10 Steps to Finding the Ideal Truck Driver

Updated: Jun 21



Truck-Driver-Recruiter

Are you looking to hire CDL drivers? Unfortunately, finding qualified drivers that fit your company culture and suit your requirements is getting harder. We've prepared the following 10 steps to find and hire Class A drivers.


Whether you’re one of the companies hiring CDL drivers for over-the-road (otr), regional, dedicated or local truck driving jobs, you'll save time, money, and resources by working with an expert recruitment service such as Rig on Wheels which has been around the trucking industry for over a decade. We can foster realistic expectations among new hires and specialize in driver retention to prevent you from returning to square one and driver turnover. We help trucking companies recruit, hire, and retain top talents to find the right truck drivers for their needs and company culture.


1. LEARN DOT AND FMCSA COMPLIANCE REGULATIONS


Before starting the truck driver hiring process, find out the DOT compliance requirements and FMCSA compliance regulations. Knowing the requirements and regulations is an essential part of hiring a driver.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) both are organizations that oversee the trucking industry in the United States. To keep America's roadways safe for the general public, the FMCSA uses roadside inspections and onsite audits for data scoring and enforcement actions to monitor and assure compliance with federal motor carrier safety and commercial requirements.


2. ATTRACT THE BEST CDL DRIVERS THAT FIT YOUR COMPANY


Rig on Wheels Truck Driver Recruiting Agency recommends finding out what it takes to attract ideal drivers for your company. Then, we will help you develop a strategic hiring blueprint based on your company’s culture. Why should truck drivers choose your carrier over the rest? Think about the selling points of your organization.


· Do you pay higher than the industry average wages?

· Are you a top carrier in the region?

· Do you give better home time opportunities for truck drivers?

· Do you have a good company culture?

· Do you offer growth opportunities?

· Do you offer competitive benefits?

· Do you reward hard work? In what ways?

· Do you treat truck drivers as a family, valuing their voice and addressing their issues?

· Are you committed to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) diversity and inclusion initiative?


In short, what makes you different? What’s in it for drivers to select you over other carriers in the area? Let them know whatever you do so that they'll feel that you're the right choice for them. For example, suppose you'd talk to a driver recruitment agency. In that case, they'd tell you that truck drivers' considerations are growth opportunities, consistent freight, better home time, competitive salary package and benefits, excellent communication, safe equipment and trucks, adequate company support, and regularly scheduled runs.


Truck driver recruiting services would also recommend that you reflect on the type of commercial truck drivers you want in your team and know what they want. For example, companies hiring CDL drivers looking for local route truck drivers should find drivers who will be happy to drive and come home daily, and those long-haul truck drivers should be satisfied with less hometime.


Listing the above questions and answering them will give you a clear picture of the right people for your company. It will also help to know the general preferences of truck drivers. For instance, older CDL drivers might be looking for companies offering them predictable and regular home time. On the other hand, younger truck drivers might not mind and would be willing to render overtime work.


3. DETERMINE TRUCK DRIVER SPECIFICATIONS


Before writing a job description, know what to write and describe in the job description. It's the same as hiring other types of employees for your company. Understand what you need. Do you require truck drivers with endorsements? Considering someone with experience and skills in operating the type of truck they'll be driving for you is vital. Not all truck drivers like those driving a dry van would need CDL endorsements.


A CDL is categorized into different classes. For example, if your ideal truck driver will drive a larger truck, they need to have a CDL Class A. This must be written in the job description (JD) so that you'll attract qualified applicants. Besides listing specs, use keywords in the job description, allowing job seekers to find your job posting when searching for jobs.


Class A drivers operate tractor-trailers: tankers, flatbeds, livestock carriers, dump trucks, hazmat trucks, and double trailers and trucks over 26,000 lbs. On the other hand, Class B drivers drive buses, smaller dump trucks, and box trucks. Meanwhile, Class C truck drivers operate and drive passenger vans.


In the job description, think about what you’re going to pay your truck driver because it may vary based on the education, skills, and experience you need them to possess. Truck driver recruiting agencies note that you'll need to pay higher for drivers with higher expertise, helping you attract your ideal candidate.


You’ll also find independent contractor truck drivers. However, taking this route would mean covering additional costs, such as overhead for the W-2 truck driver and taxes. You can decide to work with an independent contractor truck driver but understand the legal challenges and differences between W-2 and 1099 employees.


4. CREATE A JOB ADVERTISEMENT


Once you're clear of the job description, it's time to sit down and write your job advertisement. This is one of the first steps to recruiting a truck driver successfully, recommends owner operator recruiting services. Next, you should start finding your ideal truck driver. An attractive job advertisement should highlight the benefits of working for your fleets, such as vacation time, set routes, and a fixed schedule.


In the advertisement, be clear about the hours that truck drivers have to work and the wage they should expect to receive. Like in the job description, you must highlight the qualifications you're looking for in truck drivers.


Unsure how much to pay your driver? Pause and look at your budget. You might also compare the average salary of truck drivers. Then, look for info on what other companies offer their drivers. To be more competitive, offer a higher salary.


Do you want to pay based on the miles driven? This can work, but it can be stressful for a driver that wants a salary. In addition, drivers don't usually know their routes in advance. So alternatively, you might want to offer a per-hour pay combined with set routes for home daily drivers. For the number of hours, look at the delivery schedules and related laws that govern the industry and regulate the number of hours truck drivers are allowed to be on the road.


For effective driver recruitment, include info about experience requirements in the job advertisement. For example, do you want to hire a driver with previous extensive commercial vehicle driving experience? Add in the post. This can be less risky than hiring drivers without experience. So, in the advertisement, you can write "Commercial driving experience preferred." But if you would like to take in truck drivers with no experience, mention it in your advertisement and add that you accept those who've recently completed a truck driving program.


Type your job ad a couple of times to proofread for errors. Don't forget to write your contact details, such as your email, mobile phone number, and office address. If you have a website, be sure to write it, too. Also, have the driver complete a DOT-required application.


Show that you prioritize driver health by offering health insurance. You may also want to add information that unloading and loading is or isn’t a part of the job. For instance, make it clear from the beginning and attract candidates looking for truck drivers hiring near your region. This will help ease anxiety for drivers with terrible previous carrier experiences.


Click here to read about preventing Jobfishing.


5. ADVERTISE THE JOB


Once you're done creating the job advertisement, put it to work and recruit qualified CDL drivers. Post it on general job sites, like Indeed, to attract a large audience and recruit fast. Besides large sites, you can also post your job on job boards, which can be general or truck driver-specific sites. Consider posting to a few job sites to extend your reach and find your truck drivers quickly. Other options to try are All Truck Jobs, FlexJobs, JobiSite, Jora, EveryTruckJob.com, Google for Jobs, Truck Driver Jobs 411, and CDL Jobs.


Do you have a website? Use it for advertising the job. It will be better if you have a CAREERS page where you can post the vacancy. Format your job correctly, use the right keywords, and expose it to more candidates. Google for Jobs should be able to pick it up so that it appears in the search results.


6. RECEIVE APPLICATIONS AND CONDUCT INTERVIEWS TO HIRE CDL DRIVERS


Once you've received applications, look for the best truck drivers that suit the position. Start vetting candidates.


Pro- Tip [Do you like the driver based on the application responses? Reach out to them quickly to avoid losing to another company. Then, move on to the next step to shorten the hiring process.]


During the interview, ask about their last two employers and why they left their companies. You should also know why they want to be a truck driver and whether they're OK with spending long hours on the road and driving. Look at their grooming, or if over the phone - listen to their professionalism and how they carry themselves. Aside from general questions, you can also ask questions like how they overcame a challenge they met on the road, how the potential driver works under pressure, and how they handle job stress. You should also ask their strengths and weaknesses to know if their personality fits your company's culture.


Other possible questions


· How do you keep yourself alert and focused while driving?

· What do you like the most and the least about being a truck driver?

· Have you been in any road accidents in the last five years? Describe what happened.

· Have you missed a delivery deadline? If you had, how did you handle it?

· How would you handle a situation like a delay in the shipment?

· Have you ever experienced a shipment problem? How did you handle it?

· When can you start?

· What are your salary expectations?


7. RUN DRIVING HISTORY AND BACKGROUND CHECK


You will entrust the driver with your equipment, truck, and shipment, so you shouldn’t take this step lightly. Once you’re done with the interview, narrow your list and choose up to three leading candidates. Next, ask for at least three references to call, ideally supervisors, for a clear picture of how each applicant fared on the job. Talking to these references will also give you an insight into any bad behavior or other red flags.


A background check is also essential to find the right truck driver for the job. It will help you learn about the truck driver, his driving record, and any job-related offenses. It will also reveal moving violations and accidents before hiring the truck driver.


DAC, PSP, MVR, and Clearinghouse are reports that will be pulled by your insurance company and a pre-screening company. These reports will be a deep dive into the driver’s background and driving history.


8. SCHEDULE A ROAD TEST AND DRUG TEST


This step is critical to determine the skills of the candidate and an opportunity to discuss the role more. Before the road test, check with your local laws to ensure you’re following rules and guidelines.


Make sure you schedule the potential driver for a drug test. The drug test must report negative before the driver pulls his first load.

9. MAKE AN OFFER


Call the candidate and share the good news. Then, make an offer once you're done with the reference and background checking. Use a formal offer letter – this should include the salary, benefits, job duties, and start date. Please send it via email and allow them to review and sign it. Speed up the process by doing it electronically, too. Use an online signature to make the back-and-forth process easier and faster.

10. DO A PROFESSIONAL AND COMPLIANT ORIENTATION

Train the new truck driver yourself if you don't have experienced drivers in your fleet. Discuss specific job standards and procedures as well as job expectations. In the case of expectations, one reason people leave their jobs is when they don't understand what to expect in the job. So be clear about it from the beginning – in your job description and onboarding process.

If you are interested in working with a truck driver recruiting agency specializing in retention, call Rig On Wheels Broker & Recruitment Services today. We are here to help your company recruit and hire your ideal class A drivers that will stay. Need help? Call 281-968-3100​​ today!

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If you work in the trucking industry and want to share your experience, email me at recruiting@rigonwheels.com

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Email questions to recruiting@rigonwheels.com

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