Many school districts come to the same realization every year: they don’t have enough bus drivers. It probably seems like you’re constantly interviewing, hiring, and making efforts to attract people to the job, but to no avail. In fact, this has been a nationwide problem plaguing the school bus industry for many years now.
So, what can you do to boost your recruiting efforts and help alleviate your driver shortage? We’ve got a few recommendations!
1) Offer competitive pay and benefits
If you want to ensure people who are already interested in a job as a bus driver choose you over other districts and organizations, your pay and other benefits need to stack up. Even if you have to stretch your budget, if the neighboring school district is just as desperate for drivers and offers a dollar more an hour, you won’t stand a chance.
Try increasing your hourly pay rate, even if it’s just a little, and offering other bonuses for new drivers. You might consider awarding sign-on bonuses, good attendance or safe driving bonuses, and enhanced health and retirement benefits.
2) Advertise in different ways
When the only job listing you have is on Indeed, it’s not going to get the exposure you need to solve your problem. The best marketing approach for school bus driver jobs is to combine tried and true methods with other modern, innovative tactics. You can’t go wrong, for example, with a direct-to-mail campaign or posters in businesses around town. You’ll also want to make a concentrated effort in your online advertising—job sites, social media, maybe even paid ads on relevant websites.
Another smart way to get the word out? On the buses themselves! Invest in a custom paint job or attach a sign the length of the vehicle promoting your available positions. This will quickly catch some eyes and give you a lot of free exposure as the buses drive around and even when they’re parked.
3) Ask current drivers to help
Don’t underestimate the power word-of-mouth can have in your recruitment efforts. The drivers that are already working for you can have a lot of influence on interested parties by giving a firsthand account of the advantages of the job and your organization. Plus, they’re likely to know other drivers who already have some experience of their own to offer and might be looking for a better gig.
Try offering a referral bonus to current staff and anyone they recruit to bring in as many applicants as possible.
4) Target specific groups
A good way to make your new and existing recruiting efforts more efficient is to spend your time and money targeting the people most likely to be interested in the job. Think about who a school bus driver position might appeal to.
Commercial truckers, for instance, might be a good place to start. Many are probably tired of the long hours and being away from home. Retirees looking to supplement their income or for something productive to take up their time are also likely to be interested in this type of easy part-time work. You might even send a recruiter to speak with PTAs at your schools, as stay-at-home parents could also be looking for part-time work, especially if their children are older now.
5) Promote perks of the schedule
A school bus driver’s schedule can be pretty convenient for parents whose children are currently in school. Highlight the fact that they’ll be on the same schedule as their children, so they won’t have to worry about childcare. Don’t forget to mention that, for the most part, they get nights, weekends, and school vacations off too!
Once you’ve put these recruitment ideas to work, you’re going to need enough school buses for all of your new employees to drive. Luckily, Northwest Bus Sales has an extensive selection of new and used school buses that can be delivered all throughout the country (and even to Mexico and Canada)!
Browse our available vehicles online and contact our team today about purchasing the school buses you’ll need for the upcoming year!