The most pressing issue in the commercial driving industry right now is the lack of drivers. Finding and retaining qualified drivers has become more difficult than ever before. However, you don’t want to put your company at risk by hiring just anyone.
The hiring and onboarding process is the most important step in protecting your employees, fleet, and company. In this blog, we will provide commercial driver hiring tips and guide you through a smooth and effective onboarding process.
Hiring New Drivers
Motor vehicle accidents are the most serious risk in the commercial driving industry. Even experienced drivers are exposed to risks on a daily basis. New drivers are especially vulnerable to work-related injuries and accidents that can impact the financial stability of your company. Therefore, organizations must design and implement an onboarding process that involves educating employees, orientations, effective communication, and safety training sessions.
Finding The Best Fit
Managing new-hire risk begins far before actually hiring a driver. Selective screening tools can be utilized to minimize the chances of hiring underqualified employees who are not a good fit for an organization. Keep in mind that you should always check with your employment law representative prior to implementing any form of screening options. Some effective pre-employment screening options include:
- Criminal record
- Drug and alcohol screens
- Education verifications
- Re-employment verifications
- Integrity testing
- Motor vehicle records
- Name and address verifications
- Professional certifications verifications
- Workers’ compensation history
- Fit-for-duty evaluations
These selective screening tools can serve as a great resource for finding qualified candidates for your organization and preventing work-related accidents in the long run.
Designing An Onboarding Process
There are many factors that impact new-hire safety in the transportation industry. It’s vital to identify driver skill levels and weaknesses to prepare new drivers for risks they’ll encounter on the road.
Any new employee, regardless of experience, should be required to undergo an introduction to your organization’s safety culture. This will give every driver the opportunity to be successful and perform his or her job in a safe manner.
Also, your onboarding process should continue beyond day one and include verbal check-ins with new drivers 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 6 months, and 12 months after their hire date.
Those in positions of leadership within an organization need to demonstrate a commitment to safety. They should take an active role in providing adequate time, resources, personnel, and financial support to create a safe work environment where new drivers can learn the ropes.
Communicating in person or through video conferencing is the best way to strengthen your safety message and show employees that personnel at all levels within the organization are committed to workplace safety.
Commercial drivers are going to face occupational hazards while on the road or at your facility. Safety training is vital for new employees to go through. It’s also a requirement by the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Effective safety training should include how to recognize job hazards and how to control or eliminate those hazards. Some of the OSHA standards for training include emergency preparedness, hazard communication, and personal protective equipment.
Safety training sessions can be performed with the help of a mentor. Mentorship programs are a great way to mitigate risk to employees and equipment. They can help new employees:
- Hone their driving skills
- Demonstrate proper care of vehicles and equipment
- Improve customer service
- Share knowledge and lessons learned on the road
- Improve the safety culture of your operation
Mentorship programs are excellent as they can improve the skill set of newly hired drivers while recognizing your most tenured and valued employees.
Protect Your Organization With RRL Insurance
The hiring and onboarding process is never easy. There are so many factors to consider when searching for drivers. Even when every initiative is taken to educate and train employees, accidents still occur. That’s when you need the proper insurance coverage from a team of professionals in the industry. For more information on how RRL Insurance can protect your fleet, please contact us today.