Omnitracs' Road Ahead blog

Retain young drivers with these expert tips

Gary Blohm
Gary Blohm
Vice President at Omnitracs

A recent report conducted by the American Trucking Associations found that the trucking industry was short over 60,000 drivers in 2018 — a nearly 20% jump from 2017’s shortage number. If the current trend holds, the driver shortage could reach a deficit of 160,000 by 2028. With many drivers retiring, the trucking industry has been seeking out young drivers to balance the transition shift. The natural influx of Millennial and Gen Z drivers, however, has dwindled far below expectations.

Although new driver recruiting tactics, like creative social media campaigns and focused job fairs, go a long way in appealing to Millennial and Gen Z drivers for the short run, many commercial trucking companies are facing an issue with retaining these drivers beyond the first year. With companies like Uber and Lyft appealing to young drivers with flexible hours and technology-focused communication methods, commercial trucking companies have to better examine ways to retain young drivers past temporary recruitment.

We’ve gathered our top tips to help you recruit and retain young drivers:

  1. Utilize innovative solutions. Many people can use factors to gauge whether or not a business is successful — and young drivers often use technology as their gauge. Getting into a truck with antiquated technology while being subject to the vagaries of a human manager or dispatcher is a dated experience that often speaks volumes about the company itself. What else is falling behind? Is it endemic to the entire industry? With Millennials leading the way as innovative technology consumers, this outdated approach from a large trucking company makes little sense.
  2. Show young drivers a promising career path — and help them get there. Gone are the days when people felt the need to commit to an employer for years at a time. Younger generations heavily prioritize their mental health— and their careers play a critical part in that.  You can also reduce frequent contributors to mental health issues, like excessive stress, by emphasizing work-life balance and helping them advance their education to further career growth. Show young drivers you respect their employment by embracing technological solutions that make their jobs more efficient and help you save time and reduce costs in order to provide better benefits.
  3. Modernize your company approach and vision. Just as is the case in many industries, the future of trucking is technology. With digital logistical solutions, statistical efficiencies, analytics, IOT, and automated driving centering in on modern-day trucking conversations, staying in the know on all the latest advancements and trends sets you apart from many and helps you recruit and retain Millennial and Gen Z drivers. Guiding 80,000 pounds of a loaded truck is an enormous responsibility, and the most progressive and well-respected companies — like FedEx, UPS, and Amazon — combine intelligent solutions to improve the employee experience and streamline operations.

Utilize the benefits mentioned, leverage cutting-edge technology that is moving the industry forward, and sustain young drivers with Omnitracs Drive — a modern workflow solution designed with your business and drivers in mind.