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The labor shortage is impacting nearly all companies, but motor carriers are being hit especially hard. Finding qualified drivers to fill open positions is an uphill battle for many carriers.

Some companies are looking to fill these positions with employees, while others use independent contractors. Although both groups of workers will be driving, a new report indicates that the job perks they value aren’t exactly the same.

In late 2021, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) published a report indicating the driving factors workers are seeking as company drivers versus being owner-operators or independent contractors (OO/IC).

ATRI got input from more than 2,000 truck drivers.

The top three motivating factors for company drivers included:

  1. Job security/stability
  2. Income
  3. Health care/retirement savings

The top three motivating factors for OO/IC included:

  1. Independence/ability to set hours
  2. Schedule/flexibility
  3. Choice of routes/length of haul

Pay also a factor

ATRI also looked at compensation levels in terms of driver satisfaction. Both company drivers and OO/IC reported that income was a key motivating factor in their jobs and all reported high levels of income satisfaction.

Although the ATRI report specifically targets drivers, other recent research indicates that money (or lack of money) has a significant impact on all employees.

According to a 2021 survey by the American Psychological Association, low pay remains the top issue causing workplace stress.

In fact, 56 percent of the respondents said their low pay had a “significant impact” on their stress. This figure is up from 49 percent in 2019. (Source: APA’s 2021 Work and Well-being Survey.)

As employers continue to learn more about what motivates employees and potential job candidates, they can strive to tailor compensation packages and perks/benefits to aid in retention and recruitment efforts.