DriverReach Hopes to Move Trucking Industry Forward with Hiring App

Artificial intelligence and automation are helping legacy industries across the country become more innovative and efficient.

An Indianapolis startup called DriverReach is doing just that for the trucking industry, where driver shortages have been plaguing logistics operations, says founder and CEO Jeremy Reymer. He started the company in 2016 to help trucking companies conquer the shortage in commercial drivers by taking the job application process digital and providing employers with a dashboard that helps organize the recruitment process.

Reymer says many companies are using outdated systems to recruit drivers. With DriverReach, the hiring process is sped up by nearly 30 percent thanks to digital job applications that can be completed via smartphone and automated verification of previous employment, he says. The app has a job application and driver contracting system, as well as customer relationship management capabilities. “Trucking is a very regulated industry, so traditional CRM platforms weren’t very effective,” he maintains.

Over the past 15 years, he says he’s learned the nuances of what makes a good long-haul trucker. Reymer’s previous company, Driving Ambition, helped him learn how to recruit and hire drivers. He sold that business to TransForce last year. He wanted to build a proprietary transportation technology next, which became DriverReach.

Despite a booming economy, which should be good news for logistics companies, their success comes “at the mercy of finding talent,” Reymer says. The average age of commercial truckers is 55, with thousands retiring each year that aren’t being widely replaced by younger drivers. “There’s an image issue the industry is trying to address. It’s not an easy job—it’s highly regulated, from drugs and alcohol to hours per day you can work.”

In the trucking business, job applicants don’t simply forward a resume to a hiring company, Reymer explains. They also have to complete a Department of Transportation application, and provide details of employment from the previous decade, which in turn must be verified by the potential employer. Then, they must pass background checks and drug tests.

DriverReach is a mobile-first product, Reymer adds, so applicants can use a single sign-on through their Facebook or Google accounts to access it. The app autopopulates information it already knows about the applicant, such as job history, so it can be automatically verified. That part of the trucker-recruitment process is the most challenging, Reymer says. “It’s different than checking a driver or criminal record, and it’s usually done manually, which is just cumbersome,” he says.

Once a job applicant has submitted his or her information, DriverReach sends automated emails to incentivize hiring companies to respond. “It’s easy for them—it introduces them to the system, which puts driver background information into a secure database so applicants can point future employers there,” he says.

The DriverReach app is free for job applicants, while employers pay a monthly subscription fee to access the software. Reymer says his 16-person company experienced 20 percent month-over-month growth between January and August of this year and has about 100 customers, including Consolidated Logistics Services, a temp agency for truck drivers. So far, he has self-funded much of DriverReach’s growth, investing $3 million of his own money to launch it.

Reymer sees plenty of upside in the dawn of self-driving vehicles, a technology that some have speculated may decimate trucking jobs, but he doesn’t see it that way. “It makes driving even more attractive,” he says. “I think autonomous vehicles will attract more people, not repel them.”

Last year, Reymer says he joined the American Trucking Association’s workforce development committee, where he is one of 15 members.

“I’m passionate about trucking and talent—I’ve been complaining about the issue since I’ve been in the industry,” he adds. “My focus is on how we can help hire drivers faster with more efficiency while embracing progress and helping to move the industry forward.”

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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