The driver shortage continues to plague the trucking industry, but is an inefficient and outdated hiring process partially to blame?
With the industry still short 78,000, according to an estimate by the American Trucking Associations, the quicker companies can fill those seats, the better. But, according to Joel Sitak, CEO of Foley, a Connecticut-based specialty screening and compliance software provider, the hiring process for drivers is usually two weeks.
At most companies — for applicants and motor carriers alike — there is usually a lot of paperwork, lack of communication and time spent waiting around.
From the start, prospective drivers must travel to a company’s office to fill out a multiple-page-long paper application and provide written consent for upcoming screens. They then wait on background checks, motor vehicle record screens, Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse queries and, after being administered a drug test, wait some more to find out the results.
“Often, these screenings are conducted by separate companies, which makes it difficult for the hiring manager to coordinate between multiple providers,” Sitak said.
After all that, the open position might not even be filled. By the time the carrier is ready to make an offer, the applicant may have already accepted a job at a competing carrier.
An inefficient hiring process can stifle growth for smaller companies especially. At larger companies, which are usually using multiple software systems for recruiting, hiring, screening and onboarding processes, there is an increased likelihood that some aspect of compliance will be missed, enhancing chances there will be audits and fines.
For companies of any size, pouring time and resources into an applicant who ends up not getting hired means they are missing out on better and safer drivers.
Over 90% of driver applicants are now applying to jobs via mobile phones. And as more drivers expect an efficient user experience during the hiring process, it’s clear the status quo of long applications and waiting times, paperwork and disjointed processes is not a viable path forward.
“If we resist change and insist on using outdated methods for recruiting and onboarding, we will only exacerbate the current driving shortage and push away younger candidates who expect a smooth user experience when joining a new company in a driving role,” Sitak said.
While much of the trucking industry has largely embraced digital solutions for other aspects of their businesses, when it comes to hiring, the long list of regulations carriers must follow makes changing their hiring process intimidating. However, Sitak believes compliance and optimization are not mutually exclusive.
“The world of trucking and transportation is full of complicated regulations and standards that are always changing,” he said. “If we take what we’ve learned about compliance over the last 20 years and combine it with the latest technology, it’s possible to speed up the process significantly and make it a better experience for drivers.”
Dash, Foley’s software-as-a-service onboarding platform, is an example of what a melding of efficiency and compliance looks like. Dash fully digitizes the hiring process and improves time to hire by 400%, lowers costs and helps companies hire compliantly all in one spot. An intuitive and convenient user experience also leaves candidates with a positive first impression of their potential employer.
With the applicant’s point of entry being a short-form application, they can quickly fill it out from their mobile phones and expedite the hiring process, helping them get behind the wheel days sooner. The system also makes compliance easy to manage through its custom application and disclosure processes and real-time background check updates.
“Employers often don’t realize when hiring they must comply with not only Department of Transportation regulations but also the Fair Credit Reporting Act and state and local privacy laws,” Sitak said. “It’s just too cumbersome for employers and drivers to manage these tasks without technology.”
Dash provides companies the ability to continue to update drivers’ information beyond just the onboarding process in a convenient platform for maintaining driver qualification files and motor vehicle reports and managing random drug testing results.
To learn more about Foley and its onboarding compliance platform Dash, click here.