OTR trucking is among the industries with the highest turnover rates. As commercial carriers try to woo and keep experienced truckers, industry leaders search for ways to attract new blood in the field. But according to the ATA Chief Economist, there is hope. Carriers can cut their turnover in half if they can retain new truckers for more than 90 days.
The Honeymoon Period
At the end of April, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said that if large commercial carriers with $30 million in annual revenue could keep new drivers for 90 days, their turnover rate would be cut in half. This insight doesn’t have to apply to only large carriers, however. The OTR trucking industry as a whole can benefit from the lessons learned by large commercial carriers.
During the first 90 days of a new job, truckers are learning things about their new employer that they don’t like and didn’t expect. At a time when new hires should be happy and content in their new position, they instead find aggregators that cause them to leave the company. These aggregators include things like:
- How routes are determined
- How managers govern the trucks
- The mobile communication systems
- The approach the company has overall
This 90-day turnover issue sheds light on a potential serious problem that companies weren’t aware of beyond truckers searching for the best wage and benefit package.
While this issue of a high new hire turnover rate may have been unforeseen, it is easy for companies to fix. There are many ways you can improve the chances that your new truckers will stay with the company beyond their first 90 days. You can:
- Hire for cultural fit instead of just for experience
- Create an orientation period to help truckers adjust to changes
- Keep the line of communication open to make new hires feel comfortable
- Pair new hires with and experienced driver to help with the transitional period
Whether you are a large commercial carrier or maintain a small fleet, you can cut your turnover in half by implementing a few changes to the hiring and training process. And to learn other ways to improve your company’s sustainability, contact the experts at Alexander & Alexander.