Recruiting is par for the course in any industry, and that’s especially true for trucking. If you want to combat the driver shortage, you’ll need a strategy that helps you recruit and retain the best drivers for your team.

Understanding the average cost of recruiting a truck driver is a nice place to start — from making them aware of your company to onboarding and hiring. So, what is the cost to recruit a truck driver?

How Much Does It Cost to Recruit a Truck Driver?

If you look up “what is the average cost to recruit a truck driver,” you’ll probably get different answers. But we can give you some estimates.

The only known study related to truck driver recruiting costs is from the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute in 2000. The survey’s purpose was to find out the actual cost of truck driver turnover. Data was based on a mail study, input from local trucking companies, and a North Dakota State University accounting professor.

The study found that:

  • The average cost of turnover per driver around 2000 was $8,234. That’s about $13,566 today.
  • Turnover costs per driver ranged from $2,243 to $20,729, which is $3,696 to $34,153 today.

Also, estimates that the cost of “recruiting a driver and helping them to become productive” might be between $6,000 and $12,000. In some markets, it’s much higher.

But these costs look at hiring and turnover costs, and costs specifically for recruiting can be different.

Sadly, no true average applies to everyone, so each company should know its own costs. At the very least, try to estimate your average yearly costs.

Breaking Down Truck Driver Recruitment Costs

Before calculating the average price per driver, you must know all of your recruitment costs. When it comes to recruiting new employees, costs fall into one of two categories:

  • Internal recruiting costs that apply to the inside of your company, such as referral program expenses, sign-on bonuses, training and orientation meetings, and recruiter salaries
  • External recruiting costs you pay for processes outside of your organization, such as websites, recruitment agency costs, job ads, job board fees, social media marketing, background checks, and application systems

Take a set period, and calculate all of your recruiting costs during that time. Divide it by the number of drivers you brought on during that period to calculate your recruiting costs per hired driver. Then, figure out how much that cost will be for the entire year.

How to Reduce and Refine Recruiting Costs

Turnover rates are notoriously high in the trucking industry, so wise recruitment is about cost management. Spend your money intelligently while reducing unnecessary costs.

That starts with recruiting more of the right people. By “right,” we mean drivers who are a good fit for your team — the ones who come to you because they are excited about your opportunities. These are also the individuals who stay with you longer, reducing your overall hiring and recruitment budget.

Along with understanding what will make drivers happy, you need a recruiting process that gets quality drivers to contact you. You should put effort into understanding what drivers need to stay in a position and enjoy being part of a team. Then, you need a strategy for targeting those drivers — even if they aren’t currently looking — and bringing them to you.

At AMG Driver Recruitment, we use a combination of targeted advertising and marketing to reach your target employees. You need volume, but you also need quality. Find out how we do things differently.