thank-you

One of the biggest complaints from truck drivers is not about salary or benefits, but rather that they don’t feel appreciated by their fleets. Drivers want to feel like an integral part of the team, not just another number or a cog in the machine. National Truck Driver Appreciation Week in September is a great time to set aside and show drivers your appreciation, but it doesn’t have to stop there.

Driver appreciation can and should be a year-round activity. After all, appreciation is a key component of driver retention. So whether you’re a recruiter, dispatcher, fleet manager, or executive, take some time to show your drivers how much you and your company value them. Here are seven truck driver appreciation ideas you can use anytime.

1. Use Social Media

One of the simplest ways to show driver appreciation is by shout-outs on social media. Many fleets engage in these already and highlight different drivers individually. Make yours more meaningful by making the social media posts personalized to each driver. You can include the reasons why you think this driver is unique and special and has made an impact on the job and the company. Testimonials from other drivers and company leadership about their work will make the posts more unique. Photos are a must, but if you want to go the extra mile put together a quick one-minute video of gratitude.

2. Gift Giving

Gifts for truck drivers seem like an obvious choice to show appreciation but be careful as these can go horribly wrong. If you choose generic gifts or don’t put much thought or meaning behind the gift it can end up backfiring.

Just like Christmas gifts to extended family, the trick is to make each gift personalized to each driver.

Something that will help the everyday lives of truck drivers will also help them feel valued. For example, some drivers may be passionate about healthy eating options, so consider a crockpot or recipe book. Others may be interested in the latest tech, so Bluetooth headsets or XM radio would be good options. Gift cards are okay but find out what the driver’s favorite restaurants or stores are first.

3. Truck Servicing

Maintaining and cleaning the equipment is an essential part of the job for drivers. Arrange to wash windows or tires or find other simple ways to clean and service the trucks before the drivers can get to it. Leave a friendly note of your gratitude to surprise them. Even gift cards for truck servicing or cleaning will be appreciated. Don’t forget that a clean and well-maintained truck is a great marketing tool, and thus is a benefit to both driver and company. Drivers will also appreciate anything you can do to make sure the receiving company will be unloading the truck so that they don’t have to.

4. Thank You Notes

Sometimes the simplest ways of showing gratitude are the most effective. Hand-written thank you notes are a time-honored tradition of showing thanks all around the world. Make sure to make your notes personalized to each driver, highlighting their strengths and what makes them such a valuable part of the company. Having it signed by multiple people increases the impact. Ideally, a note like this could come directly from company leadership. Notes on special occasions like birthdays or workplace anniversaries are a must, but a surprise note out of nowhere is even more special.

If you want to go the extra mile, consider writing one note for the driver and a separate note to send to their families.

They are usually the ones behind the scenes supporting the drivers and sacrificing home time for the job, so a note to them will be much appreciated.

5. Treat Lunch

Another simple way to show your appreciation for drivers is to just cover a meal for them. Taking them out personally to lunch when they are in town will be something they will look forward to and boast about. Find out what some of their favorite restaurants are and let them know it is covered by the company. For greater impact, you can have company leadership cook and serve a meal for many drivers together all at once. Inquiring about favorite dishes or bringing your own homemade recipes adds a special touch. If you’re unable to schedule something to treat a driver to lunch, arrange for packed lunches for drivers to take on the road with them.

6. Giveaways

While the occasional small gift will be much appreciated, you can create some buzz and excitement about giveaways that fosters more engagement. This works best for larger and more expensive gifts. Usually, giveaways will be used for special events or occasions such as National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. That said, you can pleasantly surprise drivers by engaging in this at any time during the year. Drivers can enter into drawings to win prizes covered by the company, such as new tech or gadgets. Make sure to highlight the winners and encourage more people to enter the drawing next time. Giveaways can be a popular way to build some driver engagement.

7. Solicit Feedback and Send Encouragement

Drivers want to feel part of the team and that means listening to their feedback and acting on it. Nothing will make a driver feel more engaged in the company than seeing their suggestion implemented. Ask them to propose ideas for potential solutions to challenges faced on the job, and the appreciation will take care of itself.

Making feedback and encouragement a two-way dialogue will boost engagement and show your gratitude to drivers.

Inform your company’s leadership about accomplishments or efforts by individual drivers and copy the drivers on email. Texting or emailing drivers every once in a while also keeps morale high. Best of all is encouragement and appreciation which is publicly viewed and recognized.

As you may have noticed, most of these appreciation ideas are not objects or things. While gifts and tangible objects are nice, most people place greater value on more abstract acts of gratitude. Showing appreciation doesn’t have to be time or cost extensive and can be done at any time. Acts of appreciation should focus on showing drivers that you respect them and their contributions to the fleet. Showing truck driver appreciation establishes trust and respect and builds loyalty to your company.

ultimate guide to retaining truck drivers

Ultimate Guide to Retaining Truck Drivers

You work so hard to recruit the best truck drivers for your fleet. The trick is retaining them. This guide is packed with tips for retaining your fleet.

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truck driver leads

There are two main approaches to bringing in truck driver leads in the industry. The first focuses on sheer numbers. Cast as wide a net as possible and you’ll have dozens of potential leads to consider for open jobs. The second focuses on lead quality over quantity. This can be a more time-consuming and tedious process, and you’ll have to narrow the search a bit. Then you focus your efforts on the high-quality applicants to convert them to drivers for your fleet.

Taking the quality approach ultimately wastes less money and time. While we aren’t going to solve the quality versus quantity debate, we do know that there are a few things you can do as a recruiter to increase the quality of your leads. Here are four strategies to focus on to improve the quality of your truck driver leads.

1. Narrow the Candidate Pool

Focusing on quality means that not every job applicant should receive the same amount of time-investment on your part. Once you narrow down the pool of candidates, you can focus more on the high-quality leads rather than lose time and energy on candidates who are not a good fit for you.

Finding the right fit can be made easier by using qualifying questions in the job application and initial contact.

There are many questions you can ask to decide whether candidates are a good fit for your organization and for the jobs you have available. Consider asking about years of experience, type of experience, driving record, region of operation, and preferences about home time. After learning this information, you can easily sort out the candidates who don’t fit the profile your fleet is looking for. Narrowing the pool as early in the game as possible will save you more time, energy, and money on not pursuing leads who don’t meet your criteria. You can and should save these leads for future reference as you may want to contact them in the future.

2. Lead Scoring

Now that you’ve narrowed down the pool, you can focus on the leads who are strong prospects for the job. Eliminating them using qualifying questions is just the first step though. The leads who are remaining aren’t all equally suited for the job.

You have limited time and resources to spend on pursuing a lead, so use lead scoring to help prioritize who to talk to first.

You can assign lead scores based on some of the same criteria which are attributes of the jobs you are trying to fill or based on the attributes of the drivers themselves. Which of your truck driver leads has experience with ice road trucking? Who only drives local? Which ones prefer over-the-road or team driving? Match these with the jobs you are looking to fill. Assigning each prospect a score will help you keep track of how much time and energy you should invest in pursuing them. Follow the highest scoring leads first and soonest, at the expense of the lower scored ones if needed.

3. Understand Why Drivers Decline Jobs

Okay, so you’ve eliminated the leads who aren’t suited for your fleet, and you’ve prioritized the rest based on your lead scoring system. Now you need a method to contact them fast. The longer you take to contact your prospects, the more likely it is they will be driving for a different fleet. We’ve written earlier about how the top reason drivers decline jobs is because they recently accepted another position which was offered to them first. This is another reason to implement lead scoring and prioritization.

Why are drivers declining your CDL jobs?

Understand why drivers aren’t accepting your job offers and how to improve driver recruitment.

4. Contact Drivers Quickly

Losing your leads to the competition is bad enough but losing top candidates is worse. If you wait too long, you’re more likely to lose the best candidates first. Then, you might be stuck with the prospects toward the middle or bottom of the pool. Use your lead scoring system to prioritize which leads to contact first. Then, focus on improving your contact rate. Start the conversation with prompt initial contact. After, follow up with more details and questions at a convenient time for them. Keep moving each lead through the recruitment pipeline, but start from the top of the list, and focus your energies there.

Focusing on truck driver lead quality over quantity has many benefits. Although the approach requires having a much more methodical recruitment system and some start-up cost, it can end up saving you time, money, and energy in the long-run.

You want to make sure you are not wasting time by pursuing the drivers who are wrong for your fleet. Regardless of which approach you take, there are strategies you can use to improve the quality of your leads. Narrow the pool, prioritize prospects using lead scoring, understand why drivers decline jobs, and contact drivers quickly. Each of these strategies helps maximize the chances of your fleet landing quality drivers.

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4 CDL Truck Driver Retention Strategies

Recruiting great drivers is tough enough, but retaining top drivers is even tougher. While the driver shortage is the main obstacle to recruitment, turnover is the reason it is difficult to retain truck drivers. It’s no secret that the industry faces high turnover rates. According to some surveys, over 50% of newly hired drivers will leave their carriers within the first six months. Implementing strong driver retention strategies is critical to the success of your fleet.

Apart from offering higher and higher salaries and compensation packages, the real answer to the turnover problem is driver engagement. Drivers who are engaged with the job and the company are better and safer drivers and are more likely to stick around for longer. Here are four CDL truck driver retention strategies to maximize driver engagement.

1. Listen to and Act on Driver Feedback

Drivers want to feel like their voice matters and that they are being heard. Having strong communication with drivers is just the beginning. Make sure everyone in your organization, especially dispatchers, are aware of the importance of good communication with drivers. Fleet managers should regularly solicit driver feedback on a variety of issues, especially the types of jobs, routes, hauls, and schedules they prefer. Asking drivers for their feedback on how satisfactory the job has been so far also shows that the company cares about them as individuals. There are dozens of questions you can ask in driver engagement surveys.

However, asking drivers for their feedback isn’t enough. Acting on driver feedback is what distinguishes a great company from a good company.

Fleet managers should always aim to improve something for the sake of a driver’s preference unless they have a very good reason not to. And when you can’t act on their feedback, let them know why that’s the case. You’ll be surprised how understanding and appreciative they’ll be that you made the effort. When you interact with drivers as partners in problem solving, it will make them feel more engaged with the company and valued as employees. This strengthens driver loyalty and makes it less likely that they will leave the fleet.

2. Training and Professional Development

One of the reasons drivers will leave a company is because of inadequate training or because they feel their professional needs aren’t being met by the company. By making training and development an integral part of the relationship with drivers, truck driver retention will naturally increase. In addition to preparing them for the road, a proper onboarding and training program signals to employees that you can invest in their careers. They’ll be more likely to stick with your company if you provide continual professional development opportunities after the initial training.

Every three months or so, drivers should be eligible to engage in professional development seminars, workshops, and opportunities to connect with other drivers and learn from them.

One simple example is a mentorship program. Fleet managers can pair new drivers with experienced veterans based on their needs. The experienced truckers can mentor the younger employees on the joys and challenges of being a truck driver. This is a benefit for novices as it will help them improve and address their weaknesses. It is also a benefit for the veteran drivers who can also find mentorship extremely rewarding. Suddenly you’ve taken something that’s of benefit to the company and made it personally meaningful to employees. Retention will take care of itself once you’ve helped drivers feel more professionally engaged in their careers.

3. Equipment and Maintenance

There are few things drivers can’t stand more than having to deal with faulty equipment and vehicles. From their perspective, they’ve been hired for the driving job, not the maintenance job. Investing in quality equipment and providing maintenance is one of the best driver retention strategies.

If you don’t invest in quality equipment and trucks, it will frustrate your drivers for several reasons. First, it signals to drivers that the company isn’t willing to spend money on the trucks which drivers will be operating and often living out of. The optics can look really poor if your company is perceived to spend considerably on other areas at the expense of equipment and trucks. Second, drivers will be frustrated if fleet managers routinely expect drivers to address maintenance issues on the equipment. While the occasional minor maintenance issue might be fixed by the drivers, fleet managers shouldn’t expect that to become the norm. This is one of the top reasons why drivers decline jobs or leave jobs.

In addition to having regular inspections conducted, there are many things fleet managers can do to address maintenance issues. Implementing a fleet preventative maintenance plan will help you tackle the issues before they grow.

Some ELD solutions also automatically monitor fault codes through connection with vehicle diagnostics. The ELD will alert fleet managers about maintenance issues directly. Remember that drivers aren’t expert or trained mechanics. If drivers perceive that the expectation is to either deal with driving faulty vehicles or repair them themselves, it won’t be long before they start considering leaving. Make sure your drivers know you stay on top of maintenance issues and watch truck driver retention become easier.

4. Driver Safety and Empowerment

Part of a fleet manager’s responsibility is to ensure safety and improve the working conditions for drivers. Building a culture of safety is necessary baseline that every company should strive for. You can signal to your drivers that safety is a priority by investing in compliance measures and driver coaching, rather than paying regulatory fines. If you emphasize to drivers that their actions matter, they will feel empowered to make safer decisions.

Back up your words with rewards and recognition for safe drivers. You should try to use the carrot more than the stick. Incentivize good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior.

Drivers with the best safety scores and lowest unsafe driving behavior can be offered financial or other rewards. In addition to encouraging drivers to be safer on the road, it also boosts loyalty and retention.

5. Use Technology to Your Advantage

Embrace new technology like front-facing dashcams and electronic logging devices. In case of accidents, these devices can help you see things from the drivers’ perspective. Protect your drivers from false claims when they aren’t at fault. Building an empowerment culture for drivers goes beyond just protecting them.

Solicit driver feedback on what which working conditions they’d like to see improved. You’d be surprised at how many small requests from drivers you are able to easily fulfill.

For many, it may be the hours on the road, the number of stops allowed, home time etc. Finding small ways to keep drivers happy, or having them know that you’re trying, goes a long way to building loyalty and retention.

Drivers leave jobs for many reasons. Higher salary and better benefits are not the only factors which affect driver turnover. Building an engaged and loyal driver base can be easier than offering the highest salaries. Often, the small things add up and drivers will realize they are happier at your company than at a competitor who pays more but doesn’t care more. Implement these four CDL truck driver retention strategies to help your drivers stay for years.

ultimate guide to retaining truck drivers

Ultimate Guide to Retaining Truck Drivers

You work so hard to recruit the best truck drivers for your fleet. The trick is retaining them. This guide is packed with tips for retaining your fleet.

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best-ways-to-recruit-truck-drivers

In an industry like trucking, it can always be difficult to find new talent. This is especially true given the ongoing driver shortage. Recruiters for truck drivers need to constantly use a mix of old and new tactics to search for, select, hire, and then retain truck drivers. Here are some of the best ways to recruit truck drivers using sound practices.

1. Try a New Spin on Old Methods

On the one hand, recruiting tools like job boards and referral programs bring tried and tested results. On the other hand, all your competitors are doing them as well. This means you’re losing the advantage of doing something special. Try a new exciting spin on traditional methods to distinguish yourself from the competition. Most companies will offer a sign-on bonuses and a retention bonus for every year drivers stay on the job. Try offering a bonus for every six months instead. Posting job ads on a generic job board only goes so far.

To reach a specific audience, look for niche job boards that are industry-specific or demographic-specific.

Employee referrals are also a great way to connect to new drivers using your current drivers as resources. Why stop there? Use crowd-sourcing to find even more diverse talent. Internal referrals usually bring more of the same type of employee or talent. If you extend your finder’s fee to those outside the company, it will increase your chances of reaching a more diverse candidate pool. When using referrals, take care to structure the rewards properly. What will really incentivize your current employees to refer someone else? Maybe it should be a cash bonus, but maybe it could be a few extra days off or a chance to win season basketball tickets.

2. Harness Social Media

Social media can help give you the power in your recruiting process that it may have been lacking before. There are many ways you can use digital marketing and recruiting to your benefit. Paid ads are just one of several options. When posting paid ads, try to write an exciting hook to catch the audience’s attention. Drivers are bombarded with ads from trucking companies which all look and sound the same. Anything you can write that differentiates you from the rest will be an advantage. Specifically, remember the power of multimedia: photos and videos make the content more engaging and will capture someone’s attention more than just text.

Some ads only reach those who have already expressed an interest in trucking jobs, but you can also use social media to reach passive job candidates who aren’t searching just yet.

Facebook advertising based on targeting will reach people who match the skills, region, or interests you want. The power of social media comes not just from the business side, but from the personal side as well. Encouraging your current employees to share job ads on their social media profiles will dramatically increase the number of people who view them. While you can’t force your employees what to post or not post on social media, you can incentivize it. Including social media recruiting outreach by employees in your referral program will help you reach more people than if you just posted on the business side of Facebook.

3. Look Beyond Your Core Demographic

You definitely need targeted advertising to those who are most likely to consider truck driving. But it would be a mistake to limit yourself to just that demographic.

It’s a good idea to balance reaching your current core demographic with making yourself appealing to future potential demographics.

Don’t just focus on those who currently apply to truck driver jobs. Women in truck driving is a growing demographic which would be crucial to tap into. This is essentially 50% of the job market which not all companies are reaching. Women with similar interests and backgrounds also consider working as drivers, but sometimes get discouraged by the industry. Make sure all your advertising is gender-neutral in language and can appeal to everyone. Take special care to reach women in trucking groups and tailor your recruiting message to them as well.

When interacting with different audiences, make sure you tailor your message to their perspective and address their needs and concerns.

Veterans are another demographic who often consider truck driving as a job. Go the extra mile by marketing to prospective drivers where they already exist, like veteran specific job boards or social media groups. Some of the best candidates for a new driving job may be someone who applied for a previous position which you already filled. Just because they weren’t suited for that job doesn’t mean they were a bad candidate in general. Keep in mind old leads and keep in touch with them in case something more suitable for them comes up.

4. Good Marketing is Good Recruiting

Don’t forget that a major part of recruiting is just plain old-fashioned marketing. Your company needs to be able to appeal to drivers before they will consider applying to work there.

In fact, you should be reminding the marketing department that they have two different audiences to market to: the customers and the employees.

To this extent, make sure there is a dedicated hiring page or careers page on the company’s website to shepherd those interested in working for you. In addition to your website, all your marketing channels should have engaging content which makes it attractive to work there. This will be particularly true on social media and other digital marketing channels.

Driver-centric content will show your prospective employees that the company cares about drivers needs and values.

People want to work in a culture and environment which supports and values them. It isn’t enough to foster a people-first environment where drivers will want to work; you need to market this as well. Highlighting driver experiences, testimonials from current employees, driver appreciation events, and a culture of professional development will go a long way toward making the right impression to your ideal job candidates.

Streamlining the recruitment process is a marketing tactic in itself. Make the application quick and easy for job applicants by making it mobile-friendly is a must. While conducting interviews, go out of your way to address concerns with some candidates will have. Contact your prospects soon, often, and on the phone so that they don’t get scooped up by competitors. These tips may sound like obvious ones, but you’ll be surprised by how many industry recruiters don’t engage in these practices. Make these practices routine, and you’ll impress drivers enough that they’ll want to sign on with your fleets.

Recruiting in an industry like truck driving can be particularly challenging. These are some of the best ways to recruit truck drivers which we recommend since they combine the old-fashioned with the latest methods. Using these methods will add strength to your recruiting methods and help you find the best drivers for your fleet.

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

Current ways of recruiting truck drivers just don’t work anymore. That’s because recruiting isn’t a transaction. This ultimate guide helps carriers recruit for retention.

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Layer 1

As a recruiter, you get barraged with job applications. The ratio of job applications for each open position can be overwhelming for recruiters to deal with. Sifting through dozens of applications and remembering each and every candidate can be exhausting, not to mention time-consuming.

Yet, it can be extremely helpful to contact truck drivers faster and speed up the hiring process. It goes without saying that if you don’t contact job candidates fast enough, you’ll lose them to someone else. There are also many other reasons to contact truck drivers faster during the hiring process and maintain open lines of communication and dialogue.

1. You Won’t Lose the Top Candidates

The most important reason to contact truck drivers faster is that this way you’re less likely to lose the top candidates to your competitors. In fact, according to data by drivers matched through Drive My Way, the top reason candidates declined job offers is because they just accepted an offer by someone else.

Being scooped by rivals is especially risky for your top candidates. One recommended solution is to assign a “decide-by date” for candidates. This way you can focus your immediate time and attention first to the top-tier prospects, then to the second-tier prospects, and so on.

Categorize your prospects into tiers, type of jobs, or other characteristics. Otherwise, you risk drowning in an overwhelming number of candidates whose details you won’t remember. It may seem intuitive that a slow hiring process improves the quality of those you hire because you have more time to gather information and feedback before deciding. However, there is a trade-off as well. Slow hiring can also have the opposite effect because the longer you take, the lower the quality of new hires will be.

If you take too long to hire, you may have to pay new hires more because they will be bid on.

So, if your company is the first to approach and hire them before other companies have a chance to offer them something, they will most likely accept your initial salary offer. Contacting truck drivers sooner lowers the chances that they will be scooped up by rivals, or that rivals will drive up the salary negotiation process.

2. A Window to Communication on the Job

A big reason to contact truck drivers faster and often during the hiring process is that it is a strong indicator of workplace communication habits within the company. This is a reason often missed by recruiters because it has more to do with marketing than with HR. This goes to the heart of the dual function recruiters play in organizations.

In addition to facilitating the hiring process from point of contact through placement, recruiters also play a role in persuading top talent to join their fleets. The speed and flexibility of the hiring process can indicate to job candidates that the organization communicates with its employees well and makes decisions quickly.

A candidate might impress you by arriving early and proactively sending a thank-you note. Similarly, your company can impress candidates by contacting them quickly and offering as much information as possible.

According to a survey by the platform 15Five, only 15% of employees are “very satisfied” with the quality of communication within their companies. This leaves plenty of room for improvement, and any way to signal that your company values communication will be noticed by truck drivers.

3. Give Feedback on Resumes or Interviews

The traditional method is that a candidate applies, you review their materials, and schedule an interview. Some companies may touch base once or twice, or at times, the candidate only hears back once you’ve made a decision. But most candidates want to hear how they did, whether good or bad. In a LinkedIn survey, 94% of respondents said they want to receive feedback on their interviews.

Employers are afraid of upsetting candidates or gaining a bad reputation such that they avoid giving feedback entirely. However, if done right, you can give candidates extremely beneficial feedback. Talk about both positives and negatives, and you can maintain or even improve your company’s reputation.

Let them know that you were impressed by their materials and experiences. Then, lead with strengths before weaknesses. Inform them about what you liked or which skill or experience made them particularly strong. When addressing weaknesses, take care to phrase it delicately. “I would have loved to have heard more about….”, or “I didn’t get the chance to learn about…..” usually works best, regardless of whether the message is over phone or email.

Candidates might surprise you. Many people will thank you for the feedback, even if they aren’t the best match for the positions. This can boost your company’s reputation among truck drivers, and the good karma may come back to help you with a prospect highly suited for your fleet. Contact your prospects faster to give them feedback on how they did.

4. Start Talking Numbers Early

One final reason to contact truck drivers faster is to start talking about salary and compensation. Usually recruiters may mention numbers only with an offer and expect candidates to accept or negotiate for a higher salary.

If you start mentioning numbers mid-way through the recruiting process it actually has several advantages.

Bringing up the numbers early on signals your interest to your prospects. This makes it less likely that they will accept another offer by someone else. Second, the nature of salary and compensation becomes more transparent. Your prospects have very little idea if your offer is in line with their skills, what salary is typical at the company, and other factors that go into deciding the compensation package.

Most companies think it is in their interest to keep their prospects in the dark. In reality, it may be more beneficial to be transparent. Most candidates aren’t just looking for more money, but they want to know that they are being paid fairly. If your package is the best the company can afford to pay them, your prospects will want to know that.

A PayScale survey found that 82% of employees who were payed lower than industry average but whose employer was open about their salary were satisfied with their jobs.

It even helps to show your math: how did the company reach that figure? Contact truck drivers faster and be open and transparent about pay and benefits early in the game. Doing so will help you gain trust and build a stronger reputation for your company.

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What do truck drivers look for in jobs? What are the most important traits to them? These are the questions that pester recruiters in the back of their minds. Recruiters know that there is a driver shortage, and that truck drivers are looking for the best jobs they can find. If drivers aren’t happy then, they will quickly move on to finding another job with another fleet. We’ve written previously about the top factors truck drivers want. Here are some of the top traits of the best trucking jobs as drivers see them.

1. Salary and Compensation

Have no doubt about it—drivers are looking to be compensated well. Truck drivers are in high demand, and they know it. The salary and benefits of different jobs depend on a number of factors which may sometimes be out of your control. That being said, make sure you do everything you can to ensure that drivers are being paid well for the type of job they are taking on.

Compensating drivers below the industry average will raise red flags and impact your company’s reputation.

In addition to salary, there are many financial incentives you can consider, such as sign-on bonuses and paid time off. Some companies give their drivers a bonus for every year that they stay with the fleet. Make sure that drivers are receiving a simple pay statement that is easy to understand and has the accurate amount. Drivers don’t want to waste time following up with the payroll department for company errors.

2. Home Time

This is one of the most important traits of the best trucking jobs. The ideal trucking job doesn’t take OTR drivers out on the road for more than a week. If the run is local or regional, even better. While drivers realize that OTR jobs are necessary, they will expect their work schedules to reflect the sacrifice in home time. Ideally, there is a considerable amount of home time of several days between jobs.

Don’t forget, the average driver works 8 days straight before taking a break. Anything the company can do to shorten that schedule, or to add more home time after that schedule, will be something drivers will appreciate.

Most drivers will have families hoping to see them every week. Even truck drivers currently without families will crave downtime after being on the road for that long.

3. Mileage

The number of miles offered on a given job is one of the traits of the best trucking jobs. Some drivers may feel that the shorter the run, the more desirable the job. But, that isn’t always the case. Other drivers enjoy OTR jobs, and would rather have a longer job which pays more. It is completely up to driver preferences.

Most importantly, drivers will be upset if the advertised mileage doesn’t match the real mileage.

Similarly, if the other traits of the job are not what they were advertised to be, drivers will not trust your company. Word about company reputation can spread like wildfire.

4. Equipment

Truck drivers are often frustrated when dealing with shoddy equipment. Drivers routinely warn other drivers to stay away from companies just because of the reputation they have over equipment. A big factor in determining what’s a good truck driving job is the state of their trucks and equipment. Are the truck models recent and well maintained? Or are they falling apart?

Truck drivers don’t want to be held liable for maintenance failures on the company’s end. Nor do they want to have to spend time repairing the truck while they should be on the road getting to the next destination.

While your fleet doesn’t need to have the latest and greatest truck models, you should make sure they are well-maintained. Invest in quality equipment and truck drivers will consider jobs from your company to be some of the best.

5. Respect and Communication

Perhaps the biggest sign of a good job for truck drivers is how well they are treated by the company. Drivers view themselves as working professionals just like in any other industry. They are looking to be treated with respect by the company and by their peers and supervisors. Having respect for drivers means valuing their time and effort they put into the work.

Put most simply, drivers just want the company’s representatives to treat them they way they would like to be treated.

A big component of respect is how well the company communicates with drivers. Having an open line of communication where both parties feel their concerns are heard and understood will go a long way toward earning drivers’ trust. Make sure dispatchers and others are not speaking to drivers rudely or taking them for granted.

In addition to some of the monetary factors, things like respect and strong communication from the company are what make for a good truck driving job. Keep these traits in mind that drivers look for, and soon your company will be known for offering some of the best trucking jobs.

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communication with driversWhether you’re recruiting a new batch of drivers for your company or interacting with those who have been with you for years, communication with drivers is important. Successful communication with employees is crucial for any profession but comes with unique challenges in the trucking industry.

The nature of the work is that drivers will be on the road most of the time and communication rarely takes place in-person. To complicate matters, there is often a difference in culture between managers and drivers. Dispatchers need to communicate effectively with current drivers to make sure orders reach their destinations on time. Recruiters need to communicate well to make the best case for their company and sign new drivers. Keep these handy guidelines in mind for strong communication with drivers.

1. Be Curious and Understanding

The most important part of strong communication with drivers is good listening. This means you actually take time and effort to hear drivers’ concerns and then address them. Good listening isn’t just reactive. Don’t just wait for drivers to come to you with their concerns. Be curious enough to politely inquire about their needs and questions.

If you’re recruiting a new driver, you know which factors they are likely considering, so address them proactively.

If you’re getting feedback from veteran drivers, be curious about their preferences about type of haul, type of run, work schedule etc. Good listening doesn’t just end with curiosity. Once you’ve listened, try to understand things from their perspective.

You can’t walk a mile in their shoes, metaphorically speaking, but you can try to imagine the world from their eyes. Being understanding requires empathy for someone’s situation, which may not match your own. Drivers have stressful jobs and lives, and the more you can empathize with and understand their situation, they better you’ll listen and communicate with them.

2. Know When to Call or Video Conference…

Sometimes, the medium is the message. Choosing the proper communication method can make the difference between having successful communication or being left frustrated. Some issues are too long or complicated to discuss over text or email. Calling drivers’ cell phones is the most popular way to communicate with drivers for a good reason.

Most drivers will carry their phones with them 24-7, so if you need to deliver some quick but important and time-sensitive information, this is the way to go.

You can be brief and to the point, while also delivering the personal touch. Same thing holds for job prospects you’re trying to recruit—you can quickly touch base about some details and leave a strong impression in their minds.

Speaking of the personal touch, consider requesting video conferences for added face-time. It’s tough to get an in-person meeting with drivers or job candidates if they are on the road. Using video-conferencing is the next best thing. It will also preserve important non-verbal cues like eye contact and body language. Video interviews are also becoming a popular alternative to phone interviews. Save this for important and longer conversations that could use the added human touch of face-to-face interaction.

3. ..And Know When to Text or Email Instead

Knowing is half the battle. Sometimes, text or email is a better platform for communication. You don’t want to send a lengthy message over text. It’s best for short and sweet messages which are time-sensitive. Messages over text won’t require much elaboration or the personal touch to smooth things over.

Texting is a great way to communicate with drivers about quick updates or changes to the plan.

It is usually best when it’s a follow up to an ongoing conversation rather than springing up something unexpected. Don’t text as the first method of contact to job candidates—it’s just too impersonal! Your job prospects will want to feel like you’re making the effort and that they are worth a phone call. On the other hand, you can text to set up a phone call or ask someone to call back to discuss further details. Texting also gets around network coverage issues or background noise, because the message will go through eventually.

Reserve email for the most important and lengthy messages. Usually, email is best for sharing critical documents like job applications, contracts, insurance policies etc. Sometimes email can also be better than a phone call if you want to keep record of what was agreed upon. Human memory is fragile, and two people may remember different things from the same phone call. Having the written documentation available makes things less ambiguous.

4. Treat Drivers with Respect and Build Trust

This one cannot be overstated. None of your communication strategies and methods are going to work if drivers don’t feel that you’re treating you with respect.

It sounds like a no-brainer, yet this is one of the biggest complaints which drivers have—management doesn’t treat them with respect.

If you’re a recruiter making a first impression, this is even more important. Be careful not to speak too hurriedly, or if you’ve been stressed or anxious just before the interaction. Friendly and respectful communication is more engaging and will make a better impression.

Even if you’re interacting with drivers who have been with your fleet for ages, you should always speak to them as if it’s that very first time.

Drivers want to work for companies where they feel valued, respected, and part of the team. You don’t want someone to feel slighted because you implicitly suggested that management is more important than the drivers. Not only is that very far from the truth, but it will have drastic consequences.

Building trust is a consequence of all of these strong communication strategies and methods. Trust requires time and consistency. A relationship with your drivers is just like a relationship with anyone else- you build more trust if you keep interactions positive over a long period of time. Always being respectful, curious, and understanding, will lead to both parties developing trust and loyalty to each other. Loyal workers are less likely to be subject to turnover and more likely to refer other strong candidates to your company.

Don’t lose your companies strongest marketing asset! Treat drivers with respect and build trust over the years through good communication with drivers, and the payoffs will be enormous.

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You work so hard to recruit the best truck drivers for your fleet. The trick is retaining them. This guide is packed with tips for retaining your fleet.

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cdl truck drivers

Given the continual driver shortage, truck drivers have many options in deciding which companies and fleets to work for. Recruiters need to constantly differentiate themselves from other firms when interacting with job prospects. Recruiters are constantly guessing about how much drivers will care about different factors when weighing job options. Data from Drive My Way’s database revealed some interesting factors which CDL truck drivers care about when looking for a CDL trucking job.

Drive My Way’s unique service matches drivers with companies based on professional qualifications and lifestyle choices. We asked our drivers which factors are most important to them when they are deciding where to work. We were overwhelmed by the sheer number of responses and slightly surprised by the results. According to our Drive My Way drivers, here are the top seven factors CDL truck drivers consider when deciding where to work.

1. Pay

Okay, this one is not a big surprise, but it’s good to have some hard data behind recruiters’ instincts. Type and amount of pay is the number one reason drivers said they consider when looking for jobs. In fact, over 15,000 Drive My Way drivers cited this as the top reason.

Truckers know a shoddy deal when they see one, so they’ll be skeptical if your company is offering them pay less than the industry average.

In addition to salary, drivers also look for opportunities for raises, bonuses, and overtime rates. If they are driving specialty or unusual hauls which are more dangerous, they will expect those to pay better. Bottom line, if drivers aren’t paid competitively at your company, they’ll shop around for a company where they are.

2. Health Insurance

Salary isn’t the only important factor when it comes to compensation. Drivers care about a full benefits package, including health insurance. Over 12,000 Drive My Way drivers cited this as a factor they consider when applying for a new CDL job.

The costs of health insurance have risen over the last 10 years, and drivers look for the best packages that covers their health needs. Drivers with families especially look to cover as many family members as possible. Many families will need special coverage for very particular health needs, and if their employers only offer very basic packages they will look elsewhere for a better deal. Try to balance out factors like the deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance costs and have a portfolio of different insurance options for drivers to choose from.

3. Retirement Plans

When deciding where to work, CDL truck drivers consider retirement options. The average truck driver age is 49. Many drivers are only about two decades away from retirement, so if they haven’t started saving yet they will want to now. Even younger drivers are likely to be proactive and start thinking about retirement sooner rather than later. Overall, nearly 12,000 Drive My Way drivers cited retirement plans as a top factor they consider in a new CDL job.

Many employers offer retirement plans but don’t automatically enroll their staff into a default plan. The result is that drivers and other staff are overwhelmed with having to make those decisions and put it off indefinitely. Make the process easier for your drivers by having an automatic opt-in policy. Then, they have the choice to opt-out or choose a different plan. Saving for retirement is hard, but drivers know the importance. Let your job prospects know you can make the process easier for them, and they’ll remember your company as one that cares.

4. Type of Run/Range

Truck driving jobs have a great deal of variety. One of the most critical attributes that make them different is the type of run and range that exists. Not all drivers want jobs that take them coast-to-coast across the country. Over 11,000 drivers named the type of run as an essential factor when deciding where to work.

Some drivers will prefer over-the-road (OTR) work. However, since OTR drivers spend less time at home and live out of their truck, they expect to be compensated better. Other drivers prefer local runs or regional runs. Make sure you get to know your driver candidate’s preferences in what types of runs and range they’d like to cover.

5. Type of Schedule and Paid Time-Off

Home time is one of the most important factors drivers consider when looking for work. Over 11,000 Drive My Way drivers cited both of these—type of schedule and PTO —as top job factors they consider when applying to a new CDL trucking job.

The average driver works 70 hours a week and goes 8 days before taking a day off. That’s a rough schedule for anyone, but especially for drivers who may have families and children. Truck drivers know that the job entails sacrificing home time, but they hope the sacrifices aren’t unbearable. Drivers won’t hesitate to pursue another job if that schedule and PTO package suits their needs better.

6. Training and Development

Truck drivers may have some experience behind the wheel already, but it won’t compare to getting some actual training. Nearly 8,000 Drive My Way drivers cited training and development as a top factor they consider when looking for a new CDL job.

Any company training or orientation that your company provides will make them feel comfortable in the position and foster a sense of belonging with the company. Research shows that employees who feel they’ve been trained and groomed by the company will feel a greater sense of loyalty to that company. More and more drivers are now interested in professional development opportunities. Making training and development a core part of HR operations is something recruiters can do to make a strong case for drivers to work there and remain there for many years.

7. Type of Haul

Over 4,000 Drive My Way drivers expressed that the type of haul is an important factor for them in choosing a CDL jobs. If you aren’t taking into account driver preferences and specializations in hauls, you’re under-utilizing them! Some types of hauls will require special CDL endorsements or special permits, so make sure to equip your drivers with those. If they are already certified, it makes a placement choice all the more easier. Figuring out which hauls should be covered by which drivers can be a tricky business given other constraints, but make sure you ask your drivers about their skill and interest level in them.

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Just like any other employees, truck drivers consider a variety of factors when deciding which company to work for. Some factors are obvious, such as compensation and benefits. Some other factors may surprise you. As a recruiter, you may think that you’ve all but sealed the deal on a new candidate but then they end up declining the job. Drivers may not be open with you about why they declined the job, but it is useful for recruiters to have this information.

Drive My Way’s unique service matches drivers with companies based on professional qualifications and lifestyle choices. Sometimes our drivers turn down these offers by employers. We’ve asked our drivers why they turn down the jobs, and the results may be eye-opening. According to our Drive My Way drivers, here are the top seven reasons truck drivers decline jobs.

1. Another Job

The number one reason why drivers decline jobs is because they got scooped up by someone else. They were offered another job by a competitor and they thought the offer was too good to pass up.

As a recruiter, you know this is always a possibility you should try to avoid. Always be in touch with top prospects and know when is a good time to offer the position and sign them on. If you wait too long, you’re more than likely to lose the candidate to a recruiter from another company who was just quicker. In the Drive My Way database, over 3,200 drivers cited this as the reason they decline other jobs.

2. Salary

Okay, this one shouldn’t come as a major shock—drivers care about compensation. Considering the reality of the driver shortage, drivers have considerable bargaining power to be able to look for a better deal elsewhere. In the Drive My Way database, a whopping 1,500 drivers declined jobs because of the compensation.

The average yearly salary for truck drivers is around $41,000. But industry average doesn’t paint the whole picture. Driver pay should be dependent on a number of factors including years of experience, type of haul, and the overall benefit package. Offering packages above the industry average is the best practice, but make sure to take into account other factors when crafting a compensation package.

Bottom line, if drivers aren’t being payed as much as they think they deserve, they will not think twice about declining your job offer and looking elsewhere.

3. Hours, Schedule & Home Time

The third most cited reason truck drivers decline jobs is work schedule and home time. The average driver works 70 hours a week and goes 8 days before taking a day off.

That’s a tough schedule, especially for those with families. Finding time to spend with family can be difficult enough, but is especially rough for OTR truck drivers. In the Drive My Way database, over 1400 candidates cited schedule as a reason they declined job offers.

When recruiting candidates, take care to offer packages that will suit their schedule preferences. Drivers aren’t looking to slack off half the week—they’d just like to keep some time for home time. Get to know their family situations, lifestyle, work habits, and keep these in mind while offering packages. Keeping home-time a consideration not only shows drivers that you care about them as employees but builds a more productive and motivated workforce. Drivers are more likely to be retained long-term if they are happy with their work schedules.

But wait, I thought there were 7 driver decline reasons?

These are just the top three reasons truck drivers decline jobs offered by recruiters. But, this is just the tip of the iceberg. For the complete list of reasons that truck drivers decline jobs, download the complete ebook below.

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recruit millennial truck drivers

The driver shortage is in full force. The average age of truck drivers is nearing closer and closer to retirement age, with more drivers leaving the industry. Meanwhile, competition from the ride-share industry continues. That means that drivers can get lured into working for Lyft or Uber which may offer better pay or benefits. Due to these factors, many recruiters are looking to hire from a younger pool of candidates. As you plan for new hires, be sure to recruit millennial truck drivers.

Employers who recruit millennial truck drivers not only bring talented and enthusiastic new people to the company and industry but potentially sets up loyalty for years to come. But be careful—millennials value different things than the average truck driver. You won’t attract millennials to the industry by practicing business as usual, and you won’t retain them if they don’t feel valued.

Follow these guidelines to bring more millennial drivers into your fleet and keep them there longer.

1. Advertise to Millennials on Social Media

You should be using the latest digital marketing tools to advertise to everyone, but this is especially true for millennials.

This younger generation is always connected on smartphones, and often look toward social media for networking and job searching.

Creating engaging content on all social media channels will attract their attention, in addition to linking to specific job postings. Videos and other digital content will especially catch their eye. Use different channels—Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn—for different purposes or use them in tandem if needed. To reach your new audience, you have to actually meet them where they are.

2. Streamline the Application Process

This is another good practice in general, but particularly useful for a younger candidate pool. Millennials will be more tech-savvy than the current average truck driver.

If your job application process is long and tedious, you may lose many candidates who just don’t want to deal with the mess. You need to streamline the HR process.

First, your job application needs to be mobile-friendly. More likely than not, millennial job candidates will be accessing your job portal through their smartphone. Second, make sure you touch base with prospects ASAP over phone or text, ask what the best way is to stay in touch, and then actually use that method! Nothing can be more annoying than getting calls or emails when one has already voiced that isn’t ideal.

Lastly, make the job interview a little unique and interesting. Instead of outmoded and canned questions, ask about activities that may not be on the resume and get to know the complete individual. What young candidates may lack in work experience, they may make up in volunteer activities, academic studies, or life experiences in general. Consider convenience factors like interviews on the phone or through online video conferencing tools. Aim to be transparent about potentially tough issues like work-life balance, wellness benefits, company culture, and more.

3. Prioritize Work-Life Balance

Don’t assume that millennials are less likely to have an active family life and thus can be over-worked. Making this mistake will be a sure way to have new millennial drivers leave your company in a few months.

Millennials say they value work-life balance more than previous generations have. This is regardless of whether your younger drivers are married or single, or whether they have children or not.

Many millennials are struggling to balance and manage their careers, academics, and personal lives all at once. Being aware of these realities will help recruiters tailor the work schedule and type of run to the driver’s preferences. Making work-life balance a priority in your firm, and then highlighting it in the minds of young driver candidates will help you stand out compared to the competition.

4. Highlight Wellness Initiatives and Benefits

Of course, millennials will care about compensation, it’s just that they care about other things equally or greater. If you want to recruit millennial truck drivers, focus on the big picture. More than just salary, millennials will be curious to hear about your benefits packages.

With the costs of health insurance rising year after year, younger drivers will want to save as much money on benefits, even though they’re more likely to be in good health. Keep in mind that candidates who have just turned 26 will be on their own insurance plan for the first time.

In addition to the basic benefits, recruiters should highlight wellness initiatives and institute a culture of care. Basically, you want to reverse the idea that truck driving is necessarily an unhealthy career that will lead to health problems and a sedentary lifestyle. Initiatives that focus on finding ways to eat right and stay fit will show your candidates that there are ways to maintain good health. Let them know your company values promoting a healthy mind and body for all its employees.

5. Showcase Company Culture

Speaking of the company’s values, you should really highlight these to a millennial audience as a recruiter. Millennials will want careers with greater meaning and purpose than previous generations.

Many young people are willing to take a pay cut or change in work schedule if they find the work personally fulfilling and meaningful.

Your company should already be engaging in initiatives that make the work more meaningful for employees, so highlight those to your millennial candidates. Initiatives like professional development opportunities, mentoring programs, and employee appreciation events will foster a sense of belonging. Encouraging travel, pets, or upgrading fleet amenities shows that the company cares about the employee’s individual needs and values.

Millennials are people too! And while it’s tricky to generalize about such a large and diverse group of individuals, some themes have emerged from the research. Millennials are driven in their career more by passion than by financial needs or obligations. They will stay at otherwise difficult jobs and career paths if they find it fulfilling or meaningful. On the other hand, if millennials don’t feel valued at their jobs, or feel like they are making a difference, they will not hesitate to move on to a different company or industry as quickly as they can. Millennials value flexibility and work-life balance more than previous generations so recruiters need to get creative in offering these in their packages.

These guidelines will help you adapt to the times and recruit the next generation of drivers. If you follow them, chances are that you’ll find a strong pool of talented drivers. If you ignore them, you run the risk of millennial drivers being scooped up by competitors, or even other industries.

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Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

Current ways of recruiting truck drivers just don’t work anymore. That’s because recruiting isn’t a transaction. This ultimate guide helps carriers recruit for retention.

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