Recruiting drivers is becoming more difficult. With the country navigating a weakening economy, companies industry wide are struggling to hire and retain drivers.
According to Andrei Zakhareuski, CEO of Driving Tests, rising attrition rates across the industry can and will lead to a lot of lost hours and money. With the industry expected to grow in the coming years, Zakhareuski says the problem is only going to get worse.
“I believe this is mainly due to a struggling economy and a labor force that acts differently than the preceding generations,” Zakhareuski said. “In the past, trucking was seen as a stable and reliable profession that offered good pay and job security. But now, with the rise of the gig economy and the flexibility it offers, many people are less likely to commit to a career in trucking.”
He added that companies should invest in quality driver training and retention to combat these issues upfront, as well as offer incentives for drivers to stay with the companies, and make sure they’re happy with their jobs.
With this in mind, companies such as Driving Tests have developed solutions that make recruiting a simpler, more streamlined process, with the goal of reducing attrition rates.
“We keep our focus on making the recruiting process easier, and we try to meet these new drivers halfway. There are many factors at play in regard to the recruiting issue in the trucking industry. What we’re sure of is that making the recruiting process easier for all parties involved is a very effective way to solve the problem,” Zakhareuski said.
Driving Tests specializes in providing theory training for the CDL exam and all things related. The platform is cost-effective, interactive and 100% online — allowing trainees to study on their computer or smartphone app. Driving Tests prides itself on its 95% average first-time pass rate — nearly double the industry average, according to Zakhareuski. More than 58,000 commercial drivers have been trained through the program.
“We’ve found that many trucking companies are overspending on driver training. Recruiting has become much more difficult over the past decade, and even more so over the last three years,” Zakhareuski said. “We believe that companies don’t have to overspend on driver training just because the industry is struggling to find good drivers.”
To get started, trucking companies can visit the Driving Tests website, purchase access for however many trainees they want per month, and then send access to trainees for them to begin.
The trucking company or trainer has access to an admin dashboard where they can invite new trainees if necessary, oversee all progress, and offer guidance or assistance in areas where a trainee is struggling. The ability to track student progress makes it easy for companies to identify which new drivers are excelling and which ones may need additional support — helping companies to further improve future recruiting strategies.
Trainers can also choose the number of seats they purchase and the trainees they give access to, and are thus in full control over their budget and training schedule, Zakhareuski added.
Many companies are using technology to drive and help streamline processes for driver recruiting and retention. While it is important to provide updated and new digital solutions to those in the trucking industry in order to keep up, there is the risk of overcomplicating the day-to-day work of all employees in the company, decreasing employee satisfaction and undermining the goal of overcoming driver recruiting and retention challenges.
It is important for companies to find the balance between complicated and useful when it comes to technology because of the benefits that come with technology done right, especially in a world that is increasingly remote.
“We conduct regular surveys with drivers,” Zakhareuski said. “We keep drivers’ feedback in mind while designing our own products. We want our solutions to be available and easy to use when needed, and out of the way when they’re not. Our goal is to make the entire process easier and less of a headache, and our user experience is centered around that.”
Zakhareuski recommends that companies take a closer look at their current training efforts — how much money and time they’re spending per driver, per month.
“You may be surprised by what you find,” he said. “We’ve worked with several companies who have found tens of thousands of dollars in lost training expenses due to the drop-off rate of their conventional training methods. That money adds up fast and could be better allocated to other parts of the business while we’re in a struggling economy.”
While it is clear that trucking will become much more digital in the future, it is less certain exactly what that future will look like.
This is why Driving Tests is putting its focus on creating solutions that fit in with the current state of the trucking industry rather than trying to change it, Zakhareuski added.
“While it’s anyone’s guess where things are headed next, we’re putting our investment in drivers and the processes for training them. We never want to lose sight of the people who are at the heart of this industry,” he said.