Why Retaining Effective Delivery Drivers Matters More (And How to Do It)

With a far greater number of people spending more time at home and venturing out less frequently for non-essential activities, companies have seen an increased demand for home deliveries. Remote workers at home have increased markedly, and subsequently, the request for deliveries and having sufficient delivery slots has been a real problem.

Just like with any fast-growth business sector, it creates noticeable growing pains when demand exceeds the current supply. This is the situation with the need for delivery drivers for many businesses switching to offering deliveries for the first time and other businesses where deliveries are their bread and butter service. 

It Starts with Smart Hiring

In a market where there are often several companies looking to recruit the same delivery driver, it’s tempting to act like you have a vacuum and acquire as many new people as possible before another company snaps them up. However, this is usually a mistake despite heavy demand for drivers. 

As Shift.Online knows well, it pays to be selective with whom you hire because they’ll be with you for a long time. They act as your ambassadors out on the road. Often, customers order over the internet or on the phone – the only person they meet in person is the driver. Therefore, they may act as your customer-facing staff too. 

Also, hiring poorly means they won’t be happy and will move on sooner. This makes it even harder to keep up with a growing demand for deliveries. 

Hire & Train or Go for Experience for Higher Staff Retention Rates?

Should you hire a newbie driver who may have been driving a few years but has never worked in that capacity before? Or is it better to look for people with 5-10 years of driving under their belt who continually work behind the wheel?

A Steady Hand?

It’s certainly true that looking to hire drivers who have been working in that type of role for a few years is a solid move. They’re likely to know what they’re wanting out of the job, take a position that they like, and stick with it. Benefits and long-term employment will matter more to these types of people. 

Hire & Train?

The hire and train model does work, but you still don’t want an extremely green driver. Avoid people who haven’t had a license for long. They also may treat the role as a “Starter Job” and not plan to stick around long before looking for another driving role. Finding ways to retain them will be far more difficult and frequently less successful too.

Treat Drivers Well

Some companies see their office staff at one level and their driving team on a different, lower level. This is a completely the wrong approach to take.

For businesses where the driver completing the delivery may be the only representative that the customer ever lays eyes on, they matter more than people realise. Also, on-time delivery or keeping within a delivery time range is important to people. Treat drivers with the respect they deserve and offer a package of benefits that matters to them. It pays dividends. 

Keeping top performers with the company is key to avoiding high turnover. That leaves fewer slots to fill during an expansion phase because the staff churn isn’t making the recruitment team’s task even harder. Because of this, they don’t need to lower their standards to find enough suitable drivers.