School Bus Drivers: 4 Bright Recruiting Ideas
published on January 30, 2018 by Sonia MastrosDistricts everywhere are suffering from a lack of school bus drivers, and the shortage shows no signs of going away. If you’re going to get the drivers you need, you often have to be more clever than other recruiters.
In previous blogs, we’ve covered many of the most obvious solutions to the problem, such as higher wages, better benefits, or more opportunities within the district. Today, let’s get a little more creative. Not all of these ideas may apply to your district, but perhaps they'll give you some ideas.
Four Hot Ideas for Recruiting More School Bus Drivers
1. Bus Test-Drive Events
Perhaps there are members of your community who are curious about what it’s like to drive a bus, so give ’em a chance! Hold a special event where people are invited to get behind the wheel – under the supervision of an actual driver, of course – and drive the bus around the school’s property. Then use that event for recruitment.
Note: You’ll want to talk to your local PD to verify you aren’t breaking any laws, although in nearly all cases this should be legal as long as the bus remains on private property. The police might even work with you to create an area for test drives away from the public roads.
2. Emphasize Longer-Term Job Possibilities
Yes, in a perfect world your bus drivers would remain driving for the district for decades, but that’s rarely the reality. Job advancement today generally involves changing jobs. So, perhaps it’s better to change with the times and emphasize how a few years spent driving a bus could prepare someone for a job as a transportation planner or scheduler. Push it as a resume-builder for those eyeing the transportation industry.
3. Target Those Who Already Have CDLs.
Trucking companies are working overtime to bring in new drivers, but there’s a pretty high churn rate. Many drivers have difficulty adjusting to the long hours, or constantly being away from their families for several days at a time. Others realize that life on the road just isn't as romantic as the movies make it look. Turn their discontent to your advantage by emphasizing the shorter hours and local focus of school bus driving!
Plus, if you snag some recruits who already have their commercial license, that saves you considerable time and money in training.
4. Offer Recruitment Bonuses to Current Drivers
If you have drivers on-staff who enjoy their jobs, it’s pretty likely they know other people who might feel the same. So offer some genuinely attractive bonuses to any driver who successfully brings in new candidates.
The school bus driver shortage is a major problem. How is your district handling it? Let’s discuss it in the comments.