Inside the Lyft Driver Recruiting Program
I was asked about three months ago to be part of a brand new program to help get new Lyft applicants to the mentor ride and to start driving for Lyft. As far as I know, the program officially started in June but may be started in San Francisco a bit earlier than that.
With a quick Google search before I started as a recruiter, I found a Lyft FAQ that outlined what a Lyft Recruiter does. Now there are three three FAQs that covers a lot of basic information about recruiting. Below are the three articles about it:
However, here are some key facts from each article:
How Recruiting Works:
- Your recruits can come from anywhere in the application process, from just submitting their information (Application in Process) to just before their mentoring session (ready for mentoring). Some applicants have an error in their application, which requires some manual help from Lyft to sort out their application. The applicant will know they can’t continue as they won’t be able to get through to the “request a mentor” screen.
- You recruit directly from the Lyft Portal.
- You need to click on Add Recruit to get more recruits in your queue. If you haven’t done it in a while, it may take an extra click to have the system fill your queue. Usually there are a few on your list before you add them onto your “pipeline”
- You need to contact your new recruit before you can get more. Texting counts so I usually text them and then quickly try to add another recruit onto my pipeline.
- The pipeline has a maximum of 30 recruits at a time.
Communicating with Recruits
- Make sure your recruit meets our driver qualifications.
- Spend at least 30 seconds on the phone to earn your bonus.
- Identify why the recruit is interested in Lyft, and customize your pitch.
- Get them to schedule the mentoring session. Give recruits an option to either do the mentoring session with you or with another mentor in the city. There has been a problem with some mentors saying they are the only ones who can mentor them and try to persuade them to do a mentoring session with them, rather than another mentor in the city. I have heard a few times were a recruit was on the phone with the recruiter during a mentoring session.
- Personalize your texts so you’re not mistaken for a robot. Use the recruit’s name and an informal tone to emphasize our sense of community!
- Ask questions (rather than making statements) to promote a dialogue.
- Vary your messages to include things like pay, flexibility, and community.
Managing your Pipeline
- Contact your recruit every couple days, using a mix of calls and texts.
- In my experience, only a few recruits who don’t reply to your initial text within 12 hours (many within an hour) is highly unlikely to respond ever.
- Text before you call. It increases the likelihood your recruit will pick up a number they don’t recognize.
- Wait two weeks before dropping an unresponsive recruit to give them a fair chance at joining the Lyft community.
When I was first invited to be a recruiter, the two launch guys for the project had done this for a few months already. Earlier in the year, there was a small team at Lyft dedicated to calling applicants and getting them to go on their mentor ride via text, emails, and phone calls. As more and more people were signing up, the team had a hard time keeping up with recruiting so as of a few months ago, only some applicants were contacted.
The two guys did recruiting as staff for Lyft so they had a general sense of what worked and what didn’t but they left it up to us to decide how we should approach recruiting. I took the passive approach, hoping to catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Others choose a bit more aggressive approach in getting recruits to the mentoring sessions.
My personal thoughts on the above topics above:
How Recruiting Works:
- You get $20 for every recruit that completes a mentoring session (doesn’t matter if they fail or not). You will get a email as soon as they are done with the mentoring session.
- If they do not pass the DMV check, Lyft will pay out $20 right after they fail the DMV check. It is encouraged to have them do a DMV check as soon as possible. I have gotten 10 recruits that failed DMV check.
- I get excited when I see an applicant “ready for mentoring.” It takes much less work to get them to the mentoring session than an applicant at “Application in progress.” Application in progress can mean anything, from accidental signups (had at least 10 of these) to registration issues. If I make contact with an applicant that is still in progress, I will ask what they did in the application process. My normal line is to ask them to complete the application on the smartphone. Almost all my applicants I mentored did not do that but getting them to complete the application can be very time consuming, sometimes taking a few days over the course of a few text messages.
- Once a recruit is in your pipeline, you are the only recruiter that can communicate with the recruit.
- I think the day of the week you get recruits in your pipeline make a big difference in the quality of the recruits. Now I usually aim to get recruits midweek so I can get them ready for mentoring sessions on the weekend. Usually it takes a day or two to get things rolling before they sign up for a mentoring session so if you want them to be mentored on the weekend, start adding recruits earlier in the week.
- Depending on how well other recruits are doing in your city, sometimes you won’t get a recruit. It will just say “Recruits are not available at this time.” This can be frustrating as you want to get recruits in your pipeline but can’t because everyone else has them already.
- Recruiting can be a very time consuming task and generally can only be done during the day as you don’t want to call someone at 2am. I haven’t found the best time to call/text recruits, but generally early evening or during the middle of the day (12-2pm). Many recruits are in their day job so some say they can’t talk long but usually I can get through to them during that time.
Communicating with Recruits
- Like being a driver on Lyft, you will get a Twilio recruiting phone number, which is different from your Lyft Driver phone number. You will only be able to call/text your recruits from that number. Recruits will also get a Twilio number. (At this time, I am not sure if this number is the same as their Lyft Driver phone number when they are approved to drive) Not even other recruits can call that number so it prevents multiple recruiters from hassling the same recruits.
- Texting your recruits is the quickest way to add more recruits. On a long drive down to New York City, I managed to get 7 new recruits only via text messages.
- Text messages is by far the most effective way of communicating with my recruits. Sometimes a phone call is needed for long Q&A sessions.
- I have two canned text messages, one for “application in progress” and another for “ready for mentoring.” Try to squeeze in a sense of urgency in the text messages. It doesn’t seem to work very well for me, but anything helps.
- Generally, if I don’t hear from them either within a few hours or by the end of the day, I won’t hear from them at all. I had a few recruits reply back a day or two later out of the hundreds of recruits I dealt with. However, we are recommended to keep them in the pipeline for two weeks before removing them.
- Schedule the mentor session with in the next few days. If you try to schedule it for next week, it’ll never get done. Next week is just too far ahead in time for many people to plan around.
- Get used to the fact that recruits will put Lyft as a very low priority in their life, so anything they do will need to fit inside their schedule. To us, its a job interview so we should come first! My personal take on it is that if a recruit is like this in the application process, what are they going to be like when they are driving for Lyft? Remember that many people sign up for Lyft for the flexibility so you’ll need to be a bit more flexible when dealing with recruits.
- Considering the above statement, remember you are working for Lyft so customer (or the recruit in this case) always come first! Interact with a recruit as if you would with a passenger. You are a brand ambassador and you don’t want to give an impression that Lyft is a huge pink (fuzzy?) thug trying to manhandle a recruit into driving for Lyft!
- If I am on the call with a recruit, I will usually tell them what I tell to all my mentees during a mentoring session. During what I mention, they will usually have a few questions. At the end, I’ll ask them if they have any other question. If they don’t, I tell them they can text me or call me if they have any other questions.
- I had a few recruits who became drivers and still contact me about questions.
Managing your Pipeline
- The online recruiting pipeline has a section where you can leave notes. I would recommend dating every communication so that you can see the history. This is immensely helpful to keep track of who is who. I also have been putting their names in the first text message so I can quickly remember who they are in subsequent text messages.
- You can be managing up to 30 recruits at once. Have you ever tried to talk to 30 people at once? Take notes! Even text histories are not much help once you have 15 active recruiting dialogs. Recruits will start to confuse you once you go through your pipeline.
- I would recommend starting off with just 10 or 15 at once. This will keep your list easy to manage. Once you do the first set, then just keep adding them but it does get exponentially harder.
- I am very deliberate in sending one of two text messages depending on application status so I can see if they have completed their application or still in the “ready for mentoring” stage.
- I generally work in batches so I don’t keep mixing in new recruits with old recruits. Once I am done or remove 10-15 from the pipeline, I will go back for more. It may take a few days to fill the pipeline again so this gives you time to meet your new recruits and work on the existing ones.
The potential income from recruiting
Once you get through all the hassles of recruiting, it can be lucrative to do recruiting if you can be consistent with your recruiting efforts. An hour or two a day spread out over the week can net you 6-10 recruit-mentoring session in a weekend. The most I’ve done is 7 on a weekend as I do not have time to do it during the week.
Remember that you also get $20 for the recruit, so you can get $55 for every recruit you mentor. That was about $300 just in that weekend alone and I didn’t have to drive and I made schedule them back to back so I didn’t have much downtime during mentoring sessions.
This is definitely the holy grail of rideshare income. This is the ultimate way of boosting my part time income but it does take quite a bit of work.
That’s great money! How do I become a Recruiter?
- First you need to be a driver for Lyft. Click here for more information on signing up.
- Then you need to be a Mentor for Lyft. View this article on ways to become a Lyft Mentor
As far as I know, Recruiters are invited out of the pool of the top active mentors in the city. When I was invited, I was average 3-5 mentoring sessions a week every week for about two months and had “great” mentor stats, despite my mentee team being not so good based on average rating. You can reach out to your local community manager to see if they can add you to the list of recruiters.Have more questions about Uber or Lyft? Head on over to our Rideshare Driver Training Course! Driver Promotions