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5 Tips to Hiring the Right Driver

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You have heard the adage, “you have to spend money to make money”? I happen to believe in that statement. You do not have to go overboard, but if you want to hire the right driver, you need to be prepared to invest a bit of money upfront. You may be wondering if I am actually crazy, but I think once you read these five tips, you’ll agree there is some merit to what I say.

1. Have a Current Driver Interview the Potential Driver

If no one in your Human Resources Department has ever driven truck before, than have a member of your transportation department sit in on the interview. On the off-chance that you have no one in your transportation department management that has ever driven truck (and that does happen every once in a while), then select an experienced driver to be part of the interviewing process.

Allow the transportation member to actively participate in the interview. H.R. can have beforehand schooled them on what is proper and what is not as far as asking questions. Your H.R. Department is undoubtedly well staffed with knowledgeable individuals who can ferret out individuals who are job hoppers or just plain lying on their resume and/or application, however, that extra layer of knowledge by having someone from transportation in the interview can greatly reduce a company from hiring the absolutely wrong person for the job.

What your transportation employee brings to the interview is knowledge about the job that your H.R. staff will not necessarily have if they have never driven truck. The company driver can ask job specific questions and then know from the interviewee's answers if they have at least basic skills.

COST: Keeping a company driver off the road for part of the day.

2. Have a Practical Skills Interview

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joe_chaos/3239104055/
Grant Bierman

Have the applicant demonstrate basic skills during a second interview. You want to know that the driver can back up, accelerate smoothly through the gears, knows how to hook up air lines, can hook/un-hook a trailer (or doubles/triples along with convertor dolly if needed) without issue.

COST: Keeping a company driver off the road for part of the day.

Photograph courtesy of Grant Bierman.

3. Run the CSA Driver Profile

Run the potential driver's CSA profile as soon as you are legally able to do so. You undoubtedly already run a motor vehicle report ( MVR) on all new drivers, however, running that CSA profile (again, once you have obtained legal permission to do so) will assist you in weeding out drivers who have a propensity to accidents, tickets or other safety related incidents.

COST: Paying for the CSA driver's report.

4. On-The-Job Evaluations

Within the first two weeks following the completion of training, have a transportation manager follow the driver on the road (when practical - long-haul operations might make this difficult). Do not tell the new driver in advance. The purpose of following is just to evaluate his/her driving skill and adherence of company policy.

COST: Having a manager out of the office for either part of, or an entire day.

5. 90-Day Review

Within the first three months of employment, invite the driver to sit down with management and discuss the job. You might do this as a 90-day review or simply an informal meeting to see how the driver likes the job, if he/she has any input on day-to-day operations or any comments or concerns.

COST: Negligible - the face-to-face does not need to take any more than 10 or 15 minutes. If you choose to sit down longer, you may have the cost of losing the driver for all or part of the day.

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