It is no secret that recruiting and retaining drivers continues to be difficult for shippers. The trucker shortage is expected to double within the next decade. A good part of the deficit can be attributed to older drivers retiring from the industry.
The hardest hit is long-haul drivers whose average age is 46 years of age. In addition, the nature of the job often requires drivers to be away from home for weeks at a time.
According to the American Trucking Association almost 160,000 driver jobs could remain unfilled during the next decade. This has fueled the need to recruit younger drivers, including women, to replace those who are leaving the workforce. But for this to be successful, the industry needs to adjust its methods of recruitment.
Here’s how the next generation of truck drivers can be successfully recruited.
Until now, the entrance of young drivers into the trucking industry has pretty much been limited to drivers aged 21 and up because of the limitations placed for driving commercial vehicles interstate.
To address the existing driver shortage, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has considered a pilot program to lift that restriction. In Congress, the DRIVE-Safe Act has been introduced to give 18 to 20-year-old drivers training opportunities to gain employment in the trucking industry.
Young people are attracted to various careers because of the motivation they feel from what they perceive as rewards offered by certain careers. Recruiters need to keep this mind as they develop their hiring strategies. For example, spending long hours on the road may not be the best motivator for young drivers. However, what will appeal to young drivers is the appeal of being able to work independently, which fosters the goal of self-management. A trucking career can offer many opportunities for working independently.
Another potential appeal to younger drivers is the feeling of knowing that they can be part of an industry that is integral to this country’s economy. Currently, trucks transport approximately 71.5 percent of freight in the United States. In 2017, the industry created over $700 billion in economic activity. The trucking industry is a thriving industry that can provide opportunities for young drivers.
Technology that is being used within the trucking industry can help with attracting new drivers. Similar to how the military has successfully used technology to attract young people, it is now being used to attract younger drivers to trucking.
Technology-enabled training tools, such as simulators have become a great tool in training new drivers and allowing them to learn at their own pace. These simulators emulate the actual controls and performance of big rigs.
This allows new truckers to master the skills they need to be prepared to manage real-life emergency situations they might encounter once they are out on the road.
It used to be when an employer needed to fill a position, he or she would take out a “want ad” in the newspaper and wait for job applicants to initiate contact. Today, the likelihood of reaching potential candidates through a newspaper ad pales in comparison to using social media to post an ad to attract candidates from a targeted group.
Driver referral programs have also gone the wayside of newspaper ads. Even though referrals by employees can earn them money, they are not being down.
The process of filling out an application for a trucking job needs to change. With more than 70 percent of job applications being submitted from mobile devices. Some companies have been finding success in creating and using mobile apps to streamline the application process.
Cargobot is one of the industry leaders in enabling shippers and carriers to work directly. Their easy-to-use platform opens a network of certified carriers nationwide. Easily track freight in real-time, remove hidden broker fees, keep all important documents organized, and access 24/7 support from a dedicated customer service associate.
Learn more about how Cargobot is leading the way in helping inland freight go direct.