Employee Turnover And Retention Briefings Abstract: 74
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A recent symposium in Alabama highlighted solutions for common HR problems in the trucking industry. Symposium participants reported turnover rates from 30 to 60% which poses a significant recruiting and retention problem. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the transportation sector had an annual turnover rate of 14.6% in 2004.
Some of the findings from the panelists
Raising pay is not effective for attracting or retaining drivers. Neither are sign-on bonuses, which were universally panned as bad business policy. Sign-on bonuses encourage job hopping and do not help drivers financially because they end up losing more than the sign-on bonus during the transition period between jobs. These bonuses just give the industry a bad image of paying to steal each other's employees.
Mentoring new drivers, especially in the workings of fuel surcharges, goes a long way to retaining drivers. Also popular among the symposium panelists was exit interviews. Finding out why drivers are leaving helps trucking companies restructure their business to better cater to their drivers needs. Several panelists use exit interviews for rebounding - determining whether the employee is a potential rehire, and if so, following up with a phone call to see if the driver is happy at his new position or if they would consider coming back. Even though rehiring is an important resource for drivers, one panelist emphasized that they will only rehire once, because "a revolving door is bad business policy".
Panelists agreed that referral bonuses work where sign-on bonuses failed. Job fairs are also a cost effective recruiting technique.
Minorities and especially women, are a potential untapped resource that are underutilized in the trucking industry. Human factors is one of the reasons for under representation of women. Specifically, make sure the trucking equipment can accommodate smaller drivers - if the average driver needs to be 5 feet 10 to reach the pedals, you are unnecessarily limiting your potential workforce.