Catching the attention of qualified drivers who would be the right fit for your company is easier said than done in today’s highly competitive market.  

 

With the post-Covid influx of new carriers, changing recruiting methods, and the ongoing driver shortage, attracting and retaining top talent has become increasingly challenging.  

 

However, by crafting a job description that not only outlines the responsibilities of the role but also highlights the unique benefits and opportunities your company offers, you can differentiate yourself from the competition and appeal to the drivers who align with your company culture and values. 

 

Keep reading to find out why specificity and open communication are essential to creating a successful job description, and how these strategies could increase your retention rates and overall employee satisfaction.  

Open Communication Starts Here 

A job description sets the tone for the driver’s entire perception of a company. If the description is transparent, honest, and detailed, a driver can know what to expect even before the first interview.  

 

It is important that a job description displays your company’s commitment to open communication and transparency. Be sure to include multiple points of contact, including text message, phone call, and email. Truck drivers are busy people, and often only have access to mobile phones on a limited schedule.  

 

Any contact information given should also correlate to an actual person who will remain readily available to answer questions and talk with applicants. If drivers feel welcomed and supported from the get-go, they are much more likely to finish the application and become invested in the company.  

Transparency is Key  

The point of a job description is for a driver to fully understand what the position is offering. A description should include all responsibilities, expectations, requirements, benefits, and when the driver is eligible for them.  

 

Whether you’re a big or small company, know your strengths and be sure to highlight them. Whether that’s competitive pay, an inclusive benefits package, or guaranteed weekends at home, these are the main selling points of any job posting.  

 

However, most applicants will have been in the industry for years and worked for multiple employers. They will quickly detect if there is any information you are trying to hide or embellish.  

 

While it may be tempting to focus solely on the positive aspects of the position, omitting certain details can lead to misunderstandings or dissatisfaction down the line. Highlighting competitive pay and attractive benefits is important, but it is equally crucial to be transparent about the potential challenges or drawbacks of the role. This includes factors such as demanding schedules, extended time away from home, or the physical demands of the job. 

Be Specific  

To be fully transparent, a good job description should include all the details of the position. The more specific a description is, the more likely applicants are to feel confident that nothing is being intentionally hidden and begin to build trust in a company.  

 

For example, in today’s competitive hiring landscape, simply listing an hourly rate or cost per mile is not enough to bring in new drivers. Drivers want to know not only that you pay 55 cents per mile or $25 per hour, but also what that means for their average weekly or annual pay when considering down time between loads.  

 

If there is a possibility that drivers will be required to work some or all weekends, be sure to include this as well. Schedules are liable to change in an industry like trucking, but no driver wants to be blindsided when actual job expectations don’t align with what was in the description.  

 

Specific job descriptions also help attract candidates who possess the exact qualifications and experience you’re seeking. If you specify the kind of truck required, such as flatbed or tanker, and the route type, you’ll attract candidates with relevant experience in those areas and reduce applications from unqualified candidates.  

 

A job description might seem like a small step in the grand scheme of recruiting, onboarding, and retaining drivers, but it’s key to setting the scene for a driver’s overall experience and expectations of a company.  

 

If you’re wondering what your own drivers have to say about your initial job postings and recruiting process, consider employee engagement surveys or anonymous feedback forms to gather real input on how to improve your company strategies.  

 

For more information recruiting advice and the newest industry trends, be sure to check out our other Employer Blog Posts and follow us on social media 

Life is change. Every aspect of life brings unique moments of transitions, whether personal or professional. A new job, a changing family dynamic, a big move, a worldview or cultural shift – to name only a very few. Transitioning into military life, and then eventually reversing that shift back into civilian life is perhaps one of the most dramatic transitions that American adults routinely make, yet this change can be largely unsupported for many veterans, including those who enter the trucking industry. 

Sergeant David Pike, Director of Recruiting for NFI, is on a mission to help bridge that gap for his fellow service members. This article sheds light on the unique experiences and hurdles faced by veterans as they make the transition to civilian life. We also highlight the ongoing work of NFI, a company committed to supporting veterans in their journey. As Sgt. Pike continues to share his story and champion programs supporting veterans in trucking, we hope you’ll join us in the conversation by asking the veterans on your own team, “How are you today?” and “How can I help make a meaningful change for veterans in this workplace?” 

Visible and Invisible Challenges

Transitioning from military to civilian life brings about challenges that often remain invisible to those unfamiliar with the journey. In 1980, approximately 18% of U.S. adults were military veterans. As of 2022, that number has fallen to only 6% (Pew Research Center, 2023). In other words, if you are a veteran transitioning from military service to civilian life today, only about 1 in every 17 adults has been through a similar experience. In contrast, that number is much higher in the transportation industry. 1 out of every 10 truckers in the United States is a veteran (United States Census Bureau).

In the military to civilian transition, veterans may be given basic re-entrance resources through programs such as the Transition Assistance Program from the U.S. Government. However, the reacclimation process of adapting to new routines and organization structures, translating military skills into civilian jobs, confronting mental health concerns, and reconstructing personal relationships requires persistent, ongoing effort. 

Sgt. Pike shared a recent interview that he watched that he felt captured the challenges of a military to civilian transition:

It was a Marine veteran [speaking] about the military. You’re just not allowed to show weakness, no matter how painfully you’re struggling inside. I don’t care if your spouse is cheating on you, I don’t care. If you’re going through bankruptcy, I don’t care. If your child is in the hospital, I don’t care. When you show up in uniform, you have to show 100% strength or your troops don’t follow. That’s armor.

Now, when we enter the civilian world, zero help is given to any veteran of how to take that armor off. We’re great leaders, and soldiers will follow because they know that is the order of rank and structure. And secondly, in combat, if they don’t do it, people will die. That is not the structure in civilian life, and that is a huge struggle for so many of our veterans that manifests itself into a lot of mental health struggles.

Employers can help smooth this transition with intentional, sustainable support.

Showing Commitment as a Carrier

Addressing the challenges of transitioning to civilian life requires a concerted effort from both veterans and the organizations that aim to support them. As an employer in trucking, there are large and small ways to increase your support for veterans. Veterans In Trucking suggests starting with high-visibility actions like displaying the American flag online, recognizing service with decals on rigs, or clearly partnering with organizations that honor veterans. In our conversation, Sgt. Pike also shared NFI’s growing initiatives and his hopes to amplify industry-wide conversations to better support veterans who are truck drivers. 

Once service members have joined your team, creating a supportive environment of like-minded individuals is key. NFI does this through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). One of their ERG’s, the Veterans Engagement Team (VET), is specifically designed to connect, serve, and advocate for Veterans within NFI and throughout the communities where they operate. In 2023, NFI surveyed the members of VET about their top concerns and priorities for the coming year. An overwhelming 57% of respondents indicated that they wanted to focus on the transition from military to civilian life as a crucial issue. 

We don’t have enough resources built for our veterans, we don’t have enough of the ability for veterans to transition from military to civilian life. So when we got those results back in [from the VET survey], out of roughly 50 responses, transition to civilian life was 57%. The next closest one was veteran suicide at 46%. I think that we have to be better in tune with what our veterans are asking for, without them actually asking for it.  

– Sgt. David Pike

Pike shared that, as the head of the recruiting team, he is leading efforts to distribute welcome packets with easily accessible resources, create a mentorship program, and actively aligning themselves with and supporting charitable organizations that benefit veterans. This is just one example of how employers can support veterans.

Seek the Cause, not the Symptoms

Speaking with Sgt. Pike highlighted a crucial distinction between symptoms and causes in the context of veteran support. While symptoms, like poor mental health, are undeniably significant, it’s equally vital to address the underlying causes, particularly the lack of robust transition resources for veterans. Poor mental health, including conditions like PTSD, anxiety, or depression, is a symptom resulting from the challenges veterans face during their transition to civilian life. However, these challenges are often rooted in systemic issues such as insufficient support networks, inadequate recognition of military-acquired skills, and a general lack of awareness among employers. It’s imperative to go beyond treating the symptoms by focusing on comprehensive solutions that tackle the root causes. 

By enhancing transition resources, including targeted programs, education for employers, and initiatives fostering understanding, the trucking industry can proactively address the core issues contributing to poor mental, emotional, or physical health among veterans. 

A Call to Arms

Bridging the gap for veterans transitioning to civilian life is a collective responsibility that requires both individual and organizational commitment. Sgt. David Pike’s dedication to this cause sheds light on the challenges faced by veterans entering the trucking industry and underscores the importance of proactive measures to support their journey. 

As veterans navigate the visible and invisible challenges of the military to civilian transition, it is evident that addressing symptoms alone is insufficient. NFI’s commitment, exemplified through initiatives like the Veterans Engagement Team (VET) and strategic partnerships with charitable organizations, serves as a promising blueprint. By actively engaging in the military-to-civilian transition dialogue and developing tailored support, NFI showcases tangible steps employers can take. However, the true impact lies in recognizing and addressing the systemic issues underpinning the challenges faced by veterans. Employers in the trucking industry must not only address the symptoms but also invest in comprehensive solutions.

A holistic approach must delve into the root causes. It is imperative for employers to go beyond symbolic gestures and that they actively invest in robust transition resources, provide recognition and education for military-acquired skills, and contribute to creating workplaces that honor and support the well-being of those who have served our country.

CDL driver onboarding

Onboarding is one of the most important parts of the recruiting process. It can convince a new driver to stay on the team for the next decade, or it can send them packing before their first shift begins.  

 

An effective onboarding process sets the tone for the entire driver experience, from the moment they’re hired to the long haul ahead. In a career like truck driving, the onboarding process is especially important to cover safety regulations, how to manage equipment, and the relationships between dispatch, management, and drivers.  

 

Wondering how to implement innovative onboarding techniques that engage truck drivers of all experience levels? Keep reading to find out what strategies to keep in mind to streamline your onboarding process and set your drivers up for success.  

 

Clear Communication is Key  

An effective onboarding process establishes clear communication channels from the start. Different drivers may prefer different methods of contact, so it helps to offer various channels such as phone calls, emails, text messages, and instant messaging apps. 

 

Some companies encourage communication by assigning a dedicated contact person to each driver. This personalized approach fosters trust and encourages open communication to address any questions or concerns drivers have throughout the process.  

 

Regular updates are essential to keep drivers informed about any changes or updates relevant to their role, and to ensure new hires feel quickly integrated into company culture. Frequent touchpoints also demonstrate transparency and help drivers stay engaged and prepared. 

 

It’s important to remember that communication goes both ways. This is why implementing feedback mechanisms, such as engagement surveys, suggestion boxes, or one-one-one meetings, shows drivers that their opinions are valued and can lead to improvements in communication and onboarding processes. 

 

Invest in Technology  

Integrating modern technology solutions is one of the best methods to streamline the onboarding process and make it easier for both drivers and employers. Reducing the time a driver spends completing the hiring and onboarding processes can have immediate payoffs by improving employee satisfaction and decreasing driver turnover.  

 

Manual paperwork is time-consuming and error-prone, and often results in drivers needing to rewrite the same information over and over. By implementing electronic document management systems, essential information can be gathered more efficiently and easily stored and retrieved.  

 

Applicant tracking systems also help to organize the onboarding process by centralizing important data and ensuring that each driver completes the required steps efficiently and effectively. These systems automate tasks such as collecting applicant information to repopulate other forms, saving drivers time and effort.  

 

Along with diminishing the time drivers spend filling out redundant data, applicant tracking systems can assist with scheduling interviews and conducting background checks, helping to streamline the hiring process and ensure compliance with hiring regulations.  

 

Another way technology can improve the onboarding process is by creating mobile-friendly options to submit and sign important documents, access digital training materials, and communicate with HR or mentors.  

 

A digital onboarding portal can provide new hires with centralized access to interactive training modules, orientation videos, company policies, and onboarding checklists in a structured and user-friendly platform. The flexibility of remote onboarding and training will also attract busy drivers that value completing essential onboarding tasks at their own pace and schedule. 

 

Consider Mentor Programs  

A proven strategy to increase driver retention rates and foster a culture of support and continuous learning is through offering mentor or buddy programs. These work by pairing new hires with seasoned drivers to provide insights and career advice, even beyond the onboarding process.  

 

Mentors can share practical tips, best safety practices, and real-world insights that may not be covered in formal training programs, while helping new drivers quickly integrate into the company’s culture.  

 

The various processes and paperwork required throughout onboarding can often feel repetitive and impersonal, but mentor programs demonstrate that a company is invested in their employees and their success. Feeling welcomed and connected to a company from the start can increase driver retention and engagement while creating a work environment of communication and support.  

 

Create a Cohesive Onboarding Checklist  

A disorganized recruiting and onboarding process doesn’t just waste time and money, it can also result in dissatisfied drivers that will increase your turnover rates. 

 

By having a structured checklist for the onboarding process, employers ensure that no important steps are missed and that every driver has a smooth introduction to the company. A checklist also helps employers avoid delays in processing and allows HR to track the progress of every new driver.  

 

Since onboarding can be a complex process with multiple steps, a checklist breaks down each step into manageable tasks, providing clear guidance to both the employer and the new hire on what needs to be done and in what order. Additionally, a checklist helps to standardize the onboarding process across all new hires, ensuring consistency and fairness. This can be especially important for larger companies with multiple locations or hiring managers. 

 

 

 

 

For more advice on boosting your recruiting efforts, be sure to check out the rest of our Employer Blog posts and follow us on social media.  

How to Recruit Gen-Z Drivers Entering the Workforce

The future of the trucking industry will soon be in the hands of drivers who right now might not even be old enough to obtain a CDL.  

 

Although this could seem worrisome to industry veterans, in a field as dynamic and impactful as transportation and logistics, growth, innovation, and evolution are essential to ensure the continued success of truck drivers and carriers nationwide.  

 

Recruiting Gen-Z drivers has become key to overcoming ongoing issues plaguing the industry, such as the driver shortage, high turnover rates, and the slow adaptation of advanced technology.  

 

Keep reading to find out why hiring Gen-Z drivers is becoming increasingly important, and how you can cater your recruiting efforts to appeal to young drivers just entering the workforce.  

 

First, Understand Gen-Z Priorities 

To attract and retain Gen-Z drivers, recruiters must understand what motivates them.  

 

In general, Gen-Z refers to anyone born between 1997-2012. This represents about 20% of the US population, and nearly 30% worldwide.  

 

A group that is large has the potential to greatly impact recruiting practices in every field, so it’s important to recognize their preferences and priorities. More than any generation before, Gen-Z drivers value fair pay, a work/life balance, and opportunities for professional development. They prefer authenticity in messaging and expect to have the chance to provide feedback on company policies.  

 

Gen-Z drivers are also more likely to ask about safety, company diversity, and further educational opportunities. Considering the priorities and interests of these younger drivers is a key step in tailoring your recruiting efforts and hiring practices to effectively appeal to this growing sector of the workforce.  

 

Utilize Technology  

The best way to reach out and connect with Gen-Z drivers is through technology. As the definition of a generation raised on the internet, younger candidates will respond better to recruiting strategies that utilize technology, and, when hired, will be able to assist employers in adapting the newest technological solutions.  

 

From the first touchpoint with Gen-Z candidates, ensure that your hiring process is easily accessible from anywhere and utilizes multiple digital platforms, while remaining personalized and authentic.  

 

Truck drivers in general are constantly on the move and often only have access to digital information through a smartphone, so applications should be streamlined and easy to fill out. Instead of gathering all the necessary information in the first application, consider shortening the form and instead finding out more information in a follow-up call or email.  

 

When advertising open positions to Gen-Z candidates, it is important to utilize multiple social media and digital recruiting platforms, such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter. Recruiters should also be available to talk by a wide range of methods throughout the entire process, including by phone call, text message, email, and in-person.  

 

Gen-Z drivers are more likely to be attracted to carriers advertising the newest technologies, making investing in advanced safety features, digital freight matching, and route optimization software a smart decision in the long run. Besides the innate benefits of technology, Gen-Z drivers will be comfortable using these services and will gravitate towards fleets that prioritize innovation and efficiency. 

 

Emphasize Education and Training 

Gen-Z drivers strongly value opportunities for growth and development, making it important to offer options to further your driver’s education and training.  

 

Promote professional growth by offering career pathways and clearly outlining career progression within the company. Emphasize how even the newest recruits can move from entry-level positions to more specialized roles to foster a healthy sense of competition and hard work.  

 

Gen-Z drivers will also appreciate the chance to develop new skills through continuous learning programs such as industry certifications, workshops, and mentorship opportunities.  

 

Tuition reimbursement for the costs of CDL school is another benefit that is likely to attract younger drivers. Whether done in full, partially, or incrementally over time, tuition reimbursement has been proven to increase driver retention rates and underscore an employer’s commitment to investing in their drivers’ education.  

 

Authenticity Counts  

Often considered a more cynical generation than any before, authenticity is essential in recruiting and retaining Gen-Z drivers.  

 

They know that job postings are available for any qualified candidate, but they still want to feel like the messaging is sincere and targeted. This can be where the importance of brand advertising and a clear brand identity comes to play. By creating a distinct voice and “driver-centric” perspective for your company, you are more likely to connect with all candidates, including those who aren’t even actively seeking a new job.  

 

From frequent posts on social media to highlight company culture to offering competitive pay and benefits, there are many ways to prove your company as a driver-centric organization that values individual feedback and prioritizes the well-being and growth of its drivers.  

 

Driver engagement surveys and one-on-one meetings are valuable methods to garner real feedback and assess overall driver satisfaction rates. However, like any feedback method, actual changes must take place based on driver input, or they will feel inauthentic and disingenuous.  

 

A Sense of Responsibility  

Gen-Z is also known as the generation that most values a sense of responsibility and giving back. Whether it’s concerning the environment or combating workplace inequalities, Gen-Z drivers are more likely to work for and remain at companies that demonstrate a commitment to these issues as well.  

 

Embracing modern modes of sustainable transportation such as electric vehicles and fleet management software won’t just save your carrier more money and time overall, it will also attract forward-thinking drivers who want to be a part of the future of the transportation industry.  

 

Gen-Z drivers also value an emphasis on equality and the inclusion of underrepresented communities in the industry. Consider promoting safety training and support systems for female drivers, while encouraging recruiters to diversify their candidate selection pools and implementing inclusive policies that cater to diverse backgrounds and perspectives. 

 

 

For more advice on updating your recruiting methods and increasing driver retention rates, be sure to follow us on social media and check out the rest of our Employer Blog posts.  

What Does It Mean to be Driver-Centric?

In a rapidly evolving industry, the term “driver-centric” has emerged as a pivotal approach for truck driver employers and recruiters to attract top talent and decrease high turnover rates.  

 

A driver-centric company prioritizes the needs, well-being, and satisfaction of truck drivers throughout every aspect of the recruitment and employment process. From the initial application process, through orientaion, and every day behind the wheel, a driver-centric approach acknowledges the indispensable role of CDL drivers and aims to create a supportive and fulfilling environment for them.  

 

Keep reading to find out what a driver-centric approach really entails, and how to transform your recruitment methods to increase employee satisfaction while attracting and retaining qualified drivers.  

 

Understanding the Driver Perspective  

To adopt a driver-centric mindset, recruiters and employers must first understand the unique challenges, aspirations, and needs of truck drivers.  

 

This involves recognizing the demanding nature of the job, including long hours on the road, time away from home, and the importance of work/life balance. Additionally, acknowledging the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and motivations of drivers is crucial for tailoring recruitment strategies and employment practices effectively. 

 

Listening to your drivers and responding to their feedback is also key to demonstrating your commitment to driver needs and experiences. Consider implementing driver programs that display this commitment, such as one-on-one meetings, driver adivisory groups,  driver engagement surveys, or platforms for anonymous suggestions. Although seeing members of the team depart is always difficult, it is also important to conduct detailed exit interviews to gauge driver satisfaction levels.  

 

Driver recruitment methods should always take into account the driver perspective and meet candidates where they’re at. Utilize multiple social media platforms to broaden the scope of your reach and target all drivers, regardless of whether or not they’re actively seeking a job or not.  

 

Investing in Drivers 

Being driver-centric also means investing in training and development and optimizing processes to make a positive recruitment experience for every candidate.  

 

Ensure that your online application is user-friendly and optimized for mobile devices, and consider implementing features like an e-signature to streamline the application process. Leveraging online solutions for verification, such as VOE and Clearinghouse, will also save both applicants and recruiters time and energy.  

 

Drivers appreciate efficient and convenient communication, so it is important to utilize multiple channels for interviews and updates, such as texting and video chat. Touchpoints are essential throughout the entire application process to keep candidates on the same page and demonstrate your company’s commitment to communication and transparency.  

 

Additionally, investing in professional development programs, safety training, and skills enhancement initiatives are key strategies to support drivers’ career advancement and personal growth. Providing access to resources, mentorship opportunities, and feedback mechanisms fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement that will attract qualified drivers looking to grow with the company.  

 

Driver-Centric Pay & Compensation 

Is pay the most important factor in driver recruitment? 

 

This is a question that many recruiters and employers ask themselves, and it’s paramount to consider when taking a driver-centric approach to recruiting. The answer is that many factors are extremely important to CDL drivers, but compensation and benefits often top the list, such as in Drive My Way’s 2023 Driver Happiness Report 

 

That is why offering competitive compensation and benefits is essential for attracting and retaining top talent in the trucking industry. Driver-centric employers must recognize the value of fair pay, including competitive wages, performance-based incentives, and opportunities for bonuses. 

 

Moreover, comprehensive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time-off contribute to the overall well-being and job satisfaction of truck drivers. Many employers implement driver reward programs such as referral bonuses, anniversary gifts, or awards such as driver of the quarter or year.  

 

If your company pays per mile driven, make sure to optimize your drivers mileage by reducing down time between loads and creating more efficient routes through technology such as telematics and digital freight matching.  

 

Emphasize Health & Safety 

Another way to show that your company puts drivers first is by focusing on employee health and safety.  

 

In the trucking industry, this involves implementing rigorous safety protocols, promoting adherence to regulations, and providing access to wellness programs and resources. Proactive measures such as regular health screenings, ergonomic equipment, and fatigue management strategies also contribute to creating a safe and supportive work environment for drivers. 

 

Reminding drivers of the importance of eating well, taking breaks, and remaining active while on the road will create a healthier and happier fleet of drivers.  

 

In a profession as potentially isolating and lonely as trucking, prioritizing and protecting mental health is just as important as physical health. Suggest resources to your drivers such as BetterHelp, which is an online platform that provides access to licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists.  

 

 

At its core, being a driver-centric company means that your drivers earn a reasonable living while maintaining a work/life balance in an environment that is suitable to them. However, truly being driver-centric is not something that employers decide, it is a reputation earned through the experience of every driver and employee.  

 

For more tips and tricks to improve your driver recruitment and retention methods, be sure to stay up-to-date on our Employer Blog posts and connect with us on social media 

 

 

Diversify Your Truck Driver Candidate Pool

In today’s highly competitive market, there’s no “one size fits all” approach to recruiting and retaining qualified truck drivers.  

 

Recruiters must be willing to explore a variety of strategies and sources to find top talent and build strong, reliable teams. By increasing the scope of your recruiting efforts and demonstrating your commitment to the needs of all your drivers, you not only enhance the diversity of your candidate selection pool, but also foster a culture of inclusivity and understanding within your company.  

 

Keep reading to find out why diversifying your candidate selection pool contributes to a more dynamic and innovative workforce, and how expanding your recruiting efforts could position your company for long-term success in the ever-evolving landscape of the transportation industry. 

 

Why does this matter? 

You might wonder why you should expand your candidate selection pool if you’ve seen continued success from your long-time sourcing strategies.  

 

Even if you have a steady stream of applicants and a team of quality drivers, it’s still important to focus on future growth and prepare for potential changes in the industry. By expanding your candidate selection pool, you not only mitigate risks associated with unforeseen challenges, but also ensure adaptability and resilience in the face of evolving demands and opportunities. 

 

Sourcing your candidates from a diverse array of backgrounds, experience levels, and skill-sets also improves the overall function of your company. Diversity is not just a buzzword, it is something that helps companies better reflect the communities they serve while driving innovation and improved decision-making.  

 

Diverse teams offer a wider variety of perspectives and experiences, which leads to more effective problem-solving and creative solutions. In a field like trucking, where split-second decisions can have a large impact, diverse perspectives also enhance safety and efficiency.  

 

Broaden your reach  

The best approach to diversify your candidate selection pool is to source your drivers from a variety of channels. It’s important not to rely on a single method, especially as technologies change and the industry continues to grow.  

 

In today’s industry, social media should play a large role in your recruiting efforts, alongside traditional methods such as flyers, recruiting fairs, and team referral benefits. Meet drivers where they’re at by posting to a variety of online job boards and social media platforms, ensuring maximum visibility and engagement. By leveraging the power of social media, you can reach a broader audience of potential candidates, including passive job seekers who may not actively be searching through traditional channels.  

 

Utilize innovative technology to assist with your recruiting efforts, such as AI-driven applicant tracking systems or intelligent driver match technology. Driver-centric platforms, such as Drive My Way’s personalized recruiting software that matches truck drivers and owner operators with carriers looking to hire, can revolutionize your recruitment process by streamlining candidate selection and ensuring better alignment between drivers and carriers.  

 

Embrace diversity  

Another key step in expanding your candidate selection pool is by attracting a diverse group of applicants. By embracing diversity and highlighting it as a strength at your company, a wider variety of drivers will be encouraged to apply and refer others as well.  

 

Promote inclusivity by providing opportunities that benefit and support members of underrepresented communities in trucking, including women and people of color. Consider offering options such as mentor programs, which have been proven to positively impact drivers and build stronger communities within carriers.  

 

A diverse group of applicants can also include factors such as differing age groups and experience levels. A wide range of age of applicants is important for safeguarding against future uncertainty, especially as many trucking carriers face the challenges of an aging workforce. By valuing the contributions of drivers across different stages of their careers, you foster a culture of mentorship and continuous learning while strengthening your company’s resilience and adaptability in the face of evolving industry demands. 

 

Network and collaborate  

Look to other members of the trucking industry to continue growing your company and discover new methods of recruitment. Industry associations, such as the American Trucking Association or The National Association of Small Trucking Companies, are useful for making industry connections that can help your company find new ways to build relationships with potential candidates.  

 

Consider collaborating with trucking schools to identify and nurture talent early on. These partnerships might take longer to pay off, but they can result in a steady stream of qualified candidates who already know your company values, expectations, and culture.  

 

Focus on retention  

Increasing driver retention rates by prioritizing the experience of every driver is not only vital for recruiters aiming to attract top talent and improve overall driver satisfaction, but also for expanding the scope of your candidate selection pools.  

 

Investing in programs and infrastructure that demonstrate a commitment to drivers’ needs, mental health, and physical well-being is key to achieving this goal. Consider implementing options such as a regular driver engagement survey, which shows dedication to drivers’ feedback and perspectives, thus fostering a culture of inclusion and empowerment within your company.  

 

Offering other opportunities to support drivers, such as training for veterans transitioning into the industry or resources to prioritize and protect your drivers’ mental health, can position your carrier as a forward thinking and driver-centric organization where any truck driver would want to work.  

 

 

 

For more information on evolving trends in the trucking industry and how to stay ahead of the curve when recruiting and retaining quality drivers, be sure to follow us on social media and stay up to date on our Employer Blog posts.  

2024 is shaping up to be a true test of perseverance for every individual in the transportation and logistics industry. 

 

Facing a post-pandemic freight recession, shortage of qualified drivers, and ongoing supply chain disruptions, transportation companies worldwide will need to focus on streamlining operations and optimizing output in order to stay competitive in today’s global market.  

 

These circumstances can be especially difficult and detrimental for small, private carriers that don’t have as many resources or margin for error as larger companies. The first two years of the pandemic also saw many new carriers flood the market due to the freight boom, so the coming year will continue to reveal how many of these businesses are able to withstand economic uncertainty.  

 

While today’s market may seem daunting for small freight carriers, there are many resources available to help them navigate these challenging times. Keep reading to find out where to find these resources, and how they could benefit your business.  

 

Government Assistance Programs  

According to the World Economic Forum, direct government grants and zero-interest loans are the most helpful tool for small businesses facing economic uncertainty. It might feel challenging to ask for help, but there are many government assistance programs that exist entirely to support small businesses during economic hardship.  

 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been especially beneficial in promoting entrepreneurship throughout the US by providing limited small business grants for qualifying organizations that have struggled post-pandemic.  

 

Consider looking into the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, which is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive and ability for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The loan can be used on payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities, although at least 60% of the loan must be used for payroll in order to be forgiven.  

 

The government’s post-pandemic economic assistance programs are also important resources to research. Although some are no longer active, the Economic Industry Disaster Loan is still assisting small businesses that have suffered economic harm from the impacts of the pandemic. The maximum loan amount available is $2 million, which can be used for payroll, fixed debts, accounts payable, and any other bill that is unable to be paid due to the pandemic’s impact.  

 

Industry Associations  

Another valuable strategy to help small carriers safeguard against economic hardship is to join industry associations. Organizations such as the American Trucking Association (ATA) are designed to provide access to industry-specific information, networking opportunities, and a platform for carriers to advocate for their interests. A great way to start is to become a member of one of ATA’s  50 unique State Associations, which give members the chance to discuss local legislation and foster connections statewide.  

 

Other options include becoming a member of  The National Association of Small Trucking Companies which serves as an advocate for, a consultant to, and a source of collective buying power for its member companies, helping them save money. The Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association is another organization that offers members a platform for advocacy, a chance to learn about the newest industry updates, and the opportunity to receive exclusive deals and rebates.  

 

Technology and Efficiency Improvements  

Small carriers should also regularly conduct operational reviews to identify areas where they can improve their efficiency and reduce costs. By analyzing operational data and key performance indicators (KPIs), carriers can gain insight into what goals are being met and where new technology could improve operational efficiency.  

 

Consider implementing technology such as route optimization software and telematics to save time, lower fuel costs, and improve customer satisfaction. Route optimization software works uses algorithms to determine the most efficient route, considering factors such as delivery-time windows, total number and locations of required stops, driver schedules, and more.  

 

Telematics can help carriers to improve driver safety, reduce accidents, and lower insurance costs by providing real-time tracking of vehicles and monitoring of driver behavior. By investing in technology to improve overall operational efficiency, the up-front cost will be more than worth it in the long run.  

 

Other Resources  

Finally, carriers can benefit from other online industry specific resources, such as FTR and Freightwaves, to name a few.  These resources provide valuable data on economic forecasts and will help you prepare for likely market changes.  

 

In addition to keeping ahead of market changes, successful organizations make attracting and retaining top talent a priority. Drive My Way is now offering its own Small Fleet Plan to aid carriers in maximizing their brand reach and recruiting efforts. Through access to a large community of drivers and the use of advanced matching technology and digital marketing, Drive My Way’s plan can help carriers save time and money while attracting and retaining qualified drivers.  

 

While today’s highly competitive market might seem intimidating for small carriers, these resources can help any carrier find cost-effective solutions to their problems.  

 

For more strategies to save time and money while recruiting and retaining quality drivers, be sure to check out our Employer Blog or connect with us on social media 

How do you gauge your driver satisfaction levels? With one-on-one meetings? By analyzing retention rates?  

 

Both of these are important indicators of driver happiness and the success of company recruitment efforts, but in today’s highly competitive market, they won’t be enough to paint the whole picture or demonstrate to drivers your full commitment to their needs.  

 

By utilizing frequent driver engagement surveys, you will receive an unbiased, detailed report from employees about their views on important company policies and their overall satisfaction rate. However, like any good survey, the key is in asking the right questions. 

 

Keep reading to learn the 5 essential question topics you should include in every driver engagement survey, and how these surveys could help your retention rates.  

 

The Importance of Driver Engagement Surveys  

Driver engagement surveys are increasingly becoming a popular tool for carriers to learn what could be improved at a management level, while giving drivers a chance to speak freely and be listened to. Every employee should feel like their opinion matters, which is why it’s essential to include the right questions that address common driver needs.  

 

In Drive My Way’s recently released 2023 Driver Happiness Report, which collected the responses of over 500 drivers nationwide, nearly 10% of surveyed drivers responded that improved employer communication and listening would increase their workplace satisfaction. Implementing a regularly scheduled survey (and addressing the top concerns!) is a surefire way to see a rise in employee happiness and increase your retention of quality drivers.  

 

Pay & Benefits 

Unsurprisingly, compensation will always top the list of main driver concerns. In 2024, CDL drivers will be sure to continue to view competitive pay as a major differentiating factor when applying for jobs. In fact, in the 2023 Driver Happiness Report, over 20% of surveyed drivers answered that an increase in base compensation would improve their workplace satisfaction.  

 

Many factors affect each driver’s pay, such as years of experience, type of run, and type of freight, miles driver, etc. but it’s still important to understand how your drivers feel about the overall fairness of their pay.  

 

You’ll want to ask drivers if they are satisfied with their current level of pay, if they perceive it as fair, and if they feel they are progressing as expected. You should also ask drivers about their current benefit packages and how satisfied they are with them. This will help you find out what you could offer to differentiate yourself from your competitors.  

 

Scheduling  

The amount of time at home versus time on the road remains a major factor of consideration for every driver applying for a job or deciding to remain with a carrier. Each driver has a different opinion on scheduling, likely depending on their other commitments.  

 

Ask drivers how much time they currently spend at home, and how much time they would ideally spend at home.  

 

Remember that driver preferences can change over time as their home life changes. Younger drivers without families, or older drivers who have become empty-nesters, may prefer more time on the road. Drivers with families and kids at home may desire local jobs or runs with shorter time on the road.  

 

Dispatch 

As the main point of contact between driver and carrier, dispatch has an essential role in mitigating misunderstandings and unexpected scheduling delays. This is why the relationship between dispatcher and driver is one of the most important in the company. 

 

Be sure to include questions regarding each driver’s relationship with their dispatchers, and if there is anything management could do to improve communication. Drivers and dispatchers should feel like they can communicate regularly with ease and respect, which will help in the case of any unexpected road conditions, weather changes, or equipment issues.  

 

Equipment & Fleet Amenities 

Drivers spend an average of 70 hours a week on the road. This means that they know better than anyone the amenities they most use, and what equipment improvements would make their lives easier. They also can tell you the amenities they use the least, helping you determine where to invest your money.  

 

Ask drivers to rank their satisfaction with current amenities and to suggest what improvements could be made to existing equipment. This will help you prioritize what equipment should receive upgrades, potentially saving you thousands that you might have put into amenities which no driver is using.  

 

Company Culture 

This might not be the first question topic thought of when drafting a driver engagement survey, but it’s becoming an increasingly important differentiating factor in driver recruitment and retention. Drivers want to feel appreciated, supported, and valued in every interaction they have within a company.  

 

Ask your drivers if they feel appreciated, what else management could do to support them, and about the overall culture of the company.  

 

If your company is considering launching efforts to support drivers further, such as offering mental health services or a mentor or partner driving program, an engagement survey can be a great place to test run ideas and receive actual driver feedback. Keep in mind that if drivers don’t feel valued, they won’t recommend that company to others.  

 

 

Although there are countless questions you could ask in a driver engagement survey, including these five question topics will help you gauge overall driver satisfaction and monitor what your company should continue improving for the future.  

 

Here at Drive My Way we’re always looking to learn more about the best recruiting and retaining strategies. If you have any ideas for us, please reach out on our  social media so we can continue learning!  

The best way to increase driver retention rates, attract qualified candidates who are the right fit for your company, and boost overall employee satisfaction is to start by asking yourself: what do drivers want? 

 

We recently asked CDL drivers what they’re looking for from employers in 2024, and their answers might be more simple than you’d think. With responses such as better communication, dependable equipment, and increased pay, these drivers proved that it’s more important than ever to show your drivers that you are listening and willing to prioritize what they value. 

 

If you consider actual driver needs in your recruitment efforts, while creating a company culture of support and appreciation, you are likely to increase the scope of your applicant pool and decrease driver turnover rates. Keep reading to learn what CDL drivers are looking for from employers this year, and how to utilize evolving industry trends to take this into account and stay ahead of the curve.  

 

Competitive Pay  

The trucking industry might be ever-evolving, but one concern will always remain on the top of the list for drivers. In 2024, CDL drivers will continue to view competitive pay as a major differentiating factor when applying for jobs. Drivers want to feel like their time and hardwork are valued fairly, so by providing an increase in base compensation and benefits, you will attract more qualified candidates and stand out among your competition.  

 

In recent years, sign-on bonuses and benefit packages have continued to increase in value nationwide, a trend that will likely continue in the new year. Throughout 2023, some carriers paid as much as $200-$500 per day of driver orientation. This is a steep increase from the long standing industry standard of $100 per day.   

 

Beyond base pay, these are some of the added benefits that drivers will care about most in 2024: 

  • Affordable insurance and retirement plans 
  • Paid time off 
  • Salary bonuses for safety records, taking more difficult routes, or meeting mile goals 
  • Sign-on and referral bonuses 
  • Scholarships for CDL training or for further education  

 

Communication & Listening 

An increase in base compensation recently topped the list of driver concerns in Drive My Way’s 2023 Driver Happiness Report, which collected the responses of over 500 drivers nationwide. However, nearly 10% of surveyed drivers also answered that an increase in employer communication and listening would improve their satisfaction and workplace happiness.  

 

If you’re looking to recruit and retain quality drivers in 2024, start by showing your drivers that you value their opinions. Conducting frequent surveys and one-on-one meetings are great ways to gain employee feedback, but it’s essential to demonstrate your commitment to your drivers by actively using this feedback to adjust company policies.  

 

Frequent touchpoints are the best way to check in with drivers to ensure that they feel listened to and that their feedback has an impact. Truck driving can be an isolating career, so it’s important to make sure each driver feels like they are part of a larger team, whether they’ve worked at the company for 6 months or 6 years.  

 

Transparency 

When looking for a job in 2024, CDL drivers value honesty and transparency more than ever. In today’s highly competitive market, drivers want to know what benefits are offered, what the application and onboarding process is like, and if there are any minimum requirements that need to be met.  

 

Keep in mind the type of driver you are looking for when launching your driver recruiting campaign. Researching and understanding this persona will help you reach your target audience, and will also enable you to provide what that driver is seeking. For example, if your carrier allows pets or partner driving, mention that in your recruiting efforts. Even if some candidates aren’t looking for this benefit, those who are will be more inclined to apply.  

 

Safety First 

Every driver wants to feel like their employer values their safety above anything else. In a career as potentially dangerous as truck driving, drivers want to feel like their employer always has their best interests in mind.  

 

Safety begins from day one, by conducting proper training programs during orientation and beyond. Safety regulations and protocol should be clear, accessible, and always up to date. Make sure your drivers understand the hours-of-service regulations, as well as the importance of quality rest and break time.  

 

Today’s CDL drivers are also making clear that mental health is just as important as physical health. In fact, a 2018 study appearing in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that the prevalence of depression in truck drivers is 13.6%, nearly double the rate found in the American public.  

 

There are many ways to prioritize and protect your drivers’ mental health, including providing mentor programs, online resources, and company counselors. By putting your drivers’ health first, you will show your dedication to being a driver-centric company, and your commitment to the well-being of every employee.  

 

 

By demonstrating your commitment to addressing CDL drivers’ top concerns, you will boost your recruitment efforts, decrease turnover rates, and foster a positive working environment. 

 

If you’re looking for more advice on bolstering your driver recruiting and retaining efforts, be sure to check out our Employer Blog, or follow us on social media 

When recruiting CDL drivers in today’s highly competitive market, it’s important to make every minute count. From the initial review of an application to the end of the onboarding and driver orientation processes, being efficient and effective with your time will save you money and maximize your success in hiring and retaining quality drivers.  

 

There are many tips and tricks to streamline the hiring process and ensure the best experience for each candidate, from start to finish. Keep reading to learn how to integrate this advice into your recruiting efforts, and you might be surprised by how quickly you see results! 

 

Creating the Best Candidate Experience 

Although a streamlined hiring process will save your company time and money, your goal should still always be centered around providing the best experience for every applicant. If a driver feels valued and supported from day one, they are much more likely to continue through the hiring process and become a committed employee. 

 

Develop a strategy for hiring that takes into account each driver’s unique background while ensuring every candidate receives the same level of attention and support. Having a strategy in place will also help keep everyone in the hiring department on the same page, so candidates don’t have to repeat information or parts of the process.  

 

The first step in any hiring strategy should be connecting with a candidate as soon as they express interest. The longer a driver waits, the higher the chance that they will find another opportunity with a different carrier. Make sure that each candidate has the option to provide multiple forms of contact on an application so they can be easily reached by phone call, text, or email.  

 

Frequent touchpoints are beneficial to display your commitment to a candidate and will help keep them in the loop. The first point of communication should act as a preliminary screening, where you explain job requirements, criteria, and clarify any questions the driver has. At the end of each communication, explain what the candidate can anticipate for the next steps, and when you’ll be in touch again.  

 

Internal Organization  

Setting expectations and maintaining communication with every member of the hiring team is essential to streamlining the hiring process. Drivers will quickly lose interest if they are unable to easily schedule interviews, submit important documents, or receive updates on their progress.  

 

Because a lot of today’s recruiting and hiring is now held remotely,  a clearly defined process, roles, and repsonsibilites across your organization will make the process smoother for everyone involved. When it comes to steps which require the coordination of multiple members of the hiring team, such as interviewing, planning ahead is a must.  

 

Make sure that interview appointments are widely available enough to provide flexibility for candidates, and that the scheduling process is easy and straightforward. It might help to block off a certain amount of time each week for hiring managers to conduct interviews, making it easier to count on regular availability and reduce scheduling conflicts.  

 

When speaking over the phone, you should aim to directly warm transfer candidates to the hiring manager to schedule interviews. This ensures that the candidate doesn’t have to repeat information, and demonstrates the commitment of the whole team to the hiring process. If direct connection is impossible, try creating a link where the candidate can schedule interviews themselves. CDL drivers are busy, so this allows them to check their availability and decide on their own time.  

 

It’s also important to always come prepared to every stage of the hiring process. Before speaking with a candidate, make sure to have all the information needed from the safety and insurance teams on minimum criteria for hiring. For example, if there is a strict age requirement for insurance purposes, it’s much better to be up front to drivers.  

 

Background Checks and Clearinghouse 

Since the start of the pandemic, the alcohol/drug clearinghouse and background check stage of the hiring process has often taken longer on average. Although wait times have been decreasing recently, it can still sometimes take up to two weeks to complete this important step.  

 

Although there isn’t anything you can do to speed up processing times, preparing ahead and maintaining organization will help you move as fast as possible. As soon as you know you’ll be moving forward with the candidate, make sure they’re registered and up to date with the clearinghouse.  

 

Since there are criteria in place to regulate truck driver hiring nationwide, it’s important to be mindful of what each driver needs to complete their file. Each time you touch base with a candidate, confirm what documents and information you have on record, and what you still require.  

 

 

Hiring CDL drivers is an extensive process, and as a recruiter, this makes your time very valuable. However, it’s also important to remember that any time invested in a quality candidate is time well spent, even if the match isn’t perfect at the time.  

 

If there is a certain requirement an otherwise perfect candidate doesn’t meet, such as minimum age or experience level, be sure to keep in contact with them periodically through email or social media, until a spot has opened up or they meet the hiring criteria. 

 

For more advice on the hiring process and how to recruit and retain quality drivers, be sure to check out our Employer Blog, or follow us on social media!