- Walmart will raise truck driver wages by one cent per mile and provide additional payment for every arrival, bringing drivers' per mile rate to roughly 89 cents — boosting the average yearly salary of a driver to $87,500, according to an article published on the company's website.
- The retailer has also begun administering a week-long onboarding program prior to evaluation of potential hires, giving applicants more opportunity to learn and ask questions. To qualify for the onboarding program, drivers must have at least 30 months experience driving and a clean safety record for the previous three years.
- Despite the extra time and effort put into preparation for evaluation, Walmart has shortened its overall hiring process 73 days to 31 days, which it also credits with driving successful hiring.
Previous hiring practices, created in the days when Walmart could afford to turn drivers away in greater numbers, have no place in 2019 with an unemployment rate under 4%. What used to be a fairly perfunctory hiring process, where drivers had one chance to get a driving assessment right, has been replaced by a mentoring program for driver candidates with a week's worth of onboarding activities used to assess skills and cultural fit.
Drivers and candidates called the new hiring process "emotional" in a blog post on Walmart's website, and a GIF shows applicants walking out of a building to meet a row of high fives while being showered with confetti. The process, as described by Walmart, is much more personal, leaving successful applicants with "a network of mentors who continue to provide support."
Walmart's new process suggests a growing consensus in trucking: The drivers are changing, and the job needs to change with them.
Though the core benefits of higher wages along with referral bonuses and shorter overall hiring cycle have helped bring in drivers — 1,400 last year — cultural elements matter too in both retention and attracting new talent.
Drivers and trucking managers told sister publication Supply Chain Dive in September a culture of kindness and common courtesy is an important factor in keeping them in the driver's seat — on equal footing with wages and working schedules.