Annual HireRight Transportation Survey Finds 82 Percent of Organizations Plan to Grow Workforce

Transportation talent shortage pressures companies to expand candidate pool, change recruiting strategies


IRVINE, Calif., October 22, 2019 – HireRight, a leading provider of global employment background checks, drug testing, education verification, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions, today released its 2019 Transportation Spotlight report, highlighting recruitment, retention and background screening strategies and trends in the transportation industry.

This year’s findings revealed that 82% of respondents expect their workforce to grow, but 79% of respondents cited finding qualified job candidates as their top talent acquisition challenge. In last year’s report, 76% of respondents expected their workforces to grow, and 69% cited finding qualified job candidates as their top talent acquisition challenge.

To overcome this challenge, 84% of respondents said they are changing their approaches to recruitment. The top strategies include investing more in advertising (50%), increasing referral incentives (44%) and revamping compensation and benefit packages (33%).

Interestingly, responses were mixed about a new initiative that could expand transportation companies’ talent pools. The Department of Transportation is launching a new pilot program that would allow non-military drivers ages 18-20 to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. While 29% of talent acquisition personnel said they would actively recruit from this age group once approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 50% of risk management and safety/compliance personnel said they were not interested in hiring drivers under the age of 21. Overall, 31% of respondents said they would wait to see how the age group performs before considering hiring them.

“This difference in response between talent acquisition professionals and risk managers with regards to interest in hiring younger drivers highlights an interesting dynamic occurring in the transportation industry,” said Kent Ferguson, director of transportation solutions at HireRight. “Transportation companies are feeling the pressure of the talent shortage and the opportunity to tap into a broader pool of candidates is tempting. However, it is always important to consider the risks that broadening your candidate pool may carry. HireRight encourages all employers to explore any options at their disposal when looking to fill the hiring gap, but a comprehensive background screening program is key in ensuring that more candidates doesn’t mean more risk.”

When it comes to background screening, respondents cited reducing time-to-hire and verifying information as their top challenges (67% and 62%, respectively), for the third time in a row. This year, 52% of respondents also said that improving overall efficiency in screening processes was a challenge. All three challenges saw significant increases from the previous year, at 26% or more.

“In this candidate-driven market, automating processes from recruitment all the way through onboarding is critical in ensuring your company is able to recruit top talent,” Mr. Ferguson said. “Background screening programs that are integrated with Applicant Tracking Systems create quick and streamlined processes that ensure a top-quality candidate experience, reduce room for error and fill your open positions more quickly.

Respondents recognized that background screening is crucial in maintaining the safety of their customers, vendors and the general public and can help them find top-quality candidates:

Sixty-seven percent of survey respondents said that the quality of their hires improved due to background screening and 25% reported it helped with retention.
Background checks help uncover false information on resumes or job applications, as reported by 82% of respondents who found inconsistencies. 

To learn more about key transportation industry hiring and background trends, including information around transportation health and wellness trends and FMCSA regulations, please visit

Survey Methodology

The HireRight 2019 Annual Employment Screening Benchmarking Report is based on a survey of 3,415 U.S.-based professionals who indicated they were knowledgeable about employment screening and recruiting. Of the total survey respondents, 15% indicated that their primary industry was transportation.


About HireRight

HireRight helps employers hire the right candidates, by delivering global employment background checks, drug testing, education verification, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions. Employers can tailor HireRight’s extensive screening solutions to their unique needs, giving them peace of mind about their hiring and vetting processes. HireRight’s platform integrates with existing HR platforms and applicant tracking systems, giving organizations and candidates the best possible experience.

HireRight is headquartered in Irvine, CA, with offices around the globe including regional headquarters in London, Mexico City and Singapore. Learn more at