Boosting the Bottom Line - Taking the Hire Road with Jeremy Reymer and Stacey Gibson

In this episode of Taking the Hire Road, Jeremy Reymer, Founder of DriverReach, engages in a conversation with Stacey Gibson, a fellow compliance enthusiast and the Personnel Operations Manager at TLC Cos. TLC Cos. is a Professional Employee Organization (PEO) specializing in assisting small and midsize motor carriers in streamlining their operations by managing a significant portion of the administrative burden. Despite the challenges of the freight recession, there has been an increasing demand for the company's services in recent years. Gibson attributes this growing interest to carriers recognizing the essential need for assistance in effectively managing their businesses. Gibson emphasizes that the management of back-end administrative tasks is just as crucial as other operational aspects like freight acquisition, driver dispatch, and on-time deliveries. Small to midsize carriers often lack the internal office workforce required to effectively manage these administrative tasks. Consequently, partnering with a PEO such as TLC Cos. is frequently a more cost-effective solution than expanding internal staff to handle these back-end operations. PEOs bring a high level of expertise to the table, enabling carriers to mitigate substantial risks, particularly in areas like driver qualification and compliance. Gibson highlights the prevalence of "nuclear verdicts" in the industry, a term that has captured the attention of all involved in driver qualification discussions. While no one can predict every incident, Gibson emphasizes the value of using data and statistics during the hiring process to reduce the probability of tragic accidents and nuclear verdicts. The majority of nuclear verdicts can be linked to either driver qualification and compliance issues or a demonstrated history of negative driving behaviors. Although carriers cannot control a driver's behavior entirely, they do have complete control over driver qualification files. Gibson firmly advocates that carriers should cease overlooking issues during the hiring phase simply to fill seats, as this approach poses safety risks and adversely affects driver retention. To improve driver retention efforts, Gibson recommends a focus on driver wellness. Truck drivers, in general, suffer from more health ailments and shorter lifespans compared to the general public. This can be attributed to the limited health and wellness opportunities available in the trucking industry. Poor health stands as one of the leading reasons drivers exit the industry. In fact, according to Gibson, 5%-10% of all drivers leave their profession each year due to their inability to pass a Department of Transportation physical examination. Carriers can enhance driver well-being by ensuring drivers have access to healthy food options and opportunities for physical activity while on the road. When carriers prioritize driver health as part of their safety program, it can significantly transform the driver-carrier relationship, leading to healthier, happier, and safer employees. In the words of Gibson, "Make the driver’s health part of your safety program. When you show an interest in the driver –– and their health and well-being –– that is going to totally change the relationship."

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