Recruiting a new driver requires a huge investment. It takes time to create job postings and onboard new drivers. It takes energy to screen candidates and collect verifications of past employment. It takes resources to conduct drug tests and build driver qualification files for each new hire. And every step of each process takes money, whether it’s in paying personnel or covering the costs of finding, verifying, and onboarding a new driver.
So what’s the most expensive mistake you can make when hiring a new driver to work for you? Losing him before he’s created value for your company. Most drivers leave a carrier within the first 90 days of starting a new job, and losing quality people you’ve already sunk effort into is like throwing all your hard work—and a large pile of money—over the side of a cliff.
What Can Carriers Do?
The idea of plugging the driver departure leak is daunting. But the good news is that you don’t have to convince every one of your drivers to spend his entire career with you to see the savings. Even incremental improvements in employment duration can have big financial impacts.
Take a company with 1,000 trucks as an example. If they spend $3,000 to hire each driver and have a 100% annual turnover rate, they spend $3 million a year on recruiting. If that company is able to get their drivers to stay two additional months, their turnover rate improves by 17% and they save $510,000 a year.
Most driver turnover happens within the first 90 days of employment. Our goal is to extend driver tenure past the first 120 days, which increases driver profitability and reduces aggregate hiring needs. The reality is that the fight to retain drivers indefinitely has few winners. But if you can win the 120-day battle, you’ll have still saved a lot of resources and made it far more likely that the driver will stay with your company for more than a year.
How Can Carriers Keep Drivers Longer?
The short answer is by communicating with drivers.
Given the abundance of available employment options open to drivers, when they have a negative experience at your company – whether it’s with your onboarding process or your benefits package or something else that doesn’t live up to their expectations – there’s not much stopping them from seeking out a shiny new carrier. But if you can learn about drivers’ complaints before they get fed up enough to leave, you can take steps to improve and retain more talent.
Tenstreet’s Issues and Surveys product was created with this goal in mind. Issues and Surveys solicits information from the field proactively by sending automated surveys at regular intervals, giving drivers an easy medium to voice concerns. Hearing this feedback allows carriers to understand their businesses from a driver’s perspective and build a greater understanding of their individual drivers since survey responses flow into each driver’s file for easy reference, adding to the holistic picture of their experience at your carrier.
Understanding your drivers’ complaints is ultimately a way of understanding your own business better. And hearing from your drivers helps you see more clearly when you’re standing on the edge of a cliff, at the precipice of losing money and talent. The right feedback can be enough to pull you back to safety.
Contact your advisor or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about implementing Issues and Surveys at your company!