In October at the annual Management Conference and Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations, the results of the 2018 ‘Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry’ survey will be revealed and discussed by some of the top thought leaders and executives in the industry. This survey is issued by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), a non-profit research organization dedicated to moving the trucking industry forward through insight and education. In previous years, the survey has uncovered concerns ranging from hours of pay to the ongoing driver shortage.
In today’s tumultuous industry landscape, the 2018 survey results promise to be extremely eye-opening and informative. Although the CDL industry often feels siloed and over-competitive, surveys like this ATRI challenge survey allow CDL recruiters to have a 10,000-foot view of the entire industry. With these insights and numbers in mind, recruiters can make better strategic decisions and more accurately focus growth efforts moving forward. If you haven’t already, take a minute to fill out the 2018 survey here.
Based on the 2017 survey results, the top concerns for today’s CDL recruiters include:
The ongoing driver shortage
This isn’t a new concern, and it isn’t going away any time soon. While this is the first time the driver shortage has topped the survey results since 2006, it’s been on the list every year. While this is an ongoing concern for both recruiters and the industry in general, advancements in technology and recruiting processes are poised to make a measurable impression to combatting this issue. For recruiters, the rise of modern recruiting management is helping turn this concern into an opportunity for growth. From creating driver-focused applications that utilize advanced elements like single sign-on (SSO) and autofilled application answers to leveraging CRM tracking solutions that track every single piece of communication between applicants and recruiters, CDL organizations can confidently approach this new era of driver recruiting without the looming prospect of the driver shortage.
The ELD mandate
The ELD Mandate (Electronic Logging Devices Mandate) was officially rolled out in 2017 and requires drivers to electronically track their hours on the road. At #2 on the 2017 list of concerns, the ELD Mandate (along with the #3 concern, Hours of Service rules) addresses the ongoing reliance on technology and how this new era will impact productivity, data, and compliance. For CDL driver recruiters, the best way to tackle this issue head-on is to be completely transparent with drivers from the very beginning. Include a blurb on your website highlighting your commitment to safety and compliance, and spell out exactly what this means for ongoing driver compliance and recording. It’s important to realize how social and collaborative the CDL driver community is. Thanks to industry-focused message boards and online forums, word gets around quickly when it comes to shady dealings.
Driver retention rates
Driver retention moved up three spots in the 2017 ATRI survey, coming in at #5 overall. It’s important to recognize driver retention as a separate issue from the driver shortage, as many driver retention issues are caused by individual companies and organizations rather than the industry as a whole. For CDL driver recruiters looking to overcome this challenge, the key is building a sense of loyalty with your drivers, starting all the way back from the first application engagement.
Treat your new driver applicants with a sense of respect and understanding from the very first time they engage with your team. If you ask for feedback, take it seriously and make any changes suggested. Make sure your drivers are comfortable reaching out to your team with any questions or concerns by making in-person conversations a priority. Although the national turnover rate for CDL drivers is a whopping 95%, driver retention is possible – if CDL recruiters are willing to work for it. Understanding your audience and putting your drivers first is a great first step towards overcoming this growing industry challenge.
The ATRI annual survey only takes a few minutes to complete and can help inform a new era of CDL advancements. Take the survey now!