No two companies’ recruiting strategies are the same. No two industries have the same needs in their respective workforces. So what is the recruiting approach for the trucking industry, and more specifically, for Saia? For starters, the industry needs qualified drivers; lots of qualified drivers. Saia is no exception. And while driving positions are available to any qualified candidate, Saia’s recruiting strategies have developed a narrower focus. Women and military veterans represent two of the new and growing pools of potential drivers and Saia’s Recruiting Manager Anna LeBlanc, who happens to be both a woman and military veteran, is leading the charge. Here is what she says Saia is doing to target these two groups.
Has there been success in recruiting these two groups?
Saia has had great success of late reaching both women and military veterans. Both are untapped markets, and the methods we have of reaching them today [online job boards, forums, social media, etc.] means our pool is constantly expanding. It also helps that these groups have a growing interest in a driving career, which means it’s a two-way street in terms of who is seeking out whom.
Why specifically women and military veterans?
These are two very accessible markets that can provide exceptional skillsets and work ethic, and they help grow the diversity of the industry. The average Saia driver is a 50-53 year old male, which is on par for the industry. As that generation retires, the industry will need younger prospects to step in and make driving a career as those did before them. We need to be aggressive in recruiting candidates that can grow with Saia as well as the industry.
Women and military veterans are groups that are looking for careers, veterans particularly. To leave the military and have to start your career hunt all over isn’t easy. They’ve done so much for us, the least we can do is help them find that next right career.
What makes each group a strong option for truck driving?
While the truck driver position is typically male dominated, women are every bit as capable. We find that women are incredibly detail-oriented, and a lot of them are coming over from other jobs where they have developed skills around paperwork and technology, which translate very well to being a driver. There’s a lot more than just driving from point A to point B. Drivers have to be able to handle everything that goes on before and after they get in the truck, which includes a fair amount of administrative duties.
Military veterans are a unique group just because the line of work they are coming from is so vastly different from most other jobs. They bring with them a lot of experiences that translate really well into the driver role. These men and women are typically very hard working and are used to working long hours and dealing with stress. They understand the rigors that go into something that isn’t the typical 9 to 5 job and how to handle chaos. While driving a truck and serving your country aren’t exactly the same, there seems to be a match there for the adventurous as well as for those that thrive in leadership positions.
What is being done in the way of recruiting to reach these two groups?
Saia has created a strong online presence, which stands to help reach both groups. We’re on a number of social media channels and we post to all the major job boards. We advertise our open positions on radio and billboards, which of course also reaches current drivers, and we’re active in attending hiring events, trucking shows and conferences.
We also attend hiring events that specifically focus on women or military veterans. For example, Saia annually sponsors and attends the annual Women in Trucking Conference and Expo. These events are great for networking, recruiting and making the Saia name known to these demographics.
What is being done to make sure they stay on after being hired?
Our job as an employer doesn’t end once we’ve hired someone. As we do with anyone we hire, we want to make them feel valued. Our annual female driver conference allows us to get feedback from our women drivers. For example, because they tend to be smaller in frame, the cab of the truck requires some adjustments to be comfortable for them. It’s important that we give everyone a voice.
With our military employees, we understand that this is sometimes their second job. If they get called for duty we accommodate their schedules and make sure their jobs are still here when they come back. We try to be as flexible as possible.
Saia’s recruiting and workforce development has led to the creation of more than just a business, but also a community. To see what can be expected from a career at Saia, be sure to watch the Saia: Our Culture video that can be found on Saia’s InfoIntersection. For job postings, visit Saia’s career page at https://www.saiasecure.com/employment. For more job updates and a glimpse into life at Saia, be sure to “like” the Saia Careers page on Facebook.