Economists, of which I am one, define human capital as the measure of the economic value of an employee to his/her employer.  As such, the success of a company, or indeed an entire industry, is dependent upon its human capital.

In layman’s terms all this really means is that a company, an industry or an economy, is as the oft-used expression goes, “only as good as its people.”

This seems like a simple enough concept. But, do we always afford the same level of management commitment to human capital as we do other forms of capital? Do we view investment in human capital the same as investment in other forms of capital?

In my 30-plus years in the industry, I think we have gotten a lot better at managing, training and incentivizing our workforce. In other words, we have gotten a lot better at investing in human capital. But, it is an increasingly competitive world and the demand for productive, quality workers in a host of industry occupations is outstripping the supply.

Trucking is not alone in this. All sectors are facing the same challenge which only adds to the competitive pressures. Everyone is looking for good people.

So, while strides have been made, the trucking industry is going to continue to be challenged to up its game. It is going to have to compete with every other sector for workers. And, its going to have to invest in human capital like it has never had to do before.

In the end, those companies that invest in their human capital – their people -- and who adopt best practices in human resources management will be the one’s who will succeed and grow.

As the only national organization dedicated to assisting the Canadian trucking industry in meeting its human resources challenges, Trucking HR Canada has had to up its game too.

Under the stewardship of THRC chief executive officer, Angela Splinter, director of programs and services, Isabelle Hetu, their team and a strong and diverse board of directors, THRC is the leading voice extolling the employment opportunities that exist within the industry. It provides a broad range of tools, designed specifically for the trucking industry, to help carriers attract and retain workers including assistance with the development of mentorship programs, practical toolkits and templates, succession planning, guides and online resources for hiring newcomers to Canada, help with writing job advertisements, best practices and the business case for a diverse workforce, insights into what today’s youth are looking for in a career, compensation studies, webinars and much more.

In a relatively short period of time THRC’s Top Fleet Employers and Women with Drive Leadership programs have been strongly embraced by industry employers and are now viewed amongst the most important industry initiatives that exist.

This is all good and we are encouraged by the positive and growing response we are receiving from industry. But this is in many ways just a start. As THRC builds its reputation with the industry and its rapport with the myriad of private sector, not-for-profit and government organizations and entities that can help the industry achieve its HR goals, more doors are opened, and more opportunities present themselves.

THRC has the drive to take advantage of these opportunities. With the industry’s support we will continue to work to ensure that everyone knows about the great career opportunities that exist in the Canadian trucking industry. We will ensure employers have the information and tools they need to identify, attract and retain the workforce of today and tomorrow.

The return on this investment will be great.