It’s no secret the UK is experiencing a heavy vehicle Driver shortage, hitting a peak of 100,000 unfilled positions. But it’s not all doom and gloom, with some encouraging figures emerging in the first quarter of 2022 showing a slight drop in the number of open Driver roles, as well as a 43% increase in the number of practical HGV tests undertaken.
With a rush of new Driver talent hitting the market, not to mention the valued experienced Drivers you already have on board, it’s crucial you do all you can to attract and retain them whilst also ensuring your competitors won’t snap them up.
To help you out with this double barrel of candidate attraction and employee retention, we surveyed more than 400 Drivers from across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire to uncover what benefits they find most attractive in a role.
Here, we share these findings from our inaugural Driver’s Pay Guide – East Midlands and South Yorkshire 2022. We hope it will help you cultivate your benefit offerings to match those desired by top Drivers, especially in this talent-short climate.
Our survey found that on average, 38% of Drivers work between 41-50 hours per week and 16% between 36-40. With so many hours under their belts, it’s not surprising that 51% of Drivers said too many hours worked was the number one factor impacting their mental health on the job, with almost a quarter feeling weekend work was to blame. Almost 20% said they’d consider changing roles because of their job’s shift pattern.
Considering these findings, it’s easy to see why the most desired of benefits for Drivers is flexible working hours (37%), as it naturally allows for a better work-life balance. Interestingly, when asked what current benefits Drivers do receive, only 9% said flexible working hours, so it’s clear employers could do a lot more in this area to address this imbalance.
The second most desired benefit was increased annual leave, with 36% of Drivers voting for more time off with their families. Tie this in with flexible working topping the list and it’s clear that employees will gladly take flexible working conditions and more annual leave over more pay in an attempt to right their work-life balance.
When asked about factors affecting mental health at work, 30% of Drivers blamed a bad company culture and 24% cited bad relationships at work as impacting their mental wellbeing. In fact, on the flip side, the third most desired benefit was better management (35%).
In addition to these findings, a piece in The Conversation surveyed Drivers and collated experiences from online forums about what it’s like to be an HGV Driver. Many Drivers raised concerns about being overly micro-managed, feeling like they’re forever monitored by tachographs and interior and exterior cameras, and then grilled about every movement and driving route decision.
Take some time to reflect on not just your company’s culture, but your management practices. Are there any areas that could use some improvement? You might also like to anonymously survey employees to get their first-hand experiences on these topics to help you shape the changes needed (if any).
The next most desired benefits are in the ‘allowance category’, with 27% desiring a vehicle allowance and 22% a mobile phone allowance.
While you likely already pay the agreed industry scale rates, do you have scope to go beyond this? Can you stretch your budget to include a combination of daily and overnight subsistence costs and meal reimbursements?
A wish for career development came fifth on the list (23% of respondents). The good news is that the government is fully behind helping HGV Drivers both upskill (HGV 2 Drivers can upgrade to become HGV 1 Drivers), and re-skill into the field with free skills boot camps.
Whatever further support you can provide for ongoing Driver CPC training or career development within your company may be the thing that sets you apart from your competitors, helping you to both retain and attract quality Drivers.
That rounds out the top six spots on the Drivers’ ‘most desired benefits’ list. We’re sure you’ll agree that in a candidate-short market, it’s well worth spending some time carefully considering and creating your benefits package, as it will help you get an important leg up on your competitors.
As specialists in Driver recruitment, QS Recruitment can support you across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire so please connect with us if you’d like some extra support in aligning your benefit offerings to Drivers’ desires or sourcing talent.
You might also like to download the full copy of our Driver’s Pay Guide – East Midlands and South Yorkshire 2022. It contains additional interesting information about pay and bonuses, job satisfaction trends and a lot more.