Employers of all sizes are currently struggling to attract and retain quality workers. This issue is particularly prevalent in the trucking sector. According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the trucking industry is experiencing a shortage of around 80,000 truck drivers. And that gap is expected to widen—so much so that the ATA’s chief economist, Bob Costello, warned that the driver shortage could rise to over 160,000 by 2030.
The shortage could worsen even further due to drivers aging out without replacement. The ATA estimated that the trucking industry must hire 1.1 million drivers over the next decade just to keep up with the economy and retiring employees. With these factors in mind, it’s critical that employers consider the following methods for attracting and retaining the next generation of truck drivers:
- Target expanded talent pools. The average new driver is a male around the age of 35, but that doesn’t mean that demographic is the only one available to target. Instead, employers might consider how their recruiting efforts can also attract underrepresented groups like female drivers, who comprise less than 10% of long-haul drivers, according to the ATA.
- Update recruitment tactics. Employers should think about the best methods for reaching the right people. These could entail utilizing social media, reaching out directly to trucking schools, sponsoring commercial drivers in training or attending job fairs. Basically, if recruitment efforts only amount to posting on a job board, there’s more that can be done.
- Offer enhanced employee perks. In the first quarter of 2021, large trucking companies ($30 million or more in revenue) saw an 83% turnover rate, according to the ATA. Smaller trucking companies’ turnover rate was 73% during the same period. One way to decrease turnover is through enhanced benefits. As the ATA has pointed out, many truck drivers are over the age of 40. Employers looking to retain middle-aged and older drivers can consider adjusting their benefits plans’ rates to help reduce these costs and better compete for these workers.