Fleet drivers are in huge demand in the logistics and supply chain industry. Let’s face it, your operations and deliveries will depend on your fleet. If you don’t have reliable drivers, you will be struggling to meet your customer’s demand.
You can’t ship your products to different locations if nobody is willing to deliver. Even if you have vehicles, you need a team of employees who are trustworthy, reliable and believe in what you’re doing. In summary, good drivers are the backbone of your business operations.
The question is: What do you look for in them, and how do you select high-quality talent?
Here’s what you should be looking for –
1. Do They Believe In Your Company And Culture?
If you’re running a meat-delivery business and you’ve got a vegan driver, then chances are – he/she won’t be a good fit. Of course, that’s a black and white generalisation from our end, but that’s a basic example.
Before you hire drivers on your team, be sure to interview them. Ask them basic questions, why they want to work for your company, and analyse their understanding of what it is you do.
This may sound like common sense, but this is often missed. If you’ve got drivers who understand how your products/services work and how you’re changing the market, they’ll be more willing to stay invested in your mission.
2. Willingness To Learn
Technology is changing, and as the landscape evolves, people are adapting. Consumers are getting smarter, which means you will have to up your game when it comes to your fleet. When we talk about willingness to learn, we’re talking about drivers who are patient.
If you install GPS fleet tracking devices on the vehicle, your drivers should be able to operate them. It’s alright to get an employee on board who lacks technological finesse as long as they’re willing to learn and show motivation.
3. Good Communication Skills
Good communication skills go way beyond just understanding and deciphering words. It doesn’t matter if anyone has an accent or not or even if they’re fluent in their language. It’s about getting the message across and understanding what they’re being told.
For example, if your driver runs into any issues during the delivery, he/she should be able to explain to you what happened along the way and not just make excuses. You want your driver to be intelligent and be able to explain concepts or problems they run into in concise and crisp ways.
Time is money, and not everybody will have the time to sit down and listen to hour-long explanations. Communication skills extend to your drives interacting with customers too. You want to make sure they’re polite and not rude. We believe good communication skills are a sign of emotional intelligence, and this is a trait you want to look for in your fleet’s team members.
4. Work History
Besides soft skills and emotional intelligence, work history is an aspect you cannot ignore. Study the driver’s resume and look at their track record in logistics.
“How long have they lasted in a company?” and “Are they easy to work with?” are two questions you should be asking yourself when reviewing their application. Besides work history, you should ask them about their driving experience and whether or not they’ve worked in the logistics segment before. If they are licensed to drive various vehicles and not just trucks, that could be a bonus depending on what you’re looking for.
5. Motivation And Commitment
This may sound cheesy, but it’s not. Motivation and commitment to the job are probably the top two qualities employers look for when hiring recruits. It applies to your fleet too.
A truck driver has tons of responsibilities and represents not just your customers but your brand. You want visibility in communications and want to keep the lines open. Using fleet management software on vehicles will give you insight into how true they stay to their word during deliveries, but that’s not enough.
If you have genuine people on your team who stay committed to what you’re doing, value customers, and ensure that the deliveries get on time – that’s what will be creating results. And that’s exactly what you want in a driver.
When you’re looking for new drivers, put effort into making your company a place they want to work with. Update your website, make vlogs about your work culture and show what it’s like working for the company.
You want to offer your fleet competitive pay and give them raises or incentives if they’re doing a good job. It’s also not just about hiring good drivers but also retaining them. If your drivers stay invested in your brand long-term and help out your business, you’ll be more likely to continue growing. Be realistic about your expectations from them and have an open-door policy that makes room for what they say. Listen to them and understand where they’re coming from since they’re the ones on the road.
You also want to provide opportunities for career advancement along with your training programs when you’re hiring them. Be sure to follow up every month to see how they’re doing and offer them other incentives like time off from work, getting them home on time, and paying for a meal or a few snacks while they’re doing their shift. These small things go a long way, and a happy driver equals good customer service and experience.
It’s not easy finding good drivers, we totally get that. But if you persevere and keep searching, you’re likely to find reliable employees for your team. Good drivers can literally catapult your business to success and make your brand stand out. Customers will be impressed with their behaviour and professionalism, and that alone will pave the way for your brand.
The best businesses have exceptional customer service, and it is these human qualities that make the backbone of these businesses. Now that you understand the importance of hiring good drivers, we suggest spending some time and see how well you can onboard them onto your company, thus making the transition easy. If you’re struggling to find good drivers, you can always ask for referrals from your existing ones and see how it goes from there.