Ten Simple Rules for Driver Recruiting


Most industries have their own best hiring tips, but successful driver recruiting requires something a little different.

There are ten simple rules for finding the safest, most reliable drivers.

driver recruiting

Hiring, especially in the trucking industry, involves employment procedures to make sure your company gets only the safest, most reliable drivers. After all, drivers are what distinguish your company (as well as your hiring skills) to vendors and your other customers.

Whether your need is for long-term or temporary drivers, you have no choice but to make the right decision when hiring. Follow these ten simple hiring tips, and you can immediately improve driver quality:

Recruiting Tip #1: Hire only when you need to

Don’t need drivers? Then don’t hire any! Driver recruiting is effective only when there is a genuine need. First, determine if you absolutely have to have a new driver, or can you handle the workflow with current employees.

Recruiting Tip #2: Promote from within, if you can

After making the decision to hire, driver recruiting should start from within. In many cases, you will have some good possibilities already in your organization. Often, they will be more loyal and productive drivers than outside hires. In addition, hiring from within avoids bringing on an unknown quantity.

Recruiting Tip #3: Make job descriptions clear and easy to understand

All potential candidates must receive an equal opportunity to get the job. Driver recruiting starts with a well-written and complete job description. Clearly describe all necessary functions and minimum qualifications for trucking positions. That way, everyone (both employer and candidate) knows what is expected.

Recruiting Tip #4: Keep driver recruiting honest and respectable

Only accept company-approved applications. Require all job seekers to fill out the necessary forms. Treat all interested parties with professionalism: unsolicited resumes, personal emails and letters, walk-ins, or cold-call telephone queries. However, start the driver recruiting process only after receiving formal applications.

An example of a truck driver log book in the U...

An example of a truck driver log book in the United States. “PTI” is short for “pre-trip inspection”, as the driver is responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is fit to be driven (i.e., no flat tires, loose bolts, or broken parts). “On duty” time includes fueling, repairs, loading and unloading. “Off duty” time incudes meals and rest stops. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recruiting Tip #5: Stay legal and above-board

All applications and forms must be appropriate for the trucking industry. A legally valid application is the best way to protect the interests of the company. At a minimum, they need to comply with the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations about trucking applications, particularly Section 391.21. Examine your company’s forms; review them for inappropriate questions. Make certain they include all necessary legal protections.

Recruiting Tip #6: Know the right questions to ask

Train the employees responsible for driver recruiting in how to conduct thorough interviews. They must know which questions are appropriate, and which ones are simply wrong. For example, the right questions determine highly qualified trucking job candidates, without regard to race, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

Recruiting Tips #7: Do your homework and be prepared

Be familiar with best practices for hiring in the trucking industry. Require background and reference checks for every candidate. It is the only way to know you are hiring the right people. Perform inquiries as outlined by the FMCSRs (Parts 383 and 391).

Recruiting Tip #8: Write it all down

Document everything! Evaluate candidates accurately, using measures for essential job functions based on qualifications. In driver recruiting, always use accurate and up-to-date job descriptions. Follow these hiring tips to provide the best defense against potential charges of discrimination.

Recruiting Tip #9: Have the right people make the call

Only qualified people must assess relevant information and carefully review employment history. They must be trusted to make the right hiring decision. Driver recruitment is serious business; treat it as such. Don’t leave it to the wrong employees. Drivers represent your business on the road, often with minimal direct supervision, so driver recruiting is a crucial decision for your company.

Recruiting Tip #10: Be professional and respect every candidate

Fairness and uniformity are the heart of successful driver recruiting. Unsuccessful applicants thinking they were treated badly (or not treated fairly) may see legal action as their only choice. Address rejected candidates with respect and honesty. The goal of these hiring tips is for every candidate to leave (hired or not) knowing he or she had a fair chance to get the job.

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