It’s not fuel costs that are a problem with the trucking industry. It is the lack of qualified big rig operators.
Seven best practices to get the right drivers for your trucking jobs.
One of the most critical issues recently facing the trucking sector has been, oddly enough, not fuel costs or rising insurance rates.
The biggest problem is a lack of drivers.
Even for businesses not directly related to the trucking industry, the shortage of qualified operators is distressing news. At the very least, it means a company has to be even more aggressive in recruitment efforts. That is if they want any chance of hiring the right people.
For jobs in the trucking industry, the cloud has come to the rescue. Cloud-based technologies have risen to meet the challenge of driver shortages for both the trucking and related industries. Software-as-a-Service has developed programs specifically engineered to assist companies in solving their trucker talent crunch.
The cloud has made recruitment, screening and hiring on-the-road talent both quick and convenient; some websites even have “employer” tabs, which allow a recruiter to fine-tune hiring to meet specific needs.
On these specialty websites, you—the employer—can be able to post relevant listings and openings. The convenience of cloud-based hiring keeps budget-conscious businesses from over spending on recruitment—in time, energy and money—all the while getting only the best candidates for all levels of job openings.
There are three basic realities you should know about hiring drivers:
- You should focus your efforts on hiring a specific type of driver you want or class of trailer you want them to drive.
- All drivers must be thoroughly vetted, to have the proper licenses or are otherwise certified: CDL’s (Commercial Driver’s Licenses) are required for all kinds of CDL jobs.
- You need to recruit drivers through various sources—local, regional or national. Never put all your hiring eggs in one basket.
Seven best practices for hiring short- or long-haul drivers, as well as heavy equipment operators:
1 Always screen and perform background checks for any jobs requiring driving.
Truck drivers do a lot more than transport your product. They are specialists that will maneuver massive, potentially dangerous machines over hundreds or thousands of miles of road. When choosing recruiting companies, they must require candidates go through rigorous background checks and testing.
2 Always have a large pool of candidates.
The best truck drivers for your job opening begins with certified candidates. The right recruiting websites can provide a pool of applicants, from which you can choose the best for all your truck driving job openings.
3 Advertise CDL jobs in industry-specific publications.
For Commercial Drivers License (CDL) jobs, openings should be listed in leading print and online trucking magazines. Online job sites must also be used to bring in quality candidates for truck driving jobs. Lists of influential trucking publications are an ideal place to start; post job openings in national, regional, or local publications or upload to industry-specific websites.
4 Recruit through big-rig trucking schools.
Trucking schools an excellent source for drivers, they are filled with students who are determined and ready for further experience. Students are there with a genuine effort toward beginning a career in trucking. The majority of schools will also provide job placement in national or local trucking companies, as well as various other positions operating heavy equipment.
Start with directories of different truck driving schools and training programs. This is ideal for employers to get certified truck drivers and other heavy equipment operators.
5 Attend industry events.
Another suggestion for filling CDL jobs is attending trucking industry events. Presence at national, regional and state events will give a great deal of recruiting possibilities. Check with online listings for dates and times conferences. For example, there is an annual Mid-America Trucking Program, compete with a Recruitment Facility. This provides event-specific support for candidates considering trucking jobs.
When attending these events, don’t forget a pile of specialized company brochures. All data should clearly list the benefits of pursuing a truck-driving job with your organization. Put your promotional items in truck-stop kiosks, as well. Don’t forget, you have to go where the people are.
Successful hiring for truck operator jobs is a combination of finding the right applicant, someone with a variety of formal licensing, a safe driving record and experience driving the type of vehicle that you need him/her to operate.
6 Be competitive, more than just pay.
Two common grievances from long-haul truck drivers—lack of income and too much time away from family. If you cannot be competitive on wages, certainly look for creative compensation. One outstanding advantage would be to ensure drivers can make it home on most weekends.
7 Remember laws on driving times.
There are state and federal laws that restrict consecutive hours truckers can drive in a 24 hour period. They were established for a significant reason—safety! Long-haul drivers get tired and less alert after several hours of driving. Pushing the limits will put themselves and others in danger. Make sure all candidates are aware of the various Department of Transportation rules, and that they follow them closely. Your business cannot afford the liability for weary truckers.
The need for trucking employees is growing and is very competitive To hire the best, simple hiring practices can increase your chances your trucks on the road with reliable, well-trained drivers.