The idea of a 20-something driving a tractor-trailer down a busy highway may sound unlikely but with a serious driver shortage, Millennials may be exactly what the trucking industry needs. Is the transportation industry doing enough to capture the attention the attention of the Millennial generation?
The answer is that yes and no.
Understanding the Value of Millennials
Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, have just surpassed Baby Boomers as the most populous demographic. There are now more Millennials than Boomers or the often forgotten Generation X. As a generation, they’re the most ethnically diverse with more than 40 percent identifying as part of a minority or ethnic group. Many are also bilingual.
What does this mean for the trucking industry? Recent studies have shown that companies with a higher diversity of ethnicities and genders are more likely to make more money. Their financial returns are 35 percent above the national average. That’s a lot of money for having a more diverse company. Millennials can add to that diversity on many levels.
Why Recruiting Millennials May Be Difficult
Due to their age and numbers, Millennials should be an obvious solution to the driver shortage crisis. However, some companies find it difficult to recruit and retain this younger generation. Instead of blaming this failure on lazy young people who want instant gratification, it’s important to understand what Millennials value in a company, brand, and employer.
- Communication must be easy, frequent, and transparent. Social media is a preferred method but Millennials want to be able to ask questions and get information, regardless of the method.
- Millennials were raised on the idea of collaboration and teamwork. They may be young, but they want to be able to contribute their ideas and thoughts to help move the company forward and achieve company goals.
- Professional growth is an important factor for career-minded Millennials. They don’t show loyalty to a company that isn’t interested in helping them grow and advance as an employee.
- The trucking industry is often seen as antiquated and lacking in technological advancement. In some cases, this is true. Millennials were raised in a digital world and are often more comfortable with tech than seasoned veterans. They’ll either want it to be available or help bring it to your company.
- Millennials need to earn a living, of course, but they want a career that fits their lifestyle. Days on the road without a break and hours of inactivity with poorly managed hauls or deliveries will drive them away.
- The use of mobile technology, like the Gorilla Safety app, and mobile responsive websites are key to attracting a Millennial to your company. This is not a generation that’s going to be satisfied with endless paper reports and tracking their information in a paper logbook.
It’s not impossible to attract and retain good Millennial employees. Some of the problems are with their own misconceptions about the trucking industry. Companies willing to change with the times, become more technologically savvy, and aren’t afraid of change will probably find it easier to attract these younger, fresher drivers. They’ll also find that Millennials will help them move their business in new, exciting, and profitable directions.