Recruiting Over-The-Road Drivers in Today’s Trucking Industry
When it comes to over-the-road truck driving, it’s all about the long haul, more money and bigger benefits, right? Truthfully, long gone are the days of the idealistic life out on the open road. As younger drivers enter the trucking industry, they are more likely to want to feel in control of their career path and seek more than just a bigger paycheck. This along with many other factors makes it harder and harder for trucking companies to recruit from the younger generation of over-the-road truck drivers.
So, what are some ways you can successfully recruit (and retain) over-the-road drivers in today’s market?
Reevaluate driver working conditions - Your current over-the-road truck drivers are out for weeks at a time without their family or a regular shower (if they can’t make it to a truck stop). Let’s be honest, it’s a tough lifestyle. Ultimately, your drivers rely on their operations team to keep them well informed while on the road. Keep an open line of communication with your drivers and make sure they know you are with them every mile. No matter where the driver is, your team should be communicating effectively and supporting their needs on a daily basis. This includes being flexible with their work schedule when life happens.
Engage with your drivers out on the road - Over-the-road truck drivers leave because they are unhappy, either due to compensation, lack of communication, among many other factors. Social media is a great tool to engage with drivers while they are out on long hauls. Celebrate their successes and help drivers understand the “bigger picture” of their role in the transportation industry. Not only is social media a great tool for driver recruitment, it is also a powerful retention strategy.
Build a strong company culture - Make drivers feel like they have a sense of community out on the road. Be sure to give incentives that tie back to safety, longevity, etc. and award those drivers who have worked hard through the years. Also, think about hiring driver mentors within your company to help carve a successful career path for new drivers entering the trucking industry.
Encourage driver testimonials - Have an over-the road driver tell their authentic story. Where is their favorite stop in their travels? What keeps them motivated out on the road? This allows drivers to connect with other drivers and can be widely used to help with your driver recruiting strategy and social media efforts.
Overall, communication is key to a better life out on the road so make sure to invest in your drivers, respect them and build that foundation of trust to keep them in it for the long haul.