

Alternative Methods for Recruiting Staff

Your employees are the most important part of the truckstop(s). Running a successful business requires having the right people doing the right job and consistently training them so they get better at what they do. Your people are what separate your location from the competition.

Truckstop owners and managers need to focus on hiring quality people. Customers are willing to forgive you if don’t have what they are looking for or if your price is a touch higher than your competitor, but they never forgive you for bad customer service. Your people are the front line to your customers and will shape the impression customers have about the business. If an employee upsets a customer, it reflects badly on the whole operation. At the same time, if an employee makes a customer feel welcome and cared for, he will be a repeat customer even if you occasionally don’t have an item in stock or have a slightly higher price.
The first step in having the right people with finding new applicants. From reviewing current applications to advertising in print, there are several ways to get to the candidates you choose to interview. In addition to traditional methods, I would encourage you to consider these alternative methods:

  • Attend events in the community. Attending job fairs or community group meetings gives you the opportunity to find talent and gets your company’s name out in the community. For example, you could ask to speak during church, YMCA or YWCA meetings.
  • Share leads. Work with other business to share applications and candidates that you can’t use.
  • Create an internship program. Meet with your local high school, community college or local college to develop internships or work-for-grades programs that provide students with real-world experience while also giving you a qualified employee.
Join the conversation! Where have you found your best applicants?
Editor's Note: Human resources is an essential element in the success of any operation. To help NATSO members, NATSO offers a Truckstop and Travel Plaza Training  Manual with items such as detail job descriptions for key truckstop positions, a sample cash audit form and more. Purchase the Truckstop and Travel Plaza Training Manual here. - AT

/// Read more Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators posts here

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.