Fleet Ops: Human Resources
HOT TOPIC: Trucking Alliance Tells Carriers to Take Responsibility for Driver Shortage
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The Broken Image of Trucking

Branding, Talented HR People, and Why Owners Need to Step Up

There’s a strong need for a better and “sexier” image for the industry, notes the PwC report, pointing to Apple and Google as the two most valuable brands last year — and also the two employers that most young professionals wanted to work for.

That’s not to say that transportation companies should become like Apple and Google, but rather that they should put more effort into branding themselves. Branding isn’t only good for tech firms; accounting firms, oil and gas, mining companies — all put considerable money and effort into their brand image, into HR, as well as programs that help not only groom new, young hires, but also the more seasoned employees who bring all that valuable experience.

For Evans, that’s the first step. “Upgrade and put the focus on HR professionals in the industry,” he advises. Currently, HR people in the transportation industry spend most of their time hiring people because of the significant amount of turnover in the business. “There is a lot of time devoted to filling up the seats, and searching for qualified people, but a lot more can be done and will have to be done to improve the image and the brand of their company. Having more and better trained HR professionals is a step in the right direction.”

When it comes to branding and becoming an employer of choice, the first place to start is internally. Having a stronger HR department will help clean up your house — it’s what they do. They’ll help create employee-centric programs, aid in recruiting efforts, and fine-tune the uniqueness of your particular company: your brand. Your brand, as one of PwC’s experts notes, should reflect the characteristics of top management, who are often the role models for the general workforce and company culture.

Corporate values tied with job security was the third most cited criteria (after ‘more money’ and ‘career advancement’) for reasons of accepting a job with a company, according to Supply Chain & Logistics Executive 2010/2011 Employment Market Survey Report. Fifteen percent rated it as the most important factor in their decision to accept a position with a company. This, too, is a part of your brand.

To get a sense of your brand, look internally, advises PwC. What do employees value about the company? Why do people want to leave to work somewhere else? Conversely, you can look outside your company, too. What types of people come knocking at your door?

Once company culture has been established internally, you can start to make it public. HR can write articles, give interviews to trade magazines like this one — truth be told, this magazine gets a whack of press releases from carriers that want to let us know they have raised wages or implemented such and such program for drivers. And they aren’t large carriers, either — many are small- to medium-size carriers.

 

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Filed Under: Labour Shortage PwC Report on Transportation Branding.
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Carol

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I am a girl 24 and look good and have driven my fathers trucks since 2009 slowdown when he laid 5 drivers out of 15. We just sold the last 5 trucks to mexico as the trucking rates are too low to pay truck drivers a fair rate when fuel take 48% of the gross and insurance go from $13,000 to almost $18,000 per truck. I got a job as a lending officer for more money than my father and I made running a small trucking company. One large CTA member told our insurance company that we were unfair competion and asked the insurance company to not renew us this spring. Despite our good claims record we were forced to sell out.

Gerry

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The shippers and receivers need to improve driver lounges and put in electric plugs for in cab air conditioners. Drivers need to paid much better and for all hours worked . Only then will you attract new truck drivers in the numbers needed. Nobody is going to spend the money to do this if cheap offshore drivers continue to come into Canada and the U.S.

Pauline

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I can tell you that the pay and hours mean that nobody should go into trucking today. Many truck drivers who come from other places in the world just drive for 2 years.Then get other jobs that pay better.

phantom 309

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Just explain to a young guy that ha can work all day then be fined because his paperwork is not in order, and it will COST him money after working all day. Now thats an appealing career choice. Not to mention every time there is any sort of incident,. he will be in the wrong.

Truckdriver

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the problem is by all the comments is you just dont want to work ,,most of you wouldnt be happy unless some one if giving you something for nothing.

DirkL

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Not sure I'd go as far as calling it "broken"

Anonymous

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You work 100 to 120 hours each week. Pay is $700 to $800. You're all filthy dirty. Away from your family. Eating trash and drinking coffee to stay awake. Every ticket come out of your pocket. You can die horribly at any time. All for less than minimum wage! Gee, I can't imagine why there's a shortage! Can you?

Anonymous

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When I first entered the industry five years ago on mileage pay, I tracked my on-duty hours relative to my wage, and realized I was effectively making minimum wage ($10.25/hr). I had a co-worker who'd been with the company for over a year who was making less: $9/hr! I eventually moved onto an hourly wage position doing local P&D work. I was home every night and my wage effectively doubled. I will never do OTR/Mileage-based pay work ever again.

Anonymous

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A truck driver may do better financially than a machinist but he has to work 70 hrs a wk vs a machinist's 40 hrs per wk to do so. Oh, did I mention a truck driver is expected to work holidays,weekends etc for regular pay while management are home with their families and/or friends golfing and BBQing. If the machinist works holidays or weekends he is compensated accordingly.So the poor truck driver gets his big mileage but has to sit for a couple of hours at a border crossing cause most of the customs agents are looking after four wheelers. Depending on the border crossing the driver may get a dose of radiation from an inspection by US Customs as they start their x-ray machine focused on the driver. Customs don't care nor does management cause they won't speak up when you voice your concern. You get through that BS then run all weekend to get to your destination. Monday morning employees come in to work with a mug of coffee and a start time of 8AM. They sit down and discuss their weekend and drink their coffee. Meanwhile you've slept at their dock and they don't give a rat's ass about you. At 9AM they start on your load. 10AM you phone in M/T and you're told to call back in an hour cause they're waiting for a call.(Guess they're waiting for the fax machine to go off) You might be lucky after the hour or you may have to call back every hour for a while.(they only dispatched you on that load last Wednesday or Thursday but nobody bothered to look for a reload. Guess they were busy planning their weekend. If you're lucky you get reloaded the same day. If not you layover.Oops. Forgot to mention your waiting time was free. Your layover is paid at $50.00 but it must be after 24hrs. Another snag. It's only 22hrs. Another freebee! You get your reload on and head to consignee. You've got 24 skids on and you arrive at consignee at 4PM. You had asked dispatch to call customer with ETA cause you were held up at Customs due to a Broker error. Unfortunately receiver goes home at 4PM even though load could be stripped in 30 mins. Nobody gives a shit and they go home to their lives while the driver sits again. You left Thursday and you should be home Monday night but because of some incompetant person or persons you get home Tuesday night. Wednesday afternoon dispatch is calling to try to get you to go out Thursday AM. Gosh, I have more stuff to do around home and I,ve not got my hours back. Well we need you to go cause we're busy. Do the best you can! Sound familiar to anyone? I challenge management to walk into their office and tell their people that from now on they'll be working the first 2-3 hours per day for free or maybe 1 day per week for free. Then walk out to their shop and tell their mechanics the same thing. I wonder how many people would stick around? I have 3 grown-up kids that went to college/university cause they wanted nothing to do with this industry. They all earn tons more money than I ever thought of earning but wages appear secondary. They want a life. As well they are treated with the utmost respect. Their employers would never dream of treating them the way a truck driver is treated. Can't speak for Trucking Co employees outside of Ontario but I've been mistreated several times in my 42 yr career especially by certain companies. Look at the ads for Drivers and draw your own conclusions. Same old, Same old

Uncletommy

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As long as we feel that an average work week consists of 70 on duty hours and time off is squeezed in where it is the most convenient for the companies, what do you expect? Why would anyone want to do this for a living when there are better paying alternatives. The biggest gains in new employees are from immigrant labour pools with good benefits. What does that tell you?

JT

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The world of work lacks a sexy image. A truck driver, however, does better financially than a machinist, another trade in need of help, who might have to go to a community college for two years before starting work. The free market works, that is, if it is allowed to remain free.

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