Navigating the Road to Employment: Top Tips for Effective Truck Driver Recruiting and Retention

August 3, 2023

Navigating the Road to Employment: Top Tips for Effective Truck Driver Recruiting and Retention

The transportation industry is the backbone of economies worldwide, facilitating the movement of goods and connecting communities. Among the critical components of this industry, truck drivers play an invaluable role in ensuring the efficient and timely delivery of goods.

Unfortunately, the United States is currently grappling with a shortage of qualified truck drivers. According to the ATA's projections, if present trends persist, the industry may need to fill around 160,000 driver positions by 2028. Moreover, the high turnover rates, with recent reports indicating a staggering 89% rate, as revealed by NewsNation, pose serious concerns for businesses and the overall economy.

One approach to addressing these challenges and stabilizing the transportation sector is by implementing effective truck driver recruiting strategies. 

Understanding the Challenges in Truck Driver Recruiting

The existence of the truck driver shortage remains a contentious issue within the trucking industry, with perspectives differing depending on how one approaches the problem.

On one hand, new drivers consistently enter the industry enthusiastically, eager to embrace a new career in trucking. However, many truck drivers encounter significant challenges and choose to leave the profession shortly after entering it.

It is evident that a truck driver shortage is impacting the level of individual businesses, where companies find it difficult to retain drivers throughout their entire careers. Even the most skilled truck driver recruiting companies encounter common obstacles, such as difficulty in establishing a strong connection with potential drivers and maintaining their interest in the long term.

The Power of Expert Truck Driver Recruiting

The truck driver shortage and high turnover rates have far-reaching consequences. Businesses experience delivery delays, increased operational costs, and reduced customer satisfaction. Additionally, the economy at large is affected when the flow of goods is disrupted.

Truck driver recruiters are pivotal in keeping a healthy talent pipeline of quality professional drivers. A good truck driver recruiter knows that keeping drivers happy starts with making the application, interview, and hiring process easier. 

Did you know that typically drivers pick the company of the first recruiter they talk to?

Without the right systems and automation in place, recruiters can spend too much time sifting through hundreds of candidates just to find a few who fit the requirements. This means good drivers might be missed because they already found a job by the time the recruiter contacts them.

To fix this, great communication skills and fast follow-up with driving applicants accelerate the truck driver recruitment process and strengthen the relationships with potential candidates. Building these connections fosters trust and enhances the likelihood of successful driver recruitment.

Strategies for Building a Strong Truck Driver Recruiting Program

The 2022 Truck Driver Insights Report shares that 95% of candidates who click on a job ad do not complete the application. So what does this mean for truck-driving recruiters? 

Driver experience starts before joining the company, and the job search process influences their overall employment satisfaction. Start by building an effective recruiting program with the following considerations: 

Use Targeted Recruitment Campaigns

Targeted recruitment campaigns help businesses reach potential candidates effectively. There are many stereotypes and stigmas that linger around the inclusivity of the truck driving profession. 

Audit your current recruitment materials and ensure that your corporate collateral encourages people from all walks of life to work with your organization. Tailor messages to highlight the unique advantages of working for your company like schedule, benefits, or pay to attract the right talent.

Leverage Innovative Technology and New Ways to Recruit Truck Drivers 

Traditional job boards have proven inefficient, as even the best recruiting teams only hire 2% of applicants from conventional job boards. Using innovative driver-job match platforms like TF1 allows truck-driving recruiters to optimize their recruitment budget and connect with highly qualified applicants who fit their specific job requirements.

Focus on Company Culture and a Driver-Centric Environment

When drivers feel that their needs are understood and respected, they are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and their overall work experience. A driver-centric approach means tailoring practices to the unique challenges and demands that drivers face on the road. 

Showing that your company genuinely cares about its drivers' physical and emotional well-being creates a positive and supportive atmosphere, promoting better mental health and reducing burnout among drivers.

Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits Packages

Competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits packages are powerful incentives for attracting and retaining top-tier drivers. 

According to a recent survey, drivers looking for jobs are most interested in seeing weekly pay rates (61%), work hours (60%), and route type (60%) listed on job postings. Offering these perks demonstrates a company's commitment to its drivers' welfare.

Ongoing Training and Career Advancement Opportunities

An effective approach to drawing and retaining drivers is investing in comprehensive driver training programs and providing avenues for career advancement. By placing a strong emphasis on enhancing drivers' skills and expertise, you can cultivate a profound sense of professional progress and stability, ultimately resulting in loyalty and retention rates.

Retention Strategies to Reduce Turnover

Retaining experienced drivers is crucial for reducing turnover-related expenses and the need for constant recruiting efforts. The top two reasons why drivers leave their roles are dissatisfaction with pay and their schedules. 

Companies that prioritize driver satisfaction are more likely to maintain a stable and skilled workforce.

One retention strategy to consider is creating driver engagement and recognition programs to boost driver morale. Recognition for exceptional performance and consistent communication with drivers contribute to a positive work environment–consider rewarding drivers with bonuses, annual raises, or other compensation to show you appreciate their loyalty and contribution.

Another key consideration is work-life balance. Many drivers leave the profession because they spend more time on the road than they do at home. By providing drivers with a better work-life balance and addressing their concerns regarding job-related challenges, you can get ahead of these issues and reduce turnover rates.

Outsourcing to Truck Driver Recruiting Companies

If handling recruitment internally is too demanding or you are simply looking for help from experts to scale hiring up or down with business demands, truck driver recruiting companies, like TransForce, specialize in recruiting qualified drivers for transportation businesses. 

As a reputable figure amongst drivers, TransForce leverages its internal expertise, networks, and resources to streamline the hiring process for carriers with open roles. 

Outsourcing advertisement, hiring, and onboarding to quality truck driver recruiting companies provide numerous benefits, including access to a larger pool of qualified candidates, reduced time-to-hire, and increased efficiency in the recruitment process.

By entrusting driver recruiting to an experienced firm, carriers can focus on core operations while the recruiting company efficiently handles the search, selection, and onboarding processes, improving hiring outcomes and the organization's success.

The Future Of Truck Driver Recruiting 

Effective truck driver recruiting is essential for overcoming the driver shortage and improving the overall efficiency of the transportation sector. By prioritizing driver recruiting, businesses can secure a skilled and reliable driver workforce, ensuring their continued success and contributing to the growth and stability of the transportation industry as a whole.

As a leading force in the transportation industry, TransForce recognizes the importance of skilled and reliable truck drivers. Committed to providing optimal solutions, TransForce places a strong emphasis on employing innovative strategies to attract top talent and promote long-term driver retention.

To learn more about how TransForce can support your truck driving recruitment efforts, connect with us today. 

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