Reader Commentary on Recruiting Tips

When we were researching the first part of this mini-series on recruiting and retention, we got a lot of interesting tips from safety managers and HR teams.  Some may be familiar, some may seem odd, but all were offered with the best possible intention — to help you, our readers try stuff that has worked for them in the past. 

We’ll be continuing our series by shifting to retention strategies and how they can help you stay fully staffed (or even uncover issues affecting recruiting, too).

We asked various safety, fleet, DOT and HR managers what they would suggest to try when recruiting drivers.  Here are some of the most interesting comments (that dealt specifically with recruiting) we received:

  •  “Prescreening programs such as personality profiling may help avoid situations where the driver and your dispatch team are going to become frustrated early and often. Prescreening won’t increase the number of hires, but it may decrease the number of drivers who quit in the first week or month, and it may help reduce the frequency of “conflicts” between drivers and customers/shippers.”
  • “Incorporate a personality assessment into the application. You can track data to help identity those most likely to perform well. It also helps familiarize dispatchers and supervisors with new employee’s personality.”
  • “Re-evaluate your job descriptions (especially those used in recruiting advertising). If you can increase the level of detail, or get feedback from current drivers to revise the wording, your going to waste less time later with candidates that walk out when they realize that 80% of their time will be driving in New York City (when they thought they wouldn’t have to go there at all, etc.)”
  • “Maximize time home where practical and where it is actually valued by the driver. Some drivers may not have a family to return to and want to maximize their earnings, but others may not last at your firm unless they have time to reconnect with their families. Can you re-evaluate routes to encourage more home time? If necessary hire remote drivers for the 2nd half of a run (shuttle loads)”
  • “Seek diversity… It’s often too easy to build up using the friends and relatives of current drivers… it may discourage others from signing on, and if you fire someone’s best friend, they may start looking to leave, too”
  • “Give consideration to unionizing, may be a dirty word to some, but a friendly union can be very beneficial.”
  • “Contact the veterans association or local armed services base for recruitment of recently discharged servicemen”
  • “Develop a brand name and demonstrate professionalism ( no small feat)”
  • “What I’ve seen some companies do is to hire people with good driving records but no truck experience and then train them for truck driving.” [Note: be very careful if you consider this approach – the inexperience in handling a heavy truck could lead to accidents]
  • “My personal suggestion is to check driving record and credit rating. Both imply one’s ability to act within themselves, and socially responsible.”

Many of these comments echo statements and suggestions I’ve read online at various LinkedIn discussion groups and other online resources.  Later, we’ll post more suggestions that deal with Recruiting AND Retention (we believe these two issues aren’t just linked, they’re often two ends of the same issue.)

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