For trucking companies aiming to attract and retain drivers, EWA can be the difference between success and failure

Recruiting and retaining drivers has always been challenging for trucking companies, but it’s growing increasingly difficult as the gap between driver supply and industry demand grows. In the last year alone there has been a decrease of 200,000 drivers, according to the U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc 2021 economic outlook forecast report. 

Key factors contributing to the decline include reduced commercial driver’s license (CDL) training and new directives from the U.S. Department of Transportation related to Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse fines. Federal infrastructure projects that entice drivers to pursue construction jobs closer to home are expected to further increase the supply and demand gap.

“Finding the right drivers is getting harder and harder … When you lose a good driver, it’s so much harder to get a good one back,” says Bruno Stanziale, CEO of driver recruiting platform recently told FreightWaves

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At Immediate, we know that most transportation companies understand the need to improve recruitment and retention efforts, but it can be difficult to determine where to begin. Earned wage access (EWA) presents an easy solution. It’s one of the most effective ways transportation companies can attract and retain new employees in the long-term, and is already highly in-demand by many employees. 

A Recruitment and Retention Differentiator  

Earned wage access, which enables employees to access their earned wages at any time rather than waiting until payday, is a highly attractive benefit offering that has become increasingly important to employees during the recent economic downturn. To simplify EWA for employers and employees even further, Immediate customizes the offering to integrate with current payroll systems already in place so that employees can access funds instantly.

A recent survey of 1,250 employees and 200 employers across various industries confirms the growing allure and demand for EWA. 

More than half of employees surveyed said that they have asked for a pay advance, and 84% said they have needed to do so more frequently since the pandemic began. EWA is becoming incredibly valuable; 80% of employees said they would prioritize an employer that offers EWA when seeking new employment.

Within the transportation industry specifically, the interest in EWA has grown significantly, Stanziale told FreightWaves. In fact, he said Immediate’s earned wage access solution has been an extremely successful method used by to recruit and retain drivers. “It’s a tremendous benefit that transportation companies can use to differentiate themselves when they’re looking for drivers in a tight market,” he said.   

Long-term Benefits – Happier, Healthier Drivers  

While EWA makes it faster and easier to recruit and retain employees, it’s also one of the best ways companies can make a positive difference in the lives of their employees – from both a financial and well-being perspective. According to the survey referenced earlier, 93% of employees said financial concerns impact their job performance, 75% reported that they negatively impact their physical health, and 80% said they negatively impact their mental health. This can be especially dangerous for drivers, who are already at increased risk of mental health issues, since stress can worsen mental health and cause sleep deprivation and focus issues on the road. It’s also bad news for employers, as these factors can harm the bottom line for a business due to reduced employee productivity, burnout, distraction, and higher healthcare spending.  

Providing employees with EWA can help reduce their financial burden by enabling them to access earned wages when it is most needed. It can also help prevent employees from resorting to damaging financial decisions, such as incurring credit card debt or taking out a high-interest loan. This happens all too often – more than 80% of employees surveyed said they had experienced at least one unexpected financial need in the past 12 months, and 62% said they had settled the expense by charging it to a credit card, borrowing money, or taking out a loan.

Implementing EWA: Easier Than You Think 

Offering EWA is the right thing to do, not only for drivers but also for business. With Immediate, it’s also incredibly easy to implement. Through seamless and customizable integration with payroll, the Immediate application automatically verifies earned wages as soon as an employee completes their work, no matter if the employee is salaried or hourly—and, Immediate can also provide mileage tracking. If an employee wants to access their earned wages, all they have to do is request the funds through the ImmediatePay app, and then they receive the money in their bank account or on a reloadable debit card with their next paycheck reflecting the deduction. To top it off, it costs nothing to operationalize and implement. What are you waiting for? 

Matt Pierce, CEO and Founder, Immediate