Losing your truck drivers to your competitors is never a good spot to be in. Considering how it costs thousands of dollars to find and recruit a new truck driver, it pays to have an established fleet management to keep your driver turnover rates to a minimum.
Formulating an effective driver recruitment and retention strategy is also just as important if you want to avoid experiencing driver shortage.
As all companies and drivers are unique, there is no one-size-fits-all formula to reducing driver turnover. However, there are some tried and tested driver recruitment and retention strategies that you can use to achieve pretty good results.
In this blog post, we talk about those proven driver recruitment and retention strategies.
Driver Recruitment Strategies
1. Establish Your Web Presence
The more established your web presence is, the more truck drivers can get a better feel of who you are as a company when they search for you online.
If most professionals nowadays are checking out a company’s Facebook page before they even consider working for them, there’s no reason to believe that drivers aren’t doing the same thing.
And so the question becomes, “What kind of content does your Facebook page and other social media accounts have?
Does it only show ads? Or does it show the interaction between the company and the drivers?
I hope you answered the latter. Otherwise, you might have missed several driver applicants who might have considered your company had they seen a good engagement between your company and your drivers on your Facebook page.
2. Run a Referral Program
Have you ever heard of the term Homophily? Here’s a bird’s-eye view of how Wikipedia defines it.
“Homophily (i.e., “love of the same”) is the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others.”
You probably know where I’m going with this, don’t you?
If you want to recruit more drivers, then you need to run referral programs so your drivers can tell their connections about it.
Because of our tendency as humans to associate and bond with the similar others, you can count on the fact that your drivers are bonding and associating themselves with other drivers as well.
Note: Be careful with your messaging. Other drivers are against the idea of referring more drivers to the company for fear of losing work. Some of the drivers adapt the more-drivers-means-less-work-for-me mindset.
Be effective in communicating the fact that having more drivers will enable your company to take on more loads, enabling you to give everybody more work.
3. Use Compelling Marketing Materials
A common mistake that most trucking companies make when creating their marketing materials is they focus on how fantastic their company is.
They talk about when their company was established, how much growth it has achieved since then, and the awards that they’ve won, etc..
While there is certainly value in doing this, we need to realize that the truck drivers aren’t as interested in who the company is and what it has achieved. More than anything else, they are more interested in the benefits that they can get from the company.
After all, what good is it going to do them if they get hired by the most prestigious trucking company, if they’re only getting half the benefits that most drivers get? I’m sure you can imagine how drivers won’t stick with the company no matter how famous they are, right?
That being said, when creating your marketing material, be sure to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” Unless you give this question a compelling enough answer, you won’t get nearly as many applicants out of your marketing materials than you could have with a strong answer.
Driver Retention Strategies
4. Provide Better Working Conditions to Drivers
The better working conditions you give to your drivers, the easier and painless their life is while working with you. Better working conditions eventually lead to them wanting to stay in your trucking company instead of them constantly looking for greener pastures.
But then it makes you wonder, how exactly do you give better working conditions for your drivers?
Installing ELDs in your trucks is certainly a good starting point. Considering how some of the drivers’ most common complaints is them getting poor direction on how to get to the consignee or shipper or drivers getting stuck in traffic, you can easily keep your drivers from experiencing these issues when you have an ELD device installed in your trucks.
Moreover, electronic logging devices completely remove the possibility of form & manner violations. It improves drivers’ ratings and minimizes the number of penalties they have to face.
5. Maintain Good Relationships Even When Drivers Leave
It isn’t uncommon for drivers to look for other companies to work with thinking that the grass is greener on the other side.
When that happens, instead of taking the drivers’ actions personally, try to see things from their perspective instead.
Should the time come where your drivers will decide to leave you so they can work for your competitors, tell them that they are still welcome in your company should they decide to return.
When a driver works for your competitor and see how lucky they were to be with you, they will come back to you asking for their jobs. This time, they’ll be more loyal to you because they know first hand that you are treating them right.
6. Create Driver Feedback Loops
Before you even think about making momentous adjustments on your bonus system, you need to take the time to listen to your drivers to figure out what it’s important to them. And no, money isn’t always the answer to this question.
You can set up advisory councils, use suggestion boxes, have your fleet managers meet regularly with drivers, or run surveys using apps. You can even use your ELD device to send messages directly to your drivers, asking them about the things that they want the company’s bonus system to include.
If you’ll take the time to listen and take action on the suggestions that your drivers give, not only will it pave the way to creating a bonus system that your drivers will truly love, but your drivers will also feel appreciated and treated like a real person and not just a statistic.
Also, be sure to talk to your drivers about how you’ll craft the message. That way, you’ll end up using their language, making it even more relatable to them.
What are some of the most effective driver recruitment and retention tips that you’ve tried? If you need KeepTruckin help, you can always contact our support staff.
If you are looking for an ELD solution, request a demo, and a product specialist will get in touch with you.