You may not be aware of it, but you could be holding the golden ticket for attracting the next generation of workers.
And you know as well as I do just how big a problem it is. You can’t talk about the trucking industry without hearing about the driver shortage or the technician shortage or the people shortage in general. Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist, estimates we currently need an additional 35,000 to 40,000 drivers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates we will need 200,000 diesel technicians over the next 10 years.
So if we are going to solve this problem we need to figure out a way to engage the next generation — aka the millennials. These are folks who were born after 1980. There are a couple of things to remember about them that will be useful in attracting them to your business.
First, they grew up with technology, are not afraid of it, expect to use it on their job and expect their employers to continually invest in newer and newer technology. Score 10 points if you are a fleet that has made major investments in technology on your vehicles and inside your shops.
They also want to be part of something bigger, want what they do to make a difference and they expect the companies they work for to believe in something bigger than just making a profit. Give yourself another 10 points if some of the technologies and practices you have invested in are designed to make your fleets more fuel efficient. This will demonstrate your commitment to the greater good.
When you are trying to hire millennials, it’s a good idea to tell them about all the technology you have invested in on your trucks, in your maintenance operation and throughout your company. If you are a fleet that is an early adopter of new technology, give yourself another 10 point and be assured that you have a hiring advantage.
Also make sure to promote the fact that much of the technology you deploy also happens to reduce fuel use and cut greenhouse gas emissions. You really want to have a good story to tell prospective employees whether they be drivers, technicians, dispatchers, or office personnel about your real commitment to making things better for future generations.
Trucking is often viewed as an old fashioned, dirty business. It’s up to you to show the millennials how cool we really are — that we are big users of cutting edge technology and that for many years we have been doing our part to take care of the planet.
The best thing about this approach is that it is 100% accurate. No greenwashing here.