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Understanding When & Why Drivers Leave is Important

When it comes to tackling the driver shortage, carriers typically focus on recruiting first and retention second. Driver recruiting strategies are obviously a core component of facing the challenge of growing and maintaining your fleet, but understanding and addressing why drivers leave is also critical to your strategy.

We chat with hundreds of carriers a year regarding their driver retention strategy, and more often than not, one of the most common barriers we see is lack of accountability within carrier organizations. Which begs the question – who owns driver retention at your carrier?

Common answers to this question include:

A: “We have a Driver Retention Committee – they meet once a month, and they’re responsible for retention.”

A: “Everyone in our organization ‘owns’ driver retention.”

A: “Operations is responsible for driver retention.”

A: “Recruiting is responsible for driver retention.”

You can see where any of these answers might not be the best answer for the size of the problem our industry is facing today when it comes to driver turnover. So, what are some driver retention strategies that carriers can take to compliment their driver recruiting strategies?

1. Communicate Accountability Clearly & Often: Be sure someone or a group of your team is tasked with improving driver retention. Give them clear and concise goals to meet. Track their progress and provide incentives for meeting and exceeding driver retention goals.

2. Track Retention Data & Trends: Track key-performance-indicators for your driver retention efforts. Some important metrics and trends to track include: annual, monthly and weekly overall driver turnover; driver turnover by recruiter; driver turnover by fleet manager, turnover by driver tenure (identifying what stage of employment drivers are leaving), and driver turnover by lead source.

3. Don’t Forget About Rehires: Drivers who leave your carriers often regret doing so. By implementing a Rehire Program, you can capture back drivers who left, but are still eligible for rehire, which supports both your driver retention and driver recruiting strategies. Professional Driver Agency has a fantastic Resign to Rehire program carriers should consider as part of their strategy.

Driver retention is important, so be sure you have a solid plan in place to help meet (or better yet, exceed!) the goals you have for recruiting and retention – especially in today’s driver market.

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