An Untapped Market: Hiring Recent Grads
by Women In Trucking Staff, on Nov 29, 2023 11:12:41 AM
The positions are out there for recent graduates, but it’s simply knowing where to look.
“I just earned my CDL and I can’t find a carrier that will hire me without experience.” This is a common challenge for women wanting to get started in their careers as professional drivers.
The industry is facing a shortage of nearly 80,000 drivers and that number is expected to double over the next decade, according to American Trucking Associations Chief Economist, Bob Costello. With that looming number, why is it difficult to find a carrier to hire a driver who has just gotten her CDL?
“A lot of insurance companies won’t work with carriers to hire drivers without experience,” shares Ashley Kordish, CEO and third-generation leader of Ralph Moyle, a Michigan-based regional carrier. Because of its safety record, Ralph Moyle has been able to work with its insurance carrier and is able to hire recent graduates from driving schools. “It’s been great for us,” she continues. “We love being able to train these drivers from scratch. We have a four to five week training program that allows us the time to provide the resources and focus on safe driving that gives these new drivers a real sense of our high standards. We also provide Department of Labor approved CDL training and so far, have seen 60% of these students stay with us. I believe in transparency with our students and I think our retention rate shows that goes a long way.”
Tim Chrulski, Chief Operating Officer with Garner Trucking in Findlay, Ohio shares a similar experience: “I can see where insurance companies can be a barrier to being able to hire recent grads. Fortunately, we are privately insured so we have been able to hire those without experience. Hiring recent grads is the same as hiring anyone – have a clear hiring process that helps determine if someone will be a good fit for your company. We have a robust training program for recent grads that focuses on the importance of safety, reaction time and transparency. It’s important for any new driver to understand what to expect. That’s been successful for us.”
One misconception of recent grads is that they are not as safe on the road. Micah French, Truck Driving Manager for Apollo Career Center in Lima, Ohio says he believes that “students are well prepared to be safe drivers. New drivers are more likely to do little things, but the bigger, more catastrophic crashes are caused by drivers with more experience getting too comfortable and complacent.”
For carriers thinking about expanding their hiring criteria to include recent graduates, Kordish says it is important to think about resources they will need including qualified trainers and instructors: “That can sometimes be a barrier to starting a new driver training program, but it’s worth it because you have the opportunity to train these new drivers on your company way.” The positions are out there for recent graduates, but it’s simply knowing where to look. “New drivers need to take the time to research and find those carriers that are teaching centric,” Kordish concludes. “They are typically happy to teach all they can to bring on good drivers.”
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