As it turns out, it doesn’t look much like a crisis at all. These days, candidates have the leverage to walk away from a job opportunity if the prospective employer doesn’t yield to their every whim—because there’s always another recruiter down the road willing to make a better offer. And I mean “down the road” literally: drivers say that recruiters knock on their doors at rest stops, and sometimes even jump in the cab while the vehicle is idling.
In a fascinating and somewhat hilarious article titled “What it’s like to be a truck driver when suddenly everyone wants to hire you?”, LinkedIn managing editor Chip Cutter reports:
Recruiters are ‘running around like Amway salesmen,’ said Rand Stapleton, a 52-year-old driver based in Burlington, Ontario, who mostly transports Voortman Cookies and grass seed for Appleby Transportation. He receives at least two messages a week, asking him to consider leaving.
Cutter’s article profiles a an out-of-work driver named Bob Stanton, as Stanton makes his way around a trucking show, wielding his “newfound power” as a driver in a competitive recruitment market:
No matter what Stanton demanded, recruiters from Walmart and a slew of other companies were eager to please. They signed off on no trucks over four years old; no refrigerated trucks; a transponder so Stanton could bypass highway weigh stations; and minimum pay of $1,000 a week. They didn’t even flinch when Stanton refused to drive a Kenworth T680 because the steering wheel rides too snug on his belly. ‘I’m a BUFF — a big, ugly, fat, effer,’ he explained to one recruiter, blurring an expletive.
Driver Hiring & Retention Checklist
Need to get drivers on the road faster? If you can check the boxes on this checklist, you’re well on the road to attracting and retaining the best drivers out there.
Download the Driver Hiring and Retention Checklist >>
Stanton may sound bold, even brazen, but his approach pays off: he leaves the show evaluating 7 different job offers, one of which includes a $10,000 signing bonus. The moral of the story? Many carriers will take help anywhere they can get it—even from a foul-mouthed BUFF. As long as he has clean driving record, well, that effer has a job.
Of course, the shrinking talent pool is just one factor in the shortage. Don’t let your onboarding and compliance training processes turn away your hard-earned drivers. While we can’t necessarily help you attract more Bob Stantons (Bobs Stanton?), Compli’s trucking compliance platform can help you retain your most valuable asset.