Kissa Kimble founder of Elite Recruiting, recruits Class A CDL drivers and connects them to their next job. She is one of The Venture Center’s Spark! 2021 cohort!
Spark! is a small business accelerator in Arkansas that aims to jumpstart small businesses and entrepreneurs across the state with access to free, quality resources, training and mentorship.
On this deep dive with Kissa Kimble, she spoke to us about her entrepreneurial journey, the trucking industry and truck driver shortage, running a business from home with 5 kids, and more!
Read below for a shortened transcription of our conversation, and watch or listen to the video above to hear the whole thing!
On what Elite Recruiting does for drivers
I officially started Elite Recruiting back in 2017, and I absolutely love recruiting. Class A CDL holders are the semi tractor trailers you see on the road. Those are the really long trucks that help take merchandise to and from our stores, and intermodal, so they actually connect with our train stations and they pick up merchandise from there as well.
I help Class A CDL drivers find new Class A CDL jobs, free of charge. All the truck drivers have to do is apply. I can help students, trainees, refreshers, experienced drivers, pretty much anyone in the trucking industry I’m able to assist with transitioning into their career.
On Kissa’s daily routine
I talk to drivers all day long. Drivers are always applying, so my day-to-day routine is, I typically wake up about 5:30 in the morning to assist with my kids, check my emails, check my text messages, kind of just jump in there head first. I usually try to meditate, say some prayers, drink some water, you know, organize my entire day.
Once I get the kids off to school, about 7:30, I’m usually available and I start calling the East coast. Elite Recruiting hires drivers in 48 states, minus Alaska and Hawaii. I usually recruit all day long until I just can’t take anymore, or if I have a meeting or something comes up. Being independent and being an independent contractor recruiter, I’m on call for the drivers. So as they apply all day, I’m there available to assist them.
On the evolution of Elite Recruiting and future goals
Since 2017, a few things have changed. I used to only have two children, now I have five, so I’m definitely a very busy mom. From the trucking industry perspective, I know more about my industry. When I first started recruiting, it was like putting everything together. I had to figure out where to get my leads, where to place these drivers. Now I understand the trucking industry, so I know exactly where to place them.
The biggest goal that I have in mind now is raising capital so that I can access more Class A CDL drivers. That’s my job. I’m here to help more Class A CDL drivers have those options in front of them when they’re transitioning. Again, my business is specializing in helping those drivers try to locate all the options that I have access to, and putting it in front of them so that when they transition, they’re happy, their families are happy and the company is happy. So my ultimate goal is to definitely hire more Class A CDL drivers and for more drivers to know that I’m available to assist them.
On the Spark! program’s impact
Spark! has already provided me so many new connections and ideas when it comes to understanding the business perspective. I want to take away advancing my self-presentation, whether it be presenting myself or presenting my business and explaining it.
I also want to be able to take away those connections and the opportunity to learn, to do more marketing and be known in the trucking industry as well as in the human resource field. So other people know that I’m out there, I’m available to assist and help Class A CDL drivers, but also just specialize in people. So I’m able to assist with helping individuals transition and come up with different things in their lives.
On running a business from home with five kids
I call my kids recruiter babies, because it’s like, they’re trained now that when they hear the phone or an email, they kind of conform to the lifestyle.
But when we first started recruiting, it was wild. But now they all go to school, so I have set hours where I’m at home and there is absolutely no interruption, but again, recruiting doesn’t stop at five. So it’s just one of those things where, as a small business owner and entrepreneur, everyone has just kind of jumped on board. I have support from my mom, my sister, my aunts, and a lot of my family. So my family has adjusted to knowing we’re a recruiter family. So we’re all hiring the driver.
On advice for other entrepreneurs
Look for opportunities. Not just your typical opportunity, just look for all types of opportunities to learn. For example, the Spark! program. I didn’t know what I was going to get out of it, but I feel like I’ve gotten more than I could even expect. So again, just looking for those opportunities to learn more about becoming a small business owner. I think that you can’t go wrong there. That’s any small business. Education will take you to the next level, ultimately, because there’s always so much to learn when growing a business.
Huge thanks to Kissa Kimble for sitting down for an in-depth conversation with us and being part of Spark! If you’re interested in more about Spark! Or The Venture Center’s other programs, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop!