The largest truck driver recruitment advertising agency, Conversion Interactive Agency, and People. Data. Analytics (PDA), an industry leader in employee retention, feedback, and analytics recently released their latest driver survey data download regarding topics important to professional truck drivers in the market.
This survey is essential for understanding what issues are important to truck drivers in today’s market. Some of the topics covered in the Fall 2022 Survey include the increase or decrease of miles upon lower freight volumes, shipper/consignee issues and delays, sign-on bonuses, home time, how drivers approach online content, and more.
For a third year, over half of the surveyed drivers claim they are not currently looking for a new driving job. The survey results indicated that 40.2% of drivers are currently looking for a job, which is up 3% from our Spring survey when 37% of drivers said they were looking for a job. This was the highest percentage of drivers who claimed they were looking for a new job since Conversion Interactive Agency and PDA began asking this question in the Spring of 2021. In addition, drivers shared they highly value online driver reviews when it comes to making the decision to drive for a new carrier. When asked if they read the online reviews of carriers or just look at the star rating, 58.4% said they do both, making online driver reviews a crucial component of a carrier’s online reputation management strategy.
“As we move further into the digital age, it's becoming increasingly clear that carriers need to adopt innovative technologies or risk falling behind in recruiting and retention,” said Kelley Walkup, president and CEO of Conversion Interactive Agency. "Truck drivers are creating online communities and basing their next career move on the reviews of other drivers. They are using social and digital media to look for new driving jobs, and the technology is constantly advancing."
While online driver reviews are clearly a determining factor in how professional drivers select a carrier, 54.6% said that they are more likely to accept a position if there is an offer of a sign-on bonus, making this a topic to discuss when navigating your recruiting strategy. The driver survey data download includes information on a variety of topics impacting drivers today, including not only driver communication topics, but also other challenges facing the industry.
Given the recent softening of freight volumes within the last few months, 27.2% of drivers said that their miles have fluctuated, while 24.8% said they haven’t noticed a change.
“Almost 50% of drivers stated that their miles have either decreased or fluctuated within the last 6-12 months,” said Scott Dismuke, vice president of operations for PDA. “One thing to keep in mind is that drivers who are new to the industry have not experienced a “typical” freight market, so these numbers are magnified with drivers who have entered the industry within the last two years. The next couple of months will be crucial in keeping an eye on freight volume, and carriers should keep communicating these shifts with their drivers as a top priority in their retention efforts.”
In the survey, drivers also weighed in on whether shipper/consignee issues and delays would cause them to leave a job. An overwhelming 72.3% answered no, as it is uncommon for drivers to blame their carrier. However, when asked if they expect their carrier to fix these issues, 75.7% said yes.
“While the data tells us that drivers are not blaming their carrier for issues with and delays with shippers/consignees, it is crucial for carriers to work with their shippers/consignees to improve any issues before they affect retention goals,” said Dismuke. “It is of utmost importance for carriers to have a way for drivers to report these issues with the expectation that you will report back with how you are handling the situation. Often, drivers do not understand that there isn’t always a quick fix, so communication is key in these situations.”
Driver recruiting and retention is always top-of-mind for carriers, and as we wrap-up 2022, it’s a good time to prepare a strategy for the upcoming year. “As the economy continues to evolve, retaining drivers will remain a challenge for trucking companies. It's not easy to keep drivers," said Dismuke. "There are a lot of individual factors that come into play. Carriers need to have a good handle on their data, what their drivers are saying – and more importantly, who is saying it. The carriers that can quickly identify and address driver concerns will be at an advantage."
To access the full survey report, click here.