Recruiting & Retaining Truck Drivers
As an trucking owner operator you know the pains and rewards of owning your own business, and if you're one of the blessed, or lucky few, business is good and you're growing as a company.
It's no secret to trucking that driver demand is high, in fact one study states that the average trucking company will have over 90% of it's current drivers turn-around in a year – and cost the trucking industry billions of dollars in training, advertising, recruiting and re-training.
Back to Basics
On the ways, the roadways, the gas tops, the showers, phones, place mats – truck drivers see hundreds of piece's of advertising daily trying to attract them away from where they are, working for you. Trucking companies are spending millions monthly to attract, drive or steal away class a drivers to both move their loads AND undermine the competition. How can you compete as an independent owner operator or small fleet? How do you fight billboards, full page ads or nationwide classified advertising? By making what you do count, every step of the way.
The key to recruiting is marketing; in everything you do – from the marketing you do to retain your current drivers, such as contest, lotteries, employee incentives, newsletter, birthday cards, games, etc., to the way you talk to EVERYONE on the phone. Your point of contact with the industry IS your marketing, and reflects how drivers will both view you as a company, refer you in the trucks top or simply forward your direct mail piece to an interested friend.
Why are you selling your company company to the driver? Because employment is an transaction between you – the company – and they – the applicant – where both parties agree to certain terms to trades goods for service. In the case of the driver your goods, money, for their service, driving. And with an commodity everyone wants to know there are getting a good deal. This is the idea behind to cliche “win-win” where both parties find mutual ground for long term agreement and growth.
Sell your company, it's benefits, it's growth and in return look for the driver that will sustain that growth AND realize a great deal when they see one – number one way to offset the cost of recruiting, retain the drivers you have. The better you are at marketing your benefits and commitment to the driver, the less turn-around cost to hire you'll have.
Turn-around can, and will, cost you; industry statistics released in 2005 showed that mid to large size companies are currently suffering from as much as 120% to 140% turn-around in the first 6 months – at a cost of 5 to 10 millions dollars per company!
Cost per Hire
If you buy the average ¼ size advertisement with a trade digest you'll be looking to spend between $500 and $900, and at best you receive 100 calls. This is to say nothing about the trade publications, only that you are one of hundreds of ads and location, distribution, cycle, time or year and other various factors can play in to IF or WHEN a driver will see your ad. ( Note: one strong support is that once in print it's always in print so if left on a table, truck or dock it's quite possible someone else may read it as well. )
As you can see from the chart you may talk with as many as 100 drivers, spend hours on orientation, mailing and follow up and still only find 4 truly qualified to drive.
tomorrow: how to survey the driver