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Reconsidering retention and recruitment

July 29, 2022
Over a third of drivers are looking for work with other carriers, according to a recent survey. Here are five things to consider when trying to recruit and retain drivers.

Getting and keeping drivers seems to be a perennial problem for the trucking industry—one that fleets of all sizes have been unable to solve. To help gain more insight into what drivers want, Conversion Interactive Agency and PDA recently conducted their Spring 2022 Driver Survey on a wide variety of topics. The findings give excellent insight that can be used to inform carriers’ talent retention and acquisition efforts.

One trend carriers should watch is the growth in the number of drivers looking for work with other carriers. According to the survey, 37.4% of drivers said they are looking for work outside of their current employer, up nearly 3% from November 2021. Competition for drivers is fierce and "truck driver" is the most posted job in the U.S., so companies need to give special care to how they attract and, more importantly, retain their workforces.

See also: Changing the way we hire technicians

Consider these actions when evaluating retention and recruitment efforts

  • Offer competitive pay. One primary approach to keeping drivers is offering competitive pay. Of those truckers not looking for a job, the top reason they gave was they like the pay where they are (35.9%). Being satisfied with the number of miles they are driving, the freight they are hauling, and the equipment they are operating were other reasons.
  • Provide a clear job description. One retention aid intermingles with acquisition efforts: clear communication about the role prior to the hire. The most important information in a job description for drivers involves clear information on pay (82.6%), home time (69.1%), equipment (31.6%), freight (25.2%), and safety initiatives at the carrier (21.7%). Transparency in job conversations helps build trust and loyalty after drivers onboard.
  • Check on worker-manager relationships. How employees feel about their management can impact job satisfaction and the desire to stay with an employer. While 65.1% rated their relationship with management as good, 23.4% said they don’t think their manager cares about their success.
  • Reduce driver downtime. Interestingly, 55.3% of drivers said equipment and parts shortages did not affect their job, although 28% said it takes longer to get their trucks fixed. That increased downtime means less time behind the wheel—and less pay in their pockets. Fleets should investigate safe ways to speed up repair times—or provide creative solutions to keep drivers working even if their trucks are in the shop.
  • Improve parking efficiency. With the advent of electronic logging devices has come challenges with truck parking. Almost half of drivers (45.7%) said it takes 30 minutes to more than one hour to find a parking spot. According to the survey, 36.6% want carriers to pay for parking and 23.7% want fleets to provide parking locations ahead of time. Accommodating drivers in this area would be beneficial.

Fleets would do well to listen to drivers. Reconsidering attraction and retention activities can help improve driver satisfaction and maintain a competitive advantage.

Patrick Gaskins, SVP of Corcentric Fleet Solutions, oversees both sales and operations for the company's fleet offerings. Gaskins joined the company in 2010, bringing more than 30 years of experience as a financial services professional in the transportation industry. He leads a team that works with a supply base of more than 160 manufacturers to help the country’s largest fleets manage all aspects of their fleet operations and fleet-related spend.

About the Author

Patrick Gaskins | Senior vice president, Fleet Solutions

Patrick Gaskins is a financial services professional serving the transportation industry for over 30 years. Gaskins earned his BBA in Finance from the University of Miami, FL in 1989, and received his CTP certification from the National Private Truck Council in 2002. He has held positions with GE Capital, TCF Equipment Finance, and various small independent lessors. 

He began his career with Corcentric in 2010 as Vice President of Financial Services, was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations, and is now taking the role of Senior Vice President, Fleet Solutions.  In his new role he will lead Corcentric’s Captial Equipment Solutions, Fleet Procurement, Supply Management, and Remarketing teams. Gaskins will bring to the Fleet practice his expertise in developing data driven solutions to complex transportation transactions, driving efficiencies, and reducing expenses for Corcentric’s customers.

The Fleet Solutions practice leverages technology and the purchasing power of over 1,700 member fleets operating approximately 800,000 assets to provide its members with access to cost effective national account purchasing programs, fleet financing, asset management, and remarketing services.

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