How to Attract and Retain Your Truck Drivers
The truck industry is facing many challenges that don’t appear in other segments. Therefore, trucking companies must develop innovative ways to keep their orders moving. This includes updating your insurance for truck divers and insurance for commercial trucks.
With the explosion of truck driving jobs available today, companies are faced with the challenge of attracting, recruiting, and retaining quality truckers, leading to a driver shortage.
Here’s what you need to know about recruiting and retaining quality truck drivers:
The Truck Driver Shortage
The first step in truck driver recruitment is understanding where the need comes from. Some may argue that it’s not entirely an insufficiency of qualified drivers, but a shortage of quality jobs.
Others would suggest that the jobs are there, but trained and capable drivers don’t exist in the right numbers. While the driver shortage problem is more complicated than simply blaming one element or another, it is something that recruiting teams have to consider when looking to attract and retain drivers.
While each particular trucking industry or company may have different reasons that their positions are hard to keep filled, here are some of the top reasons companies are noticing a shortage:
The shortage of truck drivers may not always be due to a lack of qualified job seekers or candidates. There are tons of people interested in hitting the road for a living, but they can be turned away from low pay, lack of benefits, and difficult schedules.
These drivers may start with one company but quickly move to another organization that better fits their needs.
There was a day when a career trucker could make an amazing salary. The cost of living continues to rise while the salary for drivers has remained somewhat stagnant. On top of the lack of wage increases, deregulation means more competition offering low rates.
These rates make it difficult to offer higher wages. The other potential problem with pay is that most truck drivers are paid by the mile. This pay rate doesn’t take into consideration all of the time spent waiting in traffic, dealing with delays, etc.
Life on the road is a risky life. Long hours on the road, a push to cover more miles faster, weather, handling a larger vehicle: these are all elements that put truckers’ lives at risk.
There are also some companies that take advantage of truck drivers by shorting them on mileage or offering hard-to-achieve bonuses to make up for low mileage rates.
Trucking Companies Can Overcome The Challenges
When you mix some of the reasons why it is a challenge to attract and retain drivers in the industry with the growing need for drivers, the recruiting team of a company has their jobs cut out for them.
These challenges aren’t insurmountable, though, but driver recruitment does take more than simply posting a job online and waiting.
Consider New Recruiting Process
Modern drivers are often researching trucking company jobs and opportunities over social media, including job boards and networking apps. Utilizing social media platforms is a great place to start building your brand by showing that it’s the kind of place drivers want to work.
Some companies are thinking outside of the cargo trailer by doing things like partnering with trucking schools to help sponsor commercial driver’s license (CDL) training courses. Other companies are recruiting directly from pools of people who may already have the right skill set, like former members of the military.
Consider a New Kind of Driver
Historically, the trucking industry has been dominated by male drivers. That is starting to change. Currently, only about 8% of drivers are women, according to a report by Indeed. This is an almost untapped market of potentially recruiting drivers.
Many companies are also looking at younger drivers out of tech schools, the military, or even high school. Some companies are even lobbying to lower the legal age or drivers required for interstate commercial driving.
Pay is one of the first things people suggest to be changed when discussing a new recruiting strategy for drivers. Some companies can certainly increase their mileage budget, but not all can make such a bold move.
That’s why companies are starting to offer higher sign-on bonuses, incentive programs, better insurance plans or insurance premiums, and more.
There’s even some benefit to sticking to yearly raises, weekend pay rates, a benefits package, and performance/safety bonuses. Of course, focusing on things like safe driving can help reduce your rates for insurance for drivers, which also helps your bottom line.
There are other incentives that don’t necessarily involve paying employees more. Providing additional training, for example, can help a driver advance their careers.
You might also consider things like free gym memberships, a better work-life balance, more home time, or quality health insurance.
Focus on Job Satisfaction
Retaining employees is easy when they love where they work. Make sure that every part of your recruitment process and onboarding process makes your new drivers feel they are part of the team.
Providing a mentorship program, increasing home time, or even offering flexibility in the schedule can make a huge difference in trucker morale.
Modern driving tech has made handling a big rig easier and safer than ever. Newer trucks are often equipped with intuitive safety systems that help keep drivers focused and safe on the road. These advanced trucks are also easier to operate, offer greater comfort, and include autonomous features.
Make the Sale
One of the most common mistakes recruiters make is believing that candidates will come to them. Instead, companies are wise to treat recruiting like a sales department. Just changing your mentality can make a huge difference in your results.
Target the kinds of drivers you want and get them excited about a career behind the wheel of a big rig. Close the sale by getting them to apply or accept the job. Just like the carrier for your commercial truck insurance that leads you down a path to make the sale, create a sales funnel for potential candidates, and lead them to join your team.
Partner with the Right Truck Insurance Company
Keep those drivers’ seats full by focusing on the listed ways and best practices of recruiting and retaining drivers for your business.
While you’re looking at ways to market, don’t forget to explore your options for insurance for truck drivers, that way you’re not caught off guard when you bring a new driver on board.
The need for drivers has never been greater, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Create a plan and fill those positions.
To request a truck insurance quote, contact us at SoCal Truck Insurance today.