Credit: Opel  -

Credit: Opel

Surging demand for drivers, more than doubling in the last year, has led to sign-on bonuses and high wages to fill positions, according to Global Data, a leading data and analytics company.

A high number of retirements in recent times and tough working conditions have prompted companies to go the extra mile, says Global Data.

FedEx listed more than 9,600 unfilled positions, a company high, in August, while United Parcel Service listed around 9,000 open jobs.

Drivers include motor vehicle operators, ambulance drivers and attendants, truck drivers, and passenger vehicle drivers

“Drivers are in demand now more than ever,” says Ajay Thalluri, GlobalData analyst. “Simply advertising for a driver is not enough, and many companies have decided to tackle the shortage by providing sign-on bonuses of up to $15,000, as well as paying salaries of up to $144,000 annually.”

Other hiring inducements include thousands of dollars discounts on new-car purchases, electronics and jewelry.

Companies are also reviewing their hiring strategies, says Thalluri. He points out Challenger Motor Freight’s listing of a role for “Director of Driver Recruiting” in August to implement innovative recruitment and retention strategies and Anderson Trucking Service’s creation of a “Vice President of Driver Recruiting” to research and explore emerging technology and legislation that may impact or expand the company’s ability to recruit drivers.

Thalluri concludes: “The hiring trend for drivers is expected to be strong in Q4 2021 driven by companies increasing their focus on direct-to-consumer (DTC) product and service delivery strategies and holiday shopping.”