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.

How to Use the Driver Shortage as an Advantage

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.