Earlier this month, AvatarFleet President, Scott Rea, had the opportunity to sit down with Craig Fuller on the FreightWaves TV show “Fuller Speed Ahead.” Their conversation centered around the driver problem and our recommendations to solve it with best practices for driver recruiting, compliance, retention, and training.
AvatarFleet’s opinion on the driver problem goes against the industry norm. Most seem to think the nation has a driver shortage, but if you ask Rea, that’s not the case. “We love ruffling feathers,” Rea said. “I don’t know if you’ve been to the grocery store. Were their cantaloupes there? When you went to go fill-up your tank, was there fuel?” Shelves aren’t empty. Freight is getting delivered, but if not by you, then by someone else. Thus, the issue isn’t finding drivers. The issue is finding quality drivers who will stick around for more than a few weeks.
For AvatarFleet, ruffling some feathers means changing how the industry operates regarding recruiting, compliance, and retention. So, what does this change look like?
A-Suite Recruit was created to automate touches and make the recruiting process much more efficient.
“The recruit module of our platform involves online applications, jobs-board, getting [candidates] through the funnel. It helps you convert leads and turn them into hires. [It has] all the bells and whistles to do that.”
- Scott Rea
The driver problem doesn’t stop with hiring your next all-star. There are 14 records to track per driver, and if the government ever comes knocking at your door, you have to produce those documents. “Picture some of our clients,” Rea said, “they got thirty, forty locations. They have a guy in Chicago trying to manage all of this. Before we came on board, he had to go to Dallas to see what was going on in Dallas.” A-Suite Comply means he can see it all in one place. Not only that, but A-Suite Comply’s built-in alarm system alerts you when a driver is going to be out of compliance.
What good are your recruiting and compliance efforts if you can’t keep your drivers? If you want to solve the driver problem at your company, you need to make retention a company-wide initiative.
“A great example of a client that I love, they have a count-down clock. They make a commitment to all new-hires that they’re gonna get you home every week. In the dispatch office, like a NASA countdown, you can see that they have 10 drivers out. Nobody leaves the dispatch office until we have all drivers booked and headed home that weekend.”
- Scott Rea
We intentionally call it the driver problem because recruiting, compliance, training and retention are all interconnected. Looking at this as a driver problem, and not a shortage, will allow you to approach this problem more effectively and efficiently than your competition. Turnover and accidents are expensive - don’t get caught hyper-focusing on strictly bringing drivers in the door.
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