Meet Kevin Gaughf and the Recruiting Department

Hi Kevin, tell us what you do with TOTAL?

Our department handles almost 4,000 applications a month and that’s not counting all the phone calls to recruiters. We then have to verify which applicants meet our hiring guidelines, pass drug screens, etc. Out of those, we hire an average of 89-90 drivers a month. I keep our job boards up to date by communicating with our three different ad agencies as well as posting new jobs and taking down jobs that we have filled.

I give and get feedback from our Driver Mentors and work with the recruiting staff on our daily needs.  There are always interviews with potential drivers and keeping up with our weekly retention.   I also handle the contracts for our Owner Operators.

It’s important our department keeps organized with driver assignments for those in Orientation and handle any issues that may arise in Orientation.   We have 4 Recruiters, 4 Assistant Recruiters/Verifiers, and 2 field recruiters. 


What kind of people do you want to become TOTAL drivers?

We want professional, safe drivers as well as those new CDL-A holders that want to get into transportation.   We get new drivers from all walks of life. We’ve had drivers who used to be teachers, chefs, IT folks, you name it…. Many people use the opportunity to get away from an office or a more physical job. The common traits we want in all our drivers are professionalism, responsibility, and most of all safety. It’s even better when these drivers are from the north and northeast to help out with our freight network.


From where and how are we recruiting the most drivers?

Word of mouth is probably our best form of advertisement. Job boards account for most of our applicants, then our Facebook marketing campaigns and our website. In the last 14 months, we’ve been increasing our emphasis on recruiting female drivers. These efforts have been well rewarded. We now have over 20% female drivers here at TOTAL.


What is our retention rate? What is the national average?

Our retention rate is around 70%, which is pretty good compared to the national average of 90%.   Even though we are better than the national average, we can always do better to make our drivers feel at home and a part of the TOTAL family.   Communication and our open door policy are key. 


What trends are you seeing in the recruiting market?

You always see these crazy sign-on bonuses and fine print driver pay that attract drivers. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side though. We have many drivers who leave us only to ask to return a few months later.


What is your department’s biggest challenge and greatest strength?

Our biggest challenge is making sure we hire for the new accounts that our sales team secures. Some are very challenging due to the location or the driver endorsements required. Keeping our open truck count at a manageable level is also a challenge but has been looking very well for some time now.  Our retention rate for the company has really been outstanding this year. Our greatest strength is definitely teamwork. Everyone has to work well together to keep so many moving parts working smoothly and keep the Orientation classes filled.


Tell us a little about your family and what you do for fun.

Well, I’ve been married to my wife Natalie for 20 yrs and have three children.  My daughter is 16 and my twin sons will be turning 15 in a few months.

I love sports, so most of my free time revolves around my children.   They are very active in football and track and field.


What’s the best thing about TOTAL?

Well, I just celebrated my 9th year here and I love the people. I enjoy the daily interaction with everyone and being able to help out when needed.   Having an open door policy for a company this size says a lot. 


What do you like most about trucking?

The daily challenge.  No day is ever the same.