Companies that work with truck drivers know that the trucking industry is feeling the impact of the current economic climate. Things are getting tight due to a lack of skilled drivers for hire and increased demand for cargo transport.
The difficulty in hiring and keeping drivers is compounded by the alarmingly high turnover rates in the industry. Employers are struggling to retain their truck drivers and recruit qualified talent to fill the currently vacant positions.
The trucking industry must find ways to alleviate the turnover problem and solve the demand for more drivers. This article discusses truck driver retention, how employers can reduce turnover, and the best solutions for sourcing reliable drivers for hire that organisations can count on.
Understanding the turnover rate
Any time a driver leaves the company, it can directly impact productivity levels. Having a high turnover of truck drivers is a severe setback to the company’s profitability and growth because it is hard to source drivers for hire and it costs money to recruit, onboard and provide additional training each time a driver leaves.
Suppose most of an organisation’s drivers have defected to one of its rivals. In that case, this only worsens matters since the competition is increasing its capacity while the first company’s capacity is decreasing. This gives the competition an advantage if they can attract drivers from another employer to their business and makes it hard for the company with a high turnover rate to gain market share again.
Therefore, the turnover rate is a critical metric that employers can use to measure how many of their drivers are exiting the company and to examine why the drivers leave. You can learn more about the turnover rate and other essential HR metrics in this blog article.
Reducing truck driver turnover
HR Departments should take a closer look at the turnover rate if your company appears to follow all the correct procedures but are still having trouble expanding, maintaining low costs and reaching your profit targets.
Here are strategies for reducing driver turnover, ensuring that your drivers are skilled and capable and increasing the productivity of your fleet.
Conduct a SWOT analysis
HR and management should first do a SWOT analysis of the company and find out its strengths and weaknesses and its opportunities and threats regarding its drivers.
A good starting point is to identify every factor that impacts the working relationship between the driver and the organisation. This list could include, but is not limited to:
- The competitiveness of pay and the overall compensation that the organisation provides; the additional benefits and perks offered to truck drivers (e.g., medical insurance and benefits, safe driving training courses, etc.).
- The working conditions in general (e.g., accessibility to restrooms and clean facilities at truck stops and during rest periods).
- The career development opportunities available to the drivers and whether they can advance in the company or not.
- Company culture, values and the level of purpose that truck drivers feel while working for the company
From this list, you should be able to draw up a list of root causes for turnover, including factors like inadequate compensation and a lack of benefits and perks compared to the competition, as well as work hours and schedules that leave little room for professional and personal development.
you can take a broader perspective by viewing the driver turnover factors in the context of the larger driving forces, especially those that directly impact your organisation. For example, the current truck driver shortage is a global phenomenon, primarily affected by escalating fuel prices and safety concerns.
By understanding the factors behind the driver shortage in your industry, you can address specific retention strategies to recruit better and retain quality employees with the skills and experience necessary to thrive in your organisation.
Offering more value
Beyond offering more competitive wages and flexible hours, employers must identify how their company creates meaningful value for its drivers. The total compensation package that an employer provides their driver should be designed with knowledge of how each factor will influence the employee’s value proposition.
Offering pension alternatives, medical care and check-ups, dental and vision care, as well as enough vacation time are just some factors employers can use to differentiate themselves in the labour market.
Companies could also use benefits like performance bonuses, which link compensation to productivity and thus increase drivers’ intrinsic motivation, as well as profit-sharing programs that enable their drivers to share in the companies’ successes during seasons of high demand and working hours.
Provide development opportunities
The transportation, manufacturing and logistics industries are undergoing significant advancements with the global push to reduce carbon emissions and achieve net-zero status by 2030. As organisations are pushed towards more sustainable sources of earning revenue, entire business models are changing, as are the required skills of drivers.
More truck drivers for hire are upskilling and gaining the expertise to work abroad in more competitive industries. Companies that fail to innovate and offer career development opportunities are at risk of losing out on a highly valued workforce and overall brand share in the industry.
Developing driver training programs to engage truck drivers and advance within your organisation is a source of competitive advantage. It also helps retain staff with the correct values and principles to drive a culture of innovation in today’s digital world.
Suppose a company continues to provide opportunities for drivers to advance and treats them with respect and fairness while offering fair pay. In that case, drivers will likely work hard to build a strong reputation within the company and thrive as loyal employees.
Why reliability matters
Like any other career, a truck driver’s primary concerns are the hours, income and ability to balance a personal life with the job demands. And while companies offer benefits and try to increase the overall efficiency and productivity of the fleet, an experienced driver understands the nature of the industry and will seek employment with a company they can trust.
Whether employers can count on drivers to be there for the long haul depends mainly on their company’s track record of providing a fair wage, maintaining safe working conditions and fostering a healthy relationship between the company and employees. If an employer takes care of their drivers, the drivers will return the favour with years of hard work and loyalty.
Organisations that want the most effective solution for maintaining a solid workforce of reliable drivers should first develop a clear picture of their ideal hire and then work towards finding someone with these characteristics.
Hiring Reliable Truck Drivers for Hire through a reliable source
Companies prioritising driver retention will prosper, suffer less from the driver shortage and succeed, while rivals that don’t recognise its significance struggle to stay in operation. Understanding the factors that cause truck driver turnover and developing strategies for higher retention are crucial steps to maintaining a robust workforce in today’s economic climate.
However, building a reliable team of drivers begins with sourcing, attracting and hiring the right people in the first place. The most effective way to achieve these staffing levels is by partnering with a reputable driving specialist with a talent pool of vetted drivers for hire.
Measured Ability (MASA) has a specialist drivers division focused on providing clients in South Africa and globally with the industry’s best candidates. MASA is Africa’s foremost supplier of drivers across the spectrum. From a forklift to Code 14, we have a vast pool of experienced drivers ready to be mobilised at your demand.