Becoming an Employer of Choice

Winning the War For Drivers

Due to its significant potential for both increased revenue and employment opportunity, the business of finding and hiring talent in the trucking industry inspires a lot of long winded conversation. There is a “war for talent” occurring in our midst. 

When an industry is 35,000 to 40,0000 drivers short, as reported by the American Trucking Association (ATA), are we creating a market of choice or a prescription for job turnover?

According to ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello, turnover at truckload fleets – a barometer of the driver shortage – continues to be significant. 

“We’re seeing the turnover gap between small and large carriers narrow to levels we haven’t experienced in some time,” Costello said. “This is likely the result of larger fleets raising pay, offering bonuses and attracting more and more drivers from smaller fleets to fill seats.”

Just last year, "it was reported that large truckload turnover was 95%, down one percentage point from 2013, but turnover at small fleets was 90% – up 11 points from the year before. The five point gap between the two turnover rates is the smallest since 2000."

Costello notes, “These figures show us that the driver shortage – is getting more pervasive in the truckload sector. Due to growing freight volumes, regulatory pressures and normal attrition, we expect the problem to get worse in the near term as the industry works to find solutions to the shortage.”

With driver shortage at significant highs, employers need to be smart in their branding efforts. Many of the top drivers have their choice of employers and will choose to work for the ones they see as most likely to help them meet their long term goals and provide a positive working environment. As noted in an online U.S. News report, workers said they placed significant value on benefits such as health care insurance, flexibility, appreciation, and good management.

Becoming an employer of choice does not mean you have to be the largest or the most profitable. As a matter of fact, several surveys all too often reveal that more resources do not always equate to more job satisfaction. 

Entrepreneur online states, “study after study confirms that people have a deep desire to feel they’re succeeding and that their talents and capabilities are being used in a way that makes a difference to the business. When people sense their actions are fulfilling this desire, they begin to develop a sense of belonging and a feeling that your company is their company.” When they feel that, they are more likely to stay and recommend you to their friends.

According to a study on LinkedIn, if you want to be competitive, these are some of the best ways to begin building your company branding efforts:

Be respectful. 80% of employees say they don't get respect on the job. 
Don't have secrets.
Don't intentionally instill fear in people. 
Treat employees as adults and not like children. 
Be as open and as honest as possible. 
Build up your team; don't beat them up. 

If you want to keep people from jumping the proverbial ship, have an employee retention plan that helps you achieve “Employer of Choice” status rather than becoming another statistic in the increasing driver shortage assessments.

When you are ready to redefine your company to an “Employer of Choice”, the Trish Groves Agency will be there to help you not only attract, but retain, the best drivers in the market.

ATA on the driver shortage