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Recruiting the Next Generation of Truckers
5 mins read

SEPTEMBER 20, 2018 – Whether or not you agree that there’s a driver shortage, one thing is for sure: if the younger generations don’t pursue a career in the trucking industry, there will be a shortage soon. Right now, the average truck driver is 50 years old and starting to think about retirement. And while some millennials are choosing to get behind the wheel, companies are going to need more of them to sign on in the coming years if they’re going to keep up with demand.

Despite the stereotypes, millennials have a lot of great qualities that make them an asset to the companies who employ them. Although they’re often regarded as lazy, they work more hours than any generation before them. They’re also very technologically savvy and embrace the digital landscape (along with all the changes that come with it). We saw this play out in a big way last year when the ELD mandate went into effect. While many truckers pushed back (or left the industry) in response to the new digital requirements, younger drivers embraced the technology more easily – as well as the benefits that came from not having to manually track their hours.

Attracting Millennial Drivers

Although there are some challenges standing in the way of recruiters, namely the continued focus on pursuing a college degree and the 21+ age requirement, there are plenty of tactics companies can take to entice younger drivers to give trucking a try. First and foremost, this starts with becoming tech-forward and embracing as many automated and paperless systems as possible. Not only are paper-based recruiting and hiring systems clunky and time consuming, but they’re a big turnoff to younger employees who want to work for a modern company that uses the technology they grew up with (not one that looks like it’s stuck in the Stone Age). Here are some other tips to keep in mind:

  • Utilize social media. Sixty-two percent of millennials use social media as a job-searching tool. By creating a brand presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and advertising your open positions, you’ll be more likely to get their attention.
  • Build a positive culture. Workplace culture is huge with this generation. They want to work for an employer that cares about its employees, offers a good work-like balance and provides opportunities for employees to relax and connect through engagement events such as sponsored lunches, company outings and holiday parties. By creating a warm, inviting environment, employees will feel a stronger sense of belonging (and a stronger sense of loyalty) to your company.
  • Make it Mobile Friendly. More so than any other generation, millennials are tied to their mobile devices. They use them not just for phone calls and texting, but as their on-the-go computers. If you want to maximize your response rate, make it easy for candidates to fill out job applications on their phones. That way, when they see your ad on social media (which they check 45 or more times a day), they can apply immediately.
  • Make an Effort During the Interview. Just like a first date, how things go during the interview process will make or break the future of the relationship. Provide lots of information, take time to get to know each candidate and make the process simple. One way to do this is to schedule a pre-interview phone call or online video chat to get the conversation started. This will allow you both to get a sense for whether the business relationship will work. It also serves as an ice breaker so that you’re both a little more comfortable during the in-person interview.

Lastly, think through your current benefits plan and how satisfied your current employees are with things such as their medical plans, vacation time and their schedule each week. Do employees feel valued at your company? Do they feel like you care about their work-life balance and family responsibilities? These factors are just as important (if not more important) to millennials as the size of their paycheck. If there’s any positive changes you can make in these areas, you’ll be taking an important step towards attracting and retaining this younger generation.

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