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truck driver shortage
Anyone who has been in trucking for even a few years is no stranger to the trucking shortage. This phenomenon has been growing for several years, and despite the unexpected twists of the past year, the truck driver shortage continues. As a single company, there is little you can do to change the overall industry conditions. However, there are ways to combat the trucking shortage in your own fleet.

Overview of the Driver Shortage

The current trucking shortage is a combination of several intersecting factors. First, there are still limited numbers of drivers entering the trucking field. This has been an ongoing trend for several years, and the industry as a whole has struggled to recruit and retain millennials and younger drivers. Second, the FMCSA’s Clearinghouse is in full effect. The Clearinghouse cleaned driver databases and removed tens of thousands of drivers who did not pass the drug and alcohol screening. The majority of these drivers have not taken steps to re-enter trucking. Both the lack of young drivers and the decrease as a result of the Clearinghouse were relatively expected influences. COVID-19 has added several additional challenges. 

When COVID-19 hit the trucking industry, there was a wide range of consequences depending on the company and haul type. For some, demand spiked overnight, and hiring drivers immediately was the biggest challenge. For other companies, business dried up, and they may have laid off drivers to keep the business afloat.

As we move through 2021, there continues to be mismatched supply and demand within different trucking niches.

In addition, drivers who were laid off have likely been collecting unemployment benefits. With the additional stipend provided by many states, some drivers are getting a good payout and are not incentivized to return to their driving jobs. The increased federal aid for unemployment is set to run through September 7, 2021, but many states intend to reduce unemployment benefits sooner. This may help reduce the trucking shortage, but fleets will still be contending with the other ongoing challenges. 

An Inside Look at the Shortage

The combination of factors mentioned above meant that it’s a driver’s market right now. Top drivers have their pick of jobs, and companies must have compelling offerings to attract drivers to their fleet. 

Drive My Way’s CEO, Beth Potratz, has deep expertise in HR and the trucking industry. She shared these insights on the ongoing driver shortage.

Beth Potratz

Beth Potratz, CEO of Drive My Way

“In the industry, there has been a stark decline in drivers searching for jobs, advertisement cost per lead is at an all-time high, and the average cost per hire has increased 41% higher month over month. ​

With local jobs aside, results with Drive My Way are consistent with the trends. Throwing more money at advertising will not fix the problem. Focus on the quality of your offering: pay, home time flexibility, and equipment quality. ​

The critical thing is that with fewer drivers looking for a job, those that connect first will win. It’s vital that you aggressively make a timely connection with drivers that express interest. Other recruiters are trying to reach them as well. Make those that express interest and who have completed a full app a priority.”

There is no single solution to becoming a top recruiting company, but successful hires start with an appealing job offer and a driver-centric culture. Optimize your offerings to bring in quality drivers that are right for your fleet.

How To Combat the Driver Shortage

Improve Your Job Offering

Because demand for drivers is high and supply is low, drivers can be particular and choose from top companies. Attracting drivers has to start with a top offering. At a minimum, your total compensation package – pay, home time, and benefits – should be at or above the industry average for that job type and region. If you offer a significant sign-on bonus, make sure that the rest of your package is also strong. The majority of drivers prefer higher pay to a large initial bonus and may be skeptical if the bonus is too big. Historically, some companies withhold pay in job advertisements to stay competitive with drivers. With demand for drivers as high as it is, that is a luxury that no company can afford. Drivers are looking for the best offer. Bring something valuable to the table, and make sure drivers are clear on your offer. 

Your total compensation package – pay, home time, and benefits – should be at or above the industry average. If you offer a significant sign-on bonus, make sure that the rest of your package is also strong.

In addition to a compelling compensation package, it’s important to clearly communicate the job description. The best job descriptions are specific and transparent. Drivers want to know what they’re getting into, and they don’t want surprises down the road. Make sure the most important details stand out, and use clear, concise language and formatting to convey the information. A well-written job description tells drivers that you are organized and understand their priorities.

Fine Tune Your Recruiting

A good job description may bring drivers in the door, but it’s up to recruiters to keep drivers interested. When a driver expresses interest in a position, it’s important to contact drivers quickly. That may mean changing staff hours to include shifts that are outside of the typical 9AM to 5PM. When demand for drivers is so high, even a few hours can be the difference in making the hire. If you have a top driver who is unsure about the position, put them in touch with a current driver. This demonstrates your trust in your drivers and is a clear commitment to transparency and company culture. If the compensation package is strong, one good conversation may be enough to convince a driver that you are the right fit.

female trucker

If drivers are not responding to your digital advertisements and marketing efforts, expand your candidate pool and evaluate your minimum qualifications. Reach out to underrepresented driver groups such as women, drivers of color, and young drivers. There are many great employees out there who you may be missing because your ads are not in the right places.

Another opportunity to bolster driver interest is through referral programs. Offer incentives (financial or otherwise) to current drivers who bring in new candidates. To incentivize driver retention, offer the referral bonus to your current driver after the new driver has stayed for 90 days or a similar trial period. Expanded marketing efforts and referral programs are a great way to help combat the truck driver shortage. 

Retain Current Drivers

One of the best ways to combat the effects of the trucking shortage in your fleet is to reduce the number of new drivers you need. Retention is just as important as recruiting. Start your retention efforts in the structure of your jobs. For example, if you are planning to give bonuses, reward longevity and performance over time rather than a hiring bonus. In addition, make sure your current drivers feel valued. Appreciation can come as a financial incentive, but you can also use home time, company or truck gear, or recognition to show drivers they matter. 

truck on the roadThe final, but perhaps most important, retention strategy comes from driver input. Drivers have years of valuable experience, and if they stay with your company for a long time, there’s a reason. Find those drivers who have stayed loyal, and ask why they stay. Then, amplify the things you are doing well! Many people focus on eliminating problems to improve retention, but it can be similarly effective to increase positive aspects of the job.

Ultimately, one company won’t resolve an industry-wide truck driver shortage. Instead, do your best to get clear, compelling, and concise job postings in front of the right drivers. Then, respond quickly to top candidates to make the hire. For current drivers, ensure that your HR structure supports driver retention so you can keep the good drivers you already have. 

truck driver incentive program checklist

FREE RESOURCE

Truck Driver Incentive Program Checklist

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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4 Ways to Expand Your Recruiting and Attract Minority Truckers

Taking score of your overall recruitment efforts is important. Who are you reaching? What candidates are you obtaining? When you ask those questions, you need to measure the overall demographics of who you’re attracting to your open jobs vs. your goals. Setting out to expand your recruiting reach and get the attention of new prospects should be a measurable goal. When you seek to increase your reach to diversify your pool of drivers, you sometimes need to include new tactics. Here are 4 ways to expand your recruiting and attract minority truckers.

1. Create a Culture of Diversity

Your hiring plan should reflect the applicants you’re seeking. Therefore, it’s important to have a hiring plan that helps you broaden your reach and mix of candidates. Creating a culture of diversity is something that can help you attract a broad range of minority truckers’ applications.

Does the workplace reflect a welcoming atmosphere for everyone? Is your environment welcoming to everyone?

Setting up a culture of inclusivity in your workplace can be a great advantage in bringing in more minority truckers.

2. Use Marketing to Your Advantage

minority truck driverDoes your marketing work for attracting minority truckers? That can mean everything from featuring women and people of color in your images on your website, to showcasing that your benefits package is inclusive across all applicants. Marketing to minority truckers is advantageous and can just take a little bit of adjustments to your current plans.

Take stock of the images and the language you’re putting out in your communications. Is it inclusive to all? If the answer is no, it’s time to adjust!

Don’t forget to include your benefits packages and other HR policies to be inclusive of these objectives. After that, you might find that you’re getting the maximum pool of candidates that you’re trying to reach.

3. Implement Referral Programs

Use your current driver pool to expand your recruiting efforts. This should be an effort to have all your drivers refer a candidate, but it is an opportunity to be overt to your current minority drivers to refer qualified friends and family to your open positions.

If you don’t ask your current drivers to send driver opportunities your way, they will never find you. Research shows that “word of mouth” plays a huge factor for drivers looking for trucking jobs. When looking for minority truckers, referrals can be great.

4. Align with Minority Truckers’ Organizations

There are several trucking organizations geared towards women, or minority truckers. Find ways to get in touch and align your efforts in conjunction with those organizations. Can you find opportunities to sponsor an event or activity? Or simply promote their organization’s badges or messages on your website? Regardless, there are plenty of ways to get engaged.

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

 truck driving jobs for veterans

Even amid the roller coaster of supply and demand for many trucking companies in 2020, the truck driver shortage remains a constant. The factors underlying the shortageexperienced drivers retiring and insufficient new drivers entering the candidate poolare unlikely to change in Q4 of 2020 and into the new year. If the driver shortage is affecting your company, continue to reach out to untapped candidate demographics. Supporting efforts to promote truck driving jobs for veterans in your company can introduce a tremendous, underrecruited group of drivers. If veterans seem like an unlikely candidate pool, consider these five advantages of hiring veterans to your fleet. 

1. Hire for Experience

Many military personnel have credentials or experience that are directly applicable to CDL driving. Some servicemen and women drove large trucks as part of their regular duties. These drivers are essentially coming to your fleet with several years of experience already! In addition, military troops are frequently hauling hazardous materials. While these drivers will still need to earn their official HazMat endorsement, they are already familiar with many of the safety and skill requirements. Similarly, all truck driving jobs for veterans still require a CDL license, but for many service members, their experience will make the professional transition easy. 

2. Recognize the Value of Soft Skills

Veterans bring grit, self-discipline, dependability, and leadership to their jobs. Military personnel are specifically trained to be mission-focused and have a high level of situational awareness. As an employer, that means you can count on them to prioritize the success of the job and find a way to accomplish their route and overcome any obstacles. In addition, veterans tend to be highly attuned to their environment. 

Situational awareness can help drivers assess challenging situations quickly and efficiently while under pressure.

Similarly, veterans bring valuable mental stamina to their jobs. They specifically receive training to manage high levels of stress. As a result, many are able to perform well in chaotic or confusing situations that might leave others overwhelmed or indecisive. 

3. Fill Demand with Supply

Despite their wealth of skills, military veterans are not heavily represented in truck driving jobs. A few companies are industry leaders and specifically work to increase their number of available truck driving jobs for veterans. Perhaps more importantly, veterans are a largely unexplored candidate pool. Some veterans may already have their CDL, but others may not realize that they already have the skill set to earn their CDL license. Consider forming partnerships or direct recruitment channels with veterans with trucking experience.  It is a great way to recruit quality drivers who other companies may shortsightedly overlook.

4. Fit your Company

One of the big reasons for driver turnover is a low satisfaction rate with home time. For many drivers, especially those in OTR positions, long nights or weeks away from family may be a deal-breaker. In contrast, most veterans are used to time away from home while on deployments.

That said, it’s not just an easier adjustment for drivers. Families also have experience with limited home time and remote communication. 

The lifestyle fit between the military and trucking goes beyond home time. The structure of military life can lend itself to the hierarchical nature of many trucking positions. Also, just as many veterans got to travel through new parts of our country or other countries, truck drivers are also on the move. For many with a wandering soul, truck driving is a way to keep seeing new places as part of civilian life.

5. Veterans are Trained for Teamwork

Teamwork is essential for military operations. In truck driving, collaboration also plays a central role. Whether it’s communicating with other members of the fleet, management, dispatchers, or external contacts such as shippers or customers, teamwork is necessary for building strong relationships on the job.

PTS Worldwide knows exactly how to highlight that strength when recruiting for truck driving jobs for veterans. In their job descriptions, they specifically look for teamwork.

“Are you a safe and professional driver looking for a company that understands that their success is dependent on your success? PTS Worldwide is a company founded by drivers that know we need your skills, enthusiasm, and commitment to achieve our goals together.”

PTS goes on to specifically highlight collaboration in their call to action by inviting drivers to “partner” with them and “join our team.” This demonstrates a deep understanding of military values as well as a company culture that recognizes the importance of teamwork.

Follow by Example

There are several companies that are already well known in the trucking industry for their strong veteran recruitment programs. In addition to PTS Worldwide, CRST Trucking, Averitt, Schneider National, and JB Hunt are just a few of the companies that are known for their strong veteran recruiting program and culture.

There are a few key ways in which these companies help themselves stand out as military-friendly workplaces. Implementing even one or two of these strategies can make your company more attractive to veterans.

Active Recruiting

Companies who successfully recruit veterans don’t just rely on inbound marketing for hiring. They are proactive in reaching out to potential drivers early and often. For some companies, the recruiting process starts even before personnel have fully completed their duties. 

Align Language 

Language is powerful. In recruiting, it can be the difference between someone seeing themselves in your post and applying verses simply skimming through and ignoring.  Just as PTS Worldwide consciously recruits for teamwork, there are other ways to consciously align your marketing language with military vernacular. Schneider is a great example. When marketing to veterans, they include phrases such as “next mission,” “integrity,” “pride in your work,” and “core values” — all words that directly relate or appeal to people with military experience.

Value Military Experience

As you work to recruit more veterans, spend time creating a company culture and policies that support those future drivers. When applicable, consider counting military service as job experience. If that’s not feasible for your company, show your support through words and actions. Publicly and privately thank veterans for their service. Additionally, support programs for veterans such as Wreaths Across America or the Run for the Fallen. 

Ease the Transition

All new employees will go through a job transition period. For drivers making the transition from active duty to truck driving, there will be added changes. As an employer, consider promoting mental health support services, training your staff on working with veterans, or building a mentorship program to help ease the transition. Some companies, like JB Hunt, also make a Statement of Support to actively showcase their commitment to employing veterans. This is a great way to support truck driving jobs for veterans. 

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

The most well informed recruitment plans have drivers at their core. In a finely tuned trucking recruitment plan, the needs and preferences of your drivers sit side by side with company logistics and priorities. First, listen closely to the questions, concerns, and priorities expressed by drivers. These are valuable insights that will help close leads. Similarly, marketing, budgeting, and technology are the infrastructure that supports the relationship between recruiters and drivers.

Start With Drivers

Developing trust with drivers requires a significant investment of time. Building a relationship with drivers takes multiple touchpoints, ideally on their schedule. That may mean making time during evenings or weekends to speak with drivers. In conversations with prospective drivers, be clear early on about pay, hours, home time, and other key details. Your total number of driver leads may decrease as a result, but it’s worth it. As a result, you will retain quality leads who are more likely to become hires.

Ask drivers what attracted them to your job post and, when relevant, why they are no longer interested. Then, use this data to refine your job descriptions. If there is one aspect of the job that is consistently cited as a problem, consider creative solutions. Is there an opportunity to increase driver pay? If not, what non-financial incentives can you offer that will attract drivers?

Connect Recruiting and Marketing

Once you have identified which job aspects most appeal to drivers, align marketing and recruiting efforts. Platforms targeted toward recruiting drivers like social media pages and your company website should present a cohesive story that highlights the most compelling parts of your company.

If you’re unsure how to refine your media presence, start with feedback loops. Create visible channels through which drivers can give feedback.

Thoughtfully review driver comments and reactions. Then, assess comments for actionable steps and implement any changes that make sense. Throughout this process, track driver lead attribution to identify which channels most effectively engage drivers. Identify marketing channels with a low cost per hire (CPH), and increase spend there. 

One of the most powerful lead generators is word of mouth. Consider implementing a referral program for current drivers to help recruit new employees. To start, designate specific time and resources for the internal marketing of referral initiatives. Similarly, include marketing efforts for retention as a key element of recruitment. Retaining drivers is one of the most cost-effective and time-efficient ways to keep a fleet running smoothly. 

Account for Large and Small Expenses

When creating a budget for a trucking recruitment plan, it’s easy to overlook variations in cost per hire. Often, these are recurring costs, and those numbers add up quicklyIncreasing budget precision in your trucking recruitment plan may increase your intended spend. 

When reporting up for budget approval, revenue is the bottom line.

Assess the revenue totals for an incomplete fleet. Next, compare that to the revenue that could be generated with a fleet at full capacity. A well-defined recruitment budget clearly demonstrates the increased revenue potential of a fleet operating at full capacity. Here are a few places to make sure you have accurately assessed your costs.

Turnover

Driver churn is a huge part of the recruitment process. Realistically, failing to account for the extra drivers you will need to hire to compensate for turnover will set your budget back substantially. 

If Company A has a 100 driver fleet and a 50% turnover rate, they will still need to recruit more than 50 new drivers annually. You have to account for turnover within your new hires. That’s an additional 25 drivers! Company A should plan a recruitment budget for a total of 75 new hires to maintain their fleet size.

Referrals & Rehires

Not all hires have the same cost. Referrals and rehires are typically a lower cost per hire than a cold lead because they already have a warm introduction to your company. As a result, these hires should be assigned a lower cost in a trucking recruitment plan. With that in mind, if rehires are not currently a part of your recruitment budget, add them! Allocating resources to retaining drivers will save capital in the long run if you can reduce turnover.

Hiring Across Divisions

Just as referrals and rehires have a different cost per hire than other leads, large fleets may also see a significant difference in CPH across divisions. For example, local no-touch freight jobs are likely to require less time and expense than an OTR livestock position. Analyze historical CPH data and use that information to create a more precise budget.

Use Technology as Infrastructure

Successful recruiting is personal, but the technical aspects cannot be ignored. Essentially, technology is the infrastructure that supports human relationships in recruiting. Everything from your company website to specific job applications must be mobile friendly to optimize driver engagement. 

Technology is the infrastructure that supports interpersonal relationships in recruiting.

Technology can remove inefficiencies in your recruitment process. First, conduct a systematic review to identify areas of lost, misallocated, or delayed information. Randall Reilly has compiled a list of common recruitment inefficiencies in the trucking industry. Then, evaluate your ATS and ensure that no leads are being lost or incorrectly attributed. Next, encourage recruiters to get qualifying information early. After, immediately eliminate any unqualified leads. Finally, carefully nurture your qualified leads

Calendars and standardized note taking practices can safeguard against lost leads. In addition, when leads are disqualified, track the reason. If a pattern emerges, you may be able to streamline your recruitment process. It pays to eliminate disqualified leads earlier in the pipeline because it saves time in the long run.

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 recruiters are invaluable to their carriers. Recruiters find and interview leads, identify top talent, send them job offers, and shepherd drivers through training and orientation. Without strong recruiters, truck driving jobs would remain unfilled and trucks would be sitting idle. Recruiters are especially important for a tough industry like trucking which faces unique obstacles. Here are 4 challenges facing trucking recruiters.

1. Driver Shortage

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way: the biggest challenge for anyone in this industry is the driver shortage. The truck driver shortage has increased, and the industry is lacking about 60,000 drivers. The driver shortage will continue and grow over the next few years, even taking into account a rise in autonomous trucks. While the driver shortage affects the entire industry and economy, it’s a major challenge for recruiters. Finding the best talent for your carriers is extremely difficult when the pool of candidates is narrow. Worse still, these candidates are courted by many carriers simultaneously, so it’s difficult to entice them with something the top carriers can’t match.

2. Unqualified Leads

Even when you find drivers in the midst of the shortage, about 50% of your leads will not be viable. Recruiting is a matching game—you can’t just pick any driver for any kind of trucking job. While sorting through dozens of candidates you’ll find that over half are unqualified, uninterested, inexperienced, or otherwise inappropriate for the job. Meanwhile, you’ll have wasted time and precious recruiting budget on pursuing dead leads.

Instead of recruiting blindly, what you really need is a stronger matching or screening system.

3. High Turnover

As if the driver shortage wasn’t enough, trucking recruiters also deal with high turnover. Once a carrier finally lands a top driver, it’s not as if they will always stick around for long. In fact, many fleets are losing more drivers than they recruit each year. Carriers can use incentives like signing bonuses, but those aren’t geared toward retention. Strong retention starts with strong recruiting, so it helps if you only hire drivers who are a good match. Survey your drivers to better meet their needs and match their values will also help reduce the chances they are enticed by job offers from rivals. Still, building a solid company culture which nurtures driver loyalty can be a long-term investment that is easier said than done.

4. Budget Allocation

You only have so much money you can spend on recruiting. What and where to spend that money on are challenging questions facing all trucking recruiters. Today there are many more recruiting channels than ever before and carriers want to spread a wide net, reaching as many drivers as possible. At the same time, you may be wasting money if you allocate it toward recruiting methods that just aren’t effective. Measuring your recruiting effectiveness is an essential task that can help you allocate your budget efficiently, reach more drivers, and save money. Nevertheless, spending that kind of research is time-consuming in itself.

What recruiters really need are strong tools which help them recruit very efficiently through different channels suited for location and job type

 

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

Untitled-8-1

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

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

1. Another Job

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

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

2. Salary

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

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

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

3. Hours, Schedule & Home Time

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

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

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

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

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

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Access More Driver Decline Reasons

Unlock additional reasons why truck drivers decline your CDL jobs by downloading our free ebook. The book shares insight to what drivers really want.

Download the Ebook

recruit millennial truck drivers

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

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

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

1. Advertise to Millennials on Social Media

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

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

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

2. Streamline the Application Process

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

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

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

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

3. Prioritize Work-Life Balance

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

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

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

4. Highlight Wellness Initiatives and Benefits

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

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

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

5. Showcase Company Culture

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

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

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

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

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

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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truck driver stats

“Know your audience” is one of the key mantras of the business world now, regardless of which industry or market one is in. Truck drivers are the lifeblood of the transportation industry. They literally connect the industry’s different players together through the mobile nature of their workers.

Knowing more about the average truck driver and their work and lifestyle can help employers recruit and retain workers. It will also help them connect and empathize with drivers on a personal level and foster a more positive work environment. A positive relationship between management and drivers feels good, but also leads to more productivity, motivation, and loyalty from drivers. Here are 7 truck driver stats every employer needs to know.

1. There are 3.5 million truck drivers in the US.

Even though this is a very large industry and workforce, there is a considerable driver shortage. Out of these, only about 1.6 million are heavy-duty tractor trailer drivers. To complicate matters, driver turnover is significantly high. Treat your drivers well and remember that the labor is not easily replaceable.

Only about 6% of all truck drivers are women (about 200,000), although this number is on the rise.

This remains a largely untapped market for potential drivers and is a contributor to the driver shortage.

 2. The average truck driver age is 49.

Knowing the demographic and social profile of drivers will help you connect with their interests, values, and lifestyle.

The average truck driver is middle-aged and been through plenty of other jobs and work experience. Treat them with respect like mature professionals, not rookies.

The average driver is also most likely married or has been married in the past. They most likely have children. Family time is an important factor that drivers consider when deciding who to work for.

 3. The average driver workweek is 70 hours in an 8-day period.

This should give some idea of how taxing the driver work schedule is. Seventy hours is much higher than the 44-hour workweek of the average American.

Additionally, the average driver works 8 days before taking a day off. This means an average of eight days without seeing family, unless there are special benefits with companies offer.

Providing a more appealing working schedule package will help differentiate your company from the rest of the crowd.

4. The average number of miles logged by a driver in a single year is 100,000 miles.

This is another staggering example of truck driver stats that you need to know. Miles logged paints a picture of how much time a driver spends on the road in just one year. Being behind the wheel for such a long time has implications for driver lifestyle and health.

Investing in cabin amenities for drivers will go a long way in appealing to their needs in the truck itself.

While not everything can be done behind the wheel, employers can make sure drivers are comfortable with the latest amenities such as ergonomic seating and satellite radio.

5. The average yearly earnings by a driver is $41,000.

This isn’t a very significant number for the tremendous amount of labor put in by truck drivers. There are constant pressures on employers to cut operating costs in the different aspects of the business. Too often, the hit is taken on labor itself. By creating efficiencies in other areas of the business, or cutting costs in other ways, employers can attempt to raise the salary offering for drivers.

Offering better compensation for drivers will significantly attract them to your company more than the competition.

Due to the driver shortage, drivers will have no hesitation going to another company for work if they feel like they are not being compensated as well as they deserve.

6. The projected employment growth for tractor-trailer drivers from 2016-2026 is 6%.

The truck driver stats on job outlook over the next 10 years is comparable to most other occupations. However, it remains to be seen if this will cover the increase in the demand for goods transported over the roads.

It is likely that the driver shortage will remain an industry factor for a considerable period of time.

Basically, the growth in drivers may not be higher than the growth in the number of jobs, so make sure you’re doing all you can to attract and retain drivers.

7. The number of nights away from home for the average driver is 240 nights.

That’s almost 2/3 of the year away from home. Considering the age and demographic profile of truck drivers, most of them likely have a family they’d like to spend time with.

Employers can’t change the intrinsic nature of the job, which is that drivers will be on the road and away from home. They can however, offer benefits packages which address the drivers specific home life and schedule needs.

Many companies now offer extended time-off, flexible work schedules, or even offer to have couples travel on the road together. Getting to know your driver’s schedule needs will help you craft a package tailored to their needs and retain them for longer.

driver happiness and retention survey

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Driver Happiness & Retention Survey

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truck driver shortage

Truck driver shortage increases are continuing to cause pain for companies across the United States. Currently, the shortage of truck drivers throughout the country is up to 48,000. It will likely continue to increase and is estimated to reach 175,000 by 2024.

To deal with this overwhelming truck driver shortage, some companies believe that they simply need to hire more drivers before other companies do. Unfortunately, this is a small band-aid on a much larger issue. Here are two reasons why fixing the truck driver shortage will take much more than just hiring more truck drivers.

1. Drivers and Employers Aren’t on the Same Page

There are not enough drivers to go around. But, there is also not enough time in the day for companies to find qualified drivers for their jobs. Day after day, recruiters face the process of sorting through the weeds to find drivers that meet their requirements. An overwhelming 88% of fleets report that most applicants are simply not a fit for their jobs.

This results in time wasted on both sides. Drivers are frustrated because they can’t find a company that meets their professional qualifications and personal lifestyle preferences. Employers are frustrated that they can’t find drivers that meet their needs.

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To spend less time searching for qualified drivers, employers need to make sure their job descriptions are accurate and optimized for their ideal driver. Exaggerating pay, benefits, or home time only results in retention issues and a damaged company reputation. Consider including driver testimonials, offering a driver referral bonus, or utilizing digital marketing to reach a broader audience. Each of these ideas can help increase the number of potential candidates that match the company’s ideal driver target market.

2. Employers are Focusing on Hiring, Not Retaining

Some employers have figured out how to attract qualified drivers for their jobs, but retaining them is another story. In this market, employers who offer great benefit packages, competitive pay structures, and performance incentives see a better long-term retention rate for drivers than companies who are just average.

However, aside from the pay and benefits, drivers also want to work for companies who treat them with respect, offer challenging and meaningful work, value their efforts, and find a way to get them home with their families more.

In other words, retaining qualified drivers in this market requires companies to consistently and creatively implement ideas to make sure their drivers are happy and engaged with their work.

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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retain truck drivers

It is no surprise that America has been struggling with a truck driver shortage over the past few years. Now more than ever, the ability to retain truck drivers is key. Companies need to reevaluate their recruiting and retention strategies for finding and keeping qualified drivers.

Some companies have tried offering a large sign-on bonus for 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. Value Drivers by Being Honest and Respectful

The last thing a driver wants is a company that over-promises and under-delivers. Before posting a job, companies should take the time to reevaluate the perks of the job. Make sure that pay isn’t inflated, home time is realistic, and benefits are factual.

Truck drivers are looking for a job that meets their qualifications, but they are also looking for a job that meets their lifestyle.

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Drive My Way’s research shows that more drivers are requesting to travel with a pet or spouse. Similarly, drivers are looking for home time, and are placing more value on maintaining their health while driving. Companies who are truthful in their job advertisements will attract the best candidates. Look for drivers who not only meet the qualifications, but are also happy with the lifestyle that the job offers.

When a company promises a driver these perks but then changes the rules a few months into the job, the driver loses interest in keeping that job and also loses respect for the company.

After a driver loses respect for a company, that driver will let his or her entire network of drivers know exactly what happened. That will only increase the difficulty in filling future jobs.

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

Sometimes it takes a company to post a job advertisement on Facebook to find out from their current drivers that something is unsatisfactory. Maybe their pay is too low, their benefits aren’t desirable, or the company over-promises and under-delivers. Drivers want supervisors to hear their opinions. They are willing to share feedback—the problem is, most companies never ask. Companies that retain truck drivers value input from all divisions of the fleet.

Instead of waiting to receive this feedback on a public social media platform, companies should ask their drivers for feedback directly through an engagement survey, an in-person conversation, or a even a quick poll.

This gives the company an accurate pulse on their drivers’ happiness and satisfaction with their jobs. It is also a great retention method because it proves that the company cares.

After collecting the feedback from drivers, companies should have a plan in place. It’s important to quickly address the feedback and make improvements. Nothing is worse than providing feedback to a company and never seeing anything come from the survey.

3. Offer Referral Bonuses and Performance Incentives

Drivers are looking for more than just a lofty sign-on bonus. To retain truck drivers, offer opportunities to be involved with a community. Acknowledge drivers for their accomplishments (no matter the size), and give areas for growth. Drivers with these opportunities, they are more willing to refer a friend to a job opening at their company. They will also be more engaged with their work.

Instead of constantly investing in replacing drivers, companies should implement referral bonus programs or performance incentives to retain their current, already-qualified drivers.

However, don’t let your referral bonus or performance incentive program fall into the “large sign-on bonus trap.” Focus on incentives that are linked to retention instead of incentivizing quick turnover.

When implementing a referral bonus program, give the money out after the referred driver is with the company for a specific time. Doing so protects companies from granting it immediately after a new driver starts, but having the driver quickly leave. In addition, performance incentives should 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 company’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.

Get the Ebook