US Rail Companies' Strategies to Attract and Retain Candidates
June 3, 2022
The US rail industry has been experiencing a shortage of skilled workers while dealing with an existing aging workforce, prompting new strategies to change their onboarding and recruiting programs to attract younger candidates and build a safer culture. Today, we'll take a closer look at how these rail companies are changing their hiring and retention strategies.
Attracting younger candidates has become a key priority for rail companies, and they’re using various strategies to appeal to Gen Z. One way they’re doing this is by leveraging social media to reach a wider audience. Union Pacific, one of the largest rail companies in the US, has been using social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter to showcase their employees and highlight the benefits of working in the rail industry. They’ve also created a career site that caters specifically to students and recent graduates, which features job opportunities and career development programs within the company.
Another method rail companies are using younger candidates is by demonstrating their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Gen Z and millennials place a high value on DEI, and they are more likely to be attracted to companies that prioritize these values. Norfolk Southern, another major US rail company, has implemented various DEI initiatives such as unconscious bias training, employee resource groups, and leadership development programs to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
Once rail companies have attracted younger candidates, the next step is to onboard them effectively. Effective onboarding programs play a crucial role in building a safer culture and retaining new hires. Rail companies are using various strategies to onboard new hires effectively. For example, BNSF Railway, one of the largest freight rail companies in the US, has implemented a comprehensive onboarding program that includes classroom training, on-the-job training, and mentoring programs. The company also provides new hires with access to a mobile app that provides training modules and safety information.
In addition to effective onboarding, rail companies are also taking steps to build a safer culture. Safety is a top priority in the rail industry, and it is essential to the success of the industry. Rail companies are using various strategies to promote a culture of safety. For example, CSX, a major rail company in the US, has implemented a safety training program that includes virtual reality simulations to help employees identify potential hazards and practice safe behaviors. The company also provides ongoing safety training to ensure employees are up-to-date on the latest safety protocols and procedures.
Retention has also become a priority for US rail companies. Younger workers tend to have different priorities and expectations than their older counterparts, and rail companies are adjusting their retention strategies to meet these needs. For instance, Union Pacific has implemented various programs and initiatives to promote work-life balance and employee well-being. The company provides flexible work schedules, telecommuting options, and various health and wellness programs to help employees achieve a better work-life balance. Norfolk Southern has also implemented various programs to promote employee development and growth, such as leadership development programs and tuition reimbursement programs.
How does background screening help achieve these goals?
Background screening is an important tool that rail companies use to achieve their goals of attracting younger candidates, building safer cultures, and retaining employees longer. Background screening is the process of verifying the information provided by job applicants, such as their education, work history, criminal records, and other relevant details.
Firstly, background screening helps rail companies ensure that they are hiring candidates who meet the necessary qualifications and standards. By verifying the information provided by candidates, companies can ensure that they are hiring individuals who have the required education, experience, and skills for the job. This helps to attract younger candidates who may be seeking positions with clear qualifications and standards.
Secondly, background screening helps rail companies promote a culture of safety. Hiring individuals who have a history of criminal behavior or violence can be a safety risk to other employees and the public. By conducting background checks, rail companies can identify candidates who have a history of violent or criminal behavior and take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of their employees and the public. This helps to build a safer culture, which is important for attracting and retaining employees, especially younger ones who may place a high value on safety.
Thirdly, background screening helps rail companies retain employees longer by ensuring that they have hired the right candidates. Hiring the wrong candidates can result in high turnover rates and cost companies time and money. By conducting thorough background checks, rail companies can ensure that they are hiring individuals who are a good fit for the job and the company culture. This helps to retain employees longer, as they are more likely to stay with a company that is a good fit for their skills and values.
Lastly, background screening can help rail companies demonstrate their commitment to transparency and accountability. Conducting background checks shows that companies are taking steps to ensure that they are hiring the best candidates and promoting a safe culture. This can help to build trust with employees and the public, which is important for attracting and retaining employees.
The rail industry, much like many other industries, is changing hiring and retention strategies to meet modern hiring needs. These companies are increasingly using social media and digital channels to attract younger candidates, implementing DEI initiatives to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, using technology to deliver effective onboarding training, and promoting a culture of safety to ensure the well-being of their employees. Background screening is an important element when creating these new strategies. By conducting thorough background checks, rail companies ensure they’re hiring individuals who meet the necessary qualifications and standards, while promoting safer culture, retaining employees longer, and demonstrating their commitment to transparency and accountability.
These strategies, along with retention initiatives such as work-life balance programs and employee development programs, are essential in attracting and retaining the next generation of rail industry workers.
Vault is currently offering a free 30-minute screening program review with our aviation compliance experts. A clearly defined program and policy ensures consistency, accuracy, and efficiency in your process no matter what type of workers you’re hiring. There’s no better time than now to review your overall screening program and policy to ensure they’re providing the best experience possible, while mitigating risk.
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