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why truck drivers leave

Carriers across the country are dealing with high turnover for CDL drivers. While the problem isn’t as severe as some news outlets would have you believe, truck drivers are leaving jobs (or the industry altogether) at a higher-than-average rate.  

Carriers are spending effort, time, and money to attract drivers who may only stay with their carrier for a few months. For many of these carriers, the most frustrating part is not knowing why these drivers are leaving positions so quickly. Here are 3 of the biggest reasons that truck drivers are leaving CDL jobs.  

1. Pay and Benefits

It’s no surprise that pay and benefits are the biggest reason that truck drivers leave one position for another. Carriers are finding that they need to go above and beyond from a compensation and benefits perspective, as offering the industry average simply isn’t cutting it anymore. 

In addition to offering higher pay and better benefits, many carriers have also tried adding a large sign-on bonus to the offer to attract truck drivers. However, many of these carriers have found that offering a large sign-on bonus might attract truck drivers up front, but lead to low driver retention down the line. 

This is due to the mentality of some truckers staying long enough to collect the bonus, then transitioning to the next company offering the same large check. 

The best thing that carriers who are serious about driver retention can do is offer compensation above industry averages for their geographic area, and couple that with a generous benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, and even life insurance. These long-term benefits are what make many drivers stay at a carrier for a long time.  

2. Empty Promises

Carriers who over-promise and under-deliver are finding that that model for attracting drivers is no longer solid. Truck drivers have more options than ever before when it comes to which carrier they can drive for, so being honest and transparent are the best things carriers can do during the interview and hiring process if they want to recruit top talent.  

Employers who are transparent in nature with pay, benefits, job role, home time, etc. often reap the benefits. They may see more sustainable driver retention than those who exaggerate in a job description to get drivers in the door.  

In addition, if the truck drivers trust the organization, they won’t be shy to share this approval with their network. This can lead to an increase in driver referrals and a positive company culture that drivers will flock to.

3. Bad Dispatchers

As the saying goes, employees don’t leave the company. Employees leave the people at the company. If a truck driver finds themselves working with a dispatcher they truly dislike, it won’t be long before they start looking for a different opportunity. 

Why do drivers care so much about their dispatchers? The dispatcher is the primary representative for the company, and sometimes, a trucker’s only contact. Companies that spend time carefully matching dispatchers and drivers may see increased driver retention. Instead of randomly assigning drivers to dispatchers, factor in personality types, leadership styles, etc., and you will oftentimes see better relationships form and higher driver retention rates as a result.  

Another tip is to not wait for issues to arise, but instead be proactive and squash them before they happen. Carriers can do this by regularly collecting feedback from drivers about their dispatchers. You may find that multiple drivers have the same complaint about a certain dispatcher, which can help you to address the issue before drivers start leaving. 

Overall, the key to avoiding drivers from leaving your carrier is to remember that this is a driver’s market.  Focus on putting truckers first and remain transparent with job requirements. Offer competitive pay and benefits to continuously stand out against the competition. 

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Now more than ever, the ability for carriers to retain truck drivers is key. As the labor market continues to tighten, companies need to reevaluate their recruiting and retention strategies for finding and keeping qualified drivers. 

Some carriers have tried offering large sign-on bonuses as a fix-all for recruiting and retaining drivers. Too many are then faced with turnover once the bonus is collected. Other companies have promised drivers home time and great pay but fall short of delivering these perks. 

In order to start attracting, hiring, and retaining qualified truck drivers in this competitive market, employers should apply these tips to their driver recruiting strategy to give themselves a competitive advantage.

1. Don’t Over-Promise and Under-Deliver

The last thing a driver wants is a carrier that over-promises and under-delivers. Before posting a job, carriers should take the time to look at the job description they’re putting out there and if it matches what the job really is. Make sure that pay isn’t inflated, home time is realistic, and benefits are factual. 

As a recruiter, it’s easy to think that you need to cast the widest net possible to get a good driver. But many times, this strategy leaves you with either no driver or a driver who isn’t a good fit and will lead to increased turnover. Carriers who are truthful in their job advertisements will attract the best candidates. 

When a carrier promises a driver certain perks only to change the rules a few months into the job, the driver loses interest in keeping that job and loses respect for the carrier. After that happens, that driver will let their entire network know exactly what happened. That will only increase the difficulty in filling future jobs.  

The better policy is to be truthful in your job description and during your talks with drivers. Even if a driver tells you, “Thank you, but I’m looking for something different”, that outcome is much better than a driver coming on board, finding out they were misled, leaving and spreading the word about their experience.  

2. Ask Drivers for Their Feedback Before They Post It Themselves

Sometimes it takes a carrier posting a job advertisement on Facebook for them to find out that their current drivers are unsatisfied. Maybe their pay is too low, their benefits aren’t desirable, or the carrier over-promises and under-delivers.  

Most times, posting their opinions on the internet isn’t a driver’s first choice. They want to have an outlet to tell their supervisors their feelings (anonymously or not), but many carriers don’t offer this. When that’s the case, a disgruntled driver may look to a social media platform or company review site to share their feedback. 

Instead of waiting to receive public and most likely unflattering feedback on a public social media platform, carriers should ask their drivers for feedback directly through engagement surveys, in-person conversations, or even a quick poll. 

This gives the carrier an accurate pulse on their drivers’ happiness and satisfaction, while keeping everything in-house. It’s also a great retention method because it shows drivers that the carrier cares. 

But collecting the feedback is only step one. It’s important to quickly address the feedback and make improvements when needed. Nothing is worse to a driver than when they provide feedback they were asked for and nothing comes from it. If that happens, there’s a good chance they’ll end up going to social media just like they would have in the first place.  

3. Offer Referral Bonuses and Performance Incentives

Instead of constantly investing in lofty sign-on bonuses to attract new drivers, carriers should implement referral bonus programs and performance-based incentives to retain their current, already-qualified drivers. These programs give drivers the opportunity to be acknowledged for their accomplishments and incentive to help grow the fleet.  

When implementing a referral bonus program, it’s a good idea to disperse the money in installments after the referred driver has been with the carrier for a specific period. Give the first chunk immediately, then the next half when the new driver reaches three or six months. Doing so protects the carrier from having a driver quickly leave after the money is given out. 

In addition, performance incentives should be used to reward drivers for maintaining good safety measures, fuel efficiency, and time management skills over an extended period of time. These not only help drivers stay focused on the carrier’s goals, but also reward them for living out the mission. 

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 awardsIt’s human nature for people to want to be recognized for their achievements, especially in the workplace. And while truck drivers don’t operate in a traditional “workplace” like an office, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be recognized for all the hard work they do week in and week out. 

If your carrier hasn’t already, consider starting an award program so you can recognize the drivers in your fleet who go above and beyond the call of what’s expected. Here are the 3 most common types of truck driver awards along with some tips on how to make the most of your award program.  

3 Truck Driver Awards to Give Out This Year

1. Million Miles Safety Club Award

Driving one million accident-free miles in a personal car is rare enough, but doing that in a 15-ton semi-truck? While it seems impossible, thousands of drivers reach this milestone every year.   

A special trophy engraved with their name and the date, and the number of miles they’ve driven makes for a great keepsake for any long-time driver. Consider having something even more special for drivers who have achieved this milestone more than once. 

2. Everyday Recognition Award

The little things matter too. Catch someone doing an excellent job on any given day? Then recognize them right away by putting a small certificate on their locker or on a bulletin board in a public area. Or post a quick note of recognition for everyone to see on your next email to drivers.  

These types of truck driver awards are small but can make your drivers feel special and proud to be a part of your organization.

3. Driver of the Year

The “Driver of the Year” award is the biggest and best of them all. This award should be reserved for the driver who’s truly made a difference for your company this year. He or she should be a driver who is the best example of your company culture, always displays professionalism, excels at customer satisfaction, and puts safety first. 

3 Tips for Having a Great Award Program

truck driver awards

1. Number of Awards 

It’s important to scale your award program based on how large your organization is. The award program that a fleet of 50 uses shouldn’t be the award program that a fleet of 500 uses. The general rule is the larger your fleet, the more awards you should have. 

If your organization is large enough, you can break an award down into further sub-categories. So, instead of just having one Driver of the Year, you could have one Driver of the Year for each location, or one per haul type/division.   

Amber Long and Cate Whitman, representatives with Drive My Way client, Paper Transport, recently dealt with this obstacle as their fleet started to expand,   

“Originally, we only gave out a small number of these awards to the drivers who ranked at the very top. This was fine at first, but as Paper Transport grew, we realized this now meant that we weren’t featuring an appropriate number of drivers relative to how big out fleet was becoming.

We decided to give out a greater number of these awards so we could recognize even more drivers. This gives them more incentive to have a good scorecard since the awards are much more attainable now.”

2. Selection 

To make the award selection more inclusive, you can let drivers nominate their fellow drivers for awards. After that, you can have a team to vet the finalists, but having drivers be a part of the nomination process is great for team building and creating a culture where driver’s opinions are valued. 

3. Presentation 

Aside from the award itself, make sure the winner is known throughout your company. Sending out a photo of the winner in an email, or even better, awarding them during a company-wide event is a great way to make sure the winner is properly recognized and adds some prestige to the award. Just make sure that the driver is comfortable with this beforehand, in case they’re not a fan of having the spotlight on them. 

If you’re giving out a plaque, consider having two copies made; one that will be given to the driver and one that will be featured in a prominent place in your carrier’s office or terminal. 

No matter if you’re a recruiter, fleet manager, or executive, take some time to improve your truck driver awards program to show your drivers how much your carrier values them. 

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 interview questions

Good truck driver interview questions do two things. They help you find drivers who are going to be a good fit for your carrier while helping you build a relationship with them at the same time. The best recruiters use a conversational style to learn more about drivers’ experiences and skills as well as their goals for a new job. 

Informative and approachable truck driver interview questions are the foundation of a strong recruitment for retention strategy. Here are 5 tips to help you get to know the drivers you’re interviewing and find one who fits well with your fleet. 

1. Start With the Basics

Chelsee Patton and Truck

Chelsee Patton, Director of Recruiting at RTI

The purpose of an interview is to find a driver who has the skills and qualifications to do a specific job. Inevitably, it is crucial to have a clear picture of their experience, endorsements, and total compensation needs. The challenge is to get that information in an approachable way.  

Drivers should feel like the interview is building a relationship rather than simply an effort to fill another seat with an anonymous face. Strong interviewers learn about drivers’ skills and experience through conversation.  

We spoke with Chelsee Patton, Director of Recruiting at RTI and CDL holder, about effective interviewing as part of recruitment. She shared these thoughts,  

“For carriers trying to improve their interview process, I would tell them to take a look at how they’re talking to drivers at the beginning of the interview. Are you automatically jumping into, “How much experience do you have? How many tickets? How many accidents?” If so, I would recommend conversationally talking through all of that instead of reading questions one after the other off a sheet.”

As you build relationships with drivers, keep a detailed record of their professional profile. Clearly denote the driver’s experience and endorsements. This information helps automatically filter out unqualified applicants. Drivers’ requested total compensation should also be clearly noted. If they express specific demands around home time, base pay, or benefits, make sure to include that information.  

Similarly, if drivers respond negatively to the total compensation you are offering, note that as a possible red flag. Delving into basic information such as skills and endorsements is an opportunity to learn key information while setting a positive tone for future interactions. 

2. Find Out What Drivers Are Looking for

Not all drivers are a good fit for every job, and that’s ok. Time is a precious commodity in the recruiting world, so find out early what drivers are looking for. Some drivers may talk about career plans and advancement opportunities. Understanding each driver’s underlying motivation helps frame the conversation and contextualizes that driver’s priorities. Use that information to focus on the job aspects that are most important.  

In some cases, a driver’s goals may not be compatible with the available position. That’s also valuable knowledge. In these cases, learning that quickly can help you end the conversation and encourage the driver toward other positions to save time.  

If you still want to attract the driver, make sure to be as transparent as possible about the open job. Unfulfilled or misled expectations will only lead to high turnover and a bad company reputation. Instead, put your efforts toward quickly identifying drivers who are a good fit and may stay in the job for many years to come.  

3. Ask Role Specific Questions

ChelseeInPink

Chelsee takes the wheel

Once you have a baseline of information about the driver’s qualifications and future goals, hone in on the specific job. Discuss features of the job that are atypical or have raised concerns from drivers in the past.  

For example, if drivers need mechanical knowledge, ask “What experience do you have fixing mechanical problems with your truck?” Similarly, if the position includes slip seating, ask drivers about their preferences and habits when sharing a cab. All of these truck driver interview questions shift the focus to recruiting for retention.  

4. Use Behavioral Interviewing

If you have a strong driver candidate based on their qualifications, the next step is to use behavioral interviewing to assess their on-the-job competencies.  

These questions look at how a candidate has handled past situations in an attempt to predict how they’d behave in the future. Behavioral interviewing questions look at a candidate’s problem-solving, priority setting, and conflict management abilities. 

To ask effective behavioral interviewing questions, use the STAR technique. Situation, Task, Actions, and Result. To start, ask candidates to describe their past experiences. Then, listen closely and evaluate based on the Situation or Task they encountered, the Actions they took, and the Result of their actions.  

Think about situations that current drivers for your carrier deal with and ask candidates how they would react if faced with them. This will give you a good indication of if they’ll be a good fit for your carrier. 

5. Share the Mic

Truck drivers want to know that their carrier will respect and value their contributions. One way to demonstrate your commitment to drivers from the start is by sharing the mic.  

Allow time for drivers to ask questions during the interview or at the end. Doing so signals to drivers that you care about their input and whether the job is a good fit for them. It’s also another valuable opportunity to understand what they prioritize. If they’re a strong candidate but undecided about the position, that insight may help you win the driver to your team.  

As a recruiter, it’s hard to predict exactly what drivers may ask, but prepare answers for common questions. This will likely include questions about home time, pay, benefits, and equipment among other things. Before you end the conversation, make sure the driver is clear about the job offer. Transparency upfront supports long-term retention.  

Good truck driver interview questions give you the opportunity to get to know potential drivers so you can focus on boosting retention. When drivers and carriers connect transparently over a job that is a mutually good fit, the interview time is well worth the investment. 

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

recruit for retention
Many companies, either intentionally or inadvertently, incentivize driver recruiters to prioritize hires above all else. In some cases, this is an effective short-term solution but often, it does not hold companies in good stead in the long run. Instead, recruit for retention. Lowering driver turnover can dramatically save recruiting costs because there are fewer drivers to replace. Strong driver retention also improves company culture and driver satisfaction. While they may occupy different line items on the budget, recruitment and retention are points along the same spectrum. In your fleet, take concrete steps to incentivize driver recruiters to recruit for retention.

Analyze Your Current Structure

truck driver recruiter

The first step to incentivizing driver recruiters to recruit for retention is to assess your existing program. Frequently, recruiters are incentivized for fast hires. Bonuses based on achieving a set number of hires in a specific time frame or rewards based purely on hiring numbers are just that. When recruiters are put under extremely tight deadlines, this exacerbates the problem. Recruiters are likely getting lots of drivers through the door, but that does not necessarily mean those drivers are highly qualified or likely to stay. 

In addition to analyzing the incentivization structure for recruiters, take time to observe several recruiting conversations. How are recruiters connecting with potential candidates? What questions are they asking drivers? Are they taking the time to understand what these drivers are looking for in a job? The personal touch of a driver recruiter can make a big difference in first impressions. Recruiting for retention may require retraining driver recruiters to approach conversations with candidates as relationship-building opportunities.

Change the Reward Target

Once you have a clear view of your existing recruitment incentivization structure, decide whether you are effectively prioritizing retention. If not, determine the necessary changes to make retention the goal. 

One of the most common ways to incentivize recruiters is through a rewards system. Rather than rewarding recruiters for hires, consider distributing rewards only for new drivers who stay at least 30 days. If you feel a longer time period is necessary, try 60 or 90 days. Drivers often leave because of unmet expectations. So, encouraging recruiters to prioritize retention necessitates that they vet drivers carefully and clearly communicate job expectations to reduce quick turnover.

Drivers often leave because of unmet expectations. Encourage recruiters to be candid and transparent to better recruit for retention.

To ensure follow-through from recruiters, consider asking for notes about each driver’s future plans. This requires recruiters to ask each driver about their long-term priorities as well as the immediate qualifications needed for the job. Remember, even though many companies incentivize recruiters with financial rewards, there are other options. Vacation time as well as internal or external recognition are also significant motivators for many recruiters!

Train Recruiters From the Start

trucking recruiter on phoneFrom the moment of onboarding, driver recruiters should be trained to look at recruiting as a long game. Explicitly tell recruiters that the company’s mission is to minimize turnover and maximize retention of quality drivers. Train everyone who works closely with drivers to recruit through conversations to foster strong relationships. This may be a change from previous jobs that focused exclusively on hires, so it’s important to continuously reinforce recruitment for retention in both words and actions. 

After you make any necessary changes to the incentivization structure and train drivers to recruit through conversations, you are ready to revamp your recruiting – almost! As you restructure incentives, make sure you are setting recruiters up for success. Even the best recruiters cannot boost driver retention for poor jobs.

Drivers want jobs that meet their financial and home time needs, are a good fit for their skills, and have a company culture of respect. Without these components, recruiters are fighting a losing battle. To incentivize driver recruiters for retention, change the reward targets, train recruiters to have conversations, and make compelling job offers. 

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

trucking endorsements
Drivers are looking for companies that respect them, offer compensation that is commensurate with experience and skill, and that fits their lifestyle and professional trajectory. In a highly competitive driver market, and it’s difficult to stand out from other trucking companies. It’s also essential. To attract drivers, some companies help drivers obtain or renew trucking endorsements as a way of differentiating themselves. While this may not work for all business models, it can be a great way to incentivize drivers to apply, diversify your candidate pool, and build goodwill among your new hires.

Paying for Trucking Endorsements?

truck in the cityUltimately, the decision to pay for trucking endorsements is a company by company decision. Factor in driver supply, the difficulty of the position you are hiring for, and the type of drivers you want to attract. For example, Button Transportation offers to reimburse drivers for their Hazmat endorsement if there is high seasonal demand. It’s a competitive market for hiring drivers right now, and companies that want to stand out need to go above and beyond. Paying for trucking endorsements is a way to incentivize driver applications by making your offering more appealing. 

Financially supporting drivers as they obtain or renew trucking endorsements is also a good way to diversify your candidate pool. Without offering financial support, your hiring pool is inherently limited to drivers who already have the requisite qualifications. If you are getting plenty of qualified applicants, that might not be a problem. On the other hand, you may want to invest in newer, skilled drivers to grow your fleet. In that case, sponsoring endorsements is a great way to attract drivers who might not otherwise apply. 

Implementing a Sponsorship Program

If you decide that helping with their trucking endorsements is right for you, use best practices to launch successfully. First, make sure you set clear rules and expectations for what will and will not be reimbursed. Drive My Way Customer Button Transportation sets an excellent example.

Button TransportationButton Transportation pays for driver Medical cards, TWIC Cards, and Passports because top interested drivers expect these to be sponsored by their company. Button also clearly established a reimbursement policy for drivers. For each sponsorship, they pay when they receive the expense report and receipt. 

Consistency is critical for successful program implementation. Everyone from recruiters to finance managers to prospective drivers should understand the structure of the program in a successful launch.

Once you set up your program parameters, communication with drivers is the next step. Offering to help drivers obtain or renew trucking endorsements is a powerful advertising tool! Make sure to include the details of your program in a job description. In addition, make sure your marketing efforts are targeted at drivers who already have the necessary endorsements as well as those who might take advantage of your sponsorship program. In addition, some companies like Way Routes encourage drivers to study for their double/triple endorsement using the CDL Prep App. This app is a great option because it is available for both Apple and Android users.

We spoke with Guilherme Ribeiro, President at Way Routes, and he shared that:

“[CDL Prep] is the best app and will help you study before taking the test at your local DMV.”

Both drivers who have the necessary endorsements and those preparing for the test may be strong candidates. So, it’s important to include both in your recruitment and marketing. 

Supporting Drivers with New Endorsements

Supporting drivers as they earn a trucking endorsement is only the start of the road. Strong sponsorship programs also support drivers as they transition to their new roles. 

Way RoutesWe spoke with Guilherme Ribeiro, President at Way Routes, and he shared best practices based on their program’s success:

“If a driver gets [a doubles/triples] endorsement and has not driven doubles/triples before, we have a training program to help them gain the confidence and knowledge they need to be successful.” 

He continued, “When a driver starts, we have them train with someone for a week before they hit the road for normal shifts. You will spend your first week: learning how to connect and disconnect safely in the yard, shadowing a driver on local routes, and running local routes during evening hours when there is less traffic (live road training).” Way Routes continues to support drivers throughout their transition.

Guilherme added, “If after your first week you do not feel safe or confident with your new endorsement, you have the option to part ways with this opportunity, and Way Routes is very respectful about your decision and is happy to have given you initial training. On the contrary, if you are feeling confident but would like an additional week (+/-) of shadowing/training, Way Routes is happy to continue investing in training for you so you feel safe and confident when you hit the road!” 

Supporting drivers through their new role ensures that new drivers meet your safety standards and it builds a good rapport with new drivers. For some companies, helping drivers obtain or renew trucking endorsements is a great way to bolster recruitment and retention efforts.

truck driver incentive program checklist

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The best incentive program is the one that’s effective, sustainable, and engaging for drivers. Use this checklist to align your target behavior with rewards that motivate your drivers and create a program with lasting impact.

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stop sexual harassment in trucking

Sexual harassment in the trucking industry is a documented problem. The good news is, many people want to promote safer work environments and stop harassment. Frequently, conversations center on women who experience sexual harassment. This is not a problem exclusively experienced by women, but in a heavily male-dominated field, it is often women who report incidents. As a result of the trucking shortage, more and more female drivers are entering the workforce, and safety on the job needs to be a priority.

Regardless of your personal feelings on the subject, it makes good business sense to take clear steps to stop sexual harassment in trucking. Small companies and large fleets alike can rely on a combination of policy and company culture. What’s a good way to check if you’re doing well? Look around you. Are women drivers and employees who you recruit staying with your company? If there is a disproportionately high level of churn among female employees, uncover the reasons for that turnover.

What is Considered Sexual Harassment?

  • Quid Pro Quo: This is one of the easiest forms of harassment to identify, though it may not be easy to report or document. Quid Pro Quo is an explicit request or demand from someone in a position of direct or perceived power of “I do this for you, then you do this for me.”
  • Hostile Work Environment: This harassment is often much harder to spot. At its core, a hostile work environment is any unwanted speech or conduct that makes someone else uncomfortable and inhibits someone from doing their job. It could include anything from crude jokes or suggestive comments to inappropriate photos or shirts to nonconsensual touching or other forms of unwanted attention. Hostile work environment complaints are evaluated based on how the comment or action was perceived, not how it was intended. So, make sure employees are clear on your company policies and expectations.

How Can You Promote A Safe Workplace?

1. Policies

Many companies share sexual harassment policies during driver orientation. Unfortunately, while that may be sufficient if legal action is taken, it may not be very effective in preventing incidents. During onboarding, drivers receive a lot of new information, and the complexity of legal policies makes them difficult to understand at the best of times. 

Policies should be clear to everyone on your staff. Provide a straight forward reporting structure for documenting an incident before a situation arises.

Instead, remind employees frequently of your policies by incorporating it into your company culture. At their core, policies should be comprehensive but clear to your staff. Communicate a zero-tolerance policy of sexual harassment in your workplace. In addition, provide an uncomplicated, consistent reporting structure for documentation of incidents before there is an incident to report. Encourage employees to use this structure if they do need to report a situation.

2. Training

In addition to training all drivers, recruiters, and other employees on your policies, consider offering safety training. Offer this training to women or anyone else who wants to join the conversation about safety on the road and in the workplace. The underlying question is, “What can you do to set drivers up for safety?” 

As an employer, help prepare female and other drivers for these situations. Communicate that it is not their fault. It’s important not to place blame or hold the injured person responsible for the situation. Then, share best practices for preventing and confronting uncomfortable situations. Encourage drivers to be aware of their surroundings. Share resources such as the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673) if drivers want to reach out for confidential help.

3. Reporting

female truck driversUnfortunately, many drivers will experience sexual harassment on the job. Decide how you will handle sexual harassment situations before they arise. Have an open-door reporting policy on reporting. Make it as easy as possible for drivers to bring an incident to your attention. Prior to an incident, clearly share how drivers can expect reports to be handled. If there are specific forms of documentation you require, make sure your employees know what that is. Take care not to set barriers that unintentionally repress reporting. 

Having a designated check-in person is another great way to encourage a culture of safety. Employees should know that they can approach that person with sexual harassment reports. If drivers aren’t coming to you, it may mean that they are too nervous or uncomfortable to broach the subject. Designate someone on staff to periodically reach out to drivers proactively about their experience on the job. 

4. Accountability

Accountability includes two sides when it comes to stopping sexual harassment in the trucking industry. The first is accountability within your company. When someone makes a sexual harassment report, it’s important that staff are trained to take the complaint seriously. In addition to prioritizing strong company values, there could be legal consequences for ignoring or glossing over a sexual harassment report. 

Hold your company and your employees responsible for their actions. A safe workplace benefits all employees.

The second aspect of accountability is to hold any employees involved responsible for their actions. Clarify how your company will follow up on the report and what the consequences will be. Clearly state (in writing when possible) what will happen if there is a repeat incident. Ultimately, a safer workplace is a positive asset for all employees.

driver happiness and retention survey

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Driver Lifestyle & Job Happiness Survey

We surveyed over 400 CDL truck drivers nationwide to discover what makes them happy in their career and life. Access the survey report to see the results.

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4 Reasons Verifiable Fleet Safety Needs to be a Top Priority

Fleet safety is one of the most important things for a trucking company to prioritize. One bad safety incident can cost thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. It can cause a ripple of damaging effects for years: in bad publicity, drivers turning down jobs, and overall a long recovery from the incident. Though not every accident is avoidable, most have causes that prove to be preventable. So here are 4 reasons verifiable fleet safety needs to be a top priority.

1. Mitigate Your Risk: Drivers

Your drivers are your most valuable assets. You put a lot of time and effort into hiring them, so be sure to put that same effort and time into keeping them. Driver health is one of the best ways to mitigate risk over the road. Healthy minds and bodies make for safer drivers. If you have drivers that are overly tired or stressed, they’re more likely to make mental errors that can cause safety issues. And drivers who are not trained well certainly won’t be set up to be safe and successful drivers. Think about what you can do to help support your drivers’ health and well-being. Put plans in place to start making driver health a priority. And share those plans to everyone in the company.

2. Mitigate Your Risk: Equipment

Put risk mitigation steps in place with your equipment as well to help with your overall fleet safety. Staying current with all the required service and safety checks required for your company’s equipment is especially important.

Keeping your fleet in good repair can keep your employees more engaged. The state of your equipment can have a big impact on your drivers and how attractive your company might be to new employees. Have a clear fleet maintenance policy in place.

3. Create a Culture of Fleet Safety

Who is responsible for fleet safety? Is it left up to the drivers behind the wheel? Does concern for safety come from the top of the organization down? Is everyone aware of your safety policies? If you’re not sure of these answers, one of the best things you can do at this time is get your safety policies written down. And then share them with everyone. This is the best way to get a culture of safety started. Bake safety into the foundation of the company and communicate it both internally and externally. If not, it will always fall to someone else to be responsible for fleet safety.

4. Document Emergency Procedures

As mentioned, not every incident is 100% avoidable, and it’s true that accidents will happen. Even when you take precautions, you and your drivers need to be ready to react in case of an emergency. Having solid, documented processes in place is very important when talking about overall fleet safety. Ensuring your drivers know what do to and who to contact when a problem arises can help lessen the impact of the damage and the time getting the situation resolved.

Document your processes and procedures for any type of emergency that might arise. Ensure that your drivers have quick access to clear emergency contact information and steps to take in case of an emergency.

Taking these steps to ensure you’ve got a good start to verifiable fleet safety is an important way to create a culture of safety in your company. Working to always communicate and share updates to any of these policies is something that should be built-in to decision making and change management throughout the organization. Making that everyone in the organization is responsible for safety can make your company an attractive option when hiring new drivers.

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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How to Use Behavioral Interviewing to Hire Better Drivers

It takes more than a valid commercial driver’s license and a good safety record to be a top-performing professional truck driver. A driver may meet all the minimum technical requirements for the job. They may have previous tractor-trailer experience, a valid license type, and the required endorsements. Even so, that driver still may not fit your job or company well.

To reduce driver turnover and improve your company culture, prioritize the quality and fit of your drivers. Building a high performing team requires evaluating and rewarding drivers. That’s true for not only the work a driver does but also how they do their work. No one can predict how successful someone will be in their job. That said, behavioral interviewing will help you hire better drivers by evaluating their previous performance as a signal of their future performance.

What is Behavioral Interviewing and How is it Different?

Behavioral interviewing is based on the belief that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

Behavioral interviewing states that how a candidate has handled a situation in the past is the best way to understand and predict how they will behave in the future.

This style of interviewing uses historic evidence from a candidate to predict future behavior using behavioral competencies, not traits or skills.

Competencies as a benchmark for hiring were introduced by psychologists in the early 1970s. Studies were conducted that demonstrated that knowledge-based and intelligence tests did not accurately predict candidate success in a new role. In time, psychologists developed competencies based on empirical data gathered by job incumbents with exceptional performance in specific functional roles. Competency models have become the core of modern behavioral interviewing. One set that is widely used is the detailed list of 67 competencies known as the Lominger competencies.

Vocabulary to Know

As you prepare to use behavioral interviewing with your staff, there are a few phrases to clarify. Get to know the differences so you can differentiate between them during an interview.

 Traits 

Traits are characteristics that are deeply ingrained and typically don’t change a lot over time. Gregariousness is a good example of a trait.

Attributes/Skills

Attributes are skills in the context of a behavior. They typically develop because of experiences, and people often learn attributes over time. A few examples are motivation and loyalty. Look for evidence of these attributes such as a job promotion.

 Competencies

Competencies are a combination of skills and behaviors. An interviewer can easily identify and measure competencies. They are the way we practice certain behaviors. Problem-solving, priority setting, and conflict management are examples of competencies.

How It Works

behavioral interviewingTo successfully use behavioral interviewing, there are a few steps. First, review a competency chart. Then, identify the competencies that are most important to successfully doing the jobs you have open.  For all truck drivers, planning, problem-solving, and time management are likely to be high on your list.

For drivers who regularly work with customers, you may prioritize customer focus. On the other hand, it may be a secondary priority for OTR drivers who spend long hours solo on the road with less customer interaction. For an OTR position, problem-solving and technical skills may be key.

Once you know the required competencies, develop a list of behavioral-based interview questions. You will need one question for each competency to assess whether candidates have what you need. All behavioral interviewers should train in the STAR model before evaluating candidates. This teaches interviewers to ask questions that allow the candidate to describe his or her past experiences. Interviewers will listen closely for the Situation or Task the candidate encountered, the Actions they took, and the Result of their actions. Interviewers should assess each answer while citing behavioral indicators that verify how the candidate previously showed behaviors that led to success.

Benefits of Behavioral Interviewing

Everyone wants to sound their best during an interview, and it’s natural for humans to be selective in their storytelling. It’s all too easy for a candidate to embellish or stretch the truth when talking about themselves. Unfortunately, as an interviewer, this makes your job very difficult. Even a well-meaning enhancement of what a driver would do in a situation can create a biased interview. It’s much harder to completely make up a situation that has already happened. When in doubt, there are often other sources who can confirm what a driver has said.

Behavioral interviewing was developed to more accurately assess candidates based on behavior-based proof and to reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process. This type of hiring helps interviewers to look for competencies rather than traits. Then, you are more likely to hire based on the ability to successfully perform a job. It will also reduce hiring bias toward candidates who seem like a good fit primarily because they look, sound, or behave like you.

Quick Guide to Behavioral Interviewing

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Behavioral Interviewing

How a candidate handled a past situation is the best way to understand and predict future behavior. Use this free guide to hire high-quality drivers and reduce your turnover rate.

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How to Boost Driver Retention with What You Already Have

Trucking companies are in competition every day for the best drivers. Recruiters work hard to find the best fit drivers for their current and long-term needs. Once these drivers are onboard and driving, you still need to work to keep your driver retention rates high. Otherwise, you will be constantly cycling through the hiring process. You want your drivers to stay with you, and need to work to keep them. So when it comes to keeping good drivers, let’s explore how to boost driver retention with what you already have as assets to your driver strategy.

Company Culture

Every company has a culture, and it could be either your best asset or your worst enemy. One thing any recruiter needs to be aware of is the general perception of what it’s like to work for your company. If you’ve got satisfied and productive drivers, your company culture is an attractive value proposition when recruiting new drivers. And a strength that you should leverage when recruiting and onboarding your drivers.

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 signals to drivers that they can call your company home.

However, if you’ve got disgruntled employees and corresponding high turnover rates, it’s time for change. You need to do some hard work to fix the internal issues causing the problems. Take the steps needed to build a driver-centric culture. Your current employees and new hires will stay longer, improving your driver retention over the long run.

Driver Testimonials

Current driver testimonials are a powerful tool in recruiting for retention. Who better to tell a prospect about why a driver would want to work for your company, than a current driver? Sometimes the most sophisticated marketing tools for recruitment can’t compete with a simple, honest and authentic testimonial from a driver who loves their job. So use these to your best advantage!

Drivers looking for work, often ask around their peers for leads and opportunities to apply for driving jobs. Having a few good testimonials to leverage in your marketing channels is a fantastic way to recruit for drivers that will best fit your company culture for the long-term.

And when hiring for a best fit from the beginning, it also helps with driver retention once hired. Having your current drivers be a marketing asset for your company is a great way to make current employees feel even more valued. It shows that you’re proud of the work that they’re doing, and gives them even bigger feeling of belonging vs. just punching a timecard.

Flexibility

Flexibility is a major strength in any good recruitment and retention strategy. Keeping things personal in this process, means being flexible. Listening to what your candidates need in order to join your team vs. another, is extremely important. Candidates have a lot of questions for any recruiter. Are you ready to answer them for each candidate?

The more you can tailor the experience to each individual, gives you the best advantage for signing the best drivers. And signing them quickly.

Once new drivers are hired in, staying flexible to meet their needs help keep these drivers as happy and engaged employees.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your hiring process and start hiring for retention, Drive My Way can help!

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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