January 2018 | Commentary | Carriers Corner: Air, Ocean, Rail, Road Topics

Slowing Down the Driver Shortage

Tags: Trucking, Transportation, Logistics, Supply Chain

Randy Swart is COO, A. Duie Pyle, 800-523-5020

The driver shortage has been an issue in the transportation industry for well over a decade. Carriers need to develop successful tactics and strategies for recruiting and retaining drivers in order to remain competitive.

Carriers must first focus on findingdrivers who are not only qualified and driven, but also a fit for the company'sculture. To attract qualified drivers, companies should create a comprehensiverecruiting strategy that incorporates online and in-person tactics.

Finding the Right Fit

Job seekers increasingly search for opportunities through online sources, so carriers must ensure they have an online presence in locations that cater to these prospective candidates.

One example is social media. More and more, candidates find opportunities through social media referrals, job board accounts, and corporate recruiting and HR accounts. Companies that are active on social media can get on these candidates' radar and empower potential drivers to self-identify culture fit.

Implementing in-person tactics helps carriers reach candidates who are not active online, build relationships with prospects, and determine if the canidate is a fit with the company culture. These tactics could include hosting hiring events or open houses, offering driver programs, and attending industry events or competitions. Select carriers even offer company-sponsored CDL training programs to alleviate the stress of becoming a certified driver.

Once companies recruit qualified and talented employees, strategies to improve retention become pivotal. To retain talented and dedicated drivers, companies must implement programs that reflect their goals and values.

Keeping Talent Happy

Retention strategies have evolved beyond pay raises, promotions, and surface resolutions to address deeper issues today's drivers face.

Knowing that trucking employees are mostly a remote workforce that is in high demand, companies must ensure their communications get through and that they address employee concerns. Retaining talent should be a continuous exercise driven by promoting open communication and encouraging employee feedback.

Trucking companies with successful retention rates often focus on creating a positive work environment and investing in additional training and employee growth. A few policies they can implement include providing survey opportunities to drivers, hosting company-wide town halls, creating ongoing engagement and recognition programs, and organizing consistent and updated training sessions.

Trucking companies achieve success in recruiting and retaining drivers through implementing internal communication campaigns, training, and driver appreciation initiatives. Examples of these initiatives include internal trucking championships, apprenticeships, and leadership development programs.

These programs create a positive environment that values employee feedback, rewards quality work, and encourages career development.

Benefits of Retention

There is no silver bullet for recruiting and retaining truck drivers, but carriers can take some steps to alleviate the difficulties tied to the driver shortage.

Although there are upfront costs associated with implementing recruiting and retention programs, the return on investment from retaining qualified employees makes the endeavor well worth the expense.

Retaining qualified drivers not only reduces costs, but it also upholds the trucking company's brand.






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