You will try almost anything to find truck drivers. If you had a guaranteed strategy on how to find truck drivers that always worked, you wouldn’t need help from an article. But what you really want to find is younger drivers and these are the most difficult people to pull in.The reasons aren’t a secret. Younger people have a negative view of trucking. They’re familiar with a stereotype of middle-aged men, in lousy health, spending their whole lives behind a wheel out on the road. That is a poor representation of the trucking industry and you need to wipe that away from public perception. To do that, you need to have a flexible recruiting strategy.
JDC came out with this article online a while back. The article is over four years old now but is still applicable today. The article has several good points and is worth reading on its own. But there are a few major ones you really need to take heed of if you want to bring in younger drivers.
That image of the middle-aged over-the-road driver is all they know. So you need to show them there are different options, and you need to do it in a video. I’m not talking about a video from 1995 or even 2005. Make a new video about what your company is all about and what trucking is really like. Use graphics and music that would matter to someone just about to get a CDL at 18 or 19 years old. As the JDC article says, you can’t recruit a young person the way you recruit a veteran driver. That is not going to work.
This is easier said than done; we live in an age where many young people feel that college is necessary if you want to be considered successful. But that is hardly true for everyone. Find a driver who joined the industry at a young age, or better yet, someone still relatively young, to tell their story. Nothing convinces like a first person account. If younger people know that the job is not only a good choice for them but also socially acceptable and proven to work out, they will be more open to applying.
Your rates per mile and amount of home time could be fantastic compared to your competitors, but they will mean next to nothing to a 19 year old holding a CDL who has never driven before. You need to explain the things that really matter in the simplest words.
Give them a range of pay per week and compare it to different industries open to young people, like a restaurant or department store. Do the same thing for benefits, which frankly can confuse people of any age. Present it as a matter of value (you’re covered if this happens for this much money in damages or medical) and encourage them to ask you for you more specifics via email or through your website (which you should make sure is up to date also).
All of this comes back to the same basic concept. Younger drivers come from a different place than older drivers in the industry; you will need to meet them on their level to bridge that gap of difference. Use your experience and understanding about trucking to lay out the job for them in their language. And, advertise with social media and online materials. If you can reach younger prospective drivers where they are comfortable, they will be much more likely to pay attention and consider a career in trucking.
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