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Trucking Recruitment Waves & Challenges in 2019

Updated: May 23, 2023

The transportation industry is generally known for its attractive salary and stability, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s a piece of cake for trucking companies to fill those empty positions. Qualified candidates can afford to be picky, which brings employers new challenges every year to attract them, and keep them long-term. But that is just a tip of an iceberg, as many other obstacles appear such as demographic changes, modern technologies, rise of social media and many others. Trucking recruitment comes in waves of challenges in 2019 more than ever before with many new strategies, trends, statistics, and many other factors to pay attention to.

Statistics & Study Findings on Trucking Recruitment

To fully unveil and understand the situation behind recruitment difficulties in the trucking industry, numerous studies have been made to dig in behind the scenes. From various fleet types and sizes, some of the trucking industry leaders revealed the biggest recruiting challenges and its trends.

In today’s age, it is all about numbers as these are some of the most challenging obstacles in trucking recruitment that were uncovered.

  • Lack of Applicants: Around half of the recruiters shared that the number of applications they receive is not sufficient to meet their hiring goals.

  • Social Recruitment: Almost all 100% of recruiters agreed that social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are essential tools for trucking recruitment which are still not used efficiently enough.

  • Unqualified Candidates: More than 70% percent of recruiters reported that the majority of the applicants received, were not qualified for the job as candidate qualification in trucking industry goes way beyond the driver license.

a man analyzing charts

Continuous Change of Strategies

As the trucking industry continues to deal with a growing shortage of drivers and difficulties this situation presents, the transportation companies are using more tech-oriented recruitment strategies and are trying to adapt and continuously change the approach.

Recent surveys found that employers that are willing to reward their employees with more flexibility tend to earn greater loyalty, especially from millennial workers. Organizations that implemented such tactics had a positive impact on their financial performance.

Trucking companies are also using new strategies such as wellness more and more. The main goal is to appeal to more younger workers and combat the perception that long-haul trucking is an unhealthy job with high rates of obesity across the industry and the country.

a truck and a car driving

Retirement & Connecting to Millennials

According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), the industry will need hire almost a million new drivers before 2024 and the retirements are the main culprit here. More than 13 million people who work in the Department of Transportation, half of them will be eligible for retirement within the next 10 years.

That brings us to another problem with CDL class A over-the-road drivers that are probably the hardest drivers to find right now and with such a wide-open market and endless job positions at the moment, skilled drivers can easily hop from one job to another while scouting for better work conditions and higher salary.

Millennials, however, are not close to retirement by any means, but it’s a generation that tends to not consider skilled trades as career opportunities, which can make it harder for employers to recruit. Transportation companies are having a difficult time hiring Millennials, and on top of that, Generation X are finding work in other industries as well.

Some companies are now switching focus to other areas as well, beyond the hard skills. Characteristics such as attitude, personality, and work ethics are something that is being more and more vocalized in the trucking industry to help tackle the recruitment challenged ahead.

trailer parking lot

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