The truck driving market has been suffering from a lack of available drivers for quite some time, but the pandemic and ongoing global supply chain problems make it even worse. In late 2021, President Biden’s Administration declared the recruitment and retention of qualified truck drivers as a nationwide priority – a measure that can give us hope, but also increase our competition for these skilled professionals. To help you tackle these difficulties, here are some effective strategies for driver recruitment and retention that you can employ with the support of a reputable CDL staffing agency. By collaborating with an experienced agency specialized in connecting businesses with qualified truck drivers, you can navigate the competitive landscape and secure a reliable workforce to overcome these challenges.
What is the significance of having an effective driver recruitment strategy?
The public driver deficiency comes down on store network planned operations. There is an estimated 80,000 driver shortage across the nation, according to the American Trucking Association.
Your armada isn’t experiencing the deficiency on that scale. In any case, any driver lack sabotages the efficiency and benefit of your association. You want to deliver cargo quickly and effectively, but if drivers aren’t available to take the routes, you could end up with a backlog. Worse yet, you might have to turn away customers.
Additionally, drivers who rush to finish deliveries in order to take on more work put their safety at risk. In an effort to meet demand, drivers may feel pressured to drive aggressively or engage in other risky behaviors.
Advice for recruiting truck drivers
For commercial fleets looking to recruit both newly trained and experienced truck drivers, this article provides useful ideas to help your organization compete with others. With the growing demand for qualified truckers and a limited pool of applicants, it’s important to capitalize on every opportunity to entice and recruit the best talent. From advertising to incentive programs, these ideas can strengthen your efforts to attract and retain the highest caliber of professionals.
Use compelling marketing materials to reach prospects
Sure, we may have flashy marketing materials highlighting our successes and awards, but really, focusing on creating unique recruitment materials that draw on something more tangible for prospective truck drivers is the right way to go. After all, what good is it really to them if they join a prestigious trucking company that doesn’t offer the same benefits that others do?
This is why it’s so important to make sure your recruitment materials have answers to the question “What’s in it for me?” or else you won’t get the applicants you may otherwise be able to attract. Not only that, but potential applicants will be more likely to trust your organization if you disclose the details of what you can offer in areas like benefits, pay, and vocational development. If you want to truly make an impression, give them something they can count on.
Set up a referral system
Undoubtedly, word of mouth is your most effective marketing tool. In order to increase the number of drivers in your fleet, it is absolutely essential to initiate referral programs that will allow your drivers to spread the word about your services to their friends, family and acquaintances.
Despite this, some drivers might not be keen to refer to new drivers, fretting over the idea that more drivers could lead to fewer loads and thus lesser work opportunities for them. It is therefore pertinent that you are crystal-clear in your explanation to them as to how additional drivers can help expand your fleet and consequently generate more work experiences for all.
Optimize your applications
If you really want to ensure more candidates apply for any openings you have, it’s important to make sure you have a mobile-friendly application. Doing so helps to make the process easier for applicants, no matter where they are when they decide to apply.
In addition, it’s worthwhile to invest in optimizing your process. Nobody wants to go through something they find to be too lengthy and strenuous, so making the application process like playing a game of Tic-Tac-Toe instead of competing in a decathlon will increase your chances at attracting the right candidates.
Finally, keep an eye on the timeline you set for hiring. Make sure you don’t lag too long in getting back to applicants or you could give a prospective candidate an opportunity to go elsewhere. Aim to get back to them within a few days, so they can make a decision very soon!
Why driver retention strategies are important too
Losing some of our truck drivers to our rivals is never a desirable prospect. Finding and bringing in a replacement truck driver is time consuming and expensive. It’s estimated that the cost of replacing a single driver could go as high as $15,000, amassed to a sector-wide amount of $2.8 billion every year.
No two companies or drivers are exactly alike, for that reason there is no single, definitive solution for reducing driver turnover. Nevertheless, these driver retention strategies might help us be more successful in managing driver turnover.
Driver retention strategies to keep your best drivers
Keeping existing, skilled drivers employed is an effective way for fleet managers to tackle the growing lack of truck drivers. To do this, they need to put energy and effort into retaining these veteran professionals.
Provide better working conditions to drivers
Creating better working conditions is a sure way to reduce driver turnover and ensure loyalty to your company. Investing in the quality of life of your drivers and making their lives easier can go a long way towards this purpose.
Installing electronic logging devices (ELDs) in your trucks is an excellent starting point that empowers drivers to be better equipped and better informed in their job. This can erase the common complaints of not being given proper directions or getting stuck in traffic. Plus, ELDs completely eliminate the possibility of form and manner violations, and can even enhance drivers’ ratings, leading to fewer penalties incurred.
Provide a sense of community
The newest addition to our fleet, the driver, won’t be the only one feeling disconnected from our company if we don’t foster a strong fleet culture. For smaller fleets, it’s easier to remember your drivers birthdays and other personal details. If you’re a mid-sized company, it’s still important to check in routinely with drivers to gauge how they’re feeling about their job.
Treat all of your drivers as professional and an imperative part of a larger fleet community. Show them that you care by allowing for work-life balance. Educate them about retirement and health benefits, show them advice on how to keep themselves healthy on long-haul routes, and inform them of any changes to regulations and new trends in the industry.
Create driver feedback loops
No matter what sector of business you’re in, strong employee loyalty starts with successful communication. Your drivers will be more engaged with your organization if they are given chances to contribute their thoughts and feel like their ideas are being taken into account.
To that end, setup advisory groups, put in place opinion boxes, and make sure your fleet managers have regular discussions with drivers. Furthermore, use applications to run surveys and utilize your ELD to send messages right to your drivers.
Before making any serious modifications to your bonus system, ask your drivers what is most significant to them. Keep in mind that money may not be the only answer. Additionally, ask what they would not prefer as an incentive to prevent dissatisfaction among drivers.
Act on your drivers’ ideas. They will be made to feel valued as individuals, not simply as a statistic.
Maintain good relationships even when drivers leave
It may not seem an obvious matter to chat about this in a piece discussing driver recruitment tactics and maintenance strategies. However, even if your drivers decide to pursue other opportunities, if you keep up a positive relationship with them, they may come back to you soon.
It is normal for your truckers to look for deeper career prospects. Instead of feeling bad when this happens, try to understand their situation. Talk to them about their issues with your fleet and figure out why they chose to leave. By recognising the reason behind their decision, you might be able to manage certain aspects in order to maintain your other drivers. Furthermore, show them they’re still welcome should they choose to come back.