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2014 HireRight Transportation Report Reveals How Companies Recruit, Retain, and Screen Drivers Amid Driver Shortage

The Transportation Spotlight, a subset of the 2014 HireRight Employment Screening Benchmark Report, reveals strong hiring demand as 79 percent of survey respondents report they expect to increase their workforce this year. At the same time, the report shows the increasing demand exacerbates the already severe driver shortage in the transportation industry.

According to Benchmark Report respondents, drivers leave the industry to make more money and spend more time at home, while companies respond by increasing pay, upgrading equipment, and offering incentives and innovative programs to keep their drivers on the road.

“HireRight develops the Transportation Spotlight to provide an industry benchmark so companies can review their efforts in the critical areas of recruitment, screening, hiring, and employee retention, relative to other companies in transportation,” stated Steven Spencer, vice president of transportation, HireRight. “This data is increasingly crucial as the industry continues to find ways to hire and retain quality talent.”

Hiring Outlook for the Long Haul

The American Trucking Association estimates there is a current shortage of about 25,000 drivers and that 96,000 drivers need to be hired each year to keep pace with turnover1.

In line with this issue, one area of the survey focuses on why drivers are leaving the industry and how to stop this outflow. Fifty-one percent of respondents said drivers were leaving to make more money, 41 percent said it was to spend more time at home, and 27 percent were seeking better benefits. In addition, the increased pressures on drivers from hours-of-service regulations, electronic logging, and driver Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) scores may also make other sources of income more attractive.

Proactive steps to improve retention show employers are offering bonuses based on productivity and performance, flexible work arrangements, and even opportunities for drivers to become owner/operators.

The Transportation Spotlight also addresses recruiting and shows that the top two recruitment methods are referrals (74 percent) and online job boards (64 percent), followed by print media (57 percent) and job fairs (37 percent). Transportation employers are slow to adopt the use of social media for recruitment, with only 25 percent using it, while the use of smartphones among drivers has increased, representing an important area of potential recruitment to be mined.

When asked about additional driver recruitment methods used, more than one-third (36 percent) stated they offered a signing bonus. This approach is becoming more widespread than in recent years and in some cases is even being offered for recent truck driving school graduates. In addition, 16 percent of respondents reported they customized jobs based on an applicant’s preferred location or lifestyle. Many employers are also recruiting workers through untapped labor pools such as dislocated workers, transitioning military personnel, and veterans.

Screening Uncovers Employment Issues

The single greatest benefit of screening cited by respondents is better quality of hires (70 percent), improved regulatory compliance (57 percent), and more consistent safety and security (55 percent). Eighty-three percent of transportation professionals responding stated screening had uncovered issues that otherwise might not have been found. More than half indicated that between 1-10 percent of their applicants lied or misrepresented themselves on their resumes or applications, while a quarter said between 11-20 percent had done so, and 16 percent reported more than 20 percent had misrepresentations.

The Transportation Spotlight also provides insights on a number of additional topics:

  • Drug and alcohol testing and prescription use policy
  • Employment verification (U.S. form I-9 and E-Verify)
  • Top screening challenges
  • Planned screening improvements

The Transportation Spotlight is available here and the complete 2014 HireRight Employment Screening Benchmark Report is available here.

Transportation Spotlight

The Transportation Spotlight is a subset of data collected from the 2014 HireRight Employment Screening Benchmark Report, an extensive survey of talent management, human resources, and security professionals on topics related to employment screening. The Spotlight asked specific questions of the more than 20 percent of survey respondents that identified themselves as part of the transportation industry.

About HireRight

HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs. Many companies, including more than one-third of the Fortune 500, trust HireRight because the company delivers customer-focused solutions that provide greater efficiency and faster results. HireRight also provides pre-integrated background screening services through applicant tracking systems from top providers such as Oracle, Taleo, Kenexa, SAP, PeopleAdmin, HealthcareSource, HRsmart, and SilkRoad. For more information, visit the company’s web site at

HireRight is a registered trademark of HireRight, Inc.


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