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Distribution & Fulfillment
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Material Handling Equipment

How to Recruit and Retain Drivers During a National Shortage

Posted by Scott Mayfield

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More than 70 percent of all goods consumed in the U.S. move by trucks at some point in the supply chain, requiring more than 3.6 million drivers to meet current demands. Yet, with a national truck driver shortage, it can be challenging to find these drivers who are so critical to ensuring your logistics run smoothly.

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With a scarce amount of qualified talent, how can you successfully recruit and retain the professional truck drivers you need to support your supply chain? Below are three basic principles to consider when evaluating your strategy:

#1 Make Working Conditions Driver-Friendly

Stable, well-managed operations also go a long way in supporting drivers. There are laws that restrict how many hours drivers can work daily. Optimized route planning ensures drivers’ hours are well-utilized and prevents driver frustration. Try to give drivers regular schedules with stops at the same locations so there is stability of load. For drivers, there is nothing worse than poor communication or routing from a dispatcher. A focus on smooth operations helps to avoid long wait times at warehouses.

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Technology can also be leveraged to meet drivers needs. For example, outward facing cameras on trucks are used to send event recordings into centralized logs that can be reviewed to see if a driver was liable in an accident. Often, truck drivers are assumed to be at fault in collisions. Camera evidence can exonerate drivers and prevent unjust repercussions falling on drivers.

#2 Create a Positive Company Culture

Fostering a strong company culture is integral to attracting new drivers and motivating your current employees. As a family-owned business, Kenco has been in operation for nearly 70 years, offering a stable environment that is attractive to drivers.

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It is key that your c-suite leadership speaks the language of drivers. Otherwise, they will not be able to understand drivers’ unique pain points and needs. Drivers will also be more likely to stay with a company that encourages open and transparent communications. In particular, drivers want supervisors to be accessible and available.

#3 Prioritize Work/Life Balance

Kenco_DriverRetention_r1_Work-Life BalanceDrivers are also seeking employers that deliver on work/life balance. Quality of life for drivers is increasingly important, and the average Kenco driver is away from home less than three days a week and many are home daily. Not burning drivers out with long trips is critical for retention and peer-to-peer recruiting in the industry.

Drivers also want job flexible. Companies have to understand drivers’ individual needs and not use a one-size-fits-all approach, as drivers appreciate being able to make schedule adjustments to take vacation time and be with family.

 

Truck drivers play a critical role in ensuring your goods move efficiently through your supply chain. In a competitive labor market, it is vital for you to actively look for ways to create a positive work environment that meets drivers’ needs. To hire the best drivers and keep them for the years to come, it is important to examine your working conditions, focus on building the right company culture, and offer work/life balance. With a focus on establishing a relationship where drivers feel respected and appreciated, you will be able to recruit and retain top talent.

 

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Topics: Transportation
Scott Mayfield

Written by Scott Mayfield

President - Kenco Management Services at Kenco

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Kenco provides integrated logistics solutions that include distribution and fulfillment, comprehensive transportation management, material handling services, real estate management, and information technology—all engineered for Operational Excellence.