A panel of Trucking HR professionals says the industry must step up to attract more young people into trucking, including working harder with customers and the supply chain to provide basic human needs.
There is a popular notion that if you pay, they will come, but much more goes into recruiting and retaining a quality workforce, according to several speakers at the Saskatchewan Trucking Association’s (STA) annual AGM and Gala in Saskatoon.
As reported by Truck News:
“In our experience, to keep anyone interested in a career … you need to have the basic amenities for them,” said Erin Diehl, co-owner of D&E Transport. “You need to have safe places for them to park and pull over, you need to have clean washrooms, you need to have showers that are clean and reasonably priced, not $25 a shower. That is unfortunately the reality I have seen, and that is enough to drive people away.”
Diehl said some former drivers have told her that they have had to forfeit their basic human needs at times in their career and have been pushed out of the industry as a result.
Bridget O’Shaughnessy, communications manager for Trucking HR Canada, said younger generations, like millennials, need to see parallels between them and the company they work for.
“If they don’t see their values reflected in their employer and in their industry, they are going to leave the industry or not be attracted to the industry in the first place,” she said.
Human resource manager for Westcan Bulk Transport Chelsea Jukes says today’s driver must be skilled beyond driving, and to attract younger operators, carriers must offer similar lifestyle perks and benefits as the Googles and other tech companies of the world have been providing for some time.
Westcan has launched what it calls its “Six S” initiative, which establishes a clean, organized, safe, and efficient workplace. Jukes said companies that show they care about the environment their employees work will attract a wider range of candidates.
Jim Olson, director of underwriting for commercial auto with SGI Canada, said a lot of great things are coming out of the trucking industry right now, if only the public would take notice.
“I wish that the public saw what we get to see, like the in-house driver training programs, the vehicle maintenance programs, electronic log books, driver bonuses for incident-free miles, sophisticated fleet monitoring systems,” Olson pointed out. “I truly don’t think that the public understands the amount of time, effort, and resources that are put into keeping the drivers and the general public safe.”