Company culture, transparent recruitment important for young drivers, according to ATRI

Young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, while motivated by salary, also consider company culture when signing with a fleet, a report from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) reveals.

They are more likely to enter the trucking industry when fleets produce transparent recruiting and marketing materials that highlight both younger employees and expanded career paths.

Current trends predict that the shortage of truck drivers in the United States will exceed 160,000 by 2030. The American Trucking Associations estimates that by the end of the decade, the industry will need to hire nearly one million drivers .

(Illustration: ATRI)

Diesel technicians are also in high demand. In 2020, there were 275,400 diesel technicians employed with an expected opening of 28,100 additional positions per year.

The report describes initiatives, such as rewarding veteran drivers for informal mentoring, that can create the community-centered cultures young drivers seek.

It is also studying the best way to integrate young adults aged 18 to 25 into trucking careers. The research synthesizes a variety of data and analysis, including surveys of young drivers, interviews with carriers and the latest workforce statistics.

ATRI illustration of young driver perspectives on training
(Illustration: ATRI)

Structured feedback has proven to be a key factor in successfully training Millennials and Gen Z drivers, who want coaching — an ongoing process of short, frequent, and more personal meetings — in addition to more traditional assessments.

The creation of trucking and logistics clubs in high schools to educate teenagers about the industry who are still exploring their career interests would also be helpful.

The report says that to retain younger employees, fleets must support ongoing employee development, cultivate a company culture that matters, prioritize consistency and flexibility in schedules, and improve compensation.