How to increase your driver recruitment funnel?

Are you actively tackling the driver-shortage crisis?

Are you actively tackling the driver-shortage crisis?

Trucking companies are struggling to attract drivers to the big-rig life. To target future recruitees, you need to understand their context, be present where they are and speak in a language that they do. There are as many approaches as are segments. We break down the three important demographies and tell you how to attract them into your workforce: 

Target migrant population:

As of 2012, nearly 30 percent of foreign-born drivers were from Asia, the Middle East, the former Soviet republics and Europe, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. There is a lot of scope for that number to climb higher.

Find ways to appeal to this segment, train them, and make it an attractive career for them. Working on messaging, showcasing success stories of migrant could go a long way.

There's also another reason why you should hire migrants: Migrant truckers have acknowledged that the bond between migrant truckers is much stronger than those between American drivers. A sense of community is fostered that allows them to depend on each other at good times and bad. This sense of community holds employees together making it less likely to jump ship to other industries or competitors.

What you can do:

  1. Use the internet intelligently Employ Google search-engine optimization, improve organic search ranking by putting out helpful content for aspirants from this demography.

  2. Paid ads, better branding, personal interviews with drivers, should be designed so as to appeal to this demography.

Encourage more women to join the workforce:

Trucking Industry needs more women, says past ATA Chairman Kevin Burch.

Lille Elizabeth McGee had to battle the prejudice and sexism – right from becoming the first woman commercial driver in the United States all the way to owning a trucking firm in the industry.

That was two decades ago. Things seemed to have changed little since then. Reports of an unsafe working environment and discriminatory hiring practices are making sure that disregard from trucking as a viable career option.

As Ellen Voie, the founder of the “Women In Trucking Association” says:

Instead of ignoring the fact that men and women are physically and emotionally different, let’s embrace the differences and work on making the environment better for all drivers. This means we need to look at our hiring and training practices more closely.

What you can do:

  1. Establish processes and systems to make yourself a women-friendly workplace – These processes should beyond just hiring practices. Facilitate a same-gender trainer, provide information beforehand on women-friendly pit stops and rest-lounges, set up a crisis helpline, make arrangement for separate toilets.

  2. Post job ads on boards that have a predominantly large woman population viewership, such as Pinterest and Instagram.

  3. Procure trucks with shorter leg-lengths and smaller bodies, so as to make driving comfortable for them.

Change perception 

Trucking needs to be made cool again. A sure shot way to do this is to make existing employees happy and excited about their job. Think beyond salary. 

When word about this spreads, your company will not only have happy employees that want to stay but also newbies who would readily consider joining your company. 

So, to make employees happy, one needs to tackle issues they constantly complain about on social media: zero connect with the company, friction with managers, little or no concern about dwindling mental health. 

Companies can combat this effectively by setting up a robust communication channel, that:

  1. Keeps them updated on the company’s day-to-day progress.

  2. Reduces the manager-employee disconnect by setting up communication standards.

  3. Spreads awareness and offers help on mental health issues.

When this is done at scale, drivers will no longer look at a company as their ruthless taskmaster. Instead, it’ll be a company that they want to refer their friends and relatives. You can do this by using tools such as Noticeboard. Change an employee's perception of your company, make them a part of something aspirational.  There are many companies that have successfully done this across many industries.  You can read more here

By changing your staff’s perception of their company, word will soon spread about its employee-friendly policies. You then have a far higher chance of attracting the right kind of candidates with your existing army of truck drivers.

Trucking was cool, once upon a time. It’s time that perception is brought back.

Krithika Krishnamurthy