BRAMPTON, Ont. – While a longhaul driving career may not be on their radar, a large number of millennials could still be open to other jobs in the trucking industry, a Trucking HR Canada survey has revealed.
The survey of 2,000 millennials, who are defined as those born between 1980 and 2000, was conducted in December 2018.
“These individuals haven’t necessarily thought about trucking as a career, but they actually have the same right aptitude, right interest. They are looking for a blue-collar type of career, and trucking could fit within that,” said Craig Faucette, director of policy and programs at Trucking HR Canada.
Faucette was addressing the 21st annual Link Conference in Brampton, Ont., on Wednesday. It was organized by TransCore Link Logistics.
The driver shortage is one of the most pressing issues the industry is facing, with the latest estimate forecasting a shortage of up to 50,000 drivers by 2024.
The study provides an insight into what motivates millennials and how employers can adapt to better attract younger workers into the industry, Faucette said.
“Millennials look at things a lot differently than we all do. For example, image and brand are important to them… They want to know ‘how this can be instagrammable,’” he said.
The study found three types of millennials – non-trucker prospects, trucker prospects, and warm trucker leads.
Non-trucker prospects make up 48% of the millennial population.
“They will not realistically be persuaded to consider a trucking career,” the survey concludes, but they could still become an important source of labor for the industry’s non-driving positions.
Trucker prospects make up 42%, a group which has no interest in longhaul trucking.
“But their career interests align with trucker-type work, indicating some potential of being persuaded to consider longhaul trucking with the right communications campaign,” the study said.
Twelve percent of millennials, or 1 million people, belong to the third category — warm trucker leads. The study noted that they are interested in a career in longhaul trucking, and that their interest must be further cultivated and maximized.
Faucette said there are many things the industry could do to attract more young people.
It should modernize recruitment practices, review compensation structures and strategies, consider mutually beneficial and flexible work opportunities, and refresh the corporate culture. He also said there is also a perception among millennials that the industry is not a safe place to work.
Addressing the same conference, Manan Gupta of Newcom South Asian Media noted that the industry has yet to fully embrace diversity despite hiring a large number of immigrants.
He cited Newcom research, which showed that Indians accounted for 43.7% of immigrant truck drivers in 2016, up sharply from 8.7% in 1991.
“They really need to create a work culture in celebrating diversity,” Manan said of the industry.