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Why Structured Interviews Reduce Driver Turnover

Posted by Scott Rea on March 20, 2018 in the category Retention

Why Structured Interviews Reduce Turnover

Improving Driver Retention starts with hiring the right drivers for the jobs you have to offer. You make a heavy investment in drivers before they work for you in the form of advertising dollars, recruiters salaries, background and drug screening, orientation, and initial training. The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute values the cost of turnover above $8,000/driver. It’s a terrible use of time and money to invest $8,000 in a driver only to have them bail on you after a couple of months. Implementing structured interviews during your hiring process is a key tool to reduce early turnover and find best fit matches.

Remove Interview Bias

Google offered this research on why structured interviews aren’t only a good idea, but necessary when you’re searching for good candidates for any position. No matter how long you’ve been interviewing, you’re subject to bias. Human beings are terribly subjective. We make an initial assessment from the first impression and then we try to validate that assessment over the course of an interview. In fact, there was a study where subjects watched the first five seconds of an interview with no sound and they were able to predict with 90% accuracy if the candidate was hired or not! Research has told us that one in three managers makes the decision to hire or not in the first 90 seconds.

The definition of insanity to doing the same thing and expecting different results. If we keep hiring the same type of person, based on the same judgments we make, then of course we’re going to keep hiring the wrong driver!

Structured interviews are one tool to uncover the values, motivations, and personality of driver that an MVR, PSP, or background check cannot show. The three key components of a structured interview are:

  1. Measurements of invisible traits
  2. Identical questions you ask every single candidate
  3. Uniform rating scale for responses

These prevent individual biases from a recruiter, manager or whomever from interfering in evaluating a person for a job.

Past Behavior Predicts Future Behavior

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Structured interviews force your candidates to answer questions with real examples in real situations - not hypothetical ones . Here’s one specific example on safety:

"In the transportation industry, situations can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a dangerous situation at work, or prevent one from getting worse."

Probe Questions:

  • What was the situation?
  • What did you do to prevent danger?
  • What was the outcome?

The US Office of Personnel Management has valuable free resources you can use to design your own structured interviews. Also helpful is this basic guide that can help get you started. You can also schedule a demo of ApplicantCare to evaluate our driver specific and validated structured interview.


Schedule a demo of A-Suite today to evaluate how we’ve incorporated driver structured interviews into our recruiting tool.

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