The driver shortage is the largest issue facing the transportation industry today. According to the ATA in 2018 the trucking industry was short 60,800 drivers. If the current trends hold, the shortage may rise to over 160,000 by 2028. From a bird’s eye view, the driver shortage is a major issue that needs to be addressed. However on a local level, carriers can use the shortage as a tool to beat out competition. Implementing top notch recruiting strategies will enable your company to hire quality drivers instead of your competition.
Getting Ahead of the Competition
The best way to illustrate how a company can benefit from the driver shortage is through a hypothetical situation. In this hypothetical situation let’s say that there is a city with 3 trucking companies and 20 qualified drivers.
Each company has 10 trucks to fill, but obviously there are not enough drivers for each company to fill their trucks. Companies 1 & 3 have been around for decades and decide to use the same recruiting strategies that have always worked for them. They post help wanted ads around town, attend job fairs, and implement a referral program. These efforts produce some results and Companies 1 & 3 are able to successfully hire 5 drivers each. Company 2 on the other hand, is a relatively new company and they decide that old recruiting strategies were not effective enough. Company 2 decides to implement digital based recruiting strategies, offer a higher pay for drivers, and reorganizes the company structure to maximize efficiency. These changes in the recruiting process are highly effective and Company 2 successfully recruits the remaining 10 drivers.
Now that Company 2 has enough qualified drivers to fill all of their trucks, they are avoiding all the necessary costs that come along with idle trucks. Also, Company 2 is doubling the revenue that Companies 1 & 3 are earning. While Companies 1 & 3 are struggling, Company 2 is thriving which leads to them earning more business from local brokers. Eventually, if the trend continues, Company 2 will be able to buy out Companies 1 & 3.
Company 2 adapted to the times and used strategies that their competition were not using. The combination of effective recruiting and the driver shortage lead to Company 2 doubling in size and eliminating its hypothetical competition.
Becoming Company 2
It is safe to say that everyone wants to be Company 2 in the above hypothetical. That is a lot easier said than done. In order to be Company 2 you need to be better at recruiting and retention than your competition. Digital marketing recruitment strategies, such as geofencing, are far more effective than traditional recruiting strategies. If your company is not maximizing digital strategies then you need to bring in an agency that is highly skilled in this area. Dedicate one team to using digital strategies that fill your applicant pool and a separate team that focuses on recruiting.
The driver shortage is the number one threat facing the transportation industry as a whole. However, that is not the case on the local level. A company that recruits better than its competition will benefit from the shortage. That company will employ the majority of qualified drivers and outperform competing companies. Implementing digital strategies and reorganizing the recruiting structure will set your company up to use the Driver Shortage to your advantage.