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Recruiting Youth

Recruiting Youth

By Brandon Baxter - Staff Writer
Posted May 27th 2024 8:00AM

Trying to reach our youth seems an ongoing struggle these days. But as I’ve observed many times throughout my recruiting career, ‘you’ve got to know your audience.’ By saying as much, the audience in this case may just be the young adults looking to find their place in the world. Specifically, the world of truck driving.

As the ongoing driver shortage continues, many companies and carriers are attempting to turn their attention toward a somewhat untapped resource of trucking talent in the transportation industry. A trucking youth movement, if you will. Below are just a handful of suggestions for companies to consider when they're actively trying to inject the industry with new blood.

Trucking & Social Media!

Not to say that social media is the answer but catering to a group of people who have been raised on Instagram and Tik Tok might be worth a shot. It could also do wonders for a company’s or a carrier’s image by showing that they are part of an industry that promotes excellent opportunities for young folks looking for a new and exciting career path.

Speaking of Career Path

Emphasizing the transportation industry as a career path can help to address some of the bigger concerns among young jobseekers. For younger drivers, considering a career in trucking as opposed to it simply being a “job” provides them an option to choose how and where their career can grow. Anyone can get any job anywhere, but to present the available positions in trucking as opportunities to flourish within an industry that is in desperate need of exactly what they possess lends itself to a much-needed boost in morale.

Show You’re Tech Savvy

No more hiding behind paper logs and atlases. We as an industry, and as a society, should be extolling the technological advancements that have been made in the world of trucking. From electronic logs to dashboard cameras to advanced GPS systems, today’s younger drivers have more tools at their fingertips than the road warriors who set the tone for the industry before them. Carriers and companies should be promoting these tech tools in a way so that today’s young drivers might better understand that their chosen career path possesses more options to help them as opposed to hindering them.

Pay What You Say

Fair and enticing pay is certainly a language everyone understands. This is very true in trucking, where drivers have every right to leave one carrier for another if they feel they’re not being fairly compensated for the job they’re performing. But what shouldn’t be happening is penalizing a younger driver with a minimal income just because they have less experience. Pay them a competitive wage to get them in the door, and then keep them by promoting bonus and increased wage opportunities. Let’s call it investing in the future. 

Use Social Media to Your Recruiting Advantage

Hit them right where you know they’ll be, on the web! Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tik Tok, using a social media presence to actively recruit younger drivers should be an absolute no-brainer. And while you’re at it, you should probably hire someone who’s young and hip and understands the ins and outs of social media to manage such an endeavor.

Companies and carriers should not be afraid to step out from behind the dust of the past in order to reach out to the future, because there are myriad young women and men out there who are going to continue to keep freight moving into the next century.