It is important that a trucking company have strong and effective driver recruiting and retention strategies in place. Considering how it costs thousands of dollars to find and recruit a new truck driver, it pays to have a trained fleet management team to keep your driver turnover rates to a minimum. Hiring and retaining quality drivers is the cornerstone for the success of any trucking company. Insurance companies take a look at your driver quality and retention numbers which may have an impact on not only your rates, but even your insurability.
Driver recruiting and retention requires an effective strategies are important if you want to avoid experiencing driver shortage.
Driver recruiting and retention for companies and drivers is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all formula reducing driver turnover and not one way to recruit drivers. However, there are some tried and tested driver recruitment and retention strategies that you can use to achieve pretty good results. We have direct experience in the recruiting and retention of quality drivers and have conducted numerous seminars and have helped numerous carriers in this critical area of their safety program. Below are just a few ideas and thoughts that may assist you in your efforts:
1. Build a Driver Referral Program
Who better to recruit new talent for your company than your current roster of drivers? You can run ads in the newspaper, put up billboards, and try recruiting drives all you want…but nothing will ever be as effective as having your own team do the job for you. But there needs to be an incentive for them to do so.
2. Shore Up Your Online Presence
Just about everyone these days looks for information on the internet. The fact of the matter is, a new website can be built for dirt cheap (about $100), so there’s no excuse not to have one.
Most company recruiters are researching potential employees online by looking at their Facebook and LinkedIn pages to determine if they would be a good fit. There’s no reason to believe that potential drivers aren’t doing the same thing when considering working for you.
3. Create Awesome Marketing Materials
The biggest mistake companies make with their marketing is the “me-me-me mentality” by focusing on how great their company is. They talk about growth and awards and rarely focus on what really matters – the people.
4. Provide Better Working Conditions for Drivers
It’s an epidemic in the transportation industry – drivers are always looking for greener pastures. However, if you include some quality of life improvements as part of your retention strategy, drivers are far less likely to stray.
- Safety, safety, safety – make sure your program is up to snuff
- Up-to-date equipment
- Properly maintained equipment
- Convenience items such as fridge in the cab and automatic snow chains
- Flexible hours
5. Avoid Burning Bridges
Drivers are going to leave. No matter how well your plan has been implemented, you’re going to lose good employees to your competitors. When it happens, don’t take it personally.
When a driver tenders his/her resignation, tell them that they are still welcome in your company should they decide to return. Make sure to update contact information in their personnel file and call them a few months down the road to see how things are going.
6. Make Driver Wellness Part of Your Program
Life on the road is a difficult lifestyle and many truck drivers are not in the best physical condition. Smoking, sleep apnea, and obesity are just a few of the serious health problems that plague drivers.
Implementing a wellness program not only shows that you care, it’s also an investment in your most valuable asset – your employees. Not to mention, every $1 spent on wellness programs yields $6 in health care savings, which can have a significant effect on your bottom line.
7. Solicit Driver Feedback
Throwing money at problems isn’t always the answer. Open channels of feedback with your drivers and listen to what they have to say. Here are a few different ways:
- Suggestion box
- Advisory councils
- Driver meetings
- Online surveys and apps