Before hiring new truck drivers, it's essential to know what to look out for to avoid red flags. This is especially true given the current shortage of qualified drivers. Unfortunately, the driver shortage has left many companies scrambling for qualified drivers and willing to overlook certain red flags in their eagerness to fill positions. But ignoring red flags can result in lower quality hires, less job satisfaction, and high turnover rates.
Here are five common red flags that truck driver recruiters should identify early in the candidate screening process to make better hiring decisions.
1. High Turnover Rate At Prior Trucking Companies
It's not uncommon for drivers to change jobs frequently, especially during the first few years as they search for a good fit. But if a driver has worked at multiple trucking companies throughout their short career, there may be serious red flags that should make recruiters think twice about hiring them.
Many trucking companies have a higher than average turnover rate, which is a driver retention issue. And while some turnover is unavoidable, potential hires with an unusually high turnover rate on their resumes may struggle with job satisfaction.
2. Lack Of Reliability
Trucking requires commitment, dedication, and reliability. Therefore, potential driver candidates who exhibit these qualities from the beginning will be more likely to be reliable on the job. Conversely, a lack of reliability can be determined through references, interviews, social media, background checks, and communication throughout the hiring process.
Driver no-shows and tardiness cost your company money, but they also create negative ripple effects that affect your entire operation. For example, a truck driver who is habitually late or absent might cause you to miss pickup windows or delivery deadlines. In addition, delays and missed appointments might force other drivers to work overtime or reschedule their routes at the last minute. When one driver's unreliability causes problems for others, morale suffers.
3. Poor Communication Skills
One of the most important criteria for any job, particularly driver positions, is effective communication skills. A driver must communicate well with dispatchers, shippers and receivers, dockworkers, and other drivers. If a potential candidate doesn't seem interested in talking with you or has trouble communicating verbally, you should take that as a sign that they may not have what it takes to succeed.
Candidates who can’t communicate well may be a poor fit, so it’s crucial to assess communication skills early in the process. You can do this by checking how the candidate interacts with you and whether they follow up after the interview.
4. Excessive Traffic Violations
It's essential to check driving records for any candidate being considered for your fleet. If their record shows an excessive number of moving violations, it's time to take a closer look at the applicant. Excessive traffic violations can indicate that the driver may not have a good understanding of the rules of the road and might not respect them, either.
For example, if one applicant has had three moving violations in the past year while another has none, it's probably worth digging deeper into why those tickets were issued. In addition, some states have different levels of severity for moving violations; this may help you decide if a ticket is a cause for concern or just an unfortunate incident.
5. Criminal Background Check
Criminal records checks can alert truck driver recruiters to any potential risks of hiring a new truck driver. While it's important to note that not all criminal offenses are grounds for disqualification, some may threaten the public, the company, and its employees. For example, theft convictions may cause dismissal from available employment opportunities, whereas traffic violations can be more subjective and require more in-depth consideration. Therefore, it’s important that recruiters understand what they can and cannot hire drivers with criminal backgrounds on their records regarding your company’s preference.
Turnover for a single driver can cost your business up to $15,000 in replacement and missed opportunity costs. Industry-wide, the numbers are staggering: driver turnover costs the trucking industry a whopping $2.8 billion per year. Losing money on driver turnover, along with the headaches associated with finding suitable drivers, can have a devastating impact on trucking companies. With this in mind, it is important not to hire truck drivers too soon. It is important to put a lot of thought into the hiring process. Seeking out invaluable information regarding candidates is one way to ensure that you do not make mandatory errors during the hiring procedure. If you want to know more about learning the “recruit to retain program, “call or contact us.
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