Not every trucking job is created equally. Anyone who has spent time in the industry can tell you that. In addition to differing responsibilities, the pay also differs. While there may be a shortage in the trucking industry at this point, many truckers still have trouble finding jobs. Simply put, companies fear hiring the wrong person for the position. If you are a driver looking for work, here are some industry concerns that you should consider, then plan to fight against in your interviews:
1: The Pareto Principle
Now, you probably have not heard of the Pareto Principle. More commonly, this is know as the 80/20 rule. In business management, the 80/20 rule says that — in many cases, at least — 20% of a given workforce is responsible for 80% of the work done. For business managers, much of their quality control involves them making sure they have everyone doing the right job. By hiring the right people and putting them in the right job, managers can make the most of their employees.
But think about it from a hiring perspective. If you know that 1 in every 5 employees is going to outwork the others by at least four times, then you’re not going to hire everyone that asks to be hired. As a hiring manager, they only want to hire the 20% that is doing 80% of the work. To get around this, it is important that drivers convey their work ethic to possible employers. Companies want to hire people who work hard!
Managers won’t necessarily think about things in terms of “Pareto Principles” or 80/20 rules. But the desire to hire only the best of the best can often make hiring for an open trucking job more difficult.
2: Job Hopping
This is an issue in several fields — not just the trucking industry. But, I can tell you from having talked with companies myself, that many hiring managers worry about their truckers hopping jobs. Competing companies make it easy, often offering massive signing bonuses over 3-6 months to incentivize drivers to sign with them. While this can work quite well, it also can accidentally steal drivers from other companies. And if that’s the case, the company just made a $5,000 investment in an asset that decided to leave for another bonus.
Sometimes, on resumes, it can be a bit scary when a driver has changed his trucking job every 3 to six months. This is the sign of a serial job-hopper. No one wants to hire someone who hops jobs all the time, because it means that they are not spending their money wisely. There are valid reasons for leaving a job early. I’ve seen resumes where they mentioned they got laid off, or a job offer that was legitimately a better position (driver to crew leader, for example), or a trucking job where the wage was significantly larger.
When someone can look at your resume and believe that you are a job hopper, addressing that in the interview is a wise strategy. If you were laid off, it’s okay to mention that; if you got a better job offer, it’s okay to mention that. Managers will understand someone leaving for a legitimate reason. But if that reason is to chase signing bonuses, it may be much more difficult to convince a company to hire you.
3: The Ability to Support Increased Supply
I’ve talked before about how drivers haul trucks tens of thousands of miles a year, and how that naturally leads to trucks breaking down. This means that companies are constantly having to manage the number of trucks they have. If they have a fleet of 25 trucks and three of them are in the shop, then they can’t really use 25 drivers. In addition to this, companies often aim to use a pipeline as a regular means of transport instead of hauling it by truck. Therefore, companies can actually struggle to support a large force of drivers.
The shortage of drivers makes this problem worse. Companies know that there are not enough drivers to meet every open trucking job. So, in many cases, they reset their expectations of what they can realistically expect to hire.
4: Sketchy Background Checks
For many companies, if a previous employer fired you or if you had a wreck/DUI, it can be a big deal. Other companies are willing to work around it, especially if it was a long time go. One thing companies will not work around, however, is if you lie to them. We all make mistakes, and companies like it when people they might hire own up to them. It’s certainly better to be upfront about it than for the company to do their own research. If they find out from your background check that you left that bit out, it’s game over.
Conclusion: Claim Your Next Trucking Job
Despite the differences in responsibility, the trucking industry is not that much different from any other industry. Right now, the industry is looking for drivers to fill. If you need help finding a trucking job, feel free to apply on the UES website. For more tips on info on trucking jobs and trucking-related material, follow our blog!
As always, happy driving!