How Aging Truck Drivers Impact the Industry

New technology is allowing drivers to go longer without retiring by making the job less physically demanding. This means the average retirement age is increasing. Despite drivers staying on the road longer, driver retirement is the largest contributor to the truck driver shortage.

Aging truck driver crossing the road to retirement.

The Average Retirement Age for Truck Drivers

The truck driver population in America is steadily increasing year after year. Currently, the average retirement age for truck drivers is 62 years old. However, according to the OOIDA, most independent drivers plan on retiring at 67 years of age.

While the average retirement age for drivers is a good estimate, it does not accurately reflect how individual drivers feel about retirement.

There are two trains of thought amongst drivers. Some have the mentality that they will drive until they can no longer physically pull themselves into the cab. Others want to retire as soon as possible.

How Old is the Average Truck Driver

According to surveys conducted by the American Trucking Associations, the average driver age in the for-hire over-the-road truckload industry is 46. Other trucking sectors have an even higher average age.

Roughly 54% of truck drivers on the road today are 45 years or older. The trucking demographic is one of the oldest in the country and only getting older.

Within this decade over one-half of all current truck drivers will be older than the average retirement age.

An average truck driver

How Many Truck Drivers Retire Each Year

It is estimated that between 2019 and 2028 there will be 600,000 truck drivers retiring. That means 66,667 truck drivers will retire every year.

The industry needs to find nearly 70,000 new truck drivers every year to fill the void left by drivers retiring.

Aging Population is Fueling the Driver Shortage

Truck drivers retiring will be responsible for 54% of the driver shortage over the next decade.

The trucking industry needs to find a way to replace truck drivers retiring from the career.

What You Can Do to Attract Younger Truck Drivers

Obviously, the only way to combat drivers retiring from your company is to hire younger drivers to replace them. The number one place you can find young drivers is on social media.

Hiring a professional to manage your social media marketing is the best way to get your company in front of the eyes of younger drivers.

The industry is experiencing a lack of young people signing up to be truck drivers. You are going to need to recruit people to get their CDL and then join your company.

Aging truck drivers can stay on the road for longer because of improved truck technology. However, that is only kicking the can down the road. Truck drivers are going to retire sooner or later and that is fueling the driver shortage.

6 Steps to Successfully Hiring Truck Drivers

Truck driver recruiting is a career that requires creativity, the ability to be a salesperson, and extreme dedication. Given the driver shortage and constantly changing industry, it is common for recruiters to feel like they have lost their “hiring touch”. If that sounds like you then follow this guide and you will reignite your hiring touch with the 6 Steps to Successfully Hiring Truck Drivers.

  1. Generate awareness with paid advertising
  2. Inform the driver with your website content
  3. Get the driver to apply for your company
  4. Call the driver ASAP after they apply
  5. Ensure the driver attends orientation
  6. Officially hire the driver

Two truck driver recruiters successfully hire a driver

Paid Advertising Generating Awareness

Launching a paid advertising campaign is the first step to hiring professional drivers. Paid advertising campaigns are the best way to generate awareness for your company within your desired driver demographic.

Paid advertising includes social media advertising, retargeting, geofencing, buying ads on Google, and much more. Each avenue of paid advertising works together to touch the driver during different use cases.

For example:

A driver may first come across one of your banner ads while they are surfing the web. This first touch doesn’t create much of an impact, but then while stopped at a truck stop a geotargeted ad pops up on the driver’s phone. They take more notice the second time but not enough to act.

Finally, while scrolling Facebook a driver testimonial comes across their feed. This interests the driver enough that they click on your Facebook page.

On your Facebook page, the driver consumes enough content they decide they want to learn even more about your company. So they go to visit your website.

It is important to note in this example that the driver never clicked directly on a paid advertisement to apply. Paid media rarely generates direct applications.

Instead, paid advertising is amazing at generating impressions for your company. In the example, the driver never would have known about the company if it were not for paid ads.

Website Content Informs Drivers

If your paid advertising campaign does what it is supposed to do, your website will be flooded with traffic. The majority of this traffic will be from drivers considering the idea of applying to drive for your company.

Think about the example above.

The driver in the example was exposed to enough paid advertisements that they took the next step and visited your website.

Now that they are on your website they still need to be convinced to apply to drive for your company. The reason they are on the site is to learn more.

Drivers are looking for content that tells them the logistics of the position (pay, route type, required certifications, etc.) and what it is like being an employee for your company.

The logistics of the position should all be covered in the job description. To show what it is like to be an employee for your company you need things like driver testimonials, write-ups on top-performing drivers, and messages from upper management on their views of the drivers.

Driver Submits an Application 

At this point, you have made the driver aware that you are hiring and informed them about your company’s driver experience.

Assuming the content did its job, the driver will click on your CTA and apply to drive for your company.

The most important thing with this step in the process is to make your application quick and easy to submit. A complicated application form can deter drivers from applying.

Job resume document out from laptop. Hands holding cv resume papers. Human resources management concept, searching professional staff, work. Found right resume.

Recruiter Calls the Driver ASAP

Just because the driver applies to your company does not mean they are completely sold on being employed by you. Plus, they are often applying to multiple companies at once.

If you take too long to call the driver, you are going to lose them to another company.

The odds of contacting a driver are 100 times higher if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes. The odds of qualifying a driver are 21 times higher if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes.

Use software like Zappier to notify you of the moment an application is submitted. The moment you receive the notification call the driver.

You are far more likely to get a hold of the driver, verify their credentials, and get them to commit to your company before another company does.

Recruiter gets the Driver Through Orientation 

Truck drivers are constantly being sent new job opportunities. They are in a position where their skills are in high demand.

It is very common for a driver to apply, accept a job offer, and then take a different job for another company before making it through orientation.

Truck driver recruiters can not lose contact with the driver once they get a commitment. It is up to the recruiter to do whatever it takes to get that driver through orientation and officially hired.

The Driver is Officially Hired

The final step in the recruiting process is officially sending the driver off on their first run for the company.

However,

The driver recruiter should never stop recruiting drivers hired.

Considering the driver shortage, there is no guarantee that a hired driver will last long with your company. Recruiters should take it on themselves to value the drivers and make them want to stay with the company over others.

Awareness, content consumption, application, direct contact, orientation, and officially hitting the road are the 6 steps to successfully hiring truck drivers. Keep in mind that it is rare for a driver to go through all 6 steps in order. Most people will go through steps 1-4 multiple times.

5 Tips to Get Truck Drivers to Engage With Your Content

Content creation has always been an essential element of recruiting truck drivers. In the past trucking companies would create newspaper ads and radio advertisements. Today, recruiters need to be creating content that engages truck drivers online.

This is the question:

How can you get prospective drivers to interact with the content you work hard to create?

Here are the 5 tips to get truck drivers to engage with your content:

  1. Create Different Kinds of Content
  2. Create Content That Interests Drivers
  3. Post Content Where the Drivers Already Are
  4. Invite Drivers to Follow You
  5. Pay to Play

Create Different Kinds of Content

Everyone on the planet enjoys consuming content differently. Some people like to read, some enjoy infographics, and others love videos. Depending on the scenario an individual is in, their preferences may be completely different than what is normal.

Truck drivers are the same way. Each of them enjoys uniquely consuming content.

To get drivers to engage with your content, you need to cover all of your bases. You need to be creating content that drivers can read, view, watch, and listen to.

cartoon person creating different kinds of content

Create Content That Interests Drivers

It is tempting to focus solely on creating content that persuades drivers to work for your company. However, this is not a good strategy if you want drivers to engage with your content.

If all you are posting is content that tries to recruit drivers they will quickly begin to ignore your posts. You need to create content that will provide value to drivers other than introducing them to your company.

An example of a trucking company creating content that interests drivers is Driveteks’ client, Wave Express. They frequently post about things like driving safe in the winter, avoiding tired driving, and best road trip snacks.

Effective backlinking strategies will encourage drivers to click from your non-recruiting content to your recruiting content. Think of the non-recruiting content as a lure that brings drivers to your site. Once on your site, they are more perceptive to your recruiting content.

Post Content Where the Drivers Already Are

If you have not posted much content online in the past then chances are your company has a very small following, if at all. Growing an online following takes a lot of time and diligence.

Fortunately, there are already groups built for you filled with your target demographic. Find as many as you can and join them.

Posting interesting content to social media groups filled with truck drivers will immediately kick start your company’s web presence.

Invite Drivers to Follow You 

Once you begin posting in trucking groups and are getting truck drivers to engage with your content you need to invite them to follow you.

This can mean asking them to follow your social media, subscribe to YouTube, signup for emails, etc.

Nearly every piece of content you publish should have some reminder (that is not annoying) to follow your company.

The larger your following is, the more prospective drivers you will be able to reach for free. Plus, if people go out of their way to follow you, that means they like your company. It will be easier to convince these drivers following you to apply to work for your company.

Excited man inviting the reader

Pay to Play

As frustrating as it is, paid advertisements are the best way to get your content in front of as many eyes as possible.

Facebook and other platforms make a lot of money from advertisements. It makes sense that they would build an algorithm that limits exposure for free content and encourages paid advertising.

Working with a trucking company advertising agency will ensure that your ad spend is being used optimally. You will not waste money on ineffective advertising. The money you spend will generate the maximum amount of impressions, clicks, and engagement.

Without content, it is nearly impossible to recruit truck drivers. Content creation is useless if potential drivers are not interacting with it. There is much more to engagement than simply posting the content. Follow these 5 tips and you have potential drivers interacting with your content in no time.

The Best Truck Driver Recruiting Strategy

As a small to midsize carrier you more than likely have grown accustomed to the fact that large carriers have their pick of the litter. Small to midsize carriers are forced to fight over the remaining drivers. What if I told you it did not have to be that way? In order to compete with the large carriers you need to implement the best truck driver recruiting strategies:

Guerilla Driver Recruitment

What is Guerilla Driver Recruitment?

No, guerilla driver recruitment is not the act of training great apes to get their CDL A license.

Guerilla recruiting stems from the term ‘guerilla marketing’ coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book Guerilla Marketing. Guerilla marketing is a marketing strategy that relies on surprise/unconventional interactions with potential customers to promote a company.

Traditionally, guerilla marketing campaigns have a smaller budget and focus on a smaller set of people than widespread media campaigns.

Building off this, guerilla recruiting is the truck driver recruiting strategy that involves your company surprising potential drivers with unconventional interactions that leave a positive impression.

Guerilla driver recruiting requires a smaller budget than traditional widespread recruitment efforts common amongst large carriers.

Guerilla Recruiting

Why is it Such an Effective Driver Recruitment Strategy?

Executed properly, guerilla driver recruiting efforts will spread via word of mouth which reaches a broader audience for free. Ideally, the truck drivers you interact with will be so pleasantly surprised that when they see their driver friends the first thing they will say is,

“You are never going to guess what happened to me today…”

Drivers are naturally hesitant to truck company advertising; however, they are far more receptive when learning about a company for the first time from one of their peers. Word of mouth will encourage drivers to search for your company and interact with your driver recruiting website.

In addition to word of mouth, guerilla driver recruiting campaigns have the possibility to go viral. A viral campaign will boost your company brand and have drivers talking about your company all over social media. Social media, particularly Facebook, is one of the best places to recruit truck drivers.

How to Execute a Guerilla Driver Recruiting Campaign

Guerilla driver recruitment campaigns require an immense amount of insight and creativity. Before you can catch truck drivers off guard with a surprise interaction, you need to understand how recruiters typically reach truck drivers. Ask yourself:

Where are drivers expecting to see recruiting campaigns?

The answer to that question will tell exactly where to NOT promote your company. For example, drivers are expecting to see your job ad in trucking Facebook groups, so posting within groups cannot be a part of your guerilla recruiting strategy.

However, are drivers expecting you to direct message them with a $20 Amazon gift card? Probably not.

If you google ‘guerilla marketing’ or ‘guerilla recruiting’ you will come across extravagant examples from companies going over the top. You do not need to do this. Extravagance makes execution much more difficult.

K-I-S-S. Keep It Simple Stupid.

Hand drawing a business concept about the process from vision through strategy and execution to success.

In order to execute a guerilla driver recruiting campaign you need to figure out a simple way to reach drivers in an unexpected way. Examples can include sending gift cards, providing food at truck stops, and much more. The possibilities are limitless.

Large carriers have recruiting budgets that allow them to reach any driver they want whenever they want. In order to compete with them small to midsize carriers need to be creative and use their smaller budgets to pleasantly surprise drivers. Guerilla driver recruitment is the best truck driver recruiting strategy because it enables smaller companies to compete with the big ones.

5 Steps to Recruiting Truck Drivers on Facebook

Over 96% of professional drivers have a Facebook account. Truck drivers love using Facebook because it enables them to stay connected with fellow drivers and loved ones while they are on the road. Because of the large number of drivers using Facebook, the platform is one of the greatest sources of driver recruits. Here are the 5 steps to recruiting truck drivers on Facebook.

 

Build Your Company Page 

The first thing you need to do before you start recruiting truck drivers is to build your company’s Facebook page. Drivers that are interested in working for you are going to search for your company on Facebook. Building a Facebook page ensures that you will be found by drivers.

Your company page needs to share the most relevant information about your company and tell the story of what it is like to work for your company.

Relevant information includes: company name, location, website, and a succinct description. Provide enough information for drivers to know who you are and become interested enough that they visit your website.

Tell the story of working for your company through your posts. Any driver celebration you conduct, company wins, driver testimonials, etc. need to be documented and posted to your page. Photos and videos are typically more effective than posts containing solely text.

Once you have your company page built you need to encourage all of your employees to follow the page. The more that people interact with your content, the more that the Facebook algorithms will blast your content out to people. This is free exposure, but you need to earn it with quality content.

Magnifying glass used to symbolize a driver recruiter looking to recruit truck drivers on Facebook.

Join the Right Groups

The Groups feature on Facebook is one of the best tools for connecting with truck drivers. There are groups dedicated to connecting drivers with recruiters across the country. Also, there are more geo focused groups to help drivers find jobs in your area. Take the time to do your research and join all groups relevant to your company.

Posting in groups enables you to reach a large amount of truck drivers for free. Because this strategy is so cost effective it is hyper competitive. Competing companies are going to be flooding the groups with their job postings.

In order to combat the competitiveness of groups you simply need to be more active than everyone else. This means doing more than posting your job ads. You need to like other people’s posts, comment, share informative content, and do your best to build relationships. Doing this will make it so that drivers look specifically for your posts.

The Science Behind Posting 

There is a common misconception with Facebook that all you need to do is post your content and all of your followers will see it. Facebook’s algorithms are far more complex than that. The algorithms build individual feeds for every user and only show them the content users will interact with.

It does not matter how many followers you have if you are posting poor quality content. Everything from font color, time of day, device optimization, and much more effect whether your posts are seen by followers. Posting is a science.

In order to perfect the science behind your posts, you need to be running A/B tests. Create different posts that are designed to test one specific variable. For example, one post may have red font and the other has blue. Publish those posts so that different drivers see them and see which perform the best.

After conducting multiple tests you will begin to figure out what post characteristics work the best. It is important to keep running tests because the algorithms are updated constantly. Also, the tests build on one another making each post better than the last.

Young boy conducting science experiments similar to the science experiments driver recruiters conduct on facebook

Facebook Paid Advertising

There is no getting around having to pay for advertising when recruiting truck drivers online. Facebook is no different. You are going to need to pay to get your recruiting advertisements in front of the eyes of drivers.

Paid advertising on Facebook is the only way to guarantee that drivers will see your job openings. The Facebook algorithms make it so that non-paid posts have a limited reach. Facebook wants your money so they have built a platform that requires you to pay them.

Paid advertising is going to ensure that professional drivers see your company every time they open Facebook. This will keep your company on their mind and when drivers go to look for a new job they will search for your company.

Consistency Is Key

The most important thing to recruiting truck drivers on Facebook is to be consistent. You will not see results if you are super active on the platform one month and then absent the next month. The longer you are consistent on the platform the stronger your brand image will be.

Tools like Hootsuite make it easier to post consistently. With Hootsuite you are able to write out multiple posts at one time and then schedule when those posts will be published. Some companies will schedule posts months out in advance and others like to take it week by week.

Considering that over 96% of company drivers have a Facebook account, of course you need to be recruiting truck drivers on the platform. Facebook is the place for you to reach potential drivers and share your company’s story in real time. Follow this guide and your company will know how to recruit truck drivers on Facebook.

How To Advertise to Truck Drivers

Advertising to truck drivers is much different today than it was ten years ago. It is even much more different today than it was ten months ago thanks to the changes forced by COVID-19. Now more than ever you need to rely on digital services to reach truckers. Follow this guide and you will know how to advertise to truck drivers.

All successful for advertising campaigns reach drivers at the minimum of five touch points. Before launching your campaign you must strategize for how to establish each touch point. Below are the five touch points that Driveteks recommends you use in your campaign.

Social Media Marketing

Person uses phone to respond to social media marketing

Truck drivers love social media. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram keep drivers connected to their loved ones during long trips on the road. Because of this, social media is the best way to reach drivers.

According to Conversionia, Facebook is a top three performing cost-per-hire strategy.

Content is king when it comes to social media. You need to be posting content that engages drivers multiple times a week on your company’s page and within groups. Doing this will build your brand and generate awareness around your company. Images and videos tend to be the most effective at spurring engagement.

In addition to posting content you need to be running a paid advertising campaign. Hiring a professional driver recruitment agency to handle your Facebook ads will make sure your company gets seen by the drivers you want. Facebook is constantly updating its algorithms and advertising standards so it is highly recommended you employ a professional to do your ads.

Job Boards 

Job boards can be one of the top sources of driver applicants. The drivers are on that site specifically to look for a new job. However, job boards are highly competitive and the costs have risen through the roof.

Despite high levels of competition and prices job boards need to be a part of your advertising strategy. In order to succeed to focus on three key areas:

  • Succinct and enticing job description
  • Well built recruitment landing page linked in the description
  • Constant monitoring of board performance

Drivers on job boards are going to be scanning tens of job descriptions at a time. You need to do a good job of keeping your description short and enticing. If your description is written well, it should encourage drivers to click on your recruitment landing page and learn more about your company.

The most important part of advertising on job boards is monitoring which job boards are performing the best each month. Doing this will enable you to allocate ad spend to the boards performing and not waste money on underperforming sites.

Email/Text Campaigns

Email and text campaigns are an amazing way to communicate with drivers that have expressed interest in working for your company. The only way you are able to collect contact information from drivers is when they submit an application on your website/recruitment landing page.

Advertising to truck drivers through email/text is an excellent way to share your company’s voice. You will be able to share informative content, invite them to visit your website, and stay in touch with drivers.

In order to set up an Email or messaging campaign you need to use a tool such as MailChimp. MailChimp makes it easy to design visually appealing emails that can be sent out to every driver email you have collected with the click of a button.

Geofencing For Driver Recruitment

Geofencing is a location based advertisement strategy. It works by setting up a “geofence”, a virtual perimeter around the outside of a geographic area. Anyone who enters the perimeter receives the targeted ads.

A truck company advertising agency will know exactly where to place geofences so that the only people seeing your ads are truck drivers. No more wasting ad spend on ads that are being seen by people who are not truck drivers.

Common places companies like to place geofences are around truck stops, driver schools, truck driver conventions, and competitor truck lots.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising is the best way to stay on the mind of drivers. Your company will be in front of the eyes of drivers every time they open their internet browser.

Sometimes there is a false conception that paid media is going to directly generate more applications. That is not necessarily the case. Paid media indirectly generates applications.

Paid media is effective at keeping your company on the mind of drivers. Drivers will not click on these ads very often and apply. But, when the drivers are ready to start looking for a new job the first company they look up will be your company.

Illustration that depicts where people see pay per click advertising.

In order to successfully advertise to truck drivers you need to be able to reach them at a minimum of five times. The five touch points recommended in this article all complement each other and will spur the number driver applicants your company receives.

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.

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.

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.