truck driver loyalty

When turnover is nearly 95% in the trucking industry, it’s tough to keep drivers over the long run. Add that to the shrinking pool of drivers available, and you have strong competition between carriers to keep drivers. Hiring and retention doesn’t need to be an arms race between carriers. Building truck driver loyalty from the beginning helps both drivers and carriers meet their goals. Recruiters can keep the best drivers with their carriers for longer if they build a sense of loyalty. Here are 4 ways to increase truck driver loyalty.

1. Driver feedback

Drivers will always have an opinion about the job and their carriers. Whether it’s complaints about the routes or satisfaction with the strong benefits, carriers should welcome all sorts of driver feedback. Don’t let feedback become one of those taboo matters which drivers just gossip about among themselves. If drivers know their feedback is welcome, they’ll be more likely to share it with the carrier instead of their peers. Make it easy to submit feedback whether it’s online or in-person.

Welcoming feedback isn’t enough. Carriers need to make sure they can do what they can to address drivers’ concerns. If a driver is unsatisfied with the home time she’s getting, it’s only a matter of time until she looks elsewhere for another job. Even if you can’t address all driver concerns and move heaven and earth for them, it matters enough that you tried. Drivers will notice and appreciate that you listened to them and made an effort on their behalf.

One of the biggest complaints drivers have is that they don’t feel respected and valued by their carriers.

If you can show drivers that you value their feedback and try to improve things for them, they’ll be more likely to remain loyal to the carrier.

2. Strong communication

One-on-one communication with all your drivers is essential to building truck driver loyalty. In this era of smartphones and email, it’s easy to think that you can communicate through technology and reap all the benefits. Don’t just communicate with drivers to discuss transactional matters—communicate to build a relationship! If building relationships is the goal, then you need to talk with your drivers one-on-one and in-person. Even the occasional friendly chat or check-in about their work and family life will be appreciated by drivers. If you’re running low on time, even a phone call makes a difference. Drivers shouldn’t go too long without having a personal and friendly interaction with management which will foster a sense of loyalty.

3. Look beyond benefits

It’s important to remember which factors truck drivers consider before accepting a job. Carriers can position themselves to make certain that they are meeting the needs of drivers. It also helps to keep in mind the reasons why drivers declined jobs, because they didn’t offer certain benefits. If you sift through these data, you’ll find some surprising insights about what drivers value. Often, it’s not just the pay and health benefits that drivers are considering. Some of the most important factors drivers take into account are things like home time, the equipment used, a take-truck-home program, or no touch freight.

Building the right factors into the job helps build truck driver loyalty.

Home time, PTO, and vacation days are something almost all truck drivers will value so they can get some much-needed rest between runs. Some drivers will look for a spouse program or a pet program so they can get some companionship while on the road as well. Finally, carriers can offer professional development opportunities to drivers who are thinking ahead towards their whole career path. Taking simple steps to include these programs to meet driver needs will go a long way toward building truck driver loyalty.

4. Build driver-centric culture

Finally, it’s important to remember the bigger picture about why carriers should take all these measures. The end goal is to create a strong company culture which drivers can identify with. Building a driver-centric culture shows truckers that they are valued and respected. Driver appreciation ideas and engagement surveys are all means to this end. People look for jobs which satisfy a whole range of needs, including psychological and social needs. Don’t forget Maslow’s pyramid of needs and what it means for the workplace.

Drivers will look for jobs where they find personal fulfillment and a sense of belonging, not just simple job satisfaction.

Soliciting and acting on driver feedback, along with offering the right benefits, all signal to drivers that they can call this carrier their home.

The industry’s turnover and driver shortage problem aren’t leaving anytime soon. However, there’s still plenty that carriers can do to retain driver over the long-term by building truck driver loyalty. The truth is that drivers and carriers both benefit from long-term retention with the same carrier. Drivers won’t have to move from job to job in search of the perfect position which satisfies their needs. Carriers won’t have to engage in an arms race to compete over a smaller and smaller pool of rotating drivers. Use these ways to increase truck driver loyalty and keep your strongest drivers for years.

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Increase Driver Loyalty

We partner with employers to help them make meaningful connections and recruit for retention.

DEMO THE PLATFORM 

As a recruiter in the fast-paced trucking industry, there are many challenges and obstacles in your job. You have a limited budget and need to fill a high number of driving positions within a short period of time. It’s tempting then, to treat truck driver candidates as leads instead of people. Treating drivers simply as a number will lead you to miss important information to help with your recruitment. Worse, it can be very off-putting to drivers who are looking to find meaning and value in their work. The truth is that treating drivers like people, and not just leads, is helpful to both recruiters and drivers. Here’s a look at why.

1. Reach targeted driver matches

Probably the biggest reason to treat drivers as people and not leads is because, well, they are people! Individual people have different skills, career goals, and job preferences. If you’re looking at candidates simply as leads without any specific qualities, you run the risk of believing that you can fill any job with any driver. Most recruiters know that drivers need to be qualified for particular jobs, but it goes beyond just qualifications.

To find the best matches for your jobs, you need to take into account driver preferences, and not just qualifications.

Some drivers may prefer less home time while others need to be with their families at least once every few days. Newer drivers may prefer the newest model trucks, while seasoned veterans would be more comfortable with classic and reliable models. Finding the right driver for each position requires you to get to know the priorities, goals, and preferences of each individual. Your recruiting becomes more precise and accurate when you treat drivers like people. From a driver perspective, it is also helpful because you’re meeting their needs and they’d be more likely to be productive and perform at their best level.

2. Make recruiting efficient

Recruiters have limited time and resources to fill a large number of jobs fairly quickly. As a recruiter, you may be tempted to contact an endless list of job candidates to quickly land hires. This may work in the short-term, but you’ll likely lose many of those drivers in just a few months. Focusing on quantity instead of quality will only work for so long, and you definitely won’t find the best drivers for job. As mentioned above, focusing on matches will help you hire the best candidate for each job. Treating drivers like individual people will also save you time by contacting and cultivating only your top matches.

Instead of losing time and money by blindly calling an endless list of candidates, you can invest your limited time on the top matches for each job.

Focus your energies on specific, interested drivers and move them through your recruiting pipeline all the way to onboarding. From the driver’s perspective, they would appreciate this as you can get their questions answered quickly without them waiting around too long. This also keeps the interaction about the specific jobs they want, instead of soliciting them about random jobs they weren’t ever interested in or suited for.

3. Recruit for retention

Treating drivers like people will help you recruit with more lasting value. Drivers who feel treated like people will be more likely to stick around longer. The trucking industry is notorious for high turnover, and some recruiters forget some of the solutions are this simple. The simple fact is that drivers don’t want to leave their carriers after just a few months. Most drivers would be very happy to find long-term jobs that fulfill all their needs and keeps them gainfully employed for many years. Drivers are simply looking for meaningful jobs that give them a sense that they belong.

Treating drivers like people is the only way they will feel dignified and respected as professionals.

This starts with carefully matching them with jobs that suit their needs but doesn’t stop there. Valuing truck drivers throughout their career means routinely checking in to make sure they are satisfied with the job. Driver engagement surveys and driver appreciation ideas all serve this same purpose. Drivers are sick of hearing empty promises which aren’t delivered on. Instead, be straightforward with them about what they can expect from the job, and what you can hope to realistically deliver to them. This refreshingly honest attitude can win drivers over. When drivers don’t feel lied to and cheated, they are less likely to leave your fleet.

When drivers are fully valued as individual people, you’re more likely to retain them for years on end.

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.

Get the Ebook

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In an industry like trucking, a few bad mistakes when recruiting truck drivers can set a company back significantly, leaving your trucks unoccupied shortly after you fill them. Here are 3 mistakes to avoid when recruiting truck drivers for you CDL jobs.

1. Stop Having a Long Response Time

In this highly-competitive market, it’s critical that recruiters reduce their response time to drivers as much as possible. When a driver inquires about a job, it’s essential that the recruiter contacts that driver within minutes of receiving the expressed interest.

The reasoning is drivers are contacted constantly by countless companies about a variety of jobs. Waiting too long to respond to their inquiry will increase the probability that the driver won’t remember your job standing out in the mix of everything else they expressed interest in.

According to industry research, recruiters who contact drivers within 5 minutes of receiving their inquiry drastically increase the probability of speaking to the driver.

The longer you take to contact your prospects, the more likely it is they will be driving for a different fleet. As we’ve mentioned in our Top 7 Reasons Truck Drivers Decline Your CDL Jobs eBook, the number one reason drivers decline is because they got another job faster.

2. Stop Sorting Through Unqualified Leads

Recruiters don’t have time to waste. Their task lists are typically never-ending and every minute of their work day is allocated to a specific task. However, many recruiters tell us they get sucked in to sorting through unqualified leads for their CDL jobs, wasting countless hours each week.

That’s because most truck driver recruiting platforms are focused on delivering as many leads as possible instead of only delivering qualified drivers that actually match with the job.

It’s frustrating for a recruiter to sort through hundreds of leads each day, only to have nothing to show for it at the end of the week. Recruiters that focus on finding the right candidate for their position will not only improve their hiring process, but will also start recruiting for retention.

However, it’s important to note that attracting qualified candidates for a job requires a company to clearly specify what they are looking for. The job description and advertisement must explicitly state compensation, home time, benefits, etc. in order to match with a driver that is truly looking for that job from a professional and personal standpoint.

3. Stop Ignoring Driver Feedback

Companies who are dedicated to having and maintaining a great reputation constantly listen to drivers, make adjustments to their strategy, and revise their recruiting methods accordingly.

Too often we hear about drivers who share their feedback with a company only to never see it implemented. Now, we fully recognize that not all driver feedback is applicable. But, when a recruiter receives a gold nugget from a driver, using it to improve should be the action taken.

In addition, companies often receive feedback from drivers in regards to pay, home time, etc. on a variety of advertisements they deploy for their jobs. These are a great way to see inside of a driver’s mind and objectively assess how the company stacks up in the market. Take this real-time feedback seriously, engage with the drivers, and make changes when applicable.

Avoiding these common truck driver recruiting mistakes will set employers up for success in the market, allowing them to fill their trucks faster, and better yet, keep them full longer.

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.

Get the Ebook

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