Help Your Customers Keep Their Trucks Driving
The truck driver shortage in America is real and it is significant. There are several reasons for this, including the recession of 2009 that chased many drivers into other careers or retirement. The industry recovered but many drivers didn’t return. The luster and appeal of driving on the open road are not what it once was. For many of us, driving is no longer the joy it once was. Trucking has struggled in attracting new drivers, yet the demand continues to grow. The American Trucking Association (ATA) says that trucks carry 70% of consumer goods. It also says the industry needs to recruit about 900,000 new drivers to meet current demand. The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) says the truck driver shortage is its number one priority for 2018.
Wiley Metal partners with some major OEM truck trailer companies and resolving this issue can help strengthen the entire industry. Here are five truck trailer driver shortage solutions to keep trucks on the road.
- Consider targeting women. While women make up 47% of the workforce, only 6% of women are professional truck drivers. How do you target women? Attend job fairs and have your recruiting booth hosted by females, perhaps with trucking experience. Encourage current driver referrals of female family members and friends. Target women by showing them as drivers in recruiting brochures and ads.
- Recognize the value of recruiting younger drivers. While current laws restrict 18-21-year-old drivers to driving within their own states, proposals are being introduced to make some exceptions, including the hiring of younger drivers with military experience. Trucking companies can target younger drivers who may still be unmarried and can better adapt to the trucking lifestyle.
- Explore the possibility of hiring non-violent offenders and felons. The fact is, 70 million Americans have some form of criminal record. The National Employment Law Project estimates that about 600,000 people are released from state and federal prisons each year. This is a lot of manpower that is going to struggle in finding employment because they are often dismissed as a whole. Not all felony crimes are alike. You may consider the age of an offender, when an offense took place or how long ago it occurred. Trucking offers an opportunity for both non-violent offenders and trucking companies. These drivers may prove even more reliable because they so value their job opportunities.
- Recruit veterans. There are many benefits in making a concerted effort to recruit veterans. Actively recruiting veterans has a patriotic aspect to it. Many veterans have experience in operating heavy equipment. Many veterans have qualities that appeal to trucking companies like the ability to follow instructions and obeying rules.
- Use digital media more effectively. Digital media can be a powerful tool in helping recruit for trucking companies. Use social media to post job openings. Online videos can have an impact on how the trucking lifestyle is portrayed. There are still people being drawn to the open road and a sense of freedom and adventure trucking can offer. Use electronic media to appeal to this group.
What the trucking industry is facing is not unlike the skilled workforce challenges faced by those in manufacturing. Recruiting younger employees is difficult and we need to be open-minded, creative, and use more of the tools available. It may be reaching out to non-traditional candidates. It will take branding the industry as more desirable, adventurous, and stable. Old perceptions may have to be changed.
Recruiting today is as much about marketing as it is about Human Resources. Once that is understood, more candidates will be attracted to the jobs we are offering.