If you are a towing company owner, you always need more drivers. The sad reality is good drivers are a scarce commodity. The projected shortage in the US for CDL drivers at year end 2017 is 50,000. That means there will be 50,000 CDL driver positions unfilled. The bad news is the shortage is projected to grow to more than 170,000 vacancies by 2025.
You might think “Well I don’t need CDL drivers; I just need light duty drivers.” The problems that are endemic in the CDL driver market carry over to the light duty tow driver market i.e. long hours, night and weekend work, low pay, lack of good benefits and a general lower quality of life. Coupled with Hours of Service, ELD Mandates, trucking companies recruiting non-CDL drivers with promises to train for a CDL and it’s a recipe for disaster.
As we all know, towing is a lifestyle, towing is a chronic disease; it gets in your blood and you are hooked for life. The problem is a substantial majority of today’s recruiting pool has a natural immunity to the towing “disease”. Today’s labor pool wants a quality of life. They want to work a normal 40-hour schedule, be paid a living wage, have good benefits and enjoy a life outside of work.
Time to face the reality; our industry is competing with all industries for potential hire candidates. So how can you position your company to compete in the ever evolving, competitive hiring market?
- Your company should always be hiring. Tell everyone you know or meet your company is hiring. You may not need an extra person at the moment but you will sooner or later. Build recruiting and hiring into your weekly routine and budget.
- Do you know where to recruit for the current labor pool? Position your recruitment ads where potential candidates will be most likely to see them. Check out the latest Rand Reilly Survey, “Digital Trends for Recruiting Truck Drivers” for ideas.
- Think outside the box. Look outside the industry for potential candidates. Rethink job titles, and descriptions. Explore creative employee utilization.
- Think of your recruitment ads as your company’s audition to the potential applicant pool. Ads should be innovative, upbeat and include a picture. The old standby “Tow Truck Driver Wanted” won’t get read but maybe “Want to be a Roadside Hero?” will.
- Remember today’s applicant pool is all about “What’s in it for me?” Think of the candidates as potential customers, your recruitment ads should describe what you are offering and can do for them and what you expect in return.
- Retain the employees you recruit. No one wants a McJob. Empower your employees. Build an atmosphere of team and belonging. Create a positive environment so your employees want to come to work each day. Make “Mutual Respect” your company mantra.
While the task of recruiting new employees seems daunting, the effort you invest today will give your company a competitive advantage for the future.