The last two years shook every industry to its core, mainly because not everyone was prepared for the challenges that would follow: staffing issues, supply chain delays, rapid increases and decreases in demand, and more. The trucking and transportation industry was no exception. Last year it was short a record 60,000 drivers, and due to ongoing hiring challenges, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) estimates that
the shortage will reach 160,000 drivers by 2030.
Given the current workforce paradigm, companies are forced to rethink their hiring processes and talent acquisition efforts. This can only mean that finding competent and reliable workers is a lot harder than it was in previous years. The good news is that there are a few key factors that play into retaining the next generation of drivers.
A study titled “Integrating Younger Adults into Trucking Careers” from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) shows that 40% of millennial and Gen Z drivers list compensation as the main factor when choosing a career in the trucking sector. While increasing pay tiers is important, not every company has that option, in which case focusing on other perks becomes crucial—think signing bonuses, more paid time off, or a customizable work schedule.
MAKE DRIVER TRAINING A PRIORITY
Hiring new drivers is important, but so is solidifying your company’s existing talent. Reevaluating training programs is paramount in a marketplace where 52% of American workers believe they can obtain a pay increase just by switching jobs, according to ATRI.
GO HIGH TECH
Integrating younger adults into the trucking industry is the path to success, and these generations are interested in a quick, streamlined process when applying for a job. Identifying the fastest, most ROI-conscious program to fulfill that demand is a solid starting point for companies looking to hire new drivers. While hiring timelines are important, the overall experience is also prevalent: According to data from Employ Inc., 45% of workers will avoid an employer that offered them a negative candidate experience in the past. In an effort to connect drivers and carriers in a timely manner, Atlas® Van Lines recently partnered with Tenstreet and successfully lowered onboarding timelines from 88 days to 15 days. Streamlining the hiring process has helped us fill an important workforce gap, while also allowing drivers to get back on the road as soon as possible.
ADVOCATE FOR LOWER DRIVING AGE LIMIT
Under current federal laws, states can issue a commercial driver’s license to anyone who is 18 or older, but in order to cross state lines, the driver needs to be at least 21. To address this, a new Safe Driver Apprenticeship Program is being implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The program allows drivers between the ages of 18 and 21 who have a clean record to cross state lines under the direct guidance of an experienced driver. Supporting legislation that accommodates our industry’s fastgrowing demand for new talent is key. To do so, engage with lawmakers involved in transportation legislation, including Congress members who sit on the United States House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Drivers are the backbone of our industry. They are the face of the company when driving on the road, interacting with clients, and handling their belongings. Recruiting top-tier talent is, and always will be, a priority for Atlas® as part of the company’s strategic vision.