We hear it all the time from fleet owners and managers…“I can’t find enough drivers!”
This hits on the fact that these individual carriers, not the industry, have a driver shortage, which could be nothing more than a broken hiring process. If that’s your issue, keep reading, we’ve got some pro tips shared here!
Before we get to that, let’s broaden this conversation out a little to explore the industry chatter.
You see, some suggest that there is an industry shortage of truck drivers while other experts contend that the market is flooded with drivers.
CEO of FrieghtWaves.com, Craig Fuller, for example, suggests that there is NOT a shortage of drivers, but a surplus. He said, “A capacity shortage is what happened in 2018.” With companies recruiting new drivers into the industry last year, he believes the situation is quite different in 2019. Fuller suggests that there is now a “Glut of capacity on the road.”
He makes a great point in his argument that the problem is not having a capacity problem among trucking companies. More market demand than supply is a great thing, after all. It drives pricing upwards for carriers as the market places more demand on freight services.
The problem he believes we have mid-way through 2019 is one of surplus supply, which causes trucking companies to lose their pricing power.
On the other side of the coin, a Fox Business reporter thinks there may be a trucker shortage. When he asked whether the shortage of truck drivers had to do with many failing drug tests, American Trucking Associations (ATA) Chief Economist, Bob Costello, admits, “Even though positive rates on marijuana are still very low, they have gone up among truck drivers and in states like Colorado, they’ve gone up even more.”
He goes on to reveal, “One company shut down a terminal there [Colorado] because they couldn’t get enough people to pass a drug test.”
To this point, according to the Trucking Alliance, the industry could lose as many as 300,000 drivers if the federal government applies stricter hair testing for drug and alcohol use, which would create a bona fide shortage.
Still, whether the trucking industry is in a shortage or not, there are things YOU can do to keep a strong stock of well-qualified, hard-working and clean-nosed drivers in your rolodex. After all, if you have a good arsenal of workers, along with increased demand, you can grow your trucking company with less chance of incidents and without the hassles of the constant turnover issues some companies experience.
5 Tips To Solve the Trucker Shortage in Your Business
#1 Post Ads On Popular Sites
You should try sites that include:
- Truck Driver Jobs 411 – Free
- EveryTruckJob.com – Free
- Jora – Free
- Indeed – Free and paid
- EPD Careers – Free and paid
- Glassdoor – Free and paid
#2 Write Great Job Ads
It’s not good enough to have a job ad out there for a position you’re trying to fill. You’ve really got to put some work into the ad. If you oversell the job, you’ll get a lot of good candidates that quit on you, if they even respond to your job offer after learning the real deal from the interview.
If you undersell the job you may not get many people to the interview table in the first place.
You need to write job posts as if you’re talking to the candidate and sharing every possible advantage to working for you company and every benefit to the driver.
#3 Be a Differentiator
Get creative and competitive with your hiring package. You may offer things that the competitors aren’t hiring. Which leads to another point – research what the competition is offering candidates and find ways to beat it.
Don’t just throw more money at a hiring package though, try to dig into some of the deeper needs drivers will have – such as more paid time off or shorter work weeks so they can spend more time with their families.
#4 Develop a Solid Test/Screening Process for Candidates
It’s important for this industry, as it is for all industries, to ensure you’re working with quality candidates. So you want to build a screening process that the right candidates can pass without making it so stringent that good people are turned off by your process.
#5 NEVER Stop Looking for Drivers
You should always be on the lookout for good truck drivers if your business is in a growth trend. So keep a job ad going as long as you are right at capacity.
Don’t run these ads when your current drivers don’t even have enough work, but when you reach 75 – 80% of capacity with your current drivers – as a rule of thumb – it may be time to run your ad to bring in a new driver or two.
Taking these steps will help ensure that industry-wide shortage or not, your company is always fully booked with well-paying work.
Keep driving safely and keep driving profitably!
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About Commercial Fleet Financing, Inc.:
At Commercial Fleet Financing (CFF), our pros have given smart advice to fleet owners and owner-operators in the transportation, moving, towing or construction industries for more than two decades. With CFF, finding the right financing solutions is a phone call away and most borrowers secure commercial vehicle financing with ease. To talk directly with one of our finance pros and get started with a credit approval in as little as two hours, CFF’s phone number is (469) 208-4701.