Are Your Driver Recruiting and Retention Skills Ready for the Upturn?

Wherever you look these days people are talking about the “driver shortage” that's going to hit when the economy stabilizes, and more freight starts to move again. The reality, of course, is that there is no driver shortage, says Truck driving schools across the country are churning out new drivers every day. The problem is that they aren’t always the best truck drivers.

At Driver Solutions, we screen our students thoroughly. It isn’t enough to have a clean driving record and a pulse anymore. Potential drivers must be of a certain breed. Not only do they need to know how to drive a truck safely and efficiently but they must be salespeople too since they will be representing your business.

The reality is that when the upturn comes, more quality drivers will be needed than ever before. The experienced drivers who have retained their jobs are going to be retiring in the next few years. Replacing those drivers will be challenging if you aren’t honing your recruiting skills now.

"You are what you hire," said Lance Craig, third-generation head of Craig Transportation in Perrysburg, Ohio, which uses both company drivers and owner-operators. "Extensive interviews and reference checks on drivers is an important initial step." Referrals from existing drivers can give you some of the best applicants he adds.

The current economic situation provides a wonderful opportunity for carriers to take advantage of the most qualified and experienced drivers out there. Companies that are paying attention have been taking a new look at their hiring and retention practices. Drivers are expected to be ethical, moral and able to think on their feet. The truck drivers of today are more than just a body steering a large rig. They represent the company they drive for and are expected to have good judgment and superior communication skills since they are an extension of the company they are carrying freight for.

Luckily there is a large pool of applicants to choose from in the coming year. More and more men and women are choosing a career in transportation because if affords them the luxury to be independent but at the same time have the security of a stable income.

At Driver Solutions we train these applicants for more than just driving a rig. We teach them how to best represent the carriers that employ them.