Driver recruitment: Competing for top talent in a drivers’ market

Carriers must be competitive to excel at driver recruitment and driver retention in today’s drivers’ market. Finding and keeping your best workforce may sound like a tough job. But there are lots of best practices and tactics to draw from in hiring and retaining your drivers.

Here are some factoids and ideas to get you started:

Pay is a top factor in truck driver recruitment and retention for both men and women

Tenstreet’s and Stay Metrics’ recent Stay Index analyzes truck driver dissatisfaction and pain points. The survey found that pay-related issues (fair pay for the amount of work, fair pay for the level of experience, and fair pay compared to other carriers) ranked in the top 10 concerns for both men and women.

Companies are going all-out to attract younger and diverse truck drivers

To improve driver recruitment, some companies emphasize new equipment. Some pay for schooling with generous or total loan forgiveness. Others take part in local community events like the “Touch a Truck” event held across the U.S. to give kids a chance to experience trucks up close. Some increase pay and vacation time or reduce how long it takes drivers to reach top pay rates. Others offer apprenticeship programs for graduates of a CDL school under 21 years of age. Others bank on past successes working with specific ethnic communities. So, if you’ve been successful in this regard, it probably makes sense to continue to focus on these communities. Don’t forget diversity training for your current staff.

Safe equipment is key to ensuring drivers feel confident on the road

According to the 2020 Driver Recruiting and Retention Annual Report from the Professional Driver Agency and Conversion Interactive Agency, 30.9% of drivers who responded to the survey listed equipment as the issue that concerned them the most. It’s best to maintain equipment with a consistent replacement and maintenance cycle and continuously refresh your rolling stock. In addition, efficiency- and safety-enhancing technology will be a big draw for new truck drivers entering the field.

A well-written truck driver job description can serve as a driver recruitment tool

By clearly explaining the role, responsibilities, and requirements, you can showcase the benefits of joining your firm, culture, and fleet. Your competitive benefits package, pay per mile, bonuses, and pay potential–even the average trip duration and time off between trips–are often significant incentives for truck drivers. Also, be sure to mention if most of your runs are drop-and-hook or no-touch freight. And note any affiliations with facilities where drivers can rest, relax, and make friends. Many drivers will also be happy if you explain that they can bring a friend or pet along for the ride.

Promote your OTR trucking program

To recruit, you can go directly to truck driving schools, driver’s training programs, and local department of motor vehicles (DMV) facilities. Additionally, your current truck drivers can be an excellent resource for recruiting new ones. An employee referral bonus will incentivize them to spread the word and may prove productive.

Speed resume screening and streamline your interviewing process

You can quickly narrow the candidate pool with an applicant tracking system (ATS) and resume screening technology to filter for keywords. It’s a good idea to focus on the candidate’s licenses, certifications, and skills instead of their job titles. And rather than conducting numerous interview rounds, consider inviting all decision-makers to one interview, so you can collectively determine whether a candidate has the skills, experience, and professional values you need.

Complete background checks before making your offer

U.S. Department of Transportation rules mandate that trucking companies conduct thorough truck driver background checks (including a physical exam, drug test, employment verification, and a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) check). If you hire an employee background screening company, make sure it is up-to-date on all national and state laws and regulations.

Now that you’ve recruited the drivers you need by offering them the tools and perks they want, you’ll want to keep them around.

The LoadOps TMS assists with driver recruitment by incorporating driver preferences and hours of service when creating the best load for a truck driver to ensure your truck drivers are doing the jobs they want to do. If a trucker wants to be home every night, LoadOps considers that when creating and planning schedules and trips.

Make your truck drivers happier by implementing LoadOps today.

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