Companies recruiting workers need to adjust to employee needs, addressing changes to a younger, more diverse workforce, The National Transportation Institute CEO and President Leah Shaver said during FTR’s annual conference.
Companies that want workers to adapt to a business' need, such as being a nomad for weeks on the road, will have a harder time finding drivers, Shaver said during a panel on how the truck industry is changing.
"The companies that are saying, 'I will only take a driver that has this particular profile and will do this particular job' are the most challenged at seating their trucks," she said.
Shaver's firm, known for its wage data research, also consults with carriers, providing ways to help retain workers in trucking's multigenerational industry.
For her, businesses that understand these age, gender and racial differences as well as levels of experience and employees' needs, such as work-life balance, can help reduce turnover rates that continue to challenge the industry.
At the FTR Transportation Conference last week in Indianapolis, she noted how trucking firms should continue to resell itself to drivers on the job as part of retention efforts.
Companies should meet drivers where they're at "from date of hire to date of retire,” said Shaver. She said businesses should recognize workers’ changing needs and life circumstances.
Companies have been integrating these quality of life matters. Craig Harper, J.B. Hunt’s chief sustainability officer and executive vice president, spoke on the same panel with Shaver and noted that drivers want the kinds of things other workers want: a good wage, respect and the ability to return home.
Compensation also has several components. Shaver noted that providing training and the ability to change roles in an organization are important to workers. Additionally, attention to transparency over one's pay and schedule has become more prevalent.
Recruiting strategies that may have been successful in the past should change to meet the needs of younger generations, Shaver said.
Workers should be seen than more than just a driver, Shaver said. Providing training and growth opportunities in an organization are important for potential new hires. Additionally, attention to transparency over one's pay and schedule has become more prevalent.
"Driver turnover doesn't have to be something that … continues to be part of the culture in the trucking industry,” she told Transport Dive. “We have to make decisions to interact with folks.”