As a recruiter for truck drivers, you know that the driver shortage means that finding the best talent can be difficult. With turnover also being high, retaining drivers can be even more challenging. The best companies are offering great truck driver benefits in addition to good salaries and bonuses. While salary and cents per mile are important figures, drivers know they aren’t the whole package. The experienced driver recognizes that a strong benefits package can be more valuable than sign-on or referral bonuses.
Benefits also build a driver-centric company culture where drivers feel valued and respected. Word-of-mouth about benefits will soon spread to attract other drivers. While there are some industry standard benefits that you should definitely offer, you can also supplement them with your own unique additional benefits that reflect your company and brand. With so much on the line, here are three components to include to improve your truck driver benefits package.
1. Insurance and retirement plans
Providing health insurance and a 401(k)-match plan is an industry standard practice, so you don’t want to skip these for your drivers. Drivers know that the cost of health insurance has skyrocketed, so they’ll be looking for employer-based plans as better alternatives to individual plans on the health insurance marketplace. Any package worth it’s weight should include medical, prescription, vision and dental. Look for insurance policies with reduced premium incentives, low co-pays and a health reimbursement account deposit for wellness. Dental plans should include standard preventive care (such as teeth cleaning) fully or almost fully covered. Vision coverage should ideally cover an annual eye-exam with a low co-pay, and some allowance for prescription glasses or contact lenses.
Drivers will be concerned about the cost of health insurance for their families, so most of your standard packages should provide coverage for their spouses and dependents
Consider including flexible spending accounts, which give drivers the option to put aside pre-tax income from their paychecks to pay for non-reimbursed medical, dental, and vision expenses.
Most trucking companies will include a 401(k)-matching plan for retirement savings as well. Drivers will first be able to place a percentage of their pay into the plan pre-tax. The matching amount by the company can vary based on the percentage. Some companies boast being able to match 100% on the first 4-5% of salary deferred. The exact specifications of your retirement and insurance options will depend on how strong your company is financially. Just keep in mind that drivers will be mindful about noticing whether the company is investing considerable resources into benefits packages for their employees.
2. Lifestyle benefits
While retirement and insurance are industry standard benefits, you can craft your own additional benefits based on unique resources and needs.
Many drivers are attracted to benefits which allow them greater flexibility in their lifestyle, both on and off the road.
For example, more drivers would like to be able to work in larger cabins with more personal space. Fleet amenities such as kitchen appliances and satellite radio/TV allow for comfort, cooking, and entertainment. Your company should already be investing in the best truck equipment, and many of these will come fully equipped. A pet policy lets drivers with a canine or feline companion bring them along on the road. See if your company can craft a pet policy with small restrictions on a weight limit and a refundable pet deposit.
Similarly, some drivers would like to bring their spouse or children along with them on the road and view this as a major benefit. Drivers will view a passenger policy by your company as a great advantage when considering their home life and how to spend more time with family.
Paid-time off is another important benefit for work-life balance. Some companies differentiate between vacation time and sick time, while others offer a more general PTO category. These PTO days should increase per every year worked, and ideally roll over to the next year.
Finally, consider creating a driver loyalty discounts program, or similar package which offers rewards or benefits to drivers in the form of points based on credit card purchases, or discounts at select partner locations across the country. For example, your company could partner with a nation-wide hotel or restaurant chain for great deals, or partner with a credit card company to pair with the rewards points. Such perks will help drivers feel valued as they look for places to stay or eat across the country.
3. Additional benefits
In addition to the standard benefits of insurance and retirement plans, many companies are offering other optional perks and benefits for drivers. These optional plans won’t be used by every driver, but rather depends on their personal and financial situations. Offering these as an alternative will shows drivers you value their needs, and it won’t break the bank. Accident insurance and critical illness insurance plans are for those rare circumstances where things go drastically wrong on the road and you want drivers to know you have their back.
In addition to insurance, consider offering a CDL legal defender plan where your team of lawyers can represent a driver and their claims in the rare possibility of a legal scenario. Offering short-term disability means if drivers get injured on the road and must be away from work for a short period of time, they have financial peace of mind. Some companies are even offering drivers voluntary life insurance plans so that their families won’t have to worry about financial security if the worst-case scenario ever happens. Engage in conversations with your drivers about which of these optional benefits would be useful to them.
Finally, some companies have been offering college tuition coverage and college scholarships for drivers and their families. The tuition plan is simple—for as long as drivers remain with the fleet, the company will pay for a portion of college tuition and room/board expenses for the dependents of drivers. As you can imagine, this is a very appealing program for drivers and addresses retention concerns extremely well. In addition, your company can offer a handful of college scholarships every year based on a number of factors. Many drivers will want to send their children to college but will consider the cost of higher education to be prohibitive.
Offering college tuition aid programs signals to drivers that you value them and their families’ priorities and can help give the gift of education
While these options can be financially taxing, they would be considered one of the greatest benefits for drivers in your company which goes a long way toward retaining them and building loyalty.