In the ever-evolving world of logistics and transportation, the trucking industry remains the backbone of the global supply chain. However, a significant challenge that continues to plague trucking company CEOs is the recruitment and retention of qualified truck drivers. The shortage of skilled drivers not only impacts operational efficiency but also poses a threat to the growth and sustainability of trucking businesses. Fortunately, artificial intelligence (A.I.) has emerged as a game-changer in the quest to find, qualify, and hire truck drivers. In this article, we will explore how A.I. can be harnessed to address these challenges and revolutionize the hiring process.
Understanding the Driver Shortage Crisis
Before delving into the transformative potential of A.I., it is essential to grasp the severity of the driver shortage crisis. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) estimated a shortage of over 60,000 truck drivers in 2019, and this gap has only widened since with an estimated 162,000 drivers will be needed by 2030. A combination of factors, including an aging workforce, strict regulatory requirements, and the lure of other industries, has led to this acute shortage.
Trucking company CEOs are left grappling with the daunting task of finding and retaining the right, all while striving to meet growing demand for freight transportation services. This is where A.I. steps in as a powerful ally.
Leveraging A.I. for Finding Drivers
1. AI-Powered Driver Recruiting
Companies like ours, No Risk Recruits have developed A.I. technology that works within Google to capture targeted leads of people who search for “CDL jobs” or “Truck Driving Jobs” and funnels them into a custom pre-application quiz specific to your company. This removes the need for job boards like Indeed and other mass-recruiting boards where you need to filter through hundreds of people to find the right driver.
2. Predictive Analytics:
A.I. can use predictive analytics to assess which candidates are most likely to stay with the company long-term. It can build a “Driver Profile Score” and analyze historical data, such as job tenure and performance indicators, to identify patterns that correlate with driver retention. It can instantly verify a candidate’s compliance with regulations, ensuring that they have the required licenses, endorsements, and a clean driving record. This reduces the risk of hiring drivers with hidden compliance issues. Things like their Motor Vehicle Record (MVR), Pre-screening program records (PSP) and other real-time data. This helps in shortlisting candidates who are more likely to commit to the company.
3. Simulated Driving Tests
Virtual reality (VR) and A.I. can be combined to create simulated driving tests. Serious Labs and their VR simulator will offer truck driver training by 2024. This allows companies to assess a candidate’s driving skills in a controlled and risk-free environment. It’s a valuable tool for identifying candidates who possess the necessary skills to handle various scenarios on the road.
4. Chatbots For OTR Communication
Anything can come up for drivers while they are on-the-road. From questions about a load, route or even a parking spot. Chatbots powered by A.I. can engage with drivers, answer questions, and provide solutions that can save them time, money and provide them with a positive driving experience.
Enhancing Driver Retention
A.I. isn’t just about finding and hiring drivers; it can also help in retaining them, which is equally crucial in addressing the driver shortage crisis. Here are three more ways you can use AI to retain drivers.
Driver Feedback Analysis: A.I. can analyze feedback from drivers to identify common pain points and areas for improvement within the company. By addressing these concerns, companies can create a more driver-friendly environment that encourages loyalty.
Route Optimization: A.I. algorithms can optimize routes to minimize driver fatigue, reduce travel time, and maximize efficiency. This not only improves driver satisfaction but also contributes to cost savings.
Predictive Maintenance: A.I. can predict when a vehicle requires maintenance, reducing the likelihood of breakdowns and ensuring that drivers are not stranded on the road due to unexpected issues.
In conclusion, the trucking industry is at a pivotal juncture, facing a severe shortage of qualified truck drivers. To overcome this challenge, trucking company CEOs must embrace the power of artificial intelligence. By harnessing A.I. for candidate sourcing, qualification, hiring and retention, companies can streamline their recruitment processes, identify high-potential candidates, and create a more driver-friendly environment that fosters retention. In an industry where time is money, A.I. isn’t just a technological marvel; it’s a lifeline for trucking companies seeking to thrive in the 21st century.