The Bayard Brief: Labor Market Insights — September 2022

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Angles to Tackle the Driver Shortage.

  • 04.26.2022

It’s no secret that there is always a truck driver shortage. Add to that the pandemic, the Great Resignation, and their rippling effects, and the trucking industry is in hot water. As of October 2021, there was a shortage of 80,000 drivers, up from 61,000 in 2018. 

 Trucking rates continue to increase because the industry can’t find enough drivers to meet freight demand, demonstrating that clearly, trucking has been and continues to head down a concerning path, one with a dire need for drivers. 

 1. Target More Veterans

Veterans are a key demographic that tend to mesh well with trucking, due mostly to their shared qualities: they work well in teams, have a strong sense of accountability, are extremely dedicated, have a great work ethic, and are able to adapt to change quickly. Instead of targeting general hiring sites, consider dedicating a portion of your budget to veteran-specific resources. The odds are that this tactic will be more cost-effective and result in a greater number of hires due to their specific traits that match well with a career in trucking. Furthermore, it’s important to weave the “veteran-friendly company” messaging into your branding; this will alert veterans right away that they are welcome to apply and give them that extra encouragement to take your organization seriously as a potential employer.

2. Stay In Contact With Your Leads

A job seeker wants to feel wanted, and there’s no better way to show them that your recruiting team is interested than maintaining contact through personalized emails, texts, or calls, and it’s recommended that recruiters reach out within 5 minutes of receiving an application. Reaching out to answer questions, relieve any doubt, or provide information is a great way to re-engage applicants and show that you truly care. If every recruiter makes this a habit, it’s likely that conversion rates will increase.

3. Partnering with Schools

While many trucking companies offer training to get a CDL-A, it’s also a good idea to establish relationships with trucking schools, which will help your organization build a pipeline of drivers. Moreover, it will help your recruiting team minimize their reliance on advertising and phone pitches. Students at driving schools will know at the end of the road they have a job, and your organization will be confident that their investment in training will pay off.

4. Be Competitive In The Market

$100,000 or $60,000 – which would you choose? A driver applying for a job is thinking the same thing. It is important to do research and look at what competitors are offering for similar positions. Making sure your salaries/CPMs are competitive is crucial in attracting drivers. If a driver can make more doing the same thing in the same location for another company – it’s a clear choice, and they won’t be driving for you.

Alternatively, if increasing salaries isn’t an option, you can take a look at things like company culture or benefits, such as tuition reimbursement, generous PTO, and retirement plans, to really sell your organization to potential drivers. 

For more ideas and insight into how to solve the driver shortage, reach out to our experts at Bayard below.

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