Millennials and Trucking: It’s Going to Happen

We’ve talked a lot about the truck driver shortage the United States is currently suffering.  We’ve talked about women filling the gap, since less than 10% of drivers are women.  However, there is a huge demographic that everyone likes to complain about, but some in the trucking industry are beginning to see as the ultimate solution to the shortage.  Millennials.

The Millennial generation are the individuals who currently 18-35 years old (give or take a year or two).  Millennials are not children anymore.  They are adults and most of them are currently in the workforce or about to be.  Already Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers, who have started retiring in large numbers.  Take this into consideration.  Millennials are the children of the Baby Boomers, giving the Millennial generation the nickname the “Echo Boom.”  That is why the Millennial generation is so large.

Labor Force Millennials

Image source: Pew Research Center

The question is: why aren’t Millennials clamoring to enter the trucking industry?  After all the pay is great, there are many jobs to be had, and comes with flexibility and the opportunity to travel!  The answer: They aren’t being advertised to.  The first step is to stop complaining about what you think Millennials are and start working out how they are going to take over the country much sooner rather than later.

Make Some Easy First Changes

Some changes that can be made in advertising to Millennials is to advertise to how they think.  They want the “Entrepreneurial Culture.”  This means they want to know how they are in control of their work life.  This is compatible with trucking.  Being a truck driver is very much a job for the entrepreneur at heart, show them!

Advertise how your company facilitates “Life Success.”  Working and life are inseparable to Millennials.  They want jobs that will help them succeed in life, not just work.  You can show this with comprehensive benefit plans and encouraging employee engagement.  This also means having strong coaches and mentors within your company.

Millennials also want to know how their job is “Changing the World.”  Everyone knows trucking is an important part of our economy.  Our country is large west to east coast and the majority of our transportation economy is in trucking.  The demand for truckers has not decreased.  Entering the trucking industry is entering an industry that is part of the backbone of the American economy.  The “big picture” doesn’t get much bigger than that.

The Most Diverse Generation Ever

Millennials in 2020 will make up 40% of the total workforce.  That is just around the corner.  Furthermore, Millennials are the most diverse generation the United States has ever seen.  44% of Millennials identify with a “minority race or ethnic group” and “38% are bilingual.”  Promoting diversity will attract Millennials.  More than just promoting it, you need to promote diversity within your company.  You can say “diversity” all day, but if your company doesn’t have any diversity, they will be less likely to choose your company.  Don’t forget, the driver shortage is nationwide and across several companies, there is competition to get younger drivers!

I’m sure by the end of this article you have not been completely swayed.  However, it is going to happen whether you like it or not.  This generation outnumbers Baby Boomers and will have the largest representative generation in the workforce in just a few short years.  For trucking companies to survive, they must appeal to Millennials.  The changes are not difficult, you just need to implement them.  Change the mindset of how you attract drivers.  Don’t expect Millennials to get on board with “how things have always been done.”  Trucking does not have the luxury to stand still.

Original sources: Forbes, FleetOwner, WorkTruckOnline