In the day and age of driver shortages, additional effort and creativity must be expended to ensure driver retention. Drivers have had the same complaints about the industry for decades. Now that there is a new generation of drivers coming aboard, it’s more crucial than ever to recruit in creative, efficient ways that give transparency to the benefits and operations of a company.
In the current state of driver shortage, there are specific problems that dissuade drivers from applying for transportation positions. Driver retention has been a problem in the trucking industry for a long time: As far back as 1966, the average turn-over rate among drivers was 27% and even then, the two primary reasons for drivers quitting were low pay and home time. The same issues have frustrated drivers for years: poor working conditions, not enough work, little time spent at home, lengthy hours, lack of communication, and poor relationships with upper management and dispatch.
Hiring and retaining a new generation of drivers will prove to be one of the biggest challenges the transportation industry will face. Drivers now have complete transparency into the practices of a company, including feedback on websites like Indeed and Glassdoor which allow potential recruits to see into the company’s practices before communicating with any recruiter there. Establishing transitional training programs is also a good way of easing a new generation drivers into their new roles, especially when coming from a different background.
In the future, it will be important to get creative in order to keep drivers happy. A referral program can help to establish comradery between your company and its drivers, and can effectively help with recruiting more drivers that are willing to stay longer since they’ll be more tuned into what a company has to offer its drivers. Drivers are most interested in what benefits they will receive from a company, and creating appealing marketing materials is a crucial element of today’s engagement. Establishing a presence online, and in social media, is also extremely important. Demonstrating engagement with drivers on Facebook and other platforms is a great way to establish that a company treats drivers well, and listens to their needs.
It’s also important to maintain good relationships once drivers leave the job. Just because a driver has left, doesn’t mean their relationship with the company is over. They might choose to return, especially if it’s been established that your company provides competitive benefits.
In summary, driver retention tactics that worked a decade ago don’t work anymore. A new generation of drivers needs new ways of recruitment and retention. But by employing creative retention strategies, lowering the barrier for younger drivers, and other strategies such as referral programs, new methods of recruitment can be established.