With national unemployment rates dropping back toward the historic lows they hit right before the start of the pandemic, countless industries are contending with labor shortages. From hospitality to healthcare to the construction trades, employers in most sectors struggle to find new hires. But few industries have been hit harder by the current labor shortage than the trucking industry. And because the trucking sector is a crucial link in the supply chain, those labor shortages are causing domino effects that impact day-to-day lives of many Americans.
Currently, the American Trucking Association estimates that the United States trucking industry has a shortfall of 80,000 truckers. There are a variety of factors behind the shortage, the biggest of which might be the prevalence of opportunities elsewhere. In many ways, the pandemic has reconfigured the way people think about work and careers. The reconfiguration has caused a massive exodus of workers from their jobs – a phenomenon that has been dubbed “the Great Resignation.” Between all those people leaving their jobs and the post-COVID economic recovery, the job market right now is a true “job seeker’s market.” The result is that many people are seeking new jobs or even entirely new careers – sometimes even in new industries. Trucking industry experts theorize that because of the less-appealing facets of trucking jobs – low pay, unfair treatment, limited time at home, etc. – the industry has been hit especially hard by the current job market situation.
Trucking companies looking to fill positions and keep up with their obligations will need to get strategic about combatting the negative connotations that truck driving has developed for many job seekers. Higher pay, better benefits, and more wage transparency (such as how drivers will be compensated on a mileage basis) are three of the most obvious strategies employers can implement to attract more drivers. Finding ways to offer safer, more balanced careers could also be a top consideration to counter the belief among some truckers that the industry has poor working conditions.
At the same time, though, it is important for employers in the trucking industry to make sure they aren’t lowering their standards out of simple desperation to fill positions. Compliance with all federal and industry-wide regulations, such as the need for thorough trucking background checks, is a must. A criminal background check and detailed driving history checks, and drug and alcohol screenings are federally required for all truck drivers. At backgroundchecks.com, we are experienced in helping trucking companies implement the best truck driver background check protocols possible. From pre-employment checks to ongoing monitoring – which can help detect new criminal activity on a driver’s record – will help you balance your commitment to safety and compliance with your need to find good, qualified drivers. Get started today by checking out our background check recommendations for transportation companies.
About Michael Klazema The author
Michael Klazema is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based backgroundchecks.com with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments