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Company culture, transparent recruitment important to younger drivers, ATRI says

Younger adults aged 18 to 25, although motivated by pay, also take into account company culture when signing on with a fleet, an American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) report reveals.

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

Current trends predict the U.S. truck driver shortage will surpass 160,000 by 2030. The American Trucking Associations estimates that by the end of the decade, the industry will need to hire nearly 1 million drivers.

ATR illustration on top factors motivating younger drivers
(Illustration: ATRI)

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

The report describes initiatives, such as rewarding veteran drivers for informal mentorship, which can build the community-centered cultures that younger drivers seek.

It also investigates how to best integrate younger adults aged 18 to 25 into trucking careers. The research synthesizes a variety of data and analyses including younger driver surveys, carrier interviews, and the latest workforce statistics. 

ATRI illustration on younger driver perspectives on training
(Illustration: ATRI)

Structured feedback was found to be a key factor in successfully training Millennial and Gen Z drivers, who desire coaching – a continual process of short, frequent, and more personal meetings – in addition to more traditional evaluations. 

Creating high school trucking and logistics clubs to promote industry awareness among teenagers who are still exploring their career interests, would also be helpful.

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

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