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Driver hiring: Balancing wages and benefits — Taking The Hire Road

Rates per mile, sign-on and referral bonuses and performance incentives all strong selling points

Are wages the most important factor driving fleet recruitment?

Yes, but there are other factors to consider. Leah Shaver, president and chief executive officer of the National Transportation Institute (NTI), explains how to effectively balance pay, benefits and other incentives when attracting new drivers with DriverReach founder and CEO Jeremy Reymer in his podcast, Taking The Hire Road.

Shaver started her 20-year career in the industry as a driver recruiter and knows that the key components drivers are looking for are miles — which equal money in most jobs — and at-home time when they need it. However, they most importantly want respect, especially when it’s represented in their paychecks.

“Is money most important? No, it’s not the first thing [drivers] will tell you, but they will feel disrespected if they see that their time is not valued as it pertains to their paycheck,” she said.

When Shaver asks companies what makes them stand out to prospective employees, many point to their family-oriented environment, knowing drivers on a first-name basis or even their “open-door policies.” But she asserts that while these are good tenets to boast, they typically aren’t selling points for most drivers. “It really doesn’t stand out too much to a driver if that’s what’s in your headline or pitch as you attempt to sell them a job.”

Instead, Shaver points to things like rates per mile, sign-on and referral bonuses, basic driver expenses and performance incentives, as well as having a strong percentage of females and minorities as strong selling points.

Shaver, who serves on the board of directors for the Women In Trucking Association, said fleets should establish recognition programs to support and celebrate their women and minority drivers and perhaps ask if they’d be comfortable becoming brand ambassadors, sharing their experiences and the challenges they’ve overcome for recruiting purposes. 

According to Shaver, success follows the carriers that provide opportunities for women and minority groups to collaborate, communicate and celebrate each other’s work.

“I always tell folks that they should reflect what you admire and, in turn, you’ll attract what you reflect,” Shaver said.

More from Taking The Hire Road:

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The best recruiters live on the road — Taking The Hire Road

Finding drivers that stick around — Taking The Hire Road

Jack Glenn

Jack Glenn is a sponsored content writer for FreightWaves and lives in Chattanooga, TN with his golden retriever, Beau. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.