CEO, Select 1 Group
Perspective: Winning Arguments to Attract New Drivers
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As the American workforce continues to experience major shifts and fluxes, there’s an opportunity for those of us in the trucking and logistics industries to attract new drivers and workers looking for a post-pandemic change.
With a few real-world examples and proof points, we can help others reap the benefits of a sustaining career in trucking with impressive earning potential, flexibility and the freedom to explore the open road.
Great Pay, Now
One of the main arguments why trucking could be the perfect post-pandemic job is that many companies are raising their wages for drivers. Truck drivers can make good money right now, and the earning potential grows with experience, making it an attractive long-term option given the ebb and flow of economic conditions such as inflation.
There are options, too. Whether working for a salary, on a per-mile basis, or by the load, the variety is real and the more experience you gain, the more money you can earn.
Low Cost of Entry
To become a driver, all you need in most states is a commercial driver license and a background check.
For those already considering skilled labor opportunities, particularly young people, trucking can be attractive because opportunities exist right away. Get the CDL and hit the road.
Moreover, with the soaring costs of a college education, learning a trade simply presents a sensible alternative — and a better fit — for some. Drivers can begin earning immediately at industry norms without worrying about debilitating loans hanging over their heads.
They can even start with earn-as-you-learn programs, offering the best of both worlds. These programs are available at the federal government level, with an FMCSA pilot program in the works for younger drivers.
Trucking companies can reach out now to schools or organizations to make this case to young people. For example, many high schools offer programs such as career fairs that provide vital networking opportunities and the ability to connect one-on-one with potential candidates.
For current drivers with a CDL, we can offer the opportunity to sponsor their spouse to get their own CDL. The pair then can drive as a team, knowing their future is secure in a mission-critical industry.
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And within the trucking profession, there is a lot of job diversity, which could be attractive to those tired of certain kinds of shift or contract work. Some companies and drivers specialize in hauling consumer freight from point-to-point, while others move high-value specialty items for consumers or industries where driver responsibilities are increased significantly. There’s plenty of opportunity to find the right fit for each driver.
Freedom and the Open Road
High-stress careers in health care, technology, banking and other fields are taking their toll on some. Burnout, a lack of work/life balance, and high levels of stress are cited as major causes. For many, this could make the prospect of a major change very attractive.
For example, CNN recently covered a story about a veteran nurse who left her job during the pandemic due to frustrations over staff shortages and a lack of perceived advancement opportunities. She ended up finding a sense of freedom she didn’t have in the health care field and made more money as a driver than in her former role as a nurse.
Professional truck driving is one career that has tremendous financial possibilities and staying power. It offers flexibility, and allows people the freedom to explore the open road. This is attracting people from all sectors who are seeking a change. Trucking can be the perfect occupation to put in an honest day’s work, experience what this country has to offer and make a great living doing so. And that’s a winning argument for recruitment.
Gary Carlson is the CEO of Select 1 Group, a transportation solution for OEMs and private owners that employs a strategic, multidisciplinary approach to deliver creative and effective solutions for clients.