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Driver Recruiting: What You Need to Know


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With a current shortage of safe drivers, the importance of recruiting and attracting drivers to apply with your business has become paramount.


It’s an all-time hassle employment market, and professional drivers hold the cards to choose who they drive for.


So, how do you stand out from the competition? By creating a compelling value proposition, effective message that attracts quality drivers, and by constantly evaluating the effectiveness of advertising sources.


For instance, your value proposition should state why your business is the best solution to a problem – a great business doesn’t sell products but solve problems. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should go overboard with your statements. If you want to hire quality drivers, you need to be prepared to invest not only money but a bit of time upfront. Here’s what every driver recruiter should know before hiring the right driver.


Preparation – The Key to Success

When you’re recruiting candidates, you’re trying to sell them on working for your fleet. People want to talk to someone who knows exactly what they’re selling. The more you know about your company, the trucking industry, the customers, and the routes, the more credible you seem.


Therefore, if you seem credible, you’ll have a successful interview. For this reason, many companies have former or current operators involved in the recruiting and hiring process. If you’ve never driven a truck, the best place to start is by asking a current employee to let you do a ride-along with them for a day. Make sure you ask a lot of questions and take an interest in their job.


Allow a Current Driver Interview the Potential Driver

If there’s no one in your current HR department to know all the ins and outs regarding truck driving, make sure you have a member of your transportation department sit in on the interview. Having an experienced truck driver around to actively participate in the interview can guide other interviewers on what is proper and what is not as far as asking questions.


Your Human Resources Department is certainly well staffed with experienced personnel who can ferret out drivers who are job hoppers or simply plain lying on their application or their resume. That said, an extra layer of knowledge by having a professional driver in the interview can greatly reduce a business from hiring an absolute wrong person for the job.


What your current driver brings to the interview is knowledge about the job that your H.R department will not necessarily have if they have never been behind the wheel.


Have a Practical Skills Interview

When you apply for a job, it’s not unusual for an interview to end up with a practical skills test. This is a popular exercise among recruiters as it reassures them that they have identified your profile properly, and after talking about your skills and career path, it’s a chance to prove your worth. The same goes for drivers and their skills.


You can have your applicants demonstrate their basic skills during the second interview. It’s imperative to know that your future driver knows how to hook up airlines, can back up, accelerate easily through the gears, can hook/unhook a trailer without issue.


Run the CSA Driver Profile

A CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) Score refers to the central means that FMCSA relies on to identify and prevent high-risk drivers. The program was initially designed to help in enhancing safety conditions for carriers and the general public. There’s also reliable software like Avatar Fleet on which you can rely to manage your candidates, track leads and run digital recruiting campaigns.


As a recruiter it is your duty to run your potential driver’s CSA profile as soon as you’re legally allowed to. If you’ve already run a motor vehicle report on all drives, the CSA comes next as it can easily assist you in weeding out drivers who have a propensity to tickets, accidents, or other safety-related incidents.


Consider On-the-Job Evaluations

Job evaluations are performed for a reason. They can help you determine what positions and job responsibilities are similar for purposes like promotions, pay, transfers and lateral moves, assigned work, and other internal parity issues. It’s vital that employees perceive the workplace as equitable, fair, and the provider of equal opportunities for employees.


It can also assist your employee recruiting process by having in place job duties that help with the development of job postings, suitable compensation, the assessment of applicant qualifications, and salary negotiation.


Within the first few weeks of the following completion of training, you can have your transportation manager follow the operator on the road (when feasible-long-haul operations might make this challenging). The purpose of the following Is just to evaluate their adherence to company policy and driving skills.


Consider a 90-Day Review

New-hire reviews are one of the most grossly underrated and frequently overlooked parts of an operative performance management strategy. Whether it’s companies choosing to ski reviews altogether or well-intentioned managers that allow new employees to fall through the cracks, the idea behind new-hire reviews can get lost in the onboarding process.


The 90-Day review can make the onboarding experience as possible and as seamless as possible for new drivers and management alike. Within the first 3 months of employment, invite the employee to sit down with management and discuss the job. You can do it as a simple 90-day review or just an informal meeting to see how the new driver likes the job if they have any comments or concerns or any input on day-to-day operations.


While HR management and recruitment in the trucking industry present unique challenges, it also provides some opportunities through these tricks and tools. So, what to keep in mind?

Trucking businesses desperately need more drivers -at least 60,000 of them. With a small number of drivers spread out across the industry, how can you locate the right drivers from your hiring pool?


Your business doesn’t necessarily have to settle for cut-rate drivers, but following the right leads at the right time and using the right tools will make your next hiring easier than ever.


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