Losing your truck drivers to your competitors is never a good spot to be in. It costs thousands of dollars to find and recruit a new truck driver. So it pays to have an established fleet management to keep your driver turnover rates to a minimum.

Formulating an effective driver recruitment and retention strategy is also just as important if you want to avoid experiencing driver shortage.

As all companies and drivers are unique, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula to reducing driver turnover. However, there are some tried and tested driver recruitment and retention strategies to help you achieve results.

We’ll walk though those proven driver recruitment and retention strategies.

Driver recruitment strategies

1. Establish your web presence

The more established your web presence is, the more truck drivers can get a better feel of who you are as a company when they search for you online.

If most professionals nowadays check out a company’s Facebook page before they even consider working for them, there’s no reason to believe that drivers aren’t doing the same thing.

And so the question is, “What kind of content does your Facebook page and other social media accounts have?”

Does it only show ads? Or does it show the interaction between the company and the drivers?

I hope you answered the latter. Otherwise, you’ve likely missed several driver applicants who might have considered your company. Had they seen a good engagement between your company and drivers on your Facebook page, that is.

2. Run a referral program

Have you ever heard of the term homophily? Wikipedia defines homophily as “the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others.”

If you want to recruit more drivers, then you need to run referral programs so your drivers can tell their connections about it.

Because we want to be around the “similar others,” you can count on the fact that your drivers are bonding and associating themselves with other drivers as well.

Note: Be careful with your messaging. Other drivers are against the idea of referring more drivers to the company for fear of losing work. Some drivers share the mindset that more drivers means less work for them.

Be effective in communicating the fact that having more drivers will enable your company to take on more loads. Enabling you to give everybody more work.

3. Use compelling marketing materials

A common mistake that most trucking companies make when creating their marketing materials? They focus on how fantastic their company is.

They talk about when their company was established. How much growth it has achieved since then. The awards that they’ve won.

While there’s certainly value in doing this, we need to realize that the truck drivers aren’t as interested in the company and its achivements. More than anything else, they’re more interested in the benefits.

After all, what good is it going to do them if they get hired by the most prestigious trucking company, if they’re only getting half the benefits that most drivers get? Drivers won’t stick with a company no matter how famous it is.

That being said, when creating your marketing material, be sure to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” Unless you give this question a compelling enough answer, you won’t get nearly as many applicants out of your marketing materials than you could have with a strong answer.

Driver retention strategies

4. Provide better working conditions to drivers

The better working conditions you give to your drivers, the easier and painless their life is while working with you. Better working conditions will encourage drivers to stay with your company instead of looking for greener pastures.

But how exactly do you give better working conditions for your drivers?

Installing ELDs in your trucks is certainly a good starting point. A common driver complaint is poor direction on how to get to the consignee or shipper, or getting stuck in traffic. You can easily put a stop to these challenges when you install an ELD device in your trucks.

Moreover, electronic logging devices completely remove the possibility of form and manner violations. It improves drivers’ ratings and minimizes the number of penalties they have to face.

5. Maintain good relationships even when drivers leave

It isn’t uncommon for drivers to look for other companies to work with.

When that happens, instead of taking the drivers’ actions personally, try to see things from their perspective instead.

Should the time come when your drivers decide to leave you for your competitors, tell them that they’re still welcome in your company should they decide to return.

6. Create driver feedback loops

Before you even think about making momentous adjustments to your bonus system, you need to listen to your drivers to figure out what’s important to them. And no, money isn’t always the answer to this question.

You can set up advisory councils. Use suggestion boxes. Have your fleet managers meet regularly with drivers. Even run surveys using apps. You can even use your ELD device to send messages directly to your drivers. And ask what they’d want to include in the company’s bonus system.

Take the time to listen and take action on your drivers’ suggestions. You’ll not only pave the way to creating a bonus system that your drivers will truly love. But your drivers will also feel appreciated and treated like a real person. Not just a statistic.

Also, be sure to talk to your drivers about how you’ll craft the message. That way, you’ll end up using their language. Be relatable, be human.

What’s next?

If you have any questions about the Motive fleet management platform and how it can help you, call (844) 257-6396 or email at support@gomotive.com.