Fleet owners are pulling out all of the stops to boost recruiting and retention efforts.
A recent article by FleetOwner.com’s Sean Kilcarr highlights the unique challenges companies face when attracting new faces to the industry.
“With an aging workforce, transportation companies are facing an array of challenges when trying to find new talent,” Ken Ferguson, a representative of the employment screening provider, HireRight, told Kilcarr.
According to the American Trucking Associations, one-in-six long-haul drivers will retire by the year 2017.
Currently, there are countless jobs that are unfilled.
“At the moment, we already have 30,000 unfilled jobs for drivers in the trucking industry,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello recently said in a story which appeared at Truckinginfo.com. “As the industry starts to haul more because demand goes up, we’ll need to add more drivers, nearly 100,000 annually over the next decade, in order to keep pace.”
Among other things, Ferguson said tight regulations and training requirements, as well as an improving economy, contributed to making competition for available drivers tough.
“The market for drivers is tight as the economy continues to improve, the situation will only get tougher,” Ferguson said. “Competition is intense (and) drivers are at a premium and can easily move from one carrier to another to switch jobs.”
Meanwhile, an improving job market, below-expectation salaries and tight regulations are prone to push would-be drivers to other careers.
“This is because local trucking firms often require two years of experience to keep insurance premiums down,” Ferguson added to Kilcarr. “Thus many younger drivers are drawn to construction and other jobs that pay more, and allow more time at home.”
In return, the carriers are trying to draw drivers though using methods such as increasing social media usage and opening driver training schools.
Furthermore, more companies are focusing on keeping the drivers they already have in place.
“As a fleet manager, its crucial to understand that there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to recruiting and retaining drivers,” Vikas Jain, a vice president and general manager for FleetRisk Advisors, which focuses on building predictive models for the trucking industry since 2005, told Kilcarr.