Image for How to Hire Drivers– and Keep Them During a Truck Driver Shortage

How to Hire Drivers– and Keep Them During a Truck Driver Shortage


August 11, 2015

For today’s generation, trucking doesn’t seem to hold much appeal. Long hours on the road, time spent away from family, and mediocre pay is leading to increasingly high turnover rates and driver shortages. In fact, according to the American Trucking Association, the industry needs 30,000 more drivers to meet current demands. If you’re a fleet owner, you’re probably well aware of the truck driver shortage. And, you may even be looking for truck driver resources to attract new talent. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled some of the best tips for finding and hiring truck drivers and reducing driver turnover. Read on to learn how to improve recruitment, training and retention for your fleet.

1. Accelerate recruitment.

With so much competition for drivers, it can be challenging to recruit high quality candidates. However, by rethinking recruitment and appealing to new pools of talent, you can be on the road to hiring new truck drivers a lot faster. Here’s how:

  • Use social media.
    The trucking industry has historically recruited through TV and print ads, but today’s drivers are online. Make sure your company has a presence on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and use these sites to post positions and interact with drivers. Most are free to use, but offer paid advertising that can help with finding truck drivers more efficiently.
  • Make your website work harder.
    Search engine optimization can go a long way toward attracting long-haul drivers. Create a “Careers” page on your website for posting jobs and accepting resumes, and be sure to include keywords that drivers might search — such as “trucking jobs,” “truck driver resources,” etc. You may also want to add a blog to your site, and post articles with keywords, to keep content fresh.
  • Recruit military drivers.
    Military truck drivers can bring a high level of integrity to your organization — and their training is second to none. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program helps veterans and military spouses find worthwhile employment, and offers a nationwide hiring fair as well as online resources.

2. Drive Quality with Better Onboarding and Training.

Despite the truck driver shortage, you shouldn’t have to accept an employee that doesn’t meet your quality requirements. A strong onboarding process for qualifying and training new employees can lead to better performance on the job, and improved satisfaction. It can also reduce driver turnover, which can be costly.

  • Conduct background checks and screenings.
    Head off turnover early by conducting thorough background check and screenings, including moving violations, driving while under the influence, and Compliance Safety Accountability records. Ask for recommendations from previous employers, too — and take the extra time to call them. A little due diligence now could save you time and money later.
  • Create a formal orientation program.
    If your company doesn’t have a formal orientation and training program, create one. Include training in all the skills needed to complete the job, and discuss your expectations and any special job requirements.
  • Ask for employees’ input.
    Conduct a post-training interview to ask new hires how they feel about the job so far, and answer any questions that may have.

3. Create an environment where drivers feel respected and valued.

Build a retention program to ensure truckers know what is expected of them, show them that their opinions are valued, and prove that management is willing to do what it takes to keep them there. Here’s what some of the most successful fleet owners are doing to attract and retain the best talent.

  • Raise pay and benefits.
    Higher salaries and benefits are big draws in any industry — and trucking is no exception. Check industry standards to see what competitors are offering, and make sure your salaries are in line. Also, consider adding health and wellness benefits.
  • Create a better work/life balance.
    Spending days and weeks away from home causes stress for truckers and their families. Consider altering schedules to allow drivers to return home more often.
  • Make the job easier with new technology.
    Automated logs make record keeping less taxing. Rear-facing cameras help truckers navigate blind spots. Automatic transmissions can make trucks easier to drive. Ask your fleet what features they would like to see, and consider investing in technology to improve job satisfaction.
  • Create a career path.
    Truckers don’t just want jobs — they want meaningful careers. If you can provide carriers with opportunities for advancement, transitioning from on-the-road to behind-the-desk, you may see your driver turnover problem turn around.
  • Conduct employee surveys.
    The best way to know what employees want is to ask them. Distribute surveys to ask employees if they are satisfied with their jobs, and find out what you can do to make the work experience better.

In the end, truckers want the same things every employee wants: a promising career, good pay and benefits, and a positive work environment. Even in a truck driver shortage, offering these benefits can help you attract better quality candidates. While you’re growing your workforce, Triumph, formerly known as Triumph Business Capital can help you access working capital to grow your business — and ensure your new employees are paid on time. Ask Blaine Waugh for more information.