National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

Why Finding and Keeping Qualified Employees Is Harder than Ever

  • The good news for job seekers – The unemployment rate is at historic lows.
  • The bad news for employers – The unemployment rate is at historic lows.

Recruiting and retaining good, qualified people is always a challenge for HR. But in a time where employees rather than employers hold all the cards, when there are more jobs available than there are people to fill them, it is a more difficult task than it would normally be. I’ve addressed this issue many times, both on this website and in my IdeaXchange blogs.

Although all types of businesses and industries are experiencing this problem, it is even more pronounced in our industry. For years now, fleets have faced the challenge of a severe shortage of drivers and diesel technicians. In addition, once good people are found, the alarmingly high turnover rate makes retaining good people an increasing challenge.

Late last year, I posted a blog that talked about the one potential bright spot: a Department of Labor report that stated that the employment of diesel service mechanics and mechanics is anticipated to grow by 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, more than the average for other occupations. But match that against the fact that by 2022, the industry will need approximately 67,000 new technicians as well as 75,000 new diesel engine specialists. And that is due to two issues: replacing existing employees as they retire and the growth in shipping (due to customer expectations for faster delivery).

Another challenge facing fleets … new technology. Today’s trucks may look basically the same on the outside (with modifications for newer sleeker looks) but inside is another story altogether. Today’s techs need to be as familiar with computers as they are with oil filters.

So what can fleet managers do?

Fleets must remember that in this low unemployment situation, it is vital that companies realize that they are in competition for good people, not just in the trucking industry, but throughout the economy. One of the major tasks for fleet owners and HR is to burnish the image of the industry, by emphasizing the use of technology and digitization to attract millennials and upcoming generations that thrive in that atmosphere.

My recent IdeaXchange blog, “Best practices for recruiting, retention,” attempts to offer some help in this area. Kari Beeson, director of recruiting at Transervice Leasing, a NationaLease Member, spoke at a recent NationaLease meeting where she pointed out three relatively new methods for finding talent.

Target marketing: this is a strategy used by marketers everywhere to specifically identify who they are looking for and direct efforts towards this audience and demographic. You may want to look at social media. Facebook has different groups that may be made up of the type of people you are looking for.

Programmatic advertising: Using the criteria established for targeted recruits, this method determines what ads will run and where; to go where the talent looks rather than throwing a wide net. You may want to look at job aggregators as a possible help here. These are websites that aggregate job postings from various sources. The Careers page on the NationaLease website is linked to many aggregators, including the largest one,, so members have the ability to take advantage of this advertising method, absolutely free.

Resume databases: These databases can be searched by skill set, meaning the candidates you find will have the right skill sets needed for the job. That certainly doesn’t mean that no training will be necessary, but the basic skills needed for today’s trucks will be there.

What is clear is that this situation will continue to be a major challenge for the industry, but Kari Beeson has a number of recommendations you should follow. Read the full blog to see what those actionable recommendations are.


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