Managing Editor, Features
High-Tech Recruiting Battles
[Find the latest in trucking technology: Explore this quarter's issue of iTECH]
Professional drivers are any trucking company’s greatest asset. That’s true regardless of market conditions, but it becomes especially clear when the recruiting pipeline begins to run dry.
While motor carriers have long struggled to attract, hire and retain enough drivers, this persistent workforce challenge has only worsened during the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A combination of factors, including strong freight demand, ongoing supply chain constraints and widespread labor shortages, has ratcheted up the already stiff competition for drivers.
Not unlike premier college athletic programs wooing a five-star recruit, trucking companies are pulling out all the stops to entice drivers to join their ranks.
More and more fleets are raising driver pay and offering hefty sign-on bonuses and other perks, but those incentives are not the only elements of a successful recruiting program. Hiring a qualified driver begins with the application process.
Oftentimes, drivers looking for their next opportunity will apply simultaneously for positions at several different carriers.
This means fleets must be able to act quickly. If they wait days to respond, that driver may have already accepted a job at a rival carrier.
More Q1 iTECH
►How Fleets Are Winning the Race to Hire Drivers
►TuSimple CEO Cheng Lu Outlines Vision for Autonomous Trucking
►Dysart: Auto-Written Trend Reports: Fleet Insights in Clear Words
►Q&A: Yellow's Jason Ringgenberg
Explore the Issue!
Given the high stakes involved, more trucking companies are making use of various software programs to gain an edge in the recruiting race.
Information technology can help companies improve their responsiveness and more efficiently manage the multiple steps involved in vetting and ultimately hiring a promising job applicant.
Since safe, qualified drivers have so many job options, their experience during the application process can be a significant factor in their final decisions.
Simply providing a streamlined job application that drivers can easily fill out on their smartphones can create a good first impression and give a fleet a leg up on its competitors.
Of course, onboarding a driver is only half the battle. It’s every bit as important for fleets to retain their current drivers. Otherwise, they’ll soon find themselves spending the same time and money yet again to recruit another driver.
Ultimately, companies must deliver on the promises they make during the recruiting process to keep drivers on board for the long haul.
But in today’s hypercompetitive labor market, technology-enabled recruiting processes can certainly help motor carriers convert more applicants into new hires and keep their trucks rolling.
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