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Recruiting Commercial Truck Drivers

Recruiting Commercial Truck Drivers and strategies to retain them

By Steve Binkley,
Safety Consultant

If you have been in the trucking industry any length of time you have heard of the industry’s need for qualified drivers. We have heard all the recruiting and hiring efforts companies use, which seem to be common across the industry, such as top pay, weekends home, sign on bonus, new equipment, being treated like family, paid vacation, top miles, and safety bonuses. Recruiting drivers is an ever-evolving landscape and it is important that motor carriers can adapt and make changes when needed. The shortage of qualified drivers requires recruiting managers to be creative, honest, and really understand the drivers needs and expectations. Drivers are not all the same. Drivers may share similar needs, but their needs are often in a different pecking order in terms of significance. Below are some recruiting tips and key factors when recruiting drivers and retaining them.

  • When interviewing drivers it’s important to ask them what their expectations are, what is important to them, and get to know them personally. It’s helpful to ask questions regarding family, interests, what you like to do in your off time, and what kind of equipment and technologies are you familiar and comfortable with.
  • Ensure the prospective drivers sees and senses a positive work environment. Offer to let the driver speak with other drivers, HR department, operations, safety, and maintenance.
  • Be clear about what the motor carrier’s expectations are and what the driver can expect. Most importantly, deliver and follow through on those expectations. Do not make promises that can’t be kept.
  • Streamline the application process so that it does not become time consuming and complicated.
  • Be willing to discuss the carrier’s safety scores and answer any questions about safety. It is important that drivers understand the carrier’s commitment to safety. Most drivers are aware of the CSA program and that higher ISS scores can mean frequent pull-ins at the weigh stations.
  • Know and discuss your truck’s safety technologies and what the technologies have done to prevent crashes.
  • If there is a driver’s awards program for safety and longevity, make sure drivers know and understand how to receive and qualify for these awards.
  • If drivers leave the motor carrier, conduct an exit interview. Try and determine the reason, and if the issue can still be resolved or prevented in the future.

Recruiting and retaining top-quality truck drivers is of most importance for motor carriers. Determining the right approach requires motor carriers to stay engaged with the current needs of drivers and how the landscape has changed over the years. By implementing continuous improvement strategies, companies can position themselves as employers of choice for the best drivers available.

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