Drivers are the backbone of the trucking industry. Unfortunately, hiring and retaining drivers continues to be challenging for many trucking companies. Let's take a look at the challenges facing trucking companies and the tactics you can use to attract, hire, and retain drivers for your business.
Drivers are the backbone of the trucking industry. They play a critical role in operations, delivery, and safety every day and every mile. Unfortunately, hiring and retaining drivers continues to be challenging for many trucking companies.
The driver shortage is a perennial problem in the industry — and a rapidly aging workforce is adding additional pressure to the problem. According to a recent post from Transforce, the average age for truck drivers in the U.S. is 46 and is continuing to rise.
This post will look at the challenges facing trucking companies and tactics you can use to attract, hire, and retain drivers for your business.
An aging driver workforce is only one challenge that trucking companies face. Every day, hundreds of drivers leave the workforce for different opportunities. In 2019, the driver turnover rate was an astonishing 91%.
But the challenges are more than just retaining drivers. Attracting new drivers — especially Millenials and Gen Z — is increasingly challenging due to the safety and regulatory requirements for being a truck driver.
The trucking industry is competitive. There are often more job openings than qualified drivers to fill them. In addition, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft make retaining truck drivers more difficult by displaying wages and hours that appear better than what trucking companies can offer.
Hiring and training new drivers can be costly. Whether it's the trucking companies or the driver candidate paying, the average cost of CDL training is between $3,000 and $7,000. These licenses are an expensive investment, especially considering the high turnover rate.
Trucking can be demanding and challenging, leading to high turnover among drivers. The lifestyle can also make it difficult for trucking companies to retain their best employees.
The trucking industry is heavily regulated, and drivers must meet strict standards to be qualified to operate a commercial vehicle. Finding and retaining drivers who meet these requirements can be difficult when competing against less-regulated businesses.
With some planning and thought, trucking companies can design recruitment and retention programs to reduce churn and help attract new driver candidates.
It's essential to define your driver requirements, so you understand what type of drivers thrive and stay with your business. Defining your driver requirements can also help avoid costly hiring mistakes by predicting which drivers will likely succeed in the long run.
Here are three things to consider when defining your driver requirements:
Defining your driver requirements upfront can save time and resources by filtering out candidates that don’t meet your needs.
Your business is unique, but are your driver job posts telling that story? Crafting compelling job postings can help attract qualified and motivated candidates to apply for your open roles. Creating a persuasive job listing does more than help you stand out from the competition. It helps tell your story and attract candidates who can see themselves working for your business.
Your job posting should include the daily duties and responsibilities of a successful candidate. Clearly explaining what is expected and required will help attract interested and qualified candidates.
Job postings and your career page are the best places to provide details on your culture and benefits. Quotes from current employees tell your story with your employees' voices, giving credibility to how you have positioned your business. These pages also include information about the company values and any benefits or perks offered to employees.
Your brand is the story you use to connect with customers. Your employer brand is the story you use to communicate with candidates to drive interest in your open driver roles. Defining your employer brand means more than benefits and perks. Strong employer brands start with a focus on what you do to create a positive and inclusive company culture.
Connecting with candidates and telling your employer brand story can be done online and in person. For online, leverage your social media channels to connect with candidates. It's a great way to show what a day on the job with your company is like. Using social media to tell your employer brand story can help candidates see themselves working for you.
Your current employees' social media channels are even more critical than yours. When your employees share positive experiences working for you, it gives authenticity to your story.
Attracting a large, diverse pool of candidates is crucial to building a solid recruitment funnel. That's why it’s essential to use various recruitment methods to tell your story and showcase why driving your business is the right choice.
Some recruitment methods include:
Using a combination of recruitment methods will help you reach a wider pool of potential candidates and increase the chances of finding the right drivers for your company.
Drivers are looking for positions that offer a good income and comprehensive benefits. Before posting roles, check to ensure your pay rates and benefits are competitive with other trucking companies in your area.
Younger drivers know that pensions are a thing of the past, but they are still looking for roles that offer benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. Younger drivers also look for transparency of pay rates. Posting your pay rates can help build trust with potential drivers.
Attracting younger candidates often means paying for or supplementing CDL licensing for new drivers. But training doesn't end with a license. Millennials and Gen Z candidates have a strong desire to work for businesses that value continuous learning.
Continuous learning can include ongoing safety training, driver education programs, and industry-specific certification courses. By investing in your drivers and providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed, you can help them improve their skills and advance their careers within your company. This can decrease your turnover rates and turn drivers into advocates for working at your company.
Technology like transportation management software (TMS) systems do more than reduce costs for your business. They can help reduce turnover by improving the driver experience for existing and new drivers.
There’s a cost for every mile a truck puts on the odometer. From fuel prices to maintenance to driver pay, finding ways to reduce your cost-per-mile with the use of technology can help your trucking business navigate these uncertain economic times.
The year ahead looks like another interesting one for the trucking industry. Here’s our list of the top trends to expect in 2023.
The past year has been full of continuing and emerging challenges for the trucking industry, especially regarding rising fuel costs. TMS software can help cut fuel costs by allowing you to reduce fuel surcharges, plan fuel-efficient routes, and monitor driver behaviour that could negatively impact fuel usage.