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For many large fleet management organizations, hiring competent drivers is as much a challenging job as any other. A successful driver, they believe, represents the face of the company to the public and the customers.
In these modern times, fleet managers face significant issues when hiring drivers including a shortage of talented drivers.
The reasons for this include aging of the drivers, regulated number of driving hours for the drivers, increased freighting demands because of an improved economy, drivers taking up alternate jobs instead of driving, lack of driving experience of younger drivers, long working hours at a stretch, etc., among others.
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Given below are the skills, backgrounds, certifications and some other qualities that are required to be kept in mind when hiring drivers for your fleet and overcome the abovementioned shortage.
Points to keep in mind when hiring drivers for your fleet
#1: Firstly conduct and interview to hire your fleet driver. This is the best way in which you can find out how efficient they are. You can also estimate their trustworthiness.
#2: After the interview, lead the shortlisted drivers on to a second practical driving test. This is the next screening that will help you to filter the better drivers for your fleet. You can practically test their driving skills. This will give you an idea to evaluate their skill, ease and comfort while driving the vehicle.
#3: Perform a background check and as certain that they do not any criminal background. They should also include a gauge of the safety accountability of the driver.
#4: Check the drivers’ licenses and driving certifications thoroughly. This is a very important stage.
#5: Take stock of the driver’s health by conducting a checkup. They should be fit enough to drive for long hours in a day.
#6: The mechanical skills of the candidate should be in place. They should be able to overcome sudden and unpredictable technical difficulties quickly that the vehicle may experience during a trip.
#7: The driver of today should be a tech savvy person and be able to understand technology. Cars and trucks are equipped with the latest gadgetry including GPS trackers and fleet fuel cards. The candidate should be able to use these fully to manage the journey.
#8: Driving is a challenging job. Every day is a different one for the driver and this job requires the driver to act with grace and tolerance to end the day with satisfaction.
#9: A good driver must be calm and composed. They have to be able to contain their anger under the most stressful conditions.
#10: The drivers’ sense of responsibility in handling the vehicle, money, time and the jobs they are entrusted with is of supreme importance.
#11: Drivers of your fleet vehicles must be most well-behaved with clients, co-workers and the public at large. They should behave responsibly and carefully.
#12: How the driver excels in customer service is a very important aspect of building the image of the company. Hence you should select those drivers who behave in the best manner with your customers.
#13: Any driver would at many instances be required to execute more than one task at a time. This makes it imperative that a driver should be good at multitasking.
#14: The driver is trusted with the vehicle and all the members/goods that it carries. In this context, the driver is obliged to be trustworthy and be morally responsible for the transporting of goods or the people in the fleet.
#15: The driver must be alert at all times. His hearing ability should be top-notch. His hand-eye coordination should be perfect. These qualities ensure that he will be alert enough to be able to handle any unpredictable driving conditions that may arise.
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#16: Drivers that you hire should be honest at all times. They have more than just the vehicle on their hands at any point in time. They cannot compromise on their honest even for an instant.
#17: Drivers should be physically strong and have fit bodies. They are likely to meet the strangest individuals during their long-haul trips. They should be capable of overcoming any kind of adverse situation.
#18: The background checks and screening should include checking for moving violations for at least the last 10 years.
#19: It is important not to hire drivers that have DUI convictions. As an employer, you must have zero tolerance towards driving under the influence of alcohol.
#20: In case your company’s routes are across national borders, the driver’s license and background records should comply with the other country’s regulations as well.
#21: For recruiting truck drivers, it is a good idea to look at former service members. They are adept at handling large vehicles and have a way of learning the mechanical systems quickly.
#22: Recruiting middle-aged candidates as drivers brings in maturity and more experience in life skills.
#23: Hiring legal immigrants leaves you with candidates that are fluent in more than one language. This is likely to improve customer service and liaison with the public.
#24: Choosing a candidate with collaborative communication skills with the company and the public improves the service and the company image.
#25: Hiring a candidate with good mathematical skills goes a long way to understand customer documentation and fewer billing/invoice mistakes.
#26: Being well-groomed and having a friendly demeanour is important for driver recruits as these two factors help to improve customer relationships.
#27: It is advantageous for the recruiter to find out if the candidate has a preferred route or a work-shift. This can help the recruiter to leverage this preference in terms of increased output from the candidate.
#28: It is a good idea to award plum routes and work-schedules to drivers with a lot of experience. This will make way for their improved performance and ensure that they stay on in the job for longer periods.
#29: It is a good idea for the recruiter to invest in advanced training and skills development for deserving drivers. This tells them that you are investing in their expertise and causes them to be more loyal to you.
#30: It is important to recruit candidates with sound knowledge of both verbal and written communication in Arabic (native) and English languages. This will ensure optimum communications and all required documentation to be in place.
#31: More than anything else, the candidate should love driving. Any person that loves his/her job does it well. Driving a truck or a car is good employment for those who do not want to work within the confines of an office.
These are some of the best ways in which you can hire drivers for your fleet of vehicles.