Retaining truck drivers does not start once a driver is officially an employee. It starts before you hire them. Follow this guide to hire for long term retention.
Hiring any able-bodied driver is counterproductive and may cost your company money. It costs on average $8,000 to hire a new driver, hiring people who you do not envision being with your company long term is expensive.
Have your company establish what personality traits best thrive within the company’s culture. Defining an organizational culture takes many forms. Some companies choose to bring in outside consulting and others conduct staff-driven discussions.
Once you have decided the culture, you need to go out of your way to hire drivers that are cultural fits. A study from the University Iowa found that employees who fit the company culture have greater job satisfaction, are more likely to remain with the organization, and perform at a higher level.
Establish your culture, communicate that with everyone you interview, and hire the drivers that match the culture. Doing this will get your company high performing drivers that stay long term.
Asking the Right Questions
Get past surface level questions. Ask questions that demonstrate the candidates abilities and who they are as a person.
The mistake that many companies make is rushing the interview process. They will gauge an applicant based on a brief phone call and a background check.
When you are interviewing potential drivers take the time to probe and dig deeper. The conversation should not stop at the applicant’s first answer. Ask follow up questions that get to the root of the applicant’s answer.
Here are some questions from the Harvard Business Review that assess culture fit:
- 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?
Paint Your Company in the Correct Light
The natural response for many driver recruiters is to paint their company in the best light. However, this is actually counterproductive.
Driver candidates need to have a realistic understanding of what they are signing up for. They need to know about the job, organization, culture, management, and their peers.
Recruiters also need to be proactive in disclosing the less appealing aspects of the position. The drivers need to know about the long hours and difficult routes they are signing up for.
A famous example of using the difficulties of a position to recruit is Ernest Shackleton’s ad in the paper. In the ad he said:
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.
Shackleton’s crew was not taken off guard by the harsh conditions because they knew what they were signing up for from the beginning.
Over-promising how great your company is to the driver will ultimately lead them to feeling misled. Drives that feel misled are more likely to leave.
Having retention in mind from the very beginning of the hiring process will pay dividends in the long run. The drivers you hire will be more satisfied, less likely to leave, and perform better. To do this implement culture driven hiring, ask the right questions, and accurately portray your company.