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What are you doing to attract and retain the very best employee


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My question is exactly that. What benefits are you providing for your staff? If we as an industry want to maintain a professional workforce, we really need to step it up as far as what we are providing (putting on the table) in terms of benefits. Benefits are a cost of doing business. You have to charge the customer a rate reflective of what your costs are as well as profit (your best friend). This includes the benefits package one provides for their employees. So many companies express concerns that they can not find quality help. I spoke to a person locally this past week who stated that he treated his drivers like a screw. He stated that he kept up the pressure on them until they broke, then goes out and finds another. His equipment is worn out, the interiors smell like ashtrays, and the business seems to be hanging on by a thread. He runs a cheap operation. I would not sit in one of his trucks without a tetanus shot. The only requirements to work there appear to be having a pulse, a TDLR card (state license to be an operator) and a driver's license. The drivers state they work six days a week. Another company in town has clean, well maintained equipment, drivers are professional, no smoking is permitted in the trucks. The driver state they work five days a week, having two full days off a week, have the option to work four tens or five eights. They receive vacation time, health insurance, as well as paid training such as wreck master.  They are not that much more expensive than the first company, but do charge for services rendered. I have had the opportunity to speak with the owner on several occasions and he has repeatedly stated that his employees are the heartbeat of his business, his second family, and that he could not survive without them.   

Edited by goodmichael
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On ‎11‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 3:50 PM, Alstow said:

You get what you pay for.

That is very true, but looking at what some people offer, they do not want a lot, and are not motivated to pay for much more. If you fish in the pond that only has steering wheel holders swimming in it, you are generally not going to get  much better. An exceptional operator has to possess a wide band in their skillset. They have to be mechanically inclined, have the patience of a saint, be safety minded, be able to listen more and talk less, and possess and maintain a positive attitude. An owner has to step up their game if they want to recruit someone with all of these attributes. If you find one, or over the course of time develop one, you can not pay them crap and treat them the same and expect them to stay.

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I work alongside my drivers, so I understand the needs and wants when it comes to outfitting a truck. All my trucks are newer clean well maintained and stocked with anything we need more than twice. I also provide accident and disability insurance (its a hazardous job). From what I gather my guys make more than the average, they get a percentage and when its slow they can punch in and get paid hourly to clean and maintain the trucks. I pay for training (you can never be over trained) a new hire rides along for a week then has someone ride with them for a week before they go out on their own, after a year I have them take wreckmaster. Most importantly with the horrible hours this industry requires I try very hard to accommodate any time they need to attend family functions and their kids activities, i'm a strong believer of family comes first. My son and I work Thanksgiving and Christmas so they should never have to, nobody should ever expect an employee to work xmas or thanksgiving unless they are willing to work it too. I have built a reputation of professionalism that I and my employees are proud of, working at a place you can be proud of sure does help. 

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I spoke to a person who I worked with a few years back who was inquiring about working for a towing company. This guy is pretty solid, not lazy in the least bit, and will work on call, holidays, whatever it takes, but he was not at all impressed with the benefits that were offered, or should I say not offered to him as part of the deal. In talking to him, I realize that in all the years I have worked for different business entities, I never had any paid time off offered as part of the deal. I have taken time off, but it was always at my expense. I never had health insurance at any establishment. I did receive a Christmas bonus at two of the businesses. I have always made a good amount of money wherever I have worked in this industry. I am not complaining, but now that I look back at the time spent, and reflect on what it takes to attract potential talent, I can not blame people who study this industry and decide to pass on it as a possible mechanism to provide for their families. The industry appears to be a good prospect for a contingency plan when times get rough if one has the experience, knowledge, education and training, or a good part time gig, but for a full time "career" it is really lacking the polish and luster needed to attract and keep people who will make a career out of it for the long haul. Money alone does one no good if you can not occasionally enjoy it with your family.

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