Truck driving is one profession that usually has a limited pool of qualified employees. Add to this a low unemployment rate, and if you’re a business that needs qualified truck drivers, you may need to put in some extra effort to attract the right employees.
Here’s everything you need to know about filling your driving jobs by hiring trustworthy truck drivers.
Get the Word Out
The first step is to advertise your openings by placing them on your company’s website and appropriate job hunting sites. Craigslist is pretty affordable, but other websites you may want to try include Ziprecruiter, Monster, and CareerBuilder. There are also several free job posting sites you can consider.
If your company has a social media presence, don’t forget to put the word out on your channels. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Have your status update link to the job’s description on your website.
Be sure to include all pertinent information that makes the job and your company attractive to prospective drivers. The salary range, number of hours, typical shift times, benefits, and any other perks should all be included. If your business has a friendly company culture where employees are rewarded, definitely mention that in the job description.
Your current employees can also help get the word out about driver openings by sharing your posts on their own social media channels.
Another good resource to find qualified candidates is truck driving schools. They often help their students find local jobs. The Tennessee Truck Driving School is one such trucking school that helps their new drivers with job placement opportunities.
Truck driving is a profession where safety needs to be a top priority. You’ll want to run a background check, including a motor vehicle report for all potential candidates to ensure they haven’t had any moving violations, DUIs, or received a lot of traffic tickets during previous jobs.
You also need to confirm everyone you’re interested in interviewing is legally allowed to drive your company’s class of truck. They’ll need a valid commercial drivers’ license as well as Class A CDL clearance if your trucks have automatic steering.
Another background check is requesting a Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) profile on drivers. The CSA’s rating system is comprised of three sections that determine how safe of a driver the candidate is.
At some point during the hiring process, you may wish to administer a drug test to a candidate.
Are They Physically Fit?
Depending upon the cargo and shifts involved, truck driving can be a physically taxing profession. Drivers sometimes work long hours and may have to work overnight.
This means that when it comes to screening candidates, you want to make sure you’re looking at people who are relatively healthy and able to keep up with the job’s demands.
Don’t Discount Non-Conventional Employees
The workforce has expanded, and the average truck driver is no longer the white male stereotype that used to define the trucking industry. There are female drivers, ethnic drivers, and legal immigrants who speak English as a second language.
If you’re having a hard time finding qualified drivers, consider expanding your pool of candidates. They shouldn’t have any sleeping issues, such as sleep apnea, that can affect their ability to stay awake while driving.
Checking references is an important part of the hiring process for any position, but especially for truck driving as it carries a high level of responsibility.
Not every reference may be able to answer specific questions about the candidate’s job performance, but they should be able to confirm their dates of employment with you.
Include a Current Driver in the Interviews
No one knows the ups and downs and regular demands of the job like someone who is actually on the road doing it. If their schedule allows, invite one of your current drivers to interview the candidates either privately or by sitting in with the supervisor.
This serves two purposes: a current driver can be able to tell if the candidate knows their stuff and seems qualified for the position. They can also help answer questions about job responsibilities that you or the human resources department can’t.
Patience and flexibility are two important qualities good truck drivers need to have as they sometimes deal with traffic issues and unpredictable hiccups while on the road. Someone who already drives a truck understands this and can help screen candidates that have these skills.
If your driver isn’t sure what questions to ask, you or HR can give some pointers and make them aware of what is illegal to ask.
Test Their Practical Skills
Your potential new drivers will need to prove that they know how to operate a truck and any associated equipment. This usually takes place during the second interview with candidates that passed the first round.
They should be able to demonstrate basic trucking skills, such as shifting gears, safely backing up, and (if applicable) hooking and unhooking a trailer.
Monitor for an Initial Period
Some trucking companies like to have an experienced driver ride with the new employee or follow them at least for the first couple of weeks on the job. This can further ensure there are no problems and that they’re capable of performing the job well.
Evaluate after 90 Days
Most companies evaluate new employees after 90 days to ensure they’re a good fit and that all is going well with the new hire. You may want to sit down with the new drivers once this period is up to see how they’re liking their position and if they have any questions.
This is also a chance for you to confirm that you’re pleased with how they’re performing their trucking duties.
Fill Your Driving Jobs with the Best Candidates
Filing your driving jobs with the best drivers won’t happen overnight. It does take some planning and screening to attract and hire the best and most trustworthy drivers for your company.
Here at Find a Business That, we love helping business owners succeed by offering tips on hiring the best employees. To learn more about running a successful business, read our newest business resources posts.