A mindset shift in the logistics sector

Five years ago, I launched The HGV Recruitment Centre because I saw a huge opportunity to really make a difference in the logistics sector. At that time, and really ever since, the logistics sector has been faced with challenge after challenge.

There are simply not enough drivers in the market to meet demand.

We have an ageing driver population and, this September, the next round of CPC renewals is looming. These two combined could mean more drivers choose to retire this year.

Then of course, there is the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit and a lack of clarity around what that means for the driver population and recruitment into the sector.

These factors seem to be creating the perfect storm and giving many logistics managers sleepless nights over how to recruit and retain the right drivers.

And yet, we are fortunate enough in the UK to have a growing, motivated new workforce coming into play in the shape of newly qualified drivers (NQDs).  Every year thousands of new drivers qualify and are on the hunt for decent jobs. I wholeheartedly believe these NQDs really are the answer to the UK’s logistical headaches, but I’ll admit that for a long time, experienced recruiters and senior logistics managers did not share my view so passionately.

Until recently, new drivers were rarely the first choice of candidate for recruiters. Their lack of experience has traditionally been seen as a safety and training concern and in a fast-paced market that needs ready-to-roll drivers, experience generally wins hands down every time.

So, after tirelessly selling the benefits of NQDs for five years, I am delighted to finally see a shift in mindset within the industry of late. The conversation has definitely moved on. Transport managers are now replaying to me the same thoughts about NQDs that I’ve been expressing to them time and time again. Instead of these drivers being seen as the industry’s biggest liability, they are at last starting to be seen as it’s best commodity.

And for good reason.

New drivers are more safety conscious. They’re typically more flexible and happy to work to company standards. They’re motivated, less likely to jump ship for an extra few quid and are genuinely grateful for the opportunity to progress their driving careers.

At The HGV Recruitment Centre we help hundreds of new drivers find their first jobs each year and, even more encouragingly, we see them stick too. This level of loyalty and motivation is getting harder and harder to come by in the existing driver population, so it is really exciting to see more employers embracing the opportunity to build their workforce from this talented pool of new drivers.

If you already work with new drivers and want to share your experience or are keen to start a conversation about bringing new drivers into your team, then give me a shout. I would love to hear from you.

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