Recruiting is a daily challenge in trucking. It takes a lot of effort and vigilance to fill your driver needs, especially when you have to deal with driver turnover. But you want to maximize these efforts and get the right drivers for your company. Otherwise, you’re just treading water.
There are a few different things throughout the recruiting process that can help you recruit the right drivers. You want your company to be the best; you can’t just hire anyone. Asking drivers the right questions can help you decide which ones are best to bring on board.
Just about everyone asks the same generic questions when interviewing a prospective driver:
- How long have you been a driver?
- Why are you interested in our company?
These questions are important, as the answers can tell you a lot about that person. But it’s just not enough information.
What we've discovered while studying drivers and why they leave companies, is that past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior. If there is a certain issue that came up at an old job, chances are that it will most likely happen again at some point. So, you need to ask questions that reveal past behavior.
Here are three questions you should ask when interviewing drivers to join your company:
1. "Drivers have little or no supervision on the road. Tell me about a time when you worked on a project or other job task with no supervision."
This sounds like a generic question for any old job, but it means a great deal in trucking. You need drivers who can function on their own and act responsibly and level-headed without being watched. Otherwise, you can’t trust them on the road.
2. "Unexpected events may occur from time to time as part of your job. Describe a situation or problem you had to handle yourself."
A big part of trucking is expecting the unexpected. You need drivers who can handle a problem if it comes out of left field. Part of this requires communication on the part of management as well, so listen for how they explained the issue to their dispatcher. This can tell you a lot about not only how they problem solve, but how well they work with other people in the company.
3. "As a driver, it’s critical that you maintain a safe work environment for the public, customers, other employees, and yourself. Describe a time when you made sure the work environment was safe."
Safety is number one always. You don’t want any driver who doesn’t take safety seriously or ever neglects it. That’s exactly how accidents happen and people get hurt. Be sure that each driver you recruit is aware of the importance of safety in trucking. Have an experienced driver take you through an inspection routine verbally, and a new driver describe several aspects of their safety training. This will tell you how well they paid attention and allow you to decide if they have the right attitude to drive for your company.
Align With Your Recruiting Team
Share these questions with your recruiting team. You don’t just want more drivers, you want the best drivers. Recruit the right drivers by asking them the right questions.
Try out these questions and incorporate them with some other strategies. For some ideas, sign up to do a workshop with us, and we’ll help you build up a custom recruiting plan to get the job done. If you recruit the best drivers today, you won’t always need to hire more drivers tomorrow.