EDITORIAL: The Millennial Mind


By Angela Splinter

Millennials – those aged 18 to 36 – represent 10.1 million Canadians and 37% of the country’s working population. Yet they account for less than 15% of truck drivers.

Attracting younger workers has long been one of the industry’s greatest human resources (HR) challenges. Trucking and logistics employers need to step up their game, and our latest study, Millennials Have Drive 2, can help you be more successful in recruiting from the millennial talent pool.

The report builds on our previous study, Millennials Have Drive – A Roadmap, which serves as a practical guide to understanding this group of workers.

In Millennials Have Drive 2, we wanted to find out how millennials view the trucking industry and why they are or are not interested in working in it. This report covers a range of jobs in trucking but focuses specifically on longhaul driving, since attracting and retaining people for this type of work is such a great need. Here’s some of what we learned:

Trucking ranks low

Looking at six industries, millennials gave trucking the lowest positive impression (46% “very good and good”) and the highest neutral impression (40% “neither good nor bad”). Fifteen per cent said their impression of the industry was “bad and very bad.”

The construction trades got the highest positive impressions from millennials, followed by the armed forces, manufacturing, retail, and resource extraction industries.
The good news is that 46% have a generally positive impression of the industry.

Making an impression

The biggest barrier the trucking industry faces in recruiting millennials is the gap between their image of the trucking industry and their personal “brand.”

Trucking doesn’t fit Canadian millennials’ image of themselves or how they want their family and friends to see them. They believe the industry lacks respectability, is boring, and has a poor work/life balance.

However, they do perceive that longhaul trucking offers freedom and independence with opportunities to travel and explore Canada, work without direct supervision, and avoid an office job, which is tremendously appealing.

Money matters

Satisfactory compensation is the biggest incentive for Canadian millennials to take a job as a longhaul driver, with 39% ranking this as their primary concern.

Again, the good news is that they see longhaul trucking as having the potential to provide a high income.

Many also view the job as an interim, short-term step to achieve their long-term financial and personal goals. In fact, our research shows that many current long-time drivers originally planned to be in the industry for a short time but stayed on, which is a positive story to tell.

Social media

Thirty seven per cent of millennials use social media to find career information (almost as many as those who use job boards). More than one quarter have noticed trucking advertisements on social media (almost as many as those who noticed ads on trucking company websites).

Actively engaging job-seekers is important. Social media ads and posts are designed to capture the attention of millennial prospects while company websites, Google searches, and job sites depend on people being more proactive.

Personal safety

Only 29% of millennial women see longhaul trucking as safe, compared to 46% of men. Their issue isn’t about trucks or traffic. They worry about their personal safety on the job.

If you’re an employer, consider how you can address women’s concerns about being isolated with strangers, or intimidation in an industry that they perceive to be a “boy’s club.” You’ll appeal to an even bigger portion of Canada’s talent pool.

Want to learn more about Millennials Have Drive? You can download the report here.

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