Attracting and retaining HGV drivers
Written by: Simon Pavey, Last updated:20th October 2021
The UK is in the midst of a HGV driver shortage which is having a severe impact on a number of different industries. From insufficient delivery services to supply chain disruption, the whole economy could suffer from a lack of drivers – meaning it is more important than ever that fleet operators remain competitive and able to attract new drivers.
We have covered why the shortage of HGV drivers might be happening in a previous article, so let’s now take a look at what practical steps fleet operators can take to navigate these challenges.
How to attract HGV drivers
There are many different elements to consider in the process of attracting new drivers. Here are our tips:
1. Update your website
It’s important to consider how an aspiring or experienced driver perceives your company. Consequently, you should be looking to take every step possible to ensure they have a positive experience when exposed to the most important channel you have – your website.
It could be wise to dedicate a page on your website to explaining exactly what support you offer both to new and existing drivers. Give them a flavour of what it is like to be a driver within your fleet, showcase the unique benefits you offer to employees, and underline this with the values you teach your managers and leaders – and you could find drivers aligning quickly with your company.
2. Use positive reviews as much as possible
Word of mouth is a fantastic way of expanding your workforce, however it sadly isn’t practical to use this as a mass recruitment tool. The next best thing, then, is likely acquiring written reviews via a popular and trusted reviews platform.
For example, Trustpilot, Google Reviews, and Glass Door are all highly reputable platforms that enable current and previous employees to leave honest reviews of your business. You should always work toward improving the experience of your current driver-base to influence these reviews, but it’s also worth taking this one step further by showcasing these reviews properly.
You could look to use the built-in sharing functionality within these platforms to share reviews via your social media channels, incorporate them into your email marketing, and even feature them on jobs boards alongside your listings. Speaking of which, perhaps our most important tip is to:
3. Create good advertisements
Ask yourself, where are potential drivers likely to spend time during their job search – and what material of yours will they be exposed to while doing so?
Realistically, jobs boards are perhaps the best way of reaching a large number of candidates without requiring too much effort. It’s essential that you put time into meticulously crafting a good advertisement that sells the benefits of your company in a concise way.
To help position yourself to create the perfect listing, it’s also worth reviewing competitor activity to see what kind of messaging they’re putting out into the world.
4. Consult hiring experts if necessary
While it’s often cheaper to manually handle your business’ recruitment drive and to keep that process solely in-house, you may not always get the exact results you’re looking for. In this instance, it could be wise to talk to recruitment agencies who specialise in the haulage sector to see whether you can strike a mutually beneficial arrangement that solves your driver needs and proves profitable for the agency.
How to retain HGV drivers
Equally as important as attracting new drivers is retaining the loyal employees that currently work for you. It can be disheartening for existing employees to see new job offers being posted by your company that feature attractive joining offers and benefits that they themselves do not have access to.
A balanced approach, then, should split attention between recruitment and retention in a measured way. As we’ve mentioned, retention initiatives can in of themselves serve as a recruitment tool, if HGV drivers decide to share positive reviews of your business within their own social networks to help you bring new people on board.
Some retention tools you could consider rolling out include:
- Increasing wages to reflect your business’ growth. This is absolutely key to remaining competitive in a marketplace whereby virtually all businesses are struggling to recruit HGV drivers.
- Giving your employees a voice. Running regular feedback sessions, planning one-on-one meetings with your drivers and their managers from time to time, and showing that you’re not only listening to but acting on the concerns raised by your drivers is a great way of helping your employees feel connected and respected.
- Define your culture from the top down. Building an inclusive, welcoming, and progressive culture in your business could see employees feeling like they’re truly part of a community – rather than feeling that they’re simply selling their time for money to your organisation. This culture is often the cornerstone of your business’ reputation, and so investing time into working with senior management to define what you want your company to represent could prove beneficial.
- Credit and reward your employees fairly. If some of your drivers put in significantly more effort than others; enhancing the customer experience, proving flexible, and going above and beyond to support the team – does your business have a process in place for flagging this positive behaviour and rewarding those responsible? Putting a proper rewards scheme in place that incentivises good work and team building could positively impact your workforce.
Where do I start with reviewing my business’ recruitment and retention processes?
Ultimately, there are three key areas to consider improving when looking to positively impact retention and recruitment:
- Your business – including your website, company values, mission statement, and offering.
- Your messaging – reviewing all messaging across recruitment platforms, jobs boards, social media, and even the internal communications you share with your staff can yield opportunities to improve.
- Your current and prospective employees – what do they want to see from your company? Are you taking the time to conduct the right market research, fully understand their needs, and then tailor your job offerings to tick the right boxes for these employees? Doing so may help you edge out over your competition.
While there’s no one solution that works for all fleets, we hope the tips we’ve shared today help you to attract and retain HGV drivers moving forward, no matter how difficult it may seem.
How can Fuel Card Services help?
At Fuel Card Services, we know how important it is to put the right technology in place that makes your drivers feel safe and supported. That’s why we have developed a range of professional fleet services that are designed to do everything from automatically record mileage, to facilitate servicing and maintenance – and even help your drivers find their nearest fuel pumps.
If you think our range of fleet services could benefit your operation, why not get in touch with our experts to find out how we can support you?back