Boost Driver Recruitment with Gamification and Incentives

driver recruitment

We wish we could paint a rosy picture of driver recruitment right now, but we can’t. Things are grim out there.

As we’ve mentioned before, the American Trucking Associations estimates that there’s a shortage of at least 80,000 truck drivers in the U.S. That number will likely increase to 105,000 drivers in 2023. So this is a tough time to be recruiting.

And even if you do land a new driver, prepare to search for their replacement within the year. As of 2021, driver turnover remained high at 89 percent for large truckload fleets and 73 percent for small truckload fleets.

Unless you have a young and incredibly motivated driving team, you’ll likely be in driver recruitment mode for years to come. How can you increase your chances of winning the war for drivers and landing the best performers?

As we mentioned in our previous article on driver retention, a 2022 Inflection Poynt driver retention survey revealed that 68 percent of drivers wouldn’t take a new job unless the pay increase was 20 percent or more. So, unless you’re willing to out-pay your competitors by a significant margin, you won’t likely land many new drivers simply by offering more money.

Think of what else your company can do to send the message to drivers that your team is the one they want to be on—and stay on. Think about how you can use gamification and incentives for more effective driver recruitment.

How to Attract Drivers with More Than Just Salary

If drivers aren’t making career decisions based strictly on take-home pay—and they’re not—then job satisfaction must have something to do with the choices they make. If you convince your next potential driver that your work environment is positive and fun, and that your leadership will recognize and appreciate their outstanding performance, then you’ll probably have a good shot at getting them on board (assuming your pay and benefits are competitive).

Are you using gamification and incentives to motivate your current drivers? If so, you’ll have a major head start in driver recruitment. Simply make the details of your driver motivation programs known during the recruitment process. You’ll present your company as a fun, positive, motivating place to work. A place filled with friendly competition. A place where everyone is hungry to do their best and help others reach new heights of performance, too.

During the driver recruitment process, consider telling your prospective drivers about:

  • The name and theme of your driver retention and motivation program.
  • How much you offer in cash prizes.
  • Which non-cash prizes—such as gift cards, special privileges, and trophies or plaques—your drivers can win.
  • How gamification makes day-to-day work fun for your team.
  • What percentage of your drivers participate in your incentive program.
  • Your drivers’ top achievements in terms of safety, fuel efficiency, on-time deliveries, and so on.

This is even more important if you’re trying to land more drivers from the millennial generation. A recent Gallup survey revealed that 59 percent of millennials consider opportunities to learn and grow extremely important when they’re searching for a new job. Mentioning your gamification and incentive programs can be a great way to convince these young drivers that their career with your company will be one of constant improvement.

Imagine being a driver who’s considering leaving another job for your company. They are speaking with a couple other carriers, both of which offer salary and benefits comparable to yours. But whereas the other company is presenting the candidate with a “same old, same old” work environment, you’re giving the candidate the opportunity to reach new levels of performance and get rewarded for it.

Which fleet company do you think they will pick?

We’ll Help You Accelerate Your Driver Recruitment Program

Your gamification and incentive program can do more than keep your best drivers on board—it can also help you in driver recruitment. But when it comes to setting up and optimizing your program, there’s a science and an art that starts with having the right fleet solutions in place. Need some help developing your strategy? Schedule a call.