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Hiring a New Driver? Get the Right One

Competition is hard when it comes to the heavy-duty trucking industry and getting good, qualified drivers is even harder. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things to do on the business. That’s why, if your company is looking for good, adequate drivers, you need to have time and patience, get some people in your company involved during the hiring process, after all, you’ll be giving a fortune on wheels to a complete stranger, so read these tips to make the right choice.

Use One of Your Drivers to Interview the Candidate

If nobody at your Human Resources department has driven a truck before, have one member of your transportation department assist on the candidate’s interview. If none of the people working for you at the department has driven before either, have a driver (a senior preferably) be part of the process.

Allow the regular employee to actively participate in the interview. In the beginning, HR can chat with the candidate about his work experience, check his CV or application form and make sure it’s real. Then, whenever the candidate gets interviewed, they can be interviewed by one or more of your most trusted and experienced employees on the field, this measure gives you a better insight into the prospect, if this is done correctly, the company won’t hire a person who isn’t up to the task.

What this senior employee brings to the interview is valuable knowledge “in-situ” that the Human Resources person may not have if they haven’t been behind the wheel before. This senior driver can ask specific work-related questions and according to the candidate’s answers, your senior can know if the person has the knowledge (at least the basics) needed to improve your business, also, it will give you an edge on knowing how this person will work and communicate with others (a skill dearly needed at any company).

Practical Skill Test

Have your candidate show off their basic skills during a second interview. The main goal here is to verify that the driver can drive the truck with no problems and do common actions, like reverse, gear up and down smoothly, connect the airlines, hook and unhook the trailer with no problem, among others.

Work Evaluations

Within the first fortnight after completing training, have the transportation supervisor follow the new driver on the road. Do not tell the driver. The purpose of this is just to assess the driver’s skills and the fulfillment of the company’s politics when they think they’re not being watched.

90 Day Check-up

On the first three months of being hired, have the driver sit with his direct boss and the three of you can discuss his work. Do this as a 90-day check-up or just make it an informal meeting to see how he’s doing. See if he has any input, comment or doubts about the work he’s doing. His opinions now that he has been working for you for this long, can help you improve things inside your company.