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Introducing Robin Smith – Driver Recruiter

Robin Smith - Recruiter for Pro FleetI’ll start by telling you a little about myself. I’m a Recruiter, capital R. A people person. I genuinely enjoy talking to other people and hearing their stories. I believe strongly, it is a major part of being successful at this type of work. The job suits me 100%.

I have worked in various areas of recruiting and staffing for more years than I care to admit. Over the years I have filled job openings ranging from customer service and mechanics to accountants and IT executives. Finding the right person for the job has always been challenging, rewarding and fun for me. I’m blessed to be one of the people that have a career that they love.

The bulk of my recruiting experience, before getting into transportation, was at a staffing agency that specialized in finance and a large chain of automotive dealerships. When my children were babies, I also worked part time for a national nonprofit, recruiting and training volunteer child advocates.

When the time came to go back to work full time I found myself living in rural Indiana with no major corporations or large companies to work for. The only recruiting opportunity I could find, that was a reasonable drive from my home, was for a flatbed carrier.

I will admit that I got into trucking very reluctantly! The casual environment and the idea of filling the same job over and over again didn’t really light my fire. But a paycheck is a paycheck! I figured this job would hold me until something better came along. Little did I know at the time, I was about to find my career calling!

Looking back I can laugh at myself. I am sure others in the office were laughing too.

Starting on a Monday, I went into new driver orientation. I wore heels, dress slacks and a nice blazer and stuck out like a sore thumb next to the t-shirts, wranglers, ball caps and camo. Like the rest of my class, I had to take a drug test and I remember sitting on the opposite side of the clinic waiting room from my classmates. I don’t think I even talked to any of the guys. At the end of the day I got a heads up to wear flat shoes, blue jeans and to dress warm for the rest of the week as I would be doing securement training outside. It was January. I was freaked out!

As time went on I learned a lot. The first person I met, that set me on the path to my career calling, was Debbie. Debbie did the administrative work for the recruiting department and driver recruiting. Her husband was also one of the drivers. A significant part of my education was learning about the equipment. Within seconds, Debbie could tell that I knew NOTHING! We started to Google pictures of tractor-trailers. Sadly, the conversation went something like this, “This part is called the tractor”, “We pull flatbed. This is what a flatbed looks like”. She went on showing and explaining the different kinds of trailers to me. Her passion for the industry was infectious. Another significant part of my education was listening to her talk to the drivers about their lives and their families. She knew every driver that came through the terminal and had a personal connection to them.

As the weeks, months and years went on Debbie and I became fast friends. I learned a ton about the equipment. I can now talk truck with anyone. I also got to know nearly every driver that came through the terminal. Enjoyment of my job blossomed into full-blown passion for the industry through working with the drivers.

For me this business is all about the people. The people behind the wheel, on the other end of the phone, down the hall and anywhere in my path to get the seats filled and keep the freight moving. I look forward to sharing my prospective on the industry with you in future posts.