Getting the best drivers is every fleet manager’s goal, but competition for highly skilled people will always be cutthroat. After all, trucking companies everywhere are looking to hire the finest drivers. The following pointers will give fleet managers a head start in the race to attract and retain the best talent in the industry.

  • Harvard Business Review notes that the aim is to hire quality and not quantity, and this can be accomplished by meeting the needs of those most qualified. The article notes that while benefits will be attractive, the main pull will be the success of the company. If you want to attract the top talent your business must already be at a standard to appeal to them.
  • Fleet managers should be upfront with every detail—warts and all—related to the job.
  • When companies find the right person, Inc. recommends that they move quickly and decisively. Some managers may have the tendency to wait things out and keep looking. Doing so is actually counter-intuitive as another company might swoop in and make an offer to that very same person.

Attracting the best talent is one thing; keeping them is another. Which is why employers will need to make sure that they are paying rapt attention to all the things their best people need and want, including the respect they deserve. Workplace expert Lynn Taylor explains that showing respect is a critical factor in retaining the best and the brightest, as people treated with professionalism and dignity will “have a reason to deliver their best work.” Moreover, respect begets respect, so employees who are treated well will, in turn, do the same to management.

Fleet managers should also give their best drivers leeway by giving them opportunities to operate independently. In short, management should let their best people do what they were hired to do in the first place without interference. Let the drivers drive! They are top talent for a reason, so the least superiors can do is get out of the way as much as possible. Supervision will still be needed, though, but it should be kept at a minimum.

Top talent also desire opportunities for growth and development. In this regard fleet managers can send their drivers to driving seminars, ensure they have a fair structure, put forward performance-based incentives, and open windows for promotions. The Balance recommends letting the best employees share their expertise via training sessions and through mentoring. Aside from that, management should also make it a point to cultivate the other talents and skills of their best people.

An unwavering commitment to safety will also help fleet operators keep their best drivers, as instituting safety programs show that employers genuinely care about their employees. Installing safety features—among them, front and back cameras, collision avoidance systems, and active braking—in each vehicle will most certainly help in this regard.

Ensuring that drivers remain safe has been made a lot easier for fleet drivers through the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate implemented by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration last December. Fleet operators are now required to install logging devices that will automatically track how long a truck is on the road. This automated record-keeping mechanism helps prevent cases of overdriving, which is one of the main causes of accidents involving trucks. Verizon explains that the ELD will alert drivers with automatic violation warnings if they are close to exceeding their legal time on the road. The ELD Mandate has allowed fleet operators to be committed to the safety and health of their drivers, as the majority of overdriving cases are due to drivers trying to complete their duties. Now drivers know that they won’t have the added pressure of being encouraged to complete tasks outside of the legal hours. This in turn will help companies keep their top employees.

Hiring the best drivers and keeping them driving for the company for a long time are two distinct challenges, but each can be overcome by fleet managers who are fully committed to finding the best and the brightest.

Article composed by JenDrives
Contributed to Meiborginc.com

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