Dealing with the Driver Shortage: Transportation & Logistics Strategies
When consumers go shopping, they expect to walk into a store and leave with whatever was on their shopping list. That might not be today’s normal as the coronavirus continues to batter the economy, but the means by which goods transport from point A to point B hasn’t changed. Neither has the need for truck drivers – and the pandemic may make it worse.
A Silver Lining – But a Temporary One
The coronavirus may provide temporary relief for the driver shortage affecting the trucking industry, as the demand for shipping has significantly decreased. But as the economy rebounds and businesses get back to work, the need for additional truck drivers will resurge and possibly become even more of an issue for trucking companies.
With BMVs closed or operating on reduced schedules, training schools closed, and the fear of contracting COVID-19, trucking companies have been unable to hire drivers through this pandemic, and new drivers need weeks or months of training before they can hit the road. As a result, potential new drivers are looking for work elsewhere.
The bigger-picture risk is whether trucking companies can survive pandemic. Freight orders are decreasing and freight rates are dropping, but the costs of owning the truck – including maintenance, fuel, and the vehicle itself remain constant despite plummeting profits. All of this adds up to an industry that may no longer be attractive to potential new drivers.
Battling Back – Finding New Drivers in an Increased Shortage
The pandemic has rapidly accelerated the shift of communications to the digital space, and that’s true for recruiting as well. A large percentage of new jobs are found online, and that percentage is growing every day. To reach potential employees in a highly competitive market, engage in the platforms where they’re already spending time.
- Online Job Boards and Employer Review Sites. You’re likely already familiar with online job boards – they’re an important component for most organizations today. You might not be as familiar with employer review sites like Glassdoor and Comparably, but your candidates are. These sites enable current and past employees to review and rate companies on a variety of factors, including culture, compensation, CEO approval ratings, and many others. Track your reviews and scores, actively manage your company’s profile, and let employees know they’re welcome to weigh in with their own reviews and comments.
- Social Media. Sharing job postings on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites is a natural fit for recruiting – but a steady stream of job postings is not likely to drive much engagement. Instead, mix in culture posts, customer comments, and celebrations of success. Note that posts with photos and short videos drive a higher level of engagement – and attract more candidates to your career opportunities.
- Search Marketing. You’re likely already optimizing your website for search engine visibility – but search engine optimization (SEO) is the long game in building your visibility. Consider adding paid search campaigns to the mix to propel your job openings and reasons why candidates should consider your company (reasons to believe, or RTB) to the top of search results. Don’t stop there – make sure your campaigns are pointing to a specific, detailed landing page with a strong call to action (make it easy and fast to apply for a job with your organization – the longer and more complex your application, the higher the dropoff rate for candidates will be.
The job market for drivers is going to be competitive for the long haul, so make sure you’re making the most of what your company has to offer.
Looking for smart solutions for managing your company’s finances in a challenging market, or finding new ways to build your business in the restart economy? Contact the transportation and logistics financial experts at Barnes Dennig and start paving a new road to success.