An ongoing challenge for the trucking industry is truck driver recruiting and retention. 150,000 driving positions are unﬁlled across Europe currently. And that situation is getting worse.
Driver recruiting is difficult because of factors such as the long driving hours and the amount of time spent away from family. Alongside the problem of driver recruitment, there is also the problem of truck driver retention: keeping hold of the qualiﬁed drivers you already have.
Why is truck driver recruiting and retention so hard?
Many truck drivers in the current work pool are set to retire in the not too distant future and there are not enough younger, qualified drivers that want to replace them. Around 30% of truck drivers worldwide are over 50.
2. Pay, costs and progression
Unfortunately, many young job seekers do not see it as a well-paying job. Further, they perceive it as a job that offers little possibility of career advancement.
3. Perceptions about the role
Some female job seekers may be turned off from truck driving due to the perception that it is primarily an occupation for men. For example, in the UK 99% of truckers are male.2
Truck driver recruiting and retention strategies
1. Improve the package
This doesn’t mean operators should spend more money to solve the problem. But you could take a look at the terms of employment you offer to new truck driver recruits as well as existing staff. Ask yourself:
- Can you offer a better pension contribution?
- Can you offer flexible working times?
- Can you offer programs that enable drivers to develop new skills?
- Can you offer a higher salary?
2. Build engagement
If truck drivers have a greater sense that they are an important part of your company, they are likely to stay with you longer.
The following are all good ways to create more of a sense of value around your drivers’ roles:
- Regular one-to-one meetings with management to give feedback, advice and structure.
- A mentoring system that pairs younger and more senior drivers together.
- An oﬃcial feedback loop so drivers can say how they would like the company to improve.
3. Training and development
One common complaint amongst truck drivers is the lack of career development they see in the role. So, to keep the team engaged, you can try:
- Introducing a programme for regular driver training and performance evaluation.
- Offering drivers the possibility to train for other roles. Skills that could be useful for things like sales, logistics planning, ﬂeet management or warehouse operations gives them a more diverse skillset and improves their long-term employability.
Apart from the above-mentioned items, one of the most important things you can do is improve driver well-being. Given the need to both recruit and retain qualified people, helping drivers stay fit, happy and focused is clearly in the interest of trucking companies
How can technology help with truck driver recruiting and retention?
Vehicle telematics and fleet management solutions can help to offer more focussed and effective training and improvement programmes.
Digital solutions can help transport companies automate many of the tasks related to driving. This makes the driver’s job easier. Further, investment in this technology could make the sector more attractive to younger truck driver recruits.
Want to get the full guide on supporting your drivers and encouraging truck driver recruitment and retention? Check out the free eBook on productive, happy and healthy truck drivers.
- Truck driver shortage crisis now spreading across the whole of Europe – British International Freight Association
- Effective driver management – An industry code of practice. Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme. 2017.