We have a shortage of approximately 50,000 truck drivers in the U.S. according to the American Trucking Association. There are many reasons for this. The first, and perhaps the largest reason, is that Baby Boomers are retiring. Though Millennials have surpassed them in number, Baby Boomers are a large group. As they retire, gaps in employment appear and cripple industries. There are enough Millennials to take their place but few from the generation are choosing these positions. Instead, they want positions that mean something to them and will change the world. Millennials are looking for positions that are flexible and perk-filled. This is not just altering the workplace. It’s also changing the way employers approach hiring. Because of that, fleet driver recruitment strategies have to change.
For many generations, finding a job meant an application, a job board, or a referral. Employees searched for employment, and employers just put up the hiring sign. This is changing. It’s now common to see employers advertising to employees. They may still put up the sign, but they need to make that sign flashy. They have to show that the job isn’t just a place to clock in and out. It must offer more than a place to follow orders and become a drone for eight hours a day. Employees of today want more from their jobs. This isn’t a bad thing, but as mentioned, it does mean we have to change driver recruitment strategies. Below, you’ll find strategies for driver recruiting. Some of these strategies are just as effective for driver retention.
The 5 Best Ways to Recruit Truck Drivers Today
Referrals are still a great way to recruit new drivers. But companies are shifting away from many of the traditional recruitment methods. In fact, each year, the use of those traditional methods drop by 6-10%. So what are employers using instead of traditional job boards? Take a look below to find out.
Utilize Social Media
You might feel an eye-roll coming on at the mention of social media. But the reality is that social media is no longer relegated to the sole role of entertainment. Instead, social media is one of the leading drivers of sales today. It isn't just pay-per-click ads either. Companies are developing brand identities and forming relationships with customers. This shows in the fact that 1 in 4 users follow their favorite brands on social media. There, they see products or services in use, and can even purchase directly from many social networks. More than 40 percent of users get their news from social media. Nearly every employee knows how it is to network on social media. Social media is a tool, and so far, only 60% of the trucking industry is using it.
How does a trucking company use social media for recruitment? Post pictures that your drivers capture of the beautiful countryside, or a sunset on the road. Show the cushy interiors of their cabs. In other words, use social media to show potential employees all the perks and culture of the job.
Establish a Good Web Presence
We live in an instant gratification society. For companies that want sales, this often means pay per click ads or other similar tools. They want to find someone quick, as a direct result of one action. For recruiting, employers want the same thing. They want to post a position on a job board or social media page and find someone the next day. That may work now and then, but it isn’t necessarily the most effective method.
It’s difficult to capture attention today, and it’s even harder to retain it. Building a web presence is a long game. But if you do it right, you’re going to attract drivers that want to stay with your company. Why is this? Well, you’ll be answering questions, establishing expertise, and showing who you are. As a result, drivers will better understand your company. They’ll have a feel for what the job would be like. They will apply because they like your company, not because they are desperate for a job. Or, they may be watching you for years, waiting for an opening. It’s even possible that they may have never heard of you before, so they’re looking at your presence to get a better sense of your company. Employees today want to know a company before they apply. This is a good thing. They want to know if they’ll be a good fit and if the company is right for them. If it is, they’re far more likely to stick with you longer.
Recruiting isn’t a matter of just putting yourself out there. You could be the most well-known company in the industry and still not recruit drivers. Even if you recruit them, they might not stay. You need to have something to entice drivers. You need to answer the question, “what’s in it for me, beyond the paycheck?” Employees will happily take a paycheck, but they want more than that too. They want to know you see them as a person. That they aren’t just a cog in the machine to carry out your deeds and make you money.
Provide your employees with perks such as extra vacation time and flexible schedules. Offer an incentive program for good driving. Offer fuel cards for personal use. If you need ideas, ask your current drivers what perks they would like to see. Once you have your perks figured out, advertise them well. Generally, make sure you keep your drivers happy. If you’re listing a job, make sure to list all of your perks.
Just as you nurture leads, you need to nurture potential employees. This means paying attention to them, showing personal interest in who they are. Demonstrate that you genuinely care who works for you. Follow up with all of your employment leads, and walk them through the steps of becoming one of your drivers. Don’t just hand them paperwork to complete. Take them through orientation. Have them meet with people in the company. Connect them to drivers on the team.
Recruiting truck drivers is a matter of taking the time to grow their interest in the job. Create a team and integrate new hires into it from the very beginning. If you don’t care, then why should they.
Most fleet companies only focus on the cost-saving benefits of fleet technology. But fleet technology is just as important for driver recruitment and retention. Due to the ELD mandate, fleet vehicles must have an ELD device to record Hours of Service (HoS). But beyond its requirements, the mandate provides an opportunity to invest in technology. This is an opportunity to improve your fleet. Full-featured telematics systems include route optimization, fleet tracking, HoS analysis, and safety features. Smarter routing, scheduling, and safety features are key to more satisfied drivers. They allow drivers to get home sooner and more often, deal with less hassle on the road, and feel safer.
Anything that makes the job easier and safer is likely to attract attention. In addition, drivers are more likely to remain with a company that takes their safety seriously.
The turnover in this industry is high. But the driver recruiting techniques above help you target the right drivers. Azuga telematics can also help with truck driver recruiting. Our telematics system includes GPS fleet tracking, route optimization, HoS recording, and so much more.
Learn more about how telematics can improve your business at Azuga.