Driver turnover rates are high in the trucking industry with most regions in North America reporting a constant workforce shortage.
The terminal manager, safety supervisor, or the authority responsible for company human resources has three options to fill a position for a driver. These are the main ways recruiting is performed and most methods of how to find good truck drivers to hire fall under these categories:
1 . Attract applicants through call-to-action channels
This process involves exposure to potential applicants through various media outlets and other channels. For instance, online job boards, newspaper advertisements, and recruitment flyers at relevant local institutions such as trucking organizations are categorized as call-to-action channels. The costs associated with these methods range greatly. Online job boards may charge a monthly fee or a pay-per-view/pay-per-application structure may be used. The best place to advertise for truck drivers will depend on each individual circumstance.
One method to find and hire truck drivers looking for work is through “drivers wanted” or “drivers needed” ads in local newspapers or online job boards. Ads should contain a variety of information including the skills, training, or experienced required for the position. It is good to list out these requirements beforehand because they save both time and money spent on screening applicants. Information you may wish to include is the power unit the driver will operating; mileage or percent of revenue pay, team driving arrangement, rider policy, bonuses, age requirements, experience requirements, and licensing requirements.
2. Search for and contact prospects directly
Searching for prospects directly involves locating potential drivers rather than having them find out about you. There are many ways to do this. In fact, recruitment agencies or online websites such as TruckerSearch.com are a good place to start. TruckSearch.com reviews are not abundant on the internet so the site will be briefly reviewed here.
TruckerSearch.com is a website with thousands of available driver resumes. Employers looking to hire truck drivers have the option to ‘scout’ drivers based on a variety of provided metrics. Overall, a specific search with a good set of requirements yields about 30 resumes for a 50 mile radius around a city. The trial searches are relatively accurate and a subscription will allow employers to view resumes in actuality. One major drawback is the resumes available are often dated and some have not been updated in up to 2 years. The drivers may be currently employed and may just be looking for a ‘better’ position or the best paying trucking companies to work for. Most of the driver resumes do not boast urgency for the driver to obtain job placement but this is generally common when scouting for prospects. The site does have a good appeal in terms of marketing to truck drivers. It costs $50 for a monthly subscription.
3. Network throughout the industry (word of mouth, etc.)
Networking is when people involved in a business industry recognize, develop, or act according to business opportunities. It is a common strategy for companies to ask business associates, friends, family, and company employees if they know of any potential prospects and if they wish to give a reference. There are many other truck driver recruiting ideas in terms of networking
Applicants should adhere to the instructions in your advertisement because it demonstrates punctuality.
The interview process is unique to hiring truck drivers. Asking what the driver knows or has heard about the company is a way to know whether the applicant has taken the time to research the company and an opportunity to receive feedback on the firm’s business reputation.
Safe and defensive driving is a key component to the security of the driver and the truck. Therefore, consider giving a bonus at the end-of-the year if vehicle repair costs total under a certain amount and/or if the previous 12 months have been accident/violation free. How much you offer depends upon the budget you have set for repair and maintenance and what percentage of it you wish to share with the driver.
You should ensure the license holder is permitted to drive the proper class for the truck. Review the restrictions and endorsements to see any special conditions that the license holder has to abide by. Have the driver request a commercial driving record with a minimum of 5 years driving history. Knowing which driver training school that applicant has attended and graduated from can assist in making a hiring decision.
Potential interview questions include:
- Do you have a valid commercial driver’s license?
- Does your family support your decision to be on the road?
- Will your family be able to cope with your frequent absences?
- Are you okay with unpredictable schedules and working conditions?
- Can you commit to working a minimum of 1 year?
Before hiring a driver, you must have a hiring policy in place; request a driver abstract, social security/insurance number, copy of driver’s license, proof of citizenship or work permit, and a valid medical card.
The hiring policy should have drivers fill out an employment application. A good employment application includes:
- Identification of basic company details
- Type of operation driver will be performing
- Description of commercial motor vehicle that is intended to be driven
- A report from a medical practitioner confirming driver is in good health
- Driver information and work references.
A road test should also be standard procedure when hiring a new truck driver. Areas that should be tested for competency include:
- Pre-trip inspection
- Coupling and un-coupling trailer units
- Putting equipment into operating mode
- Use of the truck’s controls and emergency equipment
- Safe operation of the truck in traffic
- Turning the commercial motor vehicle
- Backing and parking the tractor-trailer
There are other procedures that can be taken when screening commercial truck drivers during the hiring processes. Many companies today use technology based programs such as DriveABLE and risk assessment surveys such as those offered by SafetyTeam.com to test the cognitive capabilities and morale of potential employees.
Considerations when reviewing a commercial driving record
The commercial driving record is one of the most important documents involved in the hiring process. Avoid hiring if the driver’s license shows a status anything other than normal. If the driver has too many penalties with 4 + tickets in the past two years, then it is a safety concerns. Substance abuse related convictions, poor reports from employer references, and license suspensions are all factors to take a hard look at when evaluating commercial drivers.
Post Interview Training
DOT regulations have mandatory drug testing regulations for companies hiring new drivers. Most governments in Canada, both at the provincial and federal level have specific training requirements that obligate carriers to train employees in hours of service, cargo securement, traffic rules, truck maintenance, use of safety equipment, weights and dimensions, trip inspections, and record keeping.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a driver to hire for your trucking operations, consider the aforementioned information in helping you along the process.