210326900 | Adonis1969 | Dreamstime.com
Technology has changed the workforce landscape. Here are four things fleets need to consider when it comes to recruitment and retention.

Gaskins: The right workers with the right skillsets for the right job

March 19, 2024
Technology has changed the workforce landscape drastically. Here are four things fleets need to keep in mind when recruiting.

When we ask our customers what their biggest business concerns and challenges are, we get the answers one would expect: economic volatility, interest rates, government regulations, rising insurance and equipment costs, and technological advances. One additional challenge is the difficulty in finding and retaining qualified and high-quality employees, especially those with the right job skills. Job opportunities exist, but filling them with the right job seekers is an ongoing problem.

Technology and digital transformation are changing the workforce landscape

Technology is transforming every aspect of a business, from the C-suite to the back office, creating new jobs that require new skills. For example, logistics plays an increasingly important role in ensuring that cargo gets to its destination in the timeliest and most efficient way possible. That requires real-time visibility into where every asset is at any given time, increasing efficiency and reducing operational costs. For today’s fleet maintenance teams, a laptop is as vital as a wrench in the diesel technician’s toolbox.

See also: Clark: Driver retention starts with onboarding process

However, fleets are facing a real challenge as older workers retire and younger generations, who have different values regarding what they expect from a job, must be recruited. Here are four steps that can be taken to mitigate this challenge and retain the workers you already have:

  1. Look at skills rather than a degree: You wouldn’t want to go to a doctor who didn’t have a medical degree or entrust your legal interests to someone without a law degree. However, there are many jobs that don’t necessarily require a college degree. A recent Forbes article cited a McKinsey report that stated, “hiring for skills is five times more predictive of job performance than hiring for education.” The article goes on to note that “employees without college degrees also tend to stay in their roles 34% longer than those with college degrees.” So, based on these statistics, you not only get better performance when using a skills-based approach to hiring, you also get more loyalty.
  2. Give every employee the ability to learn more: Businesses need to remember skills can be taught. So, if you have existing good, reliable, and trustworthy employees, offer them the training and professional development that ends up helping you and the employee. Although Millennials and Gen Z are familiar and comfortable with today’s technology, that doesn’t mean your older workers wouldn’t welcome the opportunity to learn and move beyond their current jobs. For many employees of all ages, having an achievable career path is an important part of a recruitment and retention practice. Develop training programs that focus on job training and skills training. It’s a lot less expensive to have ongoing training for existing employees than it is to hire new talent.
  3. Focus on attracting younger workers: Regardless of how much reskilling and retraining you do with existing employees, the trucking industry is losing drivers and technicians at an alarming rate. The obvious choice is to bring in new, younger workers, but where do you find them? The industry has long battled an outdated image of driver and diesel tech jobs: an image that is unlikely to attract a generation bred on technology and social media. Since so many younger workers are looking for jobs that involve computer electronics, artificial intelligence, and robotics, the trucking industry provides a sweet spot with telematics and other truck technology now dominating the industry. Companies should have a robust and relevant social media presence to put themselves in front of candidates where they spend the most time. Offer internships and apprenticeships. Develop relationships with trade schools and community colleges to educate and recruit younger workers. Once you recruit these younger workers, establishing mentoring programs is a great way to retain them.
  4. Make an offer that’s about more than just money: Although younger workers put a higher value on things like company culture, work/life balance, diversity, and advancement, they are still looking for good pay, good health care, and better benefits. It’s important to ensure you are competitive when it comes to wages and benefits to bring good people in and keep them with you. Remember, your competitors are looking for skilled workers as well, so keep tabs on the industry averages.

Fleets need to take the long view, whether that means choosing work experience over a college degree, offering ongoing training and retraining programs to keep the good people you have, developing relationships with people and organizations that younger people trust, or a combination of all of these.

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.

Sponsored Recommendations

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...

80% Fewer Towable Accidents - 10 Key Strategies

After installing grille guards on all of their Class 8 trucks, a major Midwest fleet reported they had reduced their number of towable accidents by 80% post installation – including...

Proactive Fleet Safety: A Guide to Improved Efficiency and Profitability

Each year, carriers lose around 32.6 billion vehicle hours as a result of weather-related congestion. Discover how to shift from reactive to proactive, improve efficiency, and...

Tackling the Tech Shortage: Lessons in Recruiting Talent and Reducing Turnover

Discover innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining tech talent in the trucking industry during this informative webinar, where experts will share insights on competitive...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!