Over the last few years, the job market has been seeing some rapid changes across nearly every industry. With retention rates and applicant volume suffering, employers are finding themselves having to focus more effort on standing out from the competition to encourage candidates to apply and keep them on the team once a hire is made.
This is especially true of the transportation industry. The national driver shortage once again topped the list of concerns facing carriers, with driver retention ranking second, according to the American Transport Research Institute’s annual study released in October of 2021.
The average job seeker is expecting more out of potential employers than ever before. This sentiment goes beyond the actual content of a job offer. While things like competitive pay and benefits certainly play a role, they are not always the deciding factor. Drivers want to know what other drivers are saying about your company before they make the decision to apply. Like job seekers in every other industry, they are doing their research to find out.
Last week, our team asked 150 drivers if researching a potential employer and reading their reviews is part of their job search process and all but 12 of them said that it absolutely is.
When was the last time you checked up on your company’s online reputation? Does your team make an effort to measure and address online employee feedback?
If a driver has a bad experience working for your company and resigns because of it, the cost to replace them is only one piece of the problem. If that driver then goes on to leave a negative review on a public website, that will be seen by potential candidates and likely cause them to pass over your company’s job posting. This is one of the most direct ways that poor retention can make recruiting more difficult.
Stopping the Cycle
The best way to handle negative employee feedback is to address it head on. Set time aside each month if possible, to read and respond to reviews. Monitoring your company’s online presence will help you maintain an up-to-date understanding of how you are being perceived by potential candidates. This will also give you the opportunity to spotlight any positive feedback you receive from happy drivers.
Responding to reviews promptly will also help your drivers feel heard and let them know their feedback, positive or negative, is valued.
Opening up Communication
Even when drivers don’t take the extra step to post a review, they are likely speaking amongst themselves about their experiences with your company. Word travels within the driver community. We've seen evidence of this in direct conversations with drivers who have shared with us their hesitance to apply for certain roles based on the company's reputation. Asking drivers for feedback gives you the opportunity to respond and resolve issues as they arise. You could even consider implementing a process where drivers can anonymously share their input with their supervisors to encourage honesty. Promoting an environment where your team feels comfortable sharing their feedback with you can have a profound impact on retention and in the long run, recruitment efforts.
If you are interested in diving into this topic a little deeper, check out the webinar linked below. During the virtual discussion our CEO, Bruno Stanziale and WorkHound CEO, Max Farrell spoke about optimizing the driver job and experience and unpacked some best practices to help repair the leaky bucket of the recruiting and retention cycle.