“ I had employees tell me they have had opportunities to leave for more money , but they didn ’ t because they are happy here and we care about them . Those words are music to my ears !”
F or some in the last-mile space , employee drivers are the way to go . For others , independent contractors , ICs , make the most sense .
CLDA magazine spoke to two lastmile veterans about the models that work for the customers they serve and the states in which they operate . They gave us the pros and cons of each model .
In Defense of the Employee Model
Rachelle Dicker , General Manager of Gold Rush Express Delivery
favors the employee model . The California-based company provides on-demand deliveries , airport recoveries and tenders , medical logistics , LTL , routed and inter-office deliveries using 30 employee drivers . “ We prefer employees over ICs because they help us maintain our brand ,” she says . “ The employee model gives us the control we need to provide our customers with the experience we want to give them . It also allows us to have a fixed cost for drivers . We can budget miles and hours and estimate our spending . Many ICs receive a percentage of each job , which means the more we would charge a customer , the more the IC makes . Our profit percentage remains the same , but our cost fluctuates . I don ’ t like that .”
While she favors the employee model , Dicker admits that it has its downsides , especially in today ’ s tight job market . “ It definitely takes more managing to run the employee model . There is a lot that goes into the hiring and training process and these days it can all be for nothing . We ’ ll set aside time for interviews and people don ’ t show up . Sometimes , we ’ ll find the right candidate and start training and they get up and walk out on training without saying a word . Or , they get hired , but then something happens , and they can ’ t come into work . An IC can be more reliable because they get paid per job , so they need to work to get paid . An employee is paid per hour . So , the mentality is different .”
Because competition for employees is so tough these days , Dicker says they have made changes to their salaries , benefits , hiring bonuses and other financial incentives to get and keep drivers . “ We ’ re in the Bay Area of California and it ’ s been tough to get all the employees we need . We have had to increase wages to keep our employee drivers on board as well as to attract new ones ,” she says . “ This past year , we started offering premium AAA roadside memberships as an employee benefit . They can use it personally as well as for the job and there are lots of additional benefits that come with a AAA membership . It ’ s also a way to make sure that all our employees can get back on the road and back to work . In addition , we ’ ve been celebrating our high performers by naming an Employee of the Quarter . The winner gets a floating holiday , a bonus , and an award . Employees liked that , and it ’ s inspired them to want to achieve that status .”
Given the tight job market , Gold Rush Express Delivery has had to get creative to attract employee drivers . “ We have tried various methods ,” Dicker says . “ Most of our success has been through Indeed and the referral programs we ’ re offering to our existing employees . We ’ ve tried sign-on bonuses and even put a hiring sign at our door for all the Amazon and food drivers to see . The signs have generated plenty of inquiries , but nothing serious so far . We have also had some success through a subscription service that reviews resumes and invites people to look at our ads . There is a fee for the service , but it ’ s generated some good hires , so the additional cost was worth it .”
spring 2022 customized logistics & delivery Magazine 25