President and COO, Atlas Logistics
Perspective: The Right Recruiting Impression
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Amid the ongoing driver shortage, transportation companies must consider all the ways prospective and current drivers interact with their business. Millennials are well into their working years; Gen Z is firmly entering the workforce. It’s time to make sure they see the value in a trucking career.
From an individual perspective, there’s an obvious place to start: We know younger workers value culture and respect.
Many younger workers opt to engage with organizations that are socially responsible and aligned with their values. According to the American Transportation Research Institute, 84% of younger drivers consider company culture important.
Per recruiting technology leader Employ Inc., one-third of new hires leave jobs within the first 90 days due to misaligned expectations, poor onboarding experiences, and a company culture that is not a fit for their preferences and values. Organizations can stand out to prospects by explaining their values, vision, mission and culture during each part of the process: recruiting, interviewing and onboarding. Transportation companies can also showcase their values in practice, by listening to and acting on feedback from employees and agents, all of whom bring a unique perspective that will strengthen the organization overall.
Timeliness is also especially important to candidates; research from Top Echelon Software shows that 40% of job candidates reject offers because another organization made an offer faster. Smart recruiting software is one way to significantly reduce interaction time with potential drivers as well as the time-to-hire.
For example, Atlas Van Lines recently partnered with Tenstreet, a software company that connects drivers and carriers, and was able to reduce the average time it takes to bring new recruits on board from 88 days to 15 days. Streamlining the hiring process not only addresses the preferences and expectations of job seekers today, but also allows new hires to begin driving sooner. Further, organizations must make it as easy as possible for drivers to use their services in an efficient and valuable manner.
For the next generation of drivers, offering easily accessible, interactive software is crucial to recruitment and retention, as these workers expect to have technology integrated into their work experience. Organizations must prioritize the adoption of technological solutions that allow drivers to have the information they always need at their fingertips. For all generations, the tools should not be cumbersome or difficult to learn and use. Continuing to invest in technological innovations that appeal to and support drivers across generations is key to hiring and retention today.
Young adult workers also value a quick and easy application process as well as a seamless interview and offer experience. These preferences can be supported and strengthened by innovative recruiting technology. In fact, according to cross-industry data from Employ Inc., 45% of workers would not apply to an employer again if they had a bad candidate experience.
Of course, creating a good culture and streamlining the recruiting process don’t mean much if there’s not investment in encouraging the next generation of drivers.
The new federal Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program allows drivers who are at least 18 years old, have a state-issued commercial driver license and have a clean driving record to drive interstate under the direct supervision of an experienced driver. Transportation companies must support this type of legislation, which accommodates drivers, creates a larger talent pool and helps capture young drivers at the onset of their careers. Key to advancing the goals of this type of effort is engaging with local representatives involved in transportation legislation, including members of Congress.
Companies can also support this effort by partnering with the driving schools or tech schools with CDL training programs. Companies can also participate in outreach programs to local or regional high schools or through job fairs marketed to pending or recent high school graduates seeking vocational careers. By bridging that connection, a company can establish a pipeline of potential new recruits with verifiable training.
An aging workforce is a major contributing factor to today’s driver shortage. However, there are multiple ways to engage and support existing drivers while adopting new strategies to attract and retain a new generation.
Phil Wahl is president and chief operating officer of Atlas Logistics, a full-service logistics company within the Atlas World Group family that provides comprehensive transportation management solutions to clients across industries.
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