As a company driver, are you tempted by greener pastures? Are you thinking about which company you’d like to drive for next, given the capacity crunch and tight competition for drivers? Right now many fleets are offering generous sign-on bonuses, higher pay rates, more home time, and richer benefits to attract and retain company drivers like you. We recently spoke with Chelsee Patton, Riverside Transport’s Director of Recruiting, and Randall-Reilly’s V.P. of Sales and Recruiting Seth Becker to find out how driver recruitment is changing and what drivers should look for in a potential employer.

Check out these six things to look for in your next company driver job.

1. Competitive Pay

“When you have more and more of these fleets competing for the same pool of drivers that creates all kinds of interesting problems for fleets,” Seth said. “One of them is remaining competitive with pay. Most fleets across the country have raised pay at least twice already this year — and have plans to continue to raise pay.”

With no end in sight to the demand for trucks, you should look for competitive pay packages with fleets, says Chelsee. Doing a little research on what companies are offering for driver pay can help you negotiate your pay rate when you do decide which company you want to drive with.

2. Home Time

It’s also important to consider how much home time you’ll get in a new company driver job and to determine just how important home time is for you. If you’re a parent to young children or have an aging parent at home, you may put higher value on home time.

“My husband is actually a driver and I think even for him he looks at it differently,” said Chelsee. “There are lots of jobs that are paying really high pay that he could do, but you know that’s not intriguing for him because he wants to be home every night with his family, so he’s willing to take a job that pays a little bit less.”

3. Positive Reputation with Truckers

To find out whether a company really does get its drivers home as promised and to learn more about the company you’re considering driving for, be sure to talk to truckers who have experience driving for the company. Use social media to your advantage to research the company and find out how they treat their drivers. You can join trucker-focused groups on Facebook or on LinkedIn to do this. You also can check out Google reviews on the trucking company that you’re considering to get a sense of how they do business and what it’s like to drive for the company.

4. Driver-Focused Company Culture

According to Chelsee, companies with a strong, driver-focused company culture will be there with support when you need it, and when you encounter a problem on the road or on a load. Look for companies that treat you like a person instead of just a number. According to Seth, you should look for that personalization right from the beginning, including in the recruitment process. How you are treated by the company when they’re trying to recruit you may be a good indicator of how you’ll be treated as one of their drivers.

5. Sign-On Bonus

Chelsee also told us that some companies (like Riverside Transport) offer lucrativesign-on bonuses to new drivers. You should read the fine print on any potential sign-on bonus. Find out how quickly any bonuses will be paid out to you and what you must do to earn the bonus pay-out. Some companies are offering as much as $15,000 or $20,000 sign-on bonuses to new drivers, depending on your experience level and the type of CDL you hold.

6. Guaranteed Pay

You also may want to consider driving for trucking companies that offer guaranteed pay, which is growing in popularity across fleets of all sizes. With guaranteed pay, you receive a minimum base pay rate, regardless of the number of loads you pull or hours you work. Some drivers prefer guaranteed pay because it can counterbalance pay lost due to detention at shipper and receiver facilities. Keep in mind that most companies have a minimum miles requirement for guaranteed pay. You also may earn additional pay for meeting fuel efficiency and safety goals.

If you’re thinking about making the move to independent owner operator, be sure to check out Kim Loescher Talks Transitioning from Company Driver to Owner Operator. To download Trucker Tools’ free driver app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/carriers/.