Hiring the right truck drivers and retaining them – A short guide
It is no hidden fact that fleet owners in America have been struggling with both hiring and retaining truck drivers these past few years. It is a typically strenuous and physically tiring profession that involves owners to ensure the mental wellbeing of their drivers. Now more than ever, companies need to reevaluate their hiring and retention strategies to keep truck drivers motivated in their job. E-commerce giant Amazon ships over 5 billion items in a year worldwide! That’s only Prime accounts, which ensure the same day, one day, or at the most a two-day shipping and delivery option. Thanks to these tirelessly selfless truck drivers, these incredible numbers are possible.
Now multiply this number manifold, and you can estimate the demand of drivers within the trucking industry. To meet the growing demand for online home delivery during the Coronavirus lockdown, the American Trucking Association is facing a shortage of truck drivers. To ensure your business runs as seamlessly as possible, you need to think of new and creative ways to attract and retain truck drivers.
If you think this might help you, here are five ways to find new talent and keep them satisfied in their role:
Hire a new class of drivers
In addition to your existing staff of truck drivers, hiring fresh talent across similar industries will open up a window of growth for freight companies. Despite the number being low, around 8% of the total long-haul truck drivers are women. This opens up access to a new segment for hiring and can help meet the growing demand for truck drivers. Besides, cross-gender hiring inducting the younger generation of truck drivers directly from campuses help hone driving skills from an earlier age.
Good truck driving comes with experience and patience. As truckers spend a large chunk of their day on the road amidst traffic, evaluating soft skills like a patient personality and alertness during safety hazards are key. A trial period with interstate deliveries will help chaff out the right recruits for the job.
Payment and Work Hours
If there is anything that could truly motivate an employee besides their work environment, it would be the pay scale. A fact that is true across industries, most freight companies today are using the arsenal of signing bonuses, yearly pay hikes, weekend driving pay, performance bonuses, and the likes as a weapon to attract drivers.
However, for a truck driver, in terms of work hours and payment, location plays a primary role. Local jobs have lower pay while long shift truckers earn better. Creating a schedule for your truckers will benefit both you and them. Weekly drivers who work shifts, weekend, and urgent jobs that offer overtime and long-haul drives can be some of the categories. Drivers can ask recruiters for a schedule that works best for them to enjoy both job comfort and security.
Partner with Trucking Schools
For the position of a truck driver, a Class A CDL license is required. Truck drivers trained in conventional trucking schools have both the hands-on training and knowledge required for the job. From map reading and vehicle inspection to identifying maintenance problems, CDL trained recruits are more prepared to enter the truck driving industry.
When looking to hire a new workforce, freight companies can partner with trucking schools and CDL training centres for students. Pre-employment screening of the candidate’s records, health, drug, and alcohol consumption are all shared for the company to make a more informed decision. This helps businesses hire the right truck driver and retain better employees.
With a job that is physically consuming, companies need to be honest with their truck driver employees. Ensure the pay is not over-inflated, reevaluate the perks offered, benefits complement the needs of the driver, and set realistic work schedules. Retaining good truck drivers is difficult, especially when companies are offering competitive market pay. However, what employees value most is a job that meets their lifestyle.
Truck drivers today are looking for an equal amount of home time as work hours. Companies that pay attention to the health of their truck drivers have a higher retention rate than those who do not. The right candidate might meet job qualifications, but for a band of loyal and happy employees, companies need to be completely honest about the job requirements.
One of the top ten concerns for freight companies today is driver retention. Drivers are looking for more than just regular pay or a good signing bonus. A comprehensive package with benefits like 401 k, health insurance, paid sick leave helps companies to both attract and retain truck drivers. In addition, acknowledging drivers for their efforts along with a lucrative benefits package opens up an arena of growth for them. They are more engaged with their job and likely to refer friends to join the industry.
Implementing benefit schemes also saves the cost of hiring and training new truck drivers while keeping already qualified drivers satisfied.
The future of trucking
The demand for the freight industry is spiraling upwards. While companies are thinking of more viable ways to hire and retain drivers, we at Truckbook can help. You can not only hire experienced truck drivers with us but choose your budget, and enjoy timely deliveries. Book truck drivers here.