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High Driver Turnover Highlighted in HireRight's 2021 Benchmark Report

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Looking for industry news on essential recruiting and retention trends? Look no further. HireRight® released its Global Benchmark report this summer covering workforce trends, retention and recruiting solutions, and important information on background screening.

You can download the full report here, but you can also catch some highlights from us.

Let’s learn from our integrated partners what might be around the corner from the trucking industry.

Recruiting Best-Fit Drivers

According to the report, 60% of trucking companies expect to grow throughout the rest of 2021. This is a major relief for most companies after experiencing stagnation or decline for most of 2021. However, as you’re probably well aware, growing your company can be a challenge. So what’s the verdict on growth for the rest of 2021 and beyond?

Why Are Companies Predicting Growth?

It all comes down to consumer demand. 2020 devastated the supply chain and consumer spending. All of that potential spending was pent-up and many forecast it will release in the coming months. More spending means more delivery of goods. That means more business for trucking companies and the greater need to hire.

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What Are The Major Hurdles For Recruiting?

The labor market hasn’t favored trucking companies for a long time, and that won’t change in the coming months. You will continue to need drivers more than they need you. As such, HireRight’s survey shows that 86% of companies believe their biggest challenge will be finding qualified drivers. This was an increase from 9% last year.

Other notable challenges are:

What Will it Take to Grow in The Near Future?

Despite the challenges, growth is possible. Many companies plan on adding more drivers soon. They say it will take increased budgets and tons of extra hours. We say there are solutions that will save you money while finding you more drivers.

  • Invest in an applicant tracking system. An ATS is the backbone of an effective recruiting process. If you don’t have you, you’re stuck in 2009. It’s time to change the face of recruiting at your company. We like ours and we think you will too, but there are many options.
  • Develop your brand. A major hurdle in attracting candidates is differentiating yourself from the competition. Every trucking ad is the same, and they don’t inspire action. We say you have a secret sauce that drivers want. The key is learning how to leverage it. Check out our free purple cow videos to learn more.

Implementing these three solutions will fill your pipeline with best-fit candidates without having a bloated recruiting budget.

Retention Issues: Retain The Good Drivers You Have

Retention, turnover, and churn have always been major issues in the trucking industry. These were only exacerbated in 2020 and 2021. According to HireRight, 63% of respondents said their biggest staff management challenge was retention. This is a 10% increase from last year.

So, why is retention becoming even more of an issue? And what can you do about it? 

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Why is it Harder to Hold Onto Good Drivers?

With the supply and demand curve taking a further swing in the favor of drivers, it’s more and more difficult to hold onto drivers. They can leave your company and find a new job that same day.

If this is happening at your company, you know how devastating it can be. It costs most companies $5,000 - $10,000 to hire a driver. You’re losing your shirt over retention, but you don’t have to.

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How Can You Improve Retention?

Your drivers aren’t quitting because they don’t like trucking. They’re quitting because they don’t like your company. According to surveys we’ve conducted, drivers don’t often quit because of pay. They’re more likely to quit because of:

  • How they’re treated by management/dispatch
  • Perceived lack of fairness at company
  • Broken promises/unmet expectations

These are problems you can solve without spending more money. Yes, you need to keep up with industry pay standards, but if you want to keep your good drivers, you need to improve your culture. Here are some ways to do so.

  • Invest in leadership development. Your frontline leaders are most likely your best drivers and dispatchers. They were good at one job so they were promoted. The issue is, if someone succeeds as a driver, that doesn’t mean they’re equipped to be a manager. Your ill-prepared managers are costing you drivers. You should invest in leadership development training to increase retention.
  • Only hire best-fit drivers. Do you have drivers quitting weeks after the point of hire? It could be you’re hiring people who don’t know what they’re getting into. Use recruiting tools like realistic job previews to auto-screen poor fit candidates.
  • Establish and meet your drivers’ expectations. Your drivers quit when they feel as though they were cheated out of something. If they think something will be one way and it turns out to be another way, they might walk. You need to establish expectations early on in the hiring process. You can use a mutual expectations form to do so.

What Might The Future Hold For Trucking?

Recruiting and retention were and still are the primary concerns for trucking companies. 2020 and 2021 presented unique roadblocks making it more challenging to find and retain best-fit drivers. These challenges are solutions, though.

By implementing some of the processes we shared above, you can reduce your time-to-hire and budget while building a fleet of all-star drivers. You’ll quickly leave the driver problem for the competition to worry about.

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