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Transportation Recruiting: Seven Stats You Need to Know

When it comes to transportation recruiting, it can feel like a never-ending battle. Between the shortage of drivers, industry demand, an aging workforce, and hiring turnover, transportation recruiters are constantly on the search for qualified talent. Learn what stats to pay attention to and how to improve your recruiting efforts to meet your hiring goals.

Stat #1: There are nearly 2M drivers in the transportation industry.

One of the largest workforces at nearly 2M drivers, it may seem like transportation recruiting should be quick and easy. But, although there are millions of qualified drivers, there are many reasons why this is simply not enough to support the industry. For proof, see our next stat on the shortage.

Stat #2: The U.S. is short 80,000+ drivers. By 2030, it’ll be 160,000.

The American Trucking Associations estimates the truck driver shortage is just over 80,000 drivers. This means there are more drivers needed based on demand from companies hiring them than there are drivers in the market. There are a number of factors that contribute to this, largely:

  • an aging workforce, like many industries. A federally mandated minimum age of 21 to drive commercially across state lines doesn’t help.
  • drivers who are unable to pass drug tests, especially now that many states have legalized marijuana
  • a decline in training school annulment numbers, which are down compared to past years.

Stat #3: 7% of the transportation driver workforce is female

Far below the gender representation seen in other industries, only 7% of the truck driver workforce is female. For some, this may be due to the overnights away from home that are required for many long-haul truckers. Or, it may be a stigma associated with the role or industry. Either way, with women accounting for more than 50% of the population since 2013, female recruitment of truck drives is critical.

Hire Velocity’s transportation recruitment experts recognize this important hiring need for logistics companies, and have trained recruiters with a focus on female truck driver recruitment

Stat #4: The average age is 49

An aging workforce is just one reason the transportation and logistics industry is facing a shortage. It may surprise you to find out that the average age of a truck driver is 49, despite the fact that the occupation does not require anything more than a high school diploma and training is relatively short compared to trades that require long apprenticeships.

The median age of over-the-road drivers is 46 and the average age of a new truck driver being trained is 35, according to a 2019 report from the American Trucking Associations.

Stat #5: The median annual pay is $48,000+

BLS states that the median annual pay for a truck driver in 2021 was $48,310 per year, or $23.23 per hour. In May 2021, the median annual wage for all workers was $45,760.

This puts the trucking industry on par with other occupations in 2021. A report from the ATA also shows that the average annual earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees, most of whom are drivers, in the long-haul for-hire trucking industry is increasing at approximately five times the historical average. 

Stat #6: For-hire driver turnover rate is 95%

The average trucking company experiences a turnover rate of approximately 95%, meaning that it must replace nearly all of its workforce in the course of a year.

This is a tremendous expense for trucking companies, who must have a constant cycle of recruiting, interviewing, hiring and training their new employees in order to keep up. It’s why many transportation companies rely on recruitment process outsourcing experts with deep experience and a successful track record in logistics recruitment.

The ATA estimates that nearly 1,000,000 new drivers will need to be recruited in the next 10 years. In addition to supporting industry growth, these drivers will also be needed to replace:

  • retiring drivers
  • those that leave voluntarily due to the lifestyle
  • those who involuntarily leave due to driving records or failed drug tests

Stat #7: The average driver cost-per-hire is $8,234

The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute conducted a study of 15 transportation and logistics companies to determine driver cost-per-hire and found that the average was $8,234. What’s more telling, and an indicator of which companies have more efficient logistics recruitment processes, is that the cost-per-hire ranged from $2,243 to $20,729. 

Cost-per-hire calculations can include:

  • Advertising
  • Cost of dedicated recruitment tools: phone lines; websites; applications
  • Recruiter salaries and/or recruitment agency fees
  • Referral fees and sign-on bonuses
  • Background checks
  • Road tests
  • Training and orientation materials
  • An acclimation period before the driver becomes productive
  • Mentorship

Many of these statistics are impacted by external factors like government regulations that logistics and transportation companies can’t control. There are many internal improvements that HR teams can help implement, however, that can help improve driver retention. 

Having a trusted transportation recruitment partner can help your company implement these benefits quickly to improve hiring and retention within your company:

  • Give drivers more time at home in between long assignments
  • Increase the driver benefits you offer (medical, dental, 401(k), and more)
  • Provide more advancement opportunities within the first year
  • Create more driver performance incentives (but ensure they’re reasonable and safe!)

To learn more about the ways that an RPO firm can improve the efficiency of your transportation recruiting, contact Hire Velocity.

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