The Average Cost to Recruit Truck Drivers

Every trucking company has to recruit truck drivers. Considering that the driver shortage is not going away any time soon you are going to need to keep recruiting drivers. So what is the average cost to recruit truck drivers and how do your recruitment costs compare?

Industry Average to Recruit Drivers

There has only been one study published that calculated the industry’s average cost to recruit truck drivers, and it was published in 2001. The study conducted by Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute found that carriers spend on average $8,234 to hire a driver.

In today’s money that is $12,084. On average, trucking companies are spending over ten thousand dollars for every truck driver that they hire.

However, that industry average more than likely is not going to be reflective of your cost to recruit drivers. That is because the spread from the study ranged from $2,243 to $20,729.

Instead of worrying about the average across the industry, you should focus on calculating your specific costs.

truck driver recruiter in the middle of an interview with a potential driver

Calculating YOUR Hiring Costs

The industry average is a great measuring stick for your company. You need to calculate your company’s hiring costs and then compare it to the industry average. Ask yourself, why is it that your costs are either higher or lower than the average.

The metrics that should be used to calculate your costs are:

  • Entry and exit administration
  • Fixed asset costs due to idle equipment
  • Profit lost due to idle equipment
  • Other costs including safety/insurance/legal, maintenance, and productivity loss.

Inorder to calculate your cost per hire you need to determine a time period (this can be one month, one quarter, six months, or a year), calculate the costs for the metrics mentioned above, and divide those costs by the number of hires you made in that time period.

How to Improve Your Driver Retention

No matter how much your company is spending on hiring costs, it should be clear that the most effective way to reduce those costs is to improve your retention rate. If drivers are not leaving your company then you will not need to hire new drivers to replace them.

There are three pillars to truck driver retention: pay, respect, and management. Your company needs to offer competitive pay to your drivers (no low-balling them), treat drivers with the utmost respect, and employ fleet managers that know what they are doing.

By improving your driver retention, you will be able to keep your drivers on staff and not need to worry as much about your driver turnover costs.

How to Reduce Your Hiring Costs

The lion’s share of costs associated with driver turnover have to do with idle trucks. This means that if you are able to reduce the amount of time it takes to hire a driver then your hiring costs will also be reduced. Reduced hiring time means reduced time with idle trucks.

The best way to have a faster hiring time is to employ a truck company advertising agency that places your job ads at the best places to recruit drivers. Doing this will fill your ATS with branded (aka direct) leads.

Branded leads are truck drivers who apply to work specifically for your company because of your brand. These leads are anticipating a call from your recruiters or will even reach out to your company themselves.

Your recruiters will be able to hire drivers much faster when they are calling drivers that want to work for you. Branded leads will lower the amount of time your company has to deal with idle trucks, the biggest cost of driver turnover.

High efficiency and minimum costs

The average cost to recruit truck drivers is $12,084 across the industry. This average is a great measuring stick for your company to see how you stack up in the industry once you have calculated your hiring costs. Even if your company is below the average, it is wise to improve your retention rate and hiring costs.

The Value of Branded Leads

Before the internet, truck driver recruiters were able to place an ad in the newspaper or run a radio ad and the applicants would come pouring in. Then as things began turning digital carriers started purchasing multi carrier leads from online companies that generated trucking applications and sold them to all their clients. Branded, or direct leads, are now the hot trend.

hot lead icon. Man on fire

Multi-Carrier Leads are Wasteful

If your company is still purchasing multi-carrier leads from driver recruiting agencies, you are wasting your time and money. Your recruiters are forced to race against all of the recruiters from competing companies just to call the driver.

The drivers don’t even want to hear from the recruiters that are competing to call. Recruiters are rushing to be rejected immediately when you fill your ATS with multi-carrier leads.

Multi-carrier leads kill recruiter-morale.

Every time your company purchases a list of multi-carrier leads you are wasting your money on the list, wasting the recruiter’s time, and wasting salary spend on recruiters that are set up to fail.

Branded Leads Improve Everyone’s Performance

Branded leads are drivers applying directly to your company because they like your brand.

Loading your applicant tracking system with branded leads for your recruiters to call is going to improve everyone’s performance. Your recruiters will hire more drivers, the drivers hired will want to work for your company, and your company will become more profitable.

Place yourself in the driver’s shoes. Would you rather hear from tens of recruiters, even after starting a new position, that all got your number from the same multi-carrier list? Or would you rather speak with the one recruiter that works for the company you specifically chose to apply to?

In sales terms, multi-carrier leads are cold leads. Branded leads are hot leads. Fueling your company with hot leads is always going to lead to better results than cold leads.

Hand places a higher target to improve performance

How are Branded Leads Generated? 

Branded leads are not easy to obtain. They require a high level of expertise. Carriers can generate branded leads with a dedicated in-house team or by hiring a trucking company advertising agency.

Either way, your company must have a team solely dedicated to branded lead generation.

A dedicated team is going to focus on three areas: digital driver recruitment, referral programs, and rehires. Those three areas should be the three main contributors to your applicant tracking system.

Digital driver recruitment is going to focus on things such as social media marketing, job board management, and google advertising to spur driver applications and build your employer brand.

To a trucking company, their most valuable asset is their truck drivers. Because there is a driver shortage your company is likely experiencing some turnover. You can not fill empty seats with multi-carrier leads. The true value of branded leads is that their ability to turn into drivers solves the driver shortage for your company.

Picking the Right Trucking Company Advertising Agency

In today’s market it is necessary for all trucking companies to utilize digital advertising. Digital advertising will boost your overall business. The large carriers have the resources to employ an in-house ad team. Small to midsize carriers can save money and hire a third party agency. Here is how to pick the right trucking company advertising agency.

First Decide Why You Are Hiring an Agency

Are you looking for an agency to help your company acquire more business? Or are you needing to hire an agency that specializes in truck driver recruitment advertising?

The reason you need to know this is because it will guide your search for the right advertising agency. Also, you will be able to negotiate more effectively and the agency will respect you as a company that knows exactly what they are looking for.

If you are looking for a trucking company advertising agency to help you generate more business you have far more options. There are countless advertising agencies that specialize in growing business for their clients. They will have clients in multiple industries and bring you more clients.

However, if you are looking for an agency that will boost your truck driver recruiting, you are going to need to find a specialized agency. Truck driver recruiting agencies know how and where to advertise so specifically truck drivers will apply for company.

Also, traditional advertising agencies will not be familiar with advertising on job boards. Truck driver recruiting agencies will use your ad-spend to place your job openings on the job boards that produce applications.

Man confused about which trucking company ad agency to choose

Research Different Agencies and Contact Them

Once you have decided the type of agency your company needs (traditional or driver recruiting), start your due diligence.

You can begin by googling to find agencies near you. Then begin finding agencies in other parts of the country. The internet makes it possible to work with an agency on the other side of the country.

Read through multiple company’s websites and put together a list of your 5 favorite companies. Then call them.

Make sure you are contacting companies that offer all of the services that you are looking for. Some agencies focus solely on social media marketing, some specialize in job boards, and others offer the complete package with everything.

After calling all of the companies, pick the agency that you felt you would get along best with. They need to have great customer service and prioritize your success.

If Possible, Visit the Agency’s Office

You may be thinking that after researching online and calling the agencies you are interested in, you are ready to hire an agency. However, keep in mind that when you call a company, you are going to speak to one of their sales representatives. They are experts at selling you on their company.

The best way for you to truly judge an agency’s culture, and whether you will work well with them, is by going into the office.

Take note on how all of the employees are treated while you are there. Do not focus solely on upper management’s attitude. Does everyone seem happy to be there? Or do the employees look distressed?

Agencies that have positive company cultures will be better to work with and their employees are more likely to go the extra mile for you.

Hire the Agency of Your Choice

Trucking company hires their trucking company ad agency

Now that you have gone through the steps above, it is time for you to hire the agency of your choosing. That does not mean that your work is done however.

In order to experience the best results you need to make it a priority to be in constant communication with the agency. It should not be up to you to initiate contact, but when a member of the agency reaches out, you need to make time to talk with them.

The reason it is so important to communicate with the agency is because it enables them to update your campaign in real time. If you are not seeing the results you were hoping for, tell the agency. They will update the strategy to improve results.

Digital advertising has to be used by your company. Large carriers are using in-house advertising teams that enable the carrier to continue to grow and hire drivers whenever they want. Small to midsize carriers can experience the same benefits if they follow these steps to pick the right trucking company advertising agency.

How Recruiters Can Solve The Driver Shortage

 

According to the American Trucking Association, the trucking industry was short 60,800 in 2018. This shortage has caused the average turnover rate to rise to nearly 90% for large carriers. Having empty trucks kills your company’s cash flow. Fortunately, recruiters can solve the driver shortage for your company.

Recruit Great Drivers

The most effective way that recruiters can solve the driver shortage for your company is by hiring great drivers. Great drivers will produce at high levels for a long period of time for your company.

Employ all great drivers and your company will not need to worry about the driver shortage. Your turnover rate will be low and your trucks will remain on the road.

However, this is not as simple as it sounds. Before your recruiters can hire great drivers your company needs to provide an offer that is one of the best out there. That means high pay, benefits, and a strong company culture.

Once your company is providing that elite offer, then your recruiters can hire great drivers. A skilled recruiter will know how to filter through bad, average, and great truck driver applications and focus on the great.

Skilled recruiters will also have the sales ability to sell great drivers that your company is the company they want to drive for.

Act as a Mediator Between Management and Drivers

Very few people within your company interact with the truck drivers as much as your truck driver recruiters do.

Obviously, the driver recruiters communicate frequently with CDL drivers they want to bring in to your company. Recruiters also maintain relationships with the drivers after they have been hired.

Recruiters also frequently interact with upper management.

Anytime the drivers grow frustrated with the company, they will approach the recruiter with their issues. Knowing the frustrations of drivers, the recruiters can then report to upper management what is going on.

This process works in reverse as well. Recruiters relay messages from upper management to the drivers.

The reason this mediation is so important is because if it is done properly it keeps everyone on the same page. Drivers will feel like they are listened to and management can smoothly implement new processes.

A company with upper management and drivers on the same page has high retention rates and is not concerned with the costs associated with empty trucks.

Spearhead Retention Efforts 

Truck driver retention efforts are mandatory for your trucking company. You need to make your drives feel valued so that they will stick around for a while.

Your truck driver recruiters are the perfect people to spearhead your company’s retention efforts.

As mentioned earlier, your recruiters already have a connection with your drivers. Retention efforts coming from your recruiters will come across as more authentic.

The key to effective retention efforts is authenticity.

Digital Recruiters Fill Your Applicant Pool

As a disclaimer, it is important to know that there needs to be a difference between traditional driver recruiters and digital driver recruiters. Traditional recruiters hire the drivers while digital recruiters get drivers to see your company online and apply.

Digital recruiters work full time to generate applications from the internet. They use a combination of paid media, social media marketing, content creation, and search engine optimization to get these applications.

Filling your applicant pool makes it much easier for your traditional recruiters to hire a driver when you need one. This significantly shortens your time to hire, saving you money.

Applicant pool filled with CDL driver applications

On a macro level, the driver shortage is not an issue that is going away any time soon. However at a micro level, your company can not have to deal with the driver shortage. Your truck driver recruiters are key pieces to solving the driver shortage for your company.

Guide to Best Places to Recruit Truck Drivers in 2020

In March of 2020, the way that carriers recruited CDL drivers was completely upended. No longer can you rely on in-person recruiting strategies. If you are unfamiliar with digital truck driver recruiting it can be daunting to begin; however, it is now necessary. Here is the guide to the best places to recruit truck drivers in 2020.

  1. Search Engine Optimization
  2. Social Media
  3. Paid Media
  4. Geofencing
  5. Job Boards/Aggregator Sites

The internet is the best place to recruit truck drivers in 2020

Search Engine Optimization To Rank High

The absolute best place to recruit truck drivers is in the exact moment they search for a job. If your company’s website is properly optimized, your recruitment landing page will rank for high volume keyphrases.

An example of a high volume keyphrase is, “best trucking companies to work for.” That keyphrase is searched on Google 1,900 times each month according to Ubersuggest.

Optimizing your site to rank for high volume keyphrases will drive visitors to your company’s website that have the intention of applying to work for you.

SEO strategy to recruit truck drivers

Social Media Marketing for Trucking Companies

Truck drivers love social media. They are particularly fond of Facebook, and specifically Facebook’s group feature.

As the recruiter, you need to be super active within these trucking Facebook groups. Post your job openings, but also take the time to interact with the drivers. Answer their questions, comment on their posts, post trucking memes, etc. Doing this will establish yourself as someone that is more than a truck driver recruiter in the group.

In addition to being active within the group, you must be advertising on social media. Paying to promote your company on social media will keep you on the mind of drivers in your target demographic.

As the drivers in your target demographic begin to think about switching companies, they will think about switching to YOUR company.

Paid Media Keeps You on Drivers’ Minds

Digital driver recruitment is a complicated process that requires multiple moving parts. It is common for CDL driver recruiters to grow frustrated with paid advertising.

The reason recruiters get frustrated with paid media is because paid media does not generate large numbers of applications… directly.

Pay-per-click advertising is crucial to truck driver recruiting in 2020. While it is not directly generating applications, paid media keeps your company on the mind of truck drivers.

Paid media tools like remarketing keep your company in front of the eyes of drivers in your target demographic. When these drivers begin to research new companies to work for, they will immediately research your company.

Paid media that keeps your company on the mind of drivers

Geofencing For Effective Recruitment

Utilizing geofencing for truck driver recruitment is one of the most cost efficient recruitment strategies out there. There are very few driver recruitment strategies that guarantee your ad-spend is not wasted on uninterested eyes.

The most important thing that geofencing does is allow you to avoid wasting ad dollars on people outside the trucking industry or drivers outside your hiring radius.

Place geofences around events and locations you know for truckers will be at and your company will be exposed to all the drivers there.

For example, companies often place geofences around CDL training schools, driver recruitment events, rival company lots, and truck stops.

Job Boards/Aggregator Sites 

Job boards and aggregator sites are still one of the best places to recruit truck drivers. Drivers are going to these websites specifically to search for a new job.

You have to get your job position in front of drivers actively seeking a new position.

However, job boards and aggregator websites are more complicated than they appear. First time digital recruiters often make the mistake of blindly purchasing ad space on these sites and not thinking twice about it.

When you use these websites you have to be constantly monitoring which sites are performing the best. After analyzing the data, allocate your recruiting spend to the sites performing the best and take away money from the poor performing site. How sites perform varies from month to month so it is important to constantly monitor them.

Job board dart board

The internet is clearly the best place to recruit truck drivers in 2020. In person recruiting tactics are now severely limited and truck drivers are online now more than ever. For recruiters that are just starting digital driver recruitment, it is important to remember that each recruitment channel coincides with the others. No channel is going to be effective without the help from other channels.

What Do Truck Drivers Want From Their Employers

I am sure you have asked yourself “what do truck drivers want?” while trying to recruit drivers. Truck drivers want pay that respects their time and energy, time at home with their families, to be safe, and be a part of a family. It boils down to truckers want what we all want.

Sticky note of recruiter asking what do truck drivers want.

Pay That Shows Respect

The median pay of truck drivers is $45,260. If you ask drivers they will tell you that their pay is far too low for the work they do, and they have a legitimate case. Look at how CDL drivers across the country stepped up when we needed them most at the start of the pandemic.

Truck drivers, like most people, view their pay as a sign of how much their employer values them. Start paying your drivers more to show them that you recognize how critical they are to your company’s success.

In addition to low wages, most drivers are not fans of the CPM payment structure. So much of the trucker’s job involves labor that does not include driving on the road. Drivers should be paid for this labor.

Switching your payment structure from CPM to either hourly wage or salary is exactly the type of thing that truck drivers want from their employers.

Home Time to See Loved Ones

Truck drivers often start their careers as young people with little responsibility. This leads to them accepting positions that have them on the road for long periods of time. They accept these positions because they want to travel the country and earn more money.

However, as drivers age they begin to prioritize settling down. This means that they are looking for positions that provide them more home time.

As the truck driver recruiter, it is up to you to constantly gauge your drivers and see where they stand. You need to find the truck drivers looking to settle down and offer them positions that offer them more home time.

Ray Haight discusses the importance of home time in his retention series Ray Knows Best.

Happy couple enjoying their home time together

Safety Comes First

Safety is one of the most important things for CDL drivers. No one wants to work for a company that places them in situations that compromise their safety.

Unfortunately, many truck drivers feel as if their employers value profits over the safety of the truck drivers. They will share horror stories of dispatchers forcing the driver to drive through the night, despite a lack of sleep, to make sure the shipment arrives on time.

Quality truck drivers want to make it home to their family/loved ones safely. Quality truck drivers want to work for a company that prioritizes their safety and well being.

Family Atmosphere 

Above all else, truckers want to work for a company that makes them feel like they are a part of a family. Drivers are looking for companies where upper management knows the names of their drivers.

“Employees who feel valued are more likely to be engaged in their work and feel satisfied and motivated.” – Christy Matta, M.A

Imagine your child (substitute any family member if you do not have kids) works as a driver, how would you want them to be treated? The answer to that question is how you need to treat your drivers.

The best way to promote your company’s family atmosphere is through a comprehensive social media campaign.

Employees that work for a family atmosphere

Knowing what truck drivers want from their employers can help you recruit more effectively and retain better. Do not over complicate the process. CDL drivers are people too, they want what we all want.

7 Tricks to Social Media Marketing for Trucking Companies

Social media marketing can be one of the most beneficial forms of marketing for your company. The highest performing trucking companies have figured out that, when done properly, social media boosts recruiting and generates business. Follow these 7 tricks and you will be on your way to social media marketing for trucking companies.

7 Tricks to Social Media Marketing for Trucking Companies

  1. Develop a Strong Company Mission

  2. Spotlight Drivers and Customers

  3. Testimonials That Earn Trust

  4. Cross Platform Promotion

  5. Leverage Communities

  6. Specific Platforms Require Specific Posts

  7. Geofencing, Paid Media, and Other Tech

Word collage to social media marketing for trucking companies

Develop a Strong Company Mission

Having a strong and authentic company mission is one of the best ways for your messaging to strike a chord with your audience.

Another way to look at your company mission is to think of it as your “Why”. It is why you exist to do business. Potential clients or drivers with personal “Why’s” that align with your company “Why” become loyal supporters.

Once you have developed your company mission, broadcast it to all of your followers across all the social media platforms. And NEVER post something that contradicts your mission.

For example, C.R. England’s mission is,

“Our mission is to deliver excellence to our team members and customers.”

When you look at C.R. England’s social media accounts, they are constantly promoting their awards and overachieving team members. They make sure to go out of their way to make it appear as if working for/with C.R. England is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Spotlight Drivers and Customers

Everybody loves to be acknowledged for their hard work. Each month your company needs to take one day to highlight a high performing driver. Once a quarter your company needs to take one day to highlight one of your clients.

Spotlighting drivers and customers helps your social presence in two major ways.

The first is that it makes your company come off as an enjoyable company to work with/for. Potential drivers will see your posts and want to work for someone who recognizes them. Potential clients will want to work with you because it looks like an enjoyable experience.

The second reason you must spotlight drivers and clients is because it broadens your audience. The drivers you spotlight will share your posts and everyone within their personal network will be exposed to your company. Your clients will also share your post about them which exposes you to all of their professional network.

Spotlighting your company’s drivers and clients attracts more people to work with you and expands your audience.

Testimonials That Earn Trust

Testimonials are one of the most influential pieces of content you can produce. It is one thing for the company to sing its own praises. But it is a completely different thing when other people sing the praises of your company.

Drivers do not fully trust employers; however, they really trust each other. Getting your drivers to discuss how much they enjoy working for you will go a long way in boosting your recruiting efforts.

Potential clients will not fully trust your sales people because they know they have ulterior motives. Seeing other companies talk about enjoying work with your company may be the final piece of content they need to trust your sales people.

icon of testimonial that earns trust

Cross Platform Promotion

Each of your social media accounts across all the platforms will have different followers. This can be used to your advantage.

Make it a common occurrence to mention your other accounts on each of the platforms you post on.

For example, you should be posting your Youtube videos to your Twitter account, and on Linkedin post about all the success you are seeing on Facebook.

Doing this will remind people that follow you on one account to go follow you elsewhere. This grows your followers on all platforms.

Leverage Communities on Social Media

One of the best things about social media is that it is filled with groups of people that match your target market. Before you have a single follower, you can post in these groups and reach the people you want to.

If you are looking to hire more drivers, there are groups dedicated specifically to that. If you are looking to connect with brokers, there are groups dedicated specifically to that. There are even social media groups that connect trucking recruiters with each other.

As you begin building your social presence, the first thing you should do is join groups within your target market. Interact with the people in this group and post meaningful content. This will help grow your social media following.

Specific Platforms Require Specific Posts

Creating content can be an exhausting task. Because of this, it is very tempting to post the same piece of content across all platforms.

Do NOT post the same content across all platforms. Each social media platform was built to highlight different types of posts.

Instagram is a very visual platform. Post more photos and videos here and less words. Linkedin on the other hand, is a great place for long form posts that establish your company as a thought leader.

Each time you go to post, make sure you are conscientious of the type of content you are publishing to which platform.

Geofencing, Paid Media, and Other Tech

It is possible to grow your social media presence organically; however, it takes a large amount of time and effort.

Properly using tools that cost little money can kick start your business’ social presence.

Geofencing will place ads for your company in front of people that are physically located in your desired area. PPC advertising will place your ads in front of the people that match your desired characteristics.

Pushpin on map that symbolizes geofencing for truck driver recruitment

In today’s world, social media marketing is a necessary element of good business. Social media is the best way to boost recruiting efforts and generate business. Improve your company’s social presence by following these 7 tricks to social media marketing for trucking companies.

5 Tips for the Best Trucking Website Design

Having a strong trucking website design is mandatory for recruiting quality truck drivers and generating business. Your company’s website is the first interaction drivers and customers have with your company. First impressions matter! Follow these 5 tips to ensure that your company has the best trucking website design.

Top 5 Tips for the Best Trucking Website Design

  1. Avoid Clutter

  2. Repeat Your Main Message

  3. CTAs Throughout Your Website

  4. Mobile First Design

  5. Easy to Digest Content

magnifying glass searching for the best trucking web design

You Must Avoid Clutter!

Keep it simple stupid. Nothing turns away site visitors like a cluttered home page. Visitors should be able to instantly know your company’s main mission. Sometimes your mission may be hiring drivers, other times it is promoting business.

You only have 50 milliseconds to nail your first impression with site visitors.

Site visitors will be able to process your message better the less they have to read, click on, or watch. Images and videos are excellent pieces of content, but not when they are overwhelming.

Each page of your site should have only a couple high end images and any videos need to serve a purpose. Do not put videos on your site for the sake of having a video.

Having a strong heading structure will make it so that visitors will be able to skim any writing on your website and understand the gist of what you are saying.

Be Redundant… Tastefully

Your main goal is displayed loud and proud on your home page. Now what?

As visitors interact with your website and scroll through different pages they will forget about that main goal.

For example, if your main goal is to recruit more drivers you would say that right on the homepage for drivers to see. Then as the drivers click through your site to learn more about your company they will forget to to apply by the time something else grabs their attention.

This can be avoided if you are strategically redundant.

Each page of your website needs to have a call back to your main goal. This will ensure that site visitors do not forget about that goal and they will be far more likely to act in favor of that goal.

Calls to Action Littered Everywhere 

Call to action symbol

The call to action is where you reach your handout and invite the site visitor to act in a way that benefits your main goal.

Most websites have a call to action at the top of each page, which is good but not best. In order to maximize on your website, you need to sprinkle your CTAs throughout your site.

Spreading CTAs throughout the pages on your site gives the site visitor more opportunities to act. Placing only one CTA at the top of a page is asking for the site visitor to act before you have convinced them to do so.

However, having CTAs littered throughout allows the site visitor to click on the CTA the moment they are convinced to do so. They do not have to scroll throughout the site to find the CTA again.

Mobile First Design

The majority of people that visit your site will be doing so on their mobile device. Studies have found that in the second quarter of 2020, mobile devices (excluding tablets) accounted for 51.53% of global website traffic.

Mobile users on the web have become so prominent that Google now crawls your site for mobile usability first before desktop usability.

Your website must be designed to be easily navigable from a smartphone. Doing so will make your site more accessible which increases the amount of traffic you receive. More traffic leads to more driver applications and more business.

Easy to Digest Content

Content is king. It is the best way for carriers to build relationships with potential drivers and customers.

The reason that people visit your website is because they have questions about your company that they want answered. Easy to digest content is the best way for your company to answer those questions.

Plus, well curated content will be shared on social media platforms and generate awareness for your company.

Your website should be filled with short videos, well written blog content, and info graphics.

Content is King

The website is oftentimes your first impression, and the first impression is the most important. Having the best trucking website design compared to your competition will lead to your company hiring more drivers and booking more business.

Top 6 Reasons Truck Drivers Leave

Truck drivers leaving their position for something different is one of the biggest headaches for carriers. If you know the main reasons your drivers are leaving, then you can counteract the causes and improve your retention rate. Here are the top 6 reasons truck drivers leave.

Top 6 Reasons Truck Drivers Leave

  1. Better Pay/Benefits

  2. Retirement

  3. Poor Company Culture

  4. Home Time

  5. Opportunity to Advance

  6. Health Issues

Truck drivers walking away after leaving their company

Pay Drives Trucker’s Decisions

According to study conducted by HireRight, 50% of truck drivers say that making more money is the reason they have left employers in the past.

Companies like Walmart are offering their drivers salaries that exceed $80k per year. If you are still offering your drivers a CPM that comes out to equalling $45k per year, then drivers will be eager to leave for a higher paying company.

Not every company can afford to pay their drivers $80k per year, however there are strategies to keep drivers staffed for lower pay. One of those strategies is offering guaranteed salary instead of CPM.

Truck drivers will feel more valued with a guaranteed pay. Also, one of the biggest points of friction for drivers is when they are paid CPM and get stuck at an unloading dock. Paying drivers a salary will ease this tension.

Retirement

The truck driver demographic is rapidly aging. NPR reported in 2018 that the average age of truck drivers is 55 years old.

55 years old is roughly 10 years older than the average age of other blue collar industries such as construction.

Trucks with the latest ADAS features can help you retain this aging population of drivers.

ADAS features retain older drivers because they make the position less fatiguing. New trucks use active steering and lane keep assist to keep the truck on the road through hazardous conditions. It is no longer 100% dependent on the driver’s abilities.

ADAS makes the driver position less taxing, enabling drivers to work longer.

Happy retired couple

Poor Company Culture

Whether you actively work on it or not, your company has a culture. Drivers prefer to work for a company that actively builds a strong culture of appreciation.

Quality truck drivers actively seek out companies that have great company cultures. The drivers you have will leave you for companies with strong employer brands.

Make celebrating your drivers a priority at your company. They are the reason your company is making money. Without them you have no company.

Not Enough Home Time 

As truck drivers start their careers they are younger and therefore have less responsibilities tying them down. This leads to them taking on positions that have them on the road for extended periods of time.

Truck drivers then start their families and grow into adults with lives rooted in specific towns. When this happens drivers will pursue careers that offer them more home time and home time that is reliable.

If you are actively surveying your drivers, you will be able to sense which of your drivers are looking for more home time. With this information you can offer these drivers a new, local role and keep them working for your company.

Opportunity to Advance 

Your company needs to be hiring drivers that take pride in their work and are career oriented. Avoid drivers that look at truck driving as a job and not a career.

Hiring career focused drivers means you will employ drivers eager to learn and improve. Hiring career motivated drivers also means that they are constantly looking for opportunities to advance in the industry.

If you are not offering opportunities for your drivers to grow, they will leave you for a company that does.

Encourage drivers to advance in their careers by offering to pay for them to earn different CDL certifications. Or make it known that it is possible for drivers to move into non-driving positions within your company.

Health Issues

It is no secret that being a truck driver is one of the least healthy careers in the country.

According to the CDC, over half of all OTR drivers have at least two of these health conditions: high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, limited physical activity, high cholesterol, or lack of sleep.

Living with these conditions is not a comfortable life and can force drivers out of their career. You need to be promoting healthy habits for your drivers.

Make it easy for your drivers to eat healthier meals by providing mini-fridges and toaster ovens in your trucks. Doing this will make it easier for drivers to bring home made, healthy meals on the road instead of settling for truck stop food.

Another way to promote a healthy lifestyle for your drivers is to outfit them with Fitbits or WHOOP bands that track driver activity. You can use these devices to run company competitions and the most active drivers win rewards.

Table covered with unhealthy food.

Your company’s success depends on your ability to retain quality drivers. If you are having to constantly hire new drivers because your retention rates are high, your company is not performing optimally. Counteract the top 6 reasons truck drivers leave in order to improve your retention.

How to be a Successful Driver Recruiter

At Driveteks, we have been working hand and hand with recruiters nationwide for 5 years now. This has given us an insight into what separates the bad from the good, and the good from the great. Follow this guide to learn how to be a successful driver recruiter.

5 Tips to be a Successful Driver Recruiter 

Successful driver recruiter hires a new driver

1) Get on the Phone ASAP

The most important step in successful recruitment relies on technology that has existed since 1876, phoning. There is a direct correlation between the rate at which recruiters are able to contact driver applicants via phone and recruitment success.

A study on phoning found two major conclusions: The odds of contacting a lead are 100 times higher if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes. The odds of qualifying a lead are 21 times higher if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes.

Drivers are applying to multiple companies at a time. This means that as soon as that driver hits “submit” on your application, you are in a race with everyone else.

Recruiters that develop a routine of calling driver applicants as soon as they apply will experience more success than the recruiter that is slow to call.

2) Stay in Contact

Once a successful recruiter makes contact with a driver applicant, they maintain that contact with the driver.

Recruiters that struggle with getting drivers through orientation often have a contact issue. Drivers are less likely to back out on a job offer, even if presented with a better option, if they have a relationship with the recruiter.

Whether you are contacting the driver applicant to inform them of a position update or checking in to see how the hiring process is going, there is always a reason to be in touch with applicants.

3) Interview for Culture, not Qualifications

Interviewing truck drivers needs to be less about the driver’s qualifications and more about the driver as a person. Successful recruiters learn everything they need to know about the driver’s qualifications from their application/resume.

In the interview, the successful recruiter focuses on if the applicant is a strong team fit. Focusing on the driver as a person, and hiring strong culture fits, will lead to a stronger retention rate.

Ask questions like these to get to know the applicant as a person:

  • What type of culture do you thrive in? (Does the response reflect your organizational culture?)
  • What’s your ideal workplace?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked with/for an organization where you felt you were not a strong culture fit. Why was it a bad fit?

A team with strong culture fits

4) Build and Maintain Strong Relationships 

Recruiters that are successful are aware that their job is more than simply hiring truck drivers. Recruiters are key contributors to their company’s retention rate.

By building and maintaining a strong relationship with drivers you hire, you are encouraging the drivers you hire to continue working for your company. Drivers are more likely to stay with a company where they feel like they are a part of a community.

In addition to improving retention, maintaining relationships will help you hire more drivers. Drivers that left your company for “greener pastures” often realize the grass is not always greener. When this happens, the driver will often return to work for your company if they have a strong relationship with the recruiter.

Also, drivers that like you, the recruiter, will refer their friends to you. The truck driving community is tight-knit, drivers often tell their friends about how great it is to work for their company.

5) Influence your company to build its Employer Brand

Quality drivers are well aware of the best and worst employers. Your company’s employer brand is the way that drivers perceive what it is like to work for you.

Even skilled truck driver recruiters will struggle to recruit drivers for a company that has a weak employer brand. Drivers will not want to work for you if they hear from their friends that your company does not value their drivers.

As the recruiter, you may not be able to build an employer brand by yourself. However, you do have a strong say within the company. You need to be advocating for your company to boost their employer brand.

The quickest way to improve employer brand is by offering higher driver pay and by responding to feedback from current/former drivers.

Where Successful Recruiters Find Truck Drivers

None of the tips above are helpful if you do not know where to find drivers. Finding drivers to recruit is the core of what you do as a recruiter.

In the past, one of the best places to find potential drivers was in-person recruitment events. However, those are no longer a possibility.

The best places to find drivers to hire are through digital marketing channels, social media, and employee referral programs.

Successful driver recruiter searching for drivers

A career as a truck driver recruiter is not an easy career. However, becoming a successful recruiter is fulfilling and rewarding. Follow these tips and you can learn how to become a successful driver recruiter.