In an ecosystem where a generation of truck drivers are retiring, and a low number of new drivers are entering the pool, the industry is being called to diversify to reach a new talent pool that spans gender, ethnic, and age demographics. The numbers affirm this shift in direction makes business sense. According to a study from McKinsey & Company:
“Companies in the top quartile for both gender and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have above average financial returns, with those in the top quarter for gender diversity only 15% more likely”.
The driver shortage has costly implications. A shortage of drivers actually increases turnover by causing more drivers to feel overworked while increased vehicle downtime bloats storage costs.
Following new numbers from the American Trucking Association (ATA), many trucking companies are seeking to diversify their talent pool but don’t know where to begin. To get you started, we put together 4 data-driven recruiting tips to help trucking organizations who aim to attract a diverse talent pool across gender and age lines.
1. Offer a Flexible Schedule and Work/Life Balance
Millennials often identify “work-life balance” as an essential consideration when selecting a career. The lack of flexibility in shift schedules has been identified as a major pain point prompting high turnover rates in the industry. According to TruckingHR:
“75% of all surveyed drivers plan on leaving the industry within the next 5 years and cited lack of flexibility as one of the key factors”
Studies show that millennials want agency in determining their hours. Fleets that have implemented flex work hours reported turnover rates of less than 22% on average. They also report more employees in the 18-35 age, ranking above the industry average.
Many transportation companies have found feasible ways to implement flexible work hours. Keeping drivers local, designing a clear and codified policy on flex hours, and implementing smart route scheduling can mitigate the risks and make flexible work hours a benefit for everyone.
2. Have a clear mission statement
According to Fortune, for six in 10 millennials, the desire to feel “a sense of purpose” was a strong incentive when it came to accepting a new position. While this same sense of purpose also helps to retain those millennial workers. The same survey noted that 80% of millennial who stay in their position say they can see how their work contributes to their agency’s goals.
While building your company culture around a strong mission statement can help ensure you attract the right people for the job. Creating transparency around the value a driver provides can improve feelings of fulfillment and decrease turnover.
3. Showcase your people
In the current hiring landscape, this starts with implementing social accounts designed to attract new drivers. Data tells us that drivers are consulting social media to check for new job postings. According to Load Delivered, “75 percent of truckers say they check Facebook daily, and 62 percent of millennials turn to social media to find jobs”.
The data also shows that drivers are using social sites to evaluate potential new employers and gauge their alignment with the company’s culture. Trucking companies that use social media and other mediums to tell their story do a better job of cutting through the noise and reaching their recruiting target.
Consider how you can showcase your people and proudly represent their unique stories, hobbies, and personalities. Being inclusive within social media and hiring campaigns will help your organization engage a more diverse talent pool.
4. Implement Success Programs for Women
Many carriers are beginning to implement programs to help women progress and succeed in their organization. Prime Inc’s Highway Diamonds program aims to engage in community events and educate other women on the upside of truck driving as a career. According to Truck News, Prime doubled the number of women drivers in their fleet by implementing this program. We know that social responsibility makes business sense. Organizations often see a strong return when they sponsor or funnel drivers through programs like Women in Trucking. These programs are designed to engage, incentivize, and further the training of a company’s female drivers while the community involvement will help strengthen the employer brand and reach new, untapped networks.