Given supply change limitations in a contracting workforce, successful transportation hiring is more important than ever. However, with the demands for this industry growing exponentially, finding and keeping talent remains a challenge.
It’s essential for recruiters in transportation to stay informed to effectively recruit and retain top talent. The unemployment rate for transportation in the U.S. transportation sector was 4.5% in December of 2022. Also, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported transportation is short 78,000 drivers – a figure projected to rise to 160,000 by 2030. According to ATA, to keep up with demand, “the industry must hire nearly 1.2 million new drivers over the next decade to replace those leaving trucking either through retirement or for other reasons.”
The hiring process for talent in transportation is unique, requiring a dispersed and skilled workforce that is constantly evolving their technology and regulations. This showcases that it’s necessary to stay up-to-date on trends to ensure companies have a strategic approach to hiring in this current market.
In this blog, take a closer look at four key hiring trends for recruiting in the transportation industry and how they can help companies stand out in such a competitive market.
1. Diversified Strategy
Implementing a diversified recruitment strategy, one that goes beyond traditional methods of recruitment, opens up a world of untapped talent for hiring professionals. With the high costs to acquire and candidates in such short supply, companies need to be everywhere to find candidates. By using multiple channels, companies are able to reach a wider audience and a broader talent pool. This can increase the visibility of candidates seeing the company’s job postings. Doing this can also result in a higher number of applicants – and even get a more diverse talent pool.
A diversified strategy also means reaching a geographically dispersed workforce, Many truckers are often dispersed across the country, so by using an omnichannel approach, companies can reach talent from anywhere they are. An omnichannel approach can improve the chances of attracting top talent.
Also, a diversified strategy provides candidates multiple touchpoints with a company, ensuring they are engaging and creating a better candidate experience with a company. This can include programmatic jobs, dynamic search engine marketing campaigns, social media (such as Facebook and TikTok), and robust Craigslist strategy – to name a few.
This can help enhance the employer brand, since the company is communicating their values, benefits, and culture on different platforms – boosting the company’s reputation and recognition.
Tip: Another benefit of an omnichannel recruitment strategy is that it provides companies with multiple data points from the channel mix. This allows hiring professionals to measure the effectiveness of their recruitment efforts on each platform, seein what is successful and what isn’t, which can help to optimize their strategy.
2. Simple and Efficient Apply Process
In today's fast-paced job market, an efficient and streamlined application process can be the key to securing the best candidates before the competition.
Almost all truckers are on mobile devices and have little time to go through a lengthy application process – especially considering most applicants will still be on the road with their current carrier employer. Many companies have opted to leverage simple and easy lead forms on social media and search to capture candidate info and nurture them to an ultimate apply. Simplifying how candidates can express interest helps with the candidate experience by creating a seamless, barrier reduced process.
Leveraging easy apply on job platforms is also a great way for candidates to send their resumé, job board profile, or other information directly to recruiters or hiring managers.
3. Time to Respond: CRITICAL
Recruitment is a race against the clock, where the response speed can make or break a company’s chances of hiring the best talent. In today's competitive job market, every minute counts – and a timely response can mean the difference between a successful hire and a missed opportunity.
If a company does not respond to an applicant within the first hour or two, they’ve likely lost that applicant to another carrier. The hiring market in the transportation industry is so intense that most truck drivers will get a temporary phone when they are ready to switch jobs because of the anticipated high volume of phone calls.
Once hiring professionals find a qualified candidate, don’t leave them hanging. Also, if hiring professionals take a week to onboard a candidate, chances are they’ve moved forward with a fast carrier – as many drivers initiate the hiring process to keep options open. In this market, it’s really all about speed in the hiring process.
On this note, the average job seeker is applying to or interviewing for multiple jobs at once. This is why companies need to update hiring processes, with a focus on speed and efficiency. If the company has a great candidate with a good safety record, it’s recommended to get them into orientation quickly.
A timely response from a hiring manager can help build trust and work to build a positive relationship with the company. With this, slow or no response (aka ghosting the candidate) can affect the candidate's impression of the company. Hiring professionals have to remember: candidates talk. This bad impression can spread through a talent pool and harm future opportunities with other top talent in the industry.
Also, responding in a timely manner helps enhance the candidate experience. It avoids the need to re-engage candidates who have lost interest – or worse, those who have moved on to other opportunities.
4. Salary Transparency
In a hiring landscape where job seekers value transparency and fairness more than ever, embracing salary transparency in recruitment can be a powerful tool for attracting top talent, building trust, and creating a more equitable workplace.
Transportation companies with a strategic approach to salary and compensation are more likely to outperform competitors. According to Viser, 79% of employees want pay transparency, and a trend that’s sparked is increased transparency and predictability in compensation. Pay transparency is “a pay communications policy in which a company voluntarily provides pay-related information to employees.”
When there is no visibility on pay, employee perceptions and mistrust are heightened. Also, when salary information is withheld, it might not meet job seekers’ expectations and can lead to unqualified talent cluttering the applicant pool and driving up recruitment marketing costs.
Drivers who have a specialized endorsement (Hazmat or other) will want details on how much they can earn instead of broad ranges. Most will do a per-mile or route calculation before they switch jobs/companies to understand if the opportunity is greater than their current.
Since a lot of drivers still pay by the mile, regional fixed compensation routes have become more popular for steady pay, and to allow non OTR (over-the-road) drivers to get home for the weekends. For those paying by the mile, drivers expect per-mile pay differences based on region. For example, because of the traffic in the Northeast region of the US, drivers cannot log as many miles per day, which affects their pay. If carriers have competitive edges on pay in certain areas, it’s a major separator and incentive for drivers.
Salary transparency can help increase job satisfaction and retention, since candidates who feel they are being paid fairly for their work are more likely to feel satisfied and remain with their employer. It also helps pay fairness, since it can help prevent wage discrimination. This ensures truckers are paid based on qualities such as experience, performance, and skill rather than race or gender. Pay transparency also ensures equity for disadvantaged groups, such as persons with disabilities, women, and Indigenous people.
Improving transparency is a huge step in helping foster the company’s employer brand. Also, it helps with brand awareness and building brand ambassadors, since if an organization drives trust, truckers are more likely to share the company and their open roles with their network. This can help drive referrals and help foster a company culture of like-minded people.
Companies in transportation are working with increased pressure to attract, recruit, and retain top talent. A successful recruitment strategy focused on updating to match current trends and employing innovative approaches is essential to hiring qualified candidates.
If you’re looking for help with any of the above, the team at Recruitics is here! The Recruitics team is experienced with driving ROI for high-volume hiring. Tap into our industry experts to help optimize your recruitment strategies today.