By: Angela Splinter
The trucking industry is a people business. And so is Trucking HR Canada. Our mission is to ensure the trucking and logistics industry attracts, recruits, and retains the right people.
Our role, as a national not-for profit organization, is to ensure the industry has the skilled workforce needed for today, and into the future.
We are a partnership based organization. We work closely with industry associations, with various levels of government, and with other industry stakeholders with an interest in our mandate.
Some readers may recall the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council (CTHRC) – Trucking HR Canada replaced this organization in 2013, resulting in a more focused approach for industry, and streamlined programming.
Today, the programs and services offered by Trucking HR Canada are more important, and relevant than ever.
The immigrant population is strong in trucking – on par with the national average actually (with the Polish population well represented I might add). But, there are other numbers with respect the trucking workforce that are worth looking at:
- The average of a truck driver is nearing 49 years of age
- Millennials, or those aged 18-35, are now the largest cohort in the Canadian workforce, yet still largely under-represented in trucking.
- Women represent 48% of Canada’s labour force, yet only 3% of truck drivers are women, and various office positions are just under 15%
This of course poses issues for the industry at large, but also poses specific HR issues that individual fleets should be aware of. Here are some of them:
Challenges of the aging workforce:
The aging workforce not only presents a shortage issue, but for those mature drivers that may want to work a little longer, it poses additional challenges in terms of the various disabilities and physical limitations that develop naturally with age. In trucking, we are seeing more people with mobility restrictions, diabetes, sleep apnea, and more.
As our population ages, the number of people with disabilities will only grow.
Today, fleets that adapt to this reality with things like part-time work arrangements and ergonomic accommodations will see higher retention rates. Making accommodations need not be costly. Studies show that the most common accommodations are modified or reduced work hours and job redesign.
Attraction, recruitment and retention of young people:
This is without a doubt a large challenge for the industry. We simply are not getting enough young people in. It starts first with recognizing that you need a youth recruitment and retention strategy, followed up with doing a little homework. Young people today are coming into the workforce with different expectations, and work styles. And, in trucking we have four generations working side-by-side. The potential for workplace conflict is real, and is happening, and looking at ways to better manage this will help you.
Assessing the demographics in your workforce is a good first step. Following that, engaging your employees in identifying any workplace challenges gives you information you need to make required changes. It starts with commitment, and then you need to follow through.
Image of the Industry:
This is a much broader issue that many think goes beyond their areas of responsibility. You are likely focused on running your own business.
Then reality, however, is that we all have a role to play in ensuring that we portray a positive image of the industry, and showcase the economic benefits the industry offers.
Maintaining a high level of professionalism within your own fleet matters. And, placing a high value on HR does too.
Another program you may want to consider is our Top Fleet Employers Program.
The Top Fleet Employers Program is in its fourth year. Our goal in developing the program was to recognize fleets that have good HR practices in place, and demonstrate a consistent commitment in this regard – and consistency in this regard is reflected through the development and implementation of effective HR policies and programs.
We also saw a need to project a positive image of this industry as we strive to attract a new generation of employees. Based on what we see in applications year after year, – there are many positives to highlight. The more fleets that participate, the better.
Above all – never lose sight of the fact that the industry is a people business. And, feel free to look to Trucking HR Canada to help you in doing that.
To learn more about how you can ensure you are focused on your people please feel free to contact Trucking HR Canada for more information.
Visit our website at: truckingHR.com to learn more about our project and programs—including our new professional development webinar series, and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed!
Angela Splinter leads Trucking HR Canada, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to addressing the human resources challenges and opportunities in the trucking and logistics sector. Angela is a frequent speaker at industry events sharing innovative HR best practices, trends and insights. As a respected leader in HR, Trucking HR Canada works with various associations, government departments and industry professionals to ensure employers have the skilled workforce needed for today and in the future. Feel free to learn more at truckinghr.com, follow us @TruckingHR for the latest tips, practical resources and more. You can follow Angela directly at @AngSplinter. And we can be reached by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org