Overcoming the HGV Driver Shortage: Proven Recruitment Strategies

Overcoming the HGV Driver Shortage: Proven Recruitment Strategies

The UK is currently facing an unprecedented shortage of HGV drivers. a situation that has sent ripples throughout the economy. 

This shortage has led to delayed deliveries, empty supermarket shelves, and increased costs for businesses and consumers alike. 

At WPRG, we specialise in recruitment for HGV drivers, using our extensive experience to recruit and retain the best drivers help ensure your business can continue to operate smoothly.  

So, if you're looking to recruit HGV drivers but are struggling due to the shortage, our recruitment agency is here to help. 

Understanding the current landscape

The decline in the number of HGV drivers has been significant. According to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), the UK was short of about 100,000 HGV drivers as of mid-2021. Since then, the numbers have reduced, with shortages currently between 35,000-40,000.

The driver shortage is not confined to the UK. 

The European Road Transport Organisation reported a shortage of around 400,000 drivers across Europe, which also impacts the UK market - particularly in terms of competition for drivers. 

The UK’s exit from the EU has also restricted the flow of EU drivers into the country, who previously made up a significant portion of the workforce.

Recruitment challenges and trends

Attracting new HGV drivers can be challenging. 

The nature of the job is demanding. There are long hours, extended periods away from home, and the physical toll it takes deter many potential candidates. 

Younger generations, in particular, show less interest in the profession and opt for other careers, with only 19% of HGV drivers being under the age of 35.

To combat these challenges, several trends have emerged in the industry. 

Some companies have opted to offer higher wages to help attract the best driving talent, and in some cases, salaries have increased by up to 40%.

There’s also been a shift towards improving working conditions to increase the appeal of the job. Investment in better rest facilities, modernised fleets, and more predictable schedules are being prioritised by some businesses to help make their driving roles more attractive. 

However, the most important factor in HGV recruitment is finding the right person for the role. 

A skilled, committed and qualified driver will not only be able to drive safely and efficiently, but will also come with the reliability and length of service you need for business continuity. 

At WPRG, we understand the importance of effective recruitment for HGV drivers. 

Our extensive experience and specialised focus on HGV driver recruitment enable us to identify and attract the best candidates for your business. 

By ensuring a perfect fit between drivers and roles, we help businesses overcome the challenges of the current shortage and maintain smooth operations.

Enhancing Driver Retention

Retention of existing drivers is as crucial as recruitment. 

High turnover rates not only result in recruitment costs but can also disrupt operations. 

Effective strategies to reduce driver stress and improve job satisfaction include offering competitive benefits, creating a supportive work environment, and providing opportunities for career advancement.

More innovative approaches to driver retention include the implementation of route optimisation and driver assistance technology. 

By optimising delivery routes, drivers can handle more deliveries in less time, with less stress. And with driver assistance tools like adaptive cruise control, automotive emergency braking and sensors and cameras, drivers are able to drive more comfortably and safely - improving their job satisfaction. 

Exploring alternative solutions

The HGV driver shortage isn’t a new issue, and both businesses and the government have implemented solutions over the last decade or so to help address the problems.  

In 2009, the minimum driving age for HGV licenses was reduced from 21 to 18, increasing the pool of potential drivers and offering a solution to the shortage. 

However, some businesses are reluctant to hire younger drivers over concerns about their limited experience impacting their ability to drive vehicles safely. 

At WPRG, safety is paramount in our HGV recruitment process - but it’s important not to discriminate based on age. Our thorough screening and assessment process makes sure that potential HGV drivers of any age meet the highest driving standards. 

At the other end of the spectrum, an alternative approach is offering part-time roles to older, more experienced drivers. Although some businesses prefer to have full time drivers, this strategy can retain valuable knowledge and skills within the workforce, and provides flexible employment options for those not wanting full-time hours.

Contact Our HGV Recruitment Agency

The HGV driver shortage presents a significant challenge for businesses up and down the country. 

However, with the right approach to recruitment and retention strategies, it's possible to reduce the impact on your operations.

At WPRG, we have extensive experience in sourcing skilled drivers perfect for your HGV driving vacancies. 

So, if your business is struggling with HGV driver shortages, contact WPRG today.