The trucking industry could be short up to 160,000 drivers by 2028, according to the American Trucking Associations. That projection — coupled with pandemic-fueled hiring woes — makes it more important for carriers to reassess their approaches to the ongoing driver shortage.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to tackle driver hiring issues is to change how recruiters communicate with potential hires from the very beginning.
People tend to rely on text messages for everything from delivery notifications to appointment reminders to connecting with loved ones. Often, drivers are also receiving text messages from multiple recruiters vying for their attention.
While the instantaneous nature of texting makes the medium more effective than email, it is easy for messages to become lost in a sea of notifications.
With Tenstreet’s Driver Pulse app, recruiters reduce the risk of their messages getting lost in a driver’s personal cell phone. Since messaging takes place inside the app, drivers are more likely to be in the proper headspace to devote time and attention to professional matters when checking for communications.
Even though drivers are entering the app with the intention of engaging with job opportunities, recruiters should still be sure to keep messages short, sweet, and informative.
“When connecting carriers and drivers, we have to consider the wide age demographics in trucking,” Tenstreet Account Manager Hayden Peters said. “While generations tend to communicate differently, they all value quick and concise communication.”
App-based communication works well across generations, but it may be especially attractive to younger drivers who are used to interacting with different apps on a daily basis. Attracting millennial — and, more recently, Gen Z — drivers tends to be a priority for many carriers, as large swaths of drivers are nearing retirement age and the younger generations have not shown as much interest in driving jobs as their predecessors.
The median age of over-the-road drivers is 46, according to a 2019 report from the ATA. The organization’s research also found the average age of a new driver in training is 35.
Meeting younger drivers where they already are — on their phones — is crucial for companies hoping to attract them — especially those under 30.
Tenstreet has researched how the Driver Pulse app stacks up against more traditional recruiting methods, such as texting and email, and the results were clear. When using Driver Pulse, recruiters were able to engage with drivers over 45% of the time, and they were able to make hires about 7% of the time. By comparison, texting led to 30% engagement and 4% successful hiring, and email led to 8% engagement and only about 2% hiring.
Again, these numbers point to the inherent differences between the Driver Pulse app and other forms of communication.
“Driver Pulse functions similarly to Indeed for drivers,” Peters said. “They are there because they are looking for a career change.”
The Driver Pulse app makes it easy for drivers to apply to multiple positions using their saved application, alerts them to incoming communication, and aims to make the entire hiring process as simple and efficient as possible. Meeting drivers in this lower-stress environment is more likely to convert them to hires, according to Tenstreet.