When California’s Assembly Bill 5 (A.B. 5) law takes effect on Jan. 1., 2020, carriers will no longer be able to contract with California-based owner-operators under their authority. Landstar, Prime, Swift, Knight Transportation and others are already restructuring their operations and will require their contractors who live in California to either sell their trucks and become employees or move out of state.
As it turns out, A.B. 5 has fueled demand for a niche service in the trucking industry: driver leasing services. Companies that specialize in driver leasing can fill gaps for carriers that need drivers in California, and elsewhere, on a temporary or full-time basis.
Contracted Driver Services, based in Goodyear, Ariz., has seen business demand increase significantly in California and nationwide since launching a new technology platform that makes it possible to provide carriers with drivers on demand.
Looking to combat the industry-wide driver shortage, Contracted Driver Services (CDS) launched F|Staff in February 2019. The on-demand staffing and job monitoring app connects motor carrier partners to its available driver employees. The new technology created an urgent need for CDS to recruit, hire and train drivers faster and more efficiently.
After launching the F|Staff app, CDS implemented a driver applicant tracking software to better manage qualification screening, background checks and other tasks in recruiting. To further increase its speed to hire drivers, CDS partnered with Luma Brighter Learning.
“The decision to develop F|Staff came from a core belief that people and technology work best together,” said April Ray, chief marketing officer of CDS. “We champion and strive for early adoption and work with partners, like Luma, who are experts at giving people a frictionless way to use technology with user-friendly interfaces and experiences.”
Faster hiring and orientation
CDS implemented Luma’s DRIVE FIRST learning management system primarily for its Rapid Forms tool that digitizes employment and policy forms. Drivers receive an email in the recruiting process to complete requisite forms online before they arrive for orientation. Names, addresses and other data fields in the forms are auto-populated to save drivers time.
DRIVE FIRST also comes with a collection of about 350 individual learning modules called Luma eNuggets that engage drivers with various media that cover relevant topics in safety, compliance, orientation and health & wellness.
“Online driver training wasn’t on our radar until we met with Luma and identified a need that we hadn’t even considered,” Ray said. “The online education piece totally blew our minds.”
CDS went live with Luma DRIVE FIRST in July 2019 and has since realized:
- A two-fold increase in speed to hire. Prior to DRIVE FIRST, CDS was spending eight days, on average, to get drivers from recruiting into orientation. The hiring process now takes four days. The efficiency gains have come from drivers completing digital forms and training modules online, starting from the moment they speak to recruiters and a mutual decision is made to move forward.
- Compressed orientation to 32 minutes. Before partnering with Luma, CDS used antiquated driver training videos. Drivers were spending between four hours and a full day in the office for orientation training. Drivers now complete forms and training modules online and complete the orientation in 32 minutes upon arrival.
- Rapidly accelerated growth. After going live with the new platform, CDS added more drivers to its payroll in September and October than all of 2018. In these two months alone, CDS also doubled its total number of hires from February to July 2019. CDS currently has 550 drivers.
“One of the biggest differences since launching the F|Staff app is that we have grown from a regional company focusing on the southwest to a national company servicing the contiguous 48 states,” Ray said. “Having vendor partners like Luma enabled us to support our fast growth trajectory.”
Training drivers on demand
As a provider of on-demand driver leasing, CDS gives motor carrier partners the benefits of staffing their temporary or permanent jobs with contractors. Drivers for CDS get the best of both worlds — access to employee benefits and on-demand work engagement.
Carriers using the F|Staff app can find drivers by setting parameters for their work schedules, distance, job qualifications and more. Drivers accept job offers directly through the app.
“Our drivers don’t have to worry about forced dispatch,” Ray says.
The DRIVE FIRST platform and training modules support CDS’ unique business model. If customers have special projects or emergency situations, such as a labor dispute, “we are able to get drivers the specific training they need in short period of time,” Ray says.
With on-demand training, CDS is also able to addresses specific customer needs that arise. For example, one customer recently spotted a trend among its own drivers: hitting stationary objects while backing. “We were able to send out a specific training to our driver population to refresh that content in their minds and raise awareness,” Ray says.
Ultimately, CDS plans to develop individual training tracks for each carrier partner. Currently it has tracks set up in DRIVE FIRST for flatbed, hazmat and mail operations. The company has more than 500 clients across the United States.