For those who operate a trucking and transportation business, one of the most important operational tasks is to hire an adequate number of drivers. Truck drivers are responsible for keeping rigs on the road and meeting delivery schedules.
Today, however, there is an ongoing shortage of truck drivers. With many experienced drivers reaching retirement age, businesses are looking for ways to recruit and retain new drivers. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the top tips for both recruiting and retaining truck drivers in today’s competitive market.
Recruiting Truck Drivers
Staffing a transportation business begins with recruitment. Finding new truck drivers isn’t always easy, especially post-pandemic. Many driver’s schools and training programs were put on hold, only increasing the shortage of drivers.
To help improve your recruitment process, use the following tips.
Showcase Your Company Benefits
As new drivers enter the market, they will be afforded a number of opportunities due to the shortage of drivers. In order to help your business stand out, be sure to showcase your company benefits in your job descriptions.
Highlight important items such as:
- Paid time off
- Family leave
- Dental, life, medical, and vision insurance
- 401k matching
- Sign-on bonuses
- Annual or quarterly bonus structures
Use Digital Tools to Find Leads
One of the best ways to reach new leads today is to use the internet to your advantage. Platforms such as LinkedIn and Indeed allow you to find leads from across the country.
Make sure that part of your recruitment strategy includes reaching out to potential hires via these platforms. A quick message with a link to your job posting can increase the number of applications you receive.
Communicate Frequently with Potential Hires
It is easy to lose qualified leads during the application process due to a lack of communication. Put yourself in the shoes of the applicant. No one wants to wait around, uncertain of the status of their application.
Send frequent communication updates to those you are actively recruiting. Build out standard timelines, letting applicants know when they can expect to hear back, how many interviews you will hold, and when they will receive your final decision. Communication can go a long way in keeping the interest of potential hires.
Create a Company Culture that Stands Out
As you look to recruit new hires, keep in mind that many offers are available for qualified drivers. What is it that will make your company stand out beyond just your pay and benefits?
This is where creating a company culture that is unique and appealing is key. Focus on how you will actively support drivers. This could be through ongoing training programs, company-wide mentorships, or even through support for further education. When you create a company culture focused on the happiness of your drivers, you’ll have a bigger pool of applicants to choose from. This kind of news travels fast to other potential hires.
Retaining Truck Drivers
In a recent report by the American Transportation Research Institute, one of the top concerns cited by the trucking industry is driver retention. Going hand-in-hand with concerns about driver shortages, companies are looking for ways to ensure that those they hire continue to work for them for years to come.
Once you have hired your drivers, the following tips will help you retain your talent.
Provide Competitive Pay
With so many companies looking to hire drivers, the chances are that someone will try to poach your talent eventually. One of the best ways to keep your drivers happy is to keep up with current pay standards.
You can add bonus structures that reward your top talent. When a driver makes good money with your company, they will be less likely to look elsewhere for work.
Offer Improved Schedules
For truck drivers, one of the biggest reasons for burnout is due to long hours on the road and too many weekends away from family. Retain your best drivers by offering them the opportunity to enjoy better schedules based on the length of employment. This can help keep drivers happy and healthy.
Invest in Ongoing Training
No one wants to feel stagnated in their career. When you offer ongoing training opportunities, your talent will want to stick around to take advantage of the chance to grow.
Pair training with career paths designed to reward those who excel. When a driver sees a path upward, they are more likely to feel engaged in their role with your company.
Care for Your Drivers’ Mental Health
Long hours on the road can lead to drivers suffering from depression and anxiety. As a company, commit to caring for your drivers’ mental health. Allow for ample vacation time and provide resources to help your drivers stay healthy on and off the road.
Focus on a Culture Your Team Loves
While pay and benefits go a long way in retaining talented drivers, most employees are looking for a company that they can be proud to work for. Make sure that you are building a company culture that your team loves.
Good company culture should include clear communication. Drivers should always have a medium to voice complaints and offer suggestions for improvements.
Make safety a cornerstone of your culture. When you put your drivers’ safety first, they will feel valued and invested in their work.
Ensure Vehicle Maintenance
No one wants to drive a truck that is constantly breaking down, and poorly maintained equipment can be dangerous for the operator. Invest in routine vehicle maintenance and consider using onboard telematics to improve the safety and comfort of your drivers.
When drivers see that you are willing to invest in the trucks they rely on daily for their paycheck, they are more likely to value their role with your company.
Visit the Team at Transwest
If you need to add new trucks to your fleet, or you are looking to improve your maintenance schedule, come visit the team at Transwest. We are proud to support the trucking industry with quality truck inventory and premium service centers. Our goal is to help keep your drivers on the road safely and your business operating smoothly.
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