Hello Folks, Hope all are well,
I recently spent a few days in one of my favorite towns attending the Truckload Carriers Association’s annual Recruitment and Retention seminars in Nashville Tennessee. I have had the opportunity as past Co Chairman of the Re and Re division of TCA along with my then Co Chair counterpart and good buddy Kevin Burch President of Jet Express out of Dayton OH to have attended many of these events over the years, they are always in Nashville at the first of the year and they are always great fun and the host city cant be beat. Although the event always seems to find a way to reinvent itself it is a little disheartening that we still spend so much time on this retention issue. Having been one of the people who were responsible for content for this division in the past I can tell you that it can be pretty difficult to bring new ideas to this issue. I know haven’t help the situation by breaking it down to its simplest element as you might have read in past articles when I state the obvious, to me anyway, “People stay in situations they are comfortable in and leave situations that they are not”
My daughter Vanessa works for one of the best airlines in Canada she is a flight attendant for WestJet based out of Calgary, she is very good at what she does and works very hard to be the best she can be at her job. If you cant tell by now I am very proud of her and what she has accomplished. I tell you this because the lifestyle Vanessa leads in this job, in my opinion parallels in many ways that of a long haul truck driver, long days combined with an irregular work schedule that takes her away from home for extended periods. She is not always sure if she will get home on time, her work schedule is controlled by the feds, she is only allowed to be in the air for a certain amount of time in a given period, weather delays and mechanical issues are always a concern. Dealing with the public can be an issues etc. She tells me that her company, she is proud a stockholder of course, suffers from many of the same issues that trucking does, they have very high turnover during new flight attendants first year and then it settles down as time goes by. I am not sure why I chose to share this but to suggest that we are not alone in this problem of lifestyle associated retention. My daughter was raised in a trucking family so it might not seem as foreign to her to live this type of lifestyle compared to someone who was brought up in a 9 – 5 type of environment. I guess my other motivation for sharing this is that misery loves company, WestJet is one of the best in their field and they fight the same issues we do.
Recruitment is a totally different animal of course and with the advent of social media, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn all these new technologies have all changed the game. If your into recruiting and are not involved with these recruiting strategies then here’s a little information for you, the bus has left the station and you better find a way to get on board, Fast! Many of you have also heard about the new products related to behavioral modeling, my favorite of course can be found at www.jobehaviors.com I don’t understand why fleets aren’t flocking to theses new tools, I am convinced that they will be the new norm within the next couple years.
To offer an insight as to how quickly things are changing, one of the many great speakers at the Re and Re event I attended was a professor of social media from Rutgers University Mr. Mark Schaefer. During Mr. Schaefer’s session he revealed that email activity over the net dropped last year by 25%, so what does this mean, it sure doesn’t mean that less people are using the net, it means that they are using other platforms of social media other than email on the net, this is a dramatic change. Again if you’re a recruiter you need to be on top of this because the future is here and if your not involved you will be left behind. You can see what were doing at Transrep on the social media front by visiting www.transrep.ca
Ms. Debbie Sparks who is a VP of Development for TCA hosted one of the most enjoyable sessions I attended, where she and a panel of carriers explained how they have leveraged one or more of TCA’s many image efforts developed for the benefit of the industry and their own companies. There are many of them and they can all be found at www.truckload.org they include one of my favorites, the “Highway Angels” program along with National Fleet Safety Awards, The Best Fleets to Drive For, Driver of the Year, Owner Operator of the Year to name a few. TCA works very hard to try and raise the image of the industry both externally to the public and internally within trucking companies walls and Debbie along with all the members of the Communication and Image Committee all TCA staff should be congratulated for the outstanding programs that they currently manage and promote for the trucking industry in North America.
While you’re on the site check out the many other image efforts that TCA has developed or put significant effort behind, including Ms. Lindsay Lawler who is a Nashville resident and has been recently adopted by not only TCA but all truckers for her amazing voice and outstanding music that celebrates all professional drivers in North America, www.lindsaylawler.com . Wrap all this up in a town that host the most amazing musical venues in the world and you have yourself a recipe for a good few days that I highly recommend.
Take Good Care & Safe Trucking
Mr. Ray Haight has enjoyed a successful career in transportation starting as a company driver and Owner Operator logging over one million accident free miles prior to starting his own company. After stepping down from a successful career managing one of Canada’s 50 largest trucking companies, Ray focused on industry involvement including terms as Chairman of each of the following, the Truckload Carriers Association, Professional Truck Drivers Institute, North American Training and Management Institute and the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities voluntary apprenticeship of Tractor Trailer Commercial Driver, along with many other business interests, he enjoys a successful consulting business, also sitting on various Boards of both industry associations a private motor carriers. He is also Co-Founder of StakUp O/A TCAinGauge an online bench marking service designed to assist trucking companies throughout North America focus on efficiency and profitability within their operations. All posts by Ray Haight