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Quality data for qualified candidates — Taking the Hire Road

Survey gives insight on driver recruitment and retention challenges

HireRight specializes in global background screening services and workforce solutions. The company works to reduce the industry’s recruiting and retention challenges and, according to Justin Reed, manager of transportation solutions at HireRight, has the opportunity to engage with thousands of different recruiting environments across the trucking industry.

“I have seen background screening change substantially over the years, but one thing is consistent and that is that when recruiters need drivers, they need information as quickly as possible,” Reed said. “They need this information to be accurate and they need that data at a reasonable price — all of these things factor into what we do at HireRight.”

In August, the company released its “2022 U.S. Transportation Spotlight Report.” The report, part of HireRight’s 15th Annual Benchmark Survey, was based on responses from U.S. transportation professionals — particularly recruiters.

One of the biggest issues in the logistics industry is still driver recruitment and retention, and this year’s report gives insight regarding the respondents’ retention, recruitment and background screening activity over the past year. 

The survey found that “twenty-nine percent of respondents said their company workforce decreased in size last year … Additionally, 47% of respondents experienced higher than expected resignation rates, 42% had higher than normal ‘new hire’ turnover rates, and 25% reported having positions going unfilled for over six months.”

According to Reed, the survey found that the biggest issues affecting current driver turnover rates were pay and benefits, including more time at home and retirement plans. Other reasons included that the job was not what drivers had expected, lack of career opportunities, issues with management, health issues and increased workload.

The biggest challenges for driver recruitment appear to be the inability to find qualified drivers. While more drivers are coming in over the past year, it doesn’t appear to be tipping the scales in terms of the current supply-and-demand imbalance, and the majority of these new drivers are new to the industry and lack experience, according to Reed.

“Somewhere near 80% of our respondents are saying that they simply cannot find qualified and experienced applicants. When you relate that to the findings in this report, it’s interesting that 29% of respondents stated that they expect their fleets to grow — of that 29%, almost 20% expect more than a quarter-sized (25%) growth in fleet size,” Reed said. “This is great but not possible if you can’t find qualified candidates. On the flip side, 25% stated that they will shrink, and the number one reason for that is the inability to find qualified candidates.”

Also according to the survey, the other reasons for the current driver recruitment challenges are inefficient recruitment and onboarding processes, failure to meet candidates’ expectations and unattractive branding.

“While the majority of the respondents agreed that the biggest issue is finding the right candidates, the survey also found that they believe it will get easier in the coming year,” Reed added.

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Britni Chisenall

Britni Chisenall is a sponsored content writer for FreightWaves. She lives in Ooltewah, TN with her husband, Garrett and her cat, Lily. Britni is a graduate of Dalton State College.