With the ongoing pandemic and the ever-enduring shortage of drivers, 2021 hasn’t been an easy road.
As we welcome the New Year, fleets are looking for ways they can plan for success amidst these ongoing challenges and prepare their fleet for a more successful 2022.
Yes, the future is hard to predict, but there are proactive steps fleets can take now to increase the chance that this year’s problems remain this year’s problems, and ensure a fresh start to success in ’22.
Here’s what they are.
Provide an Easier Application Process
Most job seekers prefer a one-click application and aren’t interested in spending more than 10 minutes on one job app, proving that drop-off rates are a thing. And here’s why: drivers hold the cards.
They know fleets just like yours are scrambling to fill empty seats with safe, qualified drivers.
They see the driver job ads bidding for attention, promising sign-on bonuses, a “family-like” environment, and great home time. The trick? Ensuring your application process is quick, seamless, efficient, and easy.
Drivers, who are getting bombarded with job ads each time they open their phones, often just click ads without even reading the job descriptions. Frustrating for recruiters, to be sure, but if there happens to be a quality lead in all those apps, you want to capture that information – and quickly.
Streamline the required fields and include as many dropdown menus as possible so drivers don’t need to manually type more than they absolutely need to. Save long, detailed questions for the interview and utilize auto-fill tech whenever possible. Trust us; it’s worth the investment.
Reduce Time to Hire
Much like the application process, drivers don’t like spending more time than necessary to get onboarded. From the onset, think of all the tools you can leverage to streamline the hiring process.
We’re talking e-signatures and paperless onboarding that allows drivers to quickly and easily submit licensing and verifications remotely. These days, given how far tech has come, drivers — especially younger ones — don’t want to be bothered going in-person to sign paperwork.
And then there’s driver training. If you’re still doing in-classroom training, you could be missing out on valuable driver candidates who prefer the companies out there leveraging tech that allows drivers to learn wherever and whenever they want to.
The fact is, drivers, don’t want to spend hours in a classroom. And who can blame them? Online learning makes it simple for the drivers to complete the necessary training so they can be where they want to be, quickly: on the road.
Reduce Non-Compliance Risk
Trucking companies that find themselves non-compliant with regulations can face everything from fines to insurance hikes to litigation or even criminal charges. Not to mention the potential for lost time, business, and your company’s reputation. Given the importance of compliance to a carrier’s operations, you’d expect it to be the one business process given the most attention for improvement when it comes to efficiency.
Yet so many companies stick to the same old methods: using paper files and tracking spreadsheets.
Reduce non-compliance risk by leveraging a digital DQ file compliance management system that can auto communicate and auto-notify the appropriate administrators and drivers about incomplete documentation and well in advance of expirations.
Aim for Better Employee Engagement
People don’t quit companies, they quit people. And yet, too many carriers fail to recognize this, thrusting pay increases and new equipment at drivers in the hopes of increasing retention.
While more money is nice and shiny new equipment looks great, carriers need to dig a little deeper and know that employee engagement counts way, way more. So how is your fleet accomplishing that?
This starts from the initial application process, communicating the actual job requirements, rather than what you think the driver wants to hear. Being upfront, even if it’s not pretty, helps increase retention in the long run because the driver knew what they were in store for.
Creating a great culture starts at the top and filters all the way through. From the above-mentioned communication to listening and acting on drivers’ needs, putting an emphasis on safety, and engaging with drivers throughout their time with you, not just during Driver Appreciation Week, must be done throughout all levels of an organization.
Is the word alone enough to send shivers down your spine? If you’re still using paper files, we don’t blame you. Even if you have a relatively smaller fleet, that’s a lot of paper that can get misplaced and/or damaged. Are you ready when an auditor comes knocking?
Offsite safety audits surged in 2020 and 2021 and 2022 doesn’t look any different. Digital DQ files streamline data collection, improve privacy and security, ensure documents are organized and current, and improve compliance communication and reporting. And that sounds awfully nice when you picture yourself scrambling to assemble all the required documents last-minute, doesn’t it?
The Time for Change is Now
It’s been a tough year for everyone. The word “pivot” became part of our everyday vocabulary, and the pandemic has indeed shifted the way we all do business. If there’s one lesson we can take away from 2021, it’s that preparedness means everything. Will you be ready for 2022?