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Meet our drive for the best drivers. Meet Ellen Semmekrot

Actively looking for new drivers

The biggest challenge our HR department will face in the coming years is attracting and retaining skilled personnel for the companies that fall under the Nijhof-Wassink Group. The amount of vacancies has risen thanks to the expansion of work activities at Nijhof-Wassink and due to the natural attrition of staff in recent years. The coming years present another challenge.

As a consequence of the high outflow of drivers who are retiring and limited scope for new drivers in the labour market, where the labour market will see a shortage in drivers in the coming years. Where we still had the choice of a pile of good applicants a few years ago, we now have a handful of applications, and this pile has become visibly smaller recently. Good drivers are scarce and can therefore choose from multiple employers. We are aware that as an employer we must increasingly sell ourselves better and stand out more from our competitors. Nijhof-Wassink has much to offer to its staff and it is essential that we communicate this clearly. And that already starts with the first step, advertising the vacancy. Everyone is searching for drivers. But how do you ensure that you stand out in the right place, that people who read your vacancy also decide to apply? After the application, there is an initial interview and introduction. These moments are crucial for a good first impression.

At Nijhof-Wassink we are not only busy trying to stand out in an ever-shrinking pond of drivers, but we also actively try to make the pond larger. We try to encourage people to join this exciting industry. Various initiatives have started, and Nijhof-Wassink has actively participated in a number of them.

I commenced work at Nijhof-Wassink after completing my study, but I was already familiar with the company thanks to my internship. During this internship, I carried out research into how we as a transport company can attract sufficient young drivers. However, the answer to this question was not so simple. Young people are relatively unfamiliar with the job opportunities within the transport and logistics sector and therefore often opt for an alternative job or sector. This while there are so many job opportunities within transport and logistics: consider drivers, logistics staff, transport planners, etc. We must therefore work to change this perception. This is happening via the ‘2000 drivers wanted’ plan from the Sector Institute of Transport and Logistics (STL).

With this plan, STL aims to recruit 2,000 new drivers by the end of this year. Not only drivers looking for work are given a chance with this project. People who have always dreamt of being a driver, but who never took this step (due to costs, for example) can also participate in this. An important prerequisite for participation is that the candidates first have to go through a test day. They are then tested on their driving skills, motivation and responsiveness. Currently 1,500 new drivers have already found work via the sector plan. Due to the large number of applicants, space has been made for another 500 lateral entrants. At Nijhof-Wassink the first drivers will commence our own introduction programme after gaining the relevant certificates.

It is not only our Human Resource department that is hard at work attracting new drivers. Other colleagues also think along with us and provide advice on our vacancies and tips for suitable candidates. Naturally, this is great to work with. Collegiality for new colleagues.

Ellen Semmekrot
HR staff member

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