We live in a time where finding a good technician is as difficult as finding a good operator. The people who have these skills are in short supply, and schools offering courses on how to learn what students need to know simply aren’t enrolling enough students.
In times such as these, it makes it important for you to make sure you are keeping those who you have in the shop and not sending them out the door. But why is this a problem? The fact is, there are reasons why technicians don’t stay in the trucking company.
Look at any recent survey or ask any HR or recruiting professional in the trucking back office and they will tell you the two main reasons why technicians might decide to step away from the wrench: A bad boss or poor job duties.
In today’s environment, if you aren’t building your recruiting and retention efforts around solutions to a bad boss or job function, you will likely suffer from technician turnover. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure you aren’t a part of the problem.
How to Handle It
First, you must identify and strive to understand those employees who are most likely to stay on with your trucking company. Statistics show that the length of time a worker stays with a particular employer increases as they age.
Next you must make sure you are being completely honest about what the position you are hiring for entails. Whether you are talking about specific working conditions or hourly restrictions, it is important that both you and your potential technician are in full communication on what the job expectations are, from both sides.
Applicants also want to know about the people they will be working with. Different types of shippers and receivers, perhaps the diversity of your customer base, all of that is good information for someone who is applying to work in your shop.
While covering the obvious things like pay and benefits is important, don’t forget to also go over what growth opportunities may exist within the company. For many, it is important that they are able to quickly determine what they do or do not need to know in order to accept a position. And you may have things you need to know before you offer it. Don’t handicap yourself by not being thorough.
The Tools of the Trade
Whether you are recruiting people through a job fair or an online posting ad, recruiting is key. You can also utilize radio advertisements or cheap paid late night television ads.
Many trucking companies now offer their truck drivers sign on bonuses when they bring new people into the company. These types of incentives may carry a cost in the short term, but you can expect them to pay good long term dividends.
Rewards programs can set a goal for employees, say a percentage target. The more people that are brought on board, the higher the pay scale goes. Incentivizing your current truck operators is never a bad thing. Collateral ‘good morale’ comes from a well-treated employee.
There are also digital tools available that can help you weave the data together to form a full hiring picture. Never discount the value of big data and technological advances.
Leaning On Your Managers
There is no reason why you can’t recruit your managers to help you forecast retention efforts. After all, these are the gals and guys who are at the front line and who know their people the best. They should know who is on the fence and who is not.
Utilize things like hiring manager responsibility and recruiter accountability to better motivate your managers to perform. You can even consider listing retention goals as a key part of an interview or application process, when someone is applying.
In the end, provided you practice sound judgement and communicate in all things technician job related, you should have no problem keeping your shop fully staffed.