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How to Recruit Truck Drivers During a Driver Shortage

  • Two men standing in front of a fleet of semi-trucks.

Drivers are the most important assets for your business. Without an experienced team, it's impossible to get deliveries and supplies from point A to point B. Recruiting the right people for your trucking company makes a world of difference, but driver shortages make the hiring and scheduling process complex.

Here's what you need to know about the current truck driver shortage and what it means for your business moving forward.

Is There a Driver Shortage and What's Causing It?

For over a decade, the U.S. has faced a shortage of truck drivers. In 2018, the American Trucking Associations reported that the country's trucking industry needed 60,800 drivers to fill existing jobs. One might think that open jobs would create opportunities for professionals, but various regulations keep the number of eligible fleet drivers that businesses can hire to a minimum:

1. Age Requirements

Federal law states that no driver under the age of 21 can move freight across state lines. Anyone interested in becoming a commercial truck driver must wait until they meet this requirement, even though they can obtain a commercial driver's license before this.

The trucking industry is missing out on young talent due to trade jobs because other professions permit you to train and work in the field by the age of 18. The modern driver is now entering the field past the age of 30 as a new career venture.

2. Mandatory Employee Screenings

The year 2020 brought new changes to the trucking industry. The federal government now operates the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse that gives fleet managers access to a driver's violation history. The national database was formed as a safety initiative, but there is now an overwhelming number of drivers who are not on the road due to failed drug tests.

Drivers can reenter the industry once they complete training, but it's taking longer than expected for professionals to return to the wheel.

3. COVID-19 Safety Protocols

The COVID-19 pandemic put a strain on the commercial trucking training process. With closings and stay-at-home orders, fewer individuals could complete training throughout 2020. This translates into thousands of people waiting to enter the field. New job openings were taken by drivers who had decades of experience.

Best Practices for Recruiting and Hiring Truck Drivers

Learning how to recruit new truck drivers will give your trucking company a competitive edge. You can respond to the truck driver shortage by presenting all that your trucking business offers. Use these tips for recruiting truck drivers to hire the best talent:

1. Utilize Popular Marketing Channels

Drivers will come to you when you embrace technology. You want to paint an accurate picture of your trucking company online and sell what you can do for an employee. Post on popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram when job openings are available. Be sure to engage with followers and respond to inquiries. Direct users to application pages.

2. Build Internet Visibility

Investing in search engine optimization (SEO) strategies will help your company appear on Google and other sites users visit. Ensure your company website contains helpful content, such as an about us page that explains your mission. SEO marketing is a great way to stand out among other businesses targeting the same group of applicants near you.

3. Focus Your Applicant Search

Use reputable databases for your recruiting initiatives. Most fleet managers have specific criteria in mind for new hires. Select recruiting sites allow you to see information about a driver before you reach out via direct message. Review an individual's number of years in the industry, their hometown, and similar details to home in on your next hire.

4. Respond to Leads Quickly

Make sure you get back to prospective hires within days of them filling out an application. Doing so shows you value their time, and you can prevent them from onboarding elsewhere. Keep track of leads from past years to see where they are today. Figuring out how to recruit fleet truck drivers will require you to stay organized.

How Fleet Management Software Helps

Fleet management software helps you see where your vehicles and drivers are. With Rand McNally Fleet, you can communicate with individual drivers and groups via a convenient messaging platform. If you're hiring new drivers, our tools let you streamline communications from within. See which of your drivers are looking for new opportunities, or send a message to signal you're searching for employee referrals.

Choose Rand McNally Fleet for Fleet Management Solutions

Rand McNally Fleet offers fleet telematics hardware and tablets for the trucking industry. Our innovative software pairs with our technology so that you can monitor driver performance, vehicle routes, and other long-haul operations. Fill out a contact form with us for pricing details.

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