Best Practices in Driver Hiring

There are several stages when you talk about the hiring process and from each stage, every fleet should have a clear procedures when hiring a driver. The ultimate question is, are you doing the whole process right while minimizing liability?

A Strong Hiring Policy

Knowing the related federal or state rules involve in the hiring and interview process should be the first thing in every company’s mind because each state has its own special clauses or laws that relate to the human resource management.

Fleet companies need to make sure that regulations stipulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) is followed accordingly. As an example, if any of your vehicles travel outside your home state while hauling trailer-carrying equipment of merchandise and it has over the 10,001 lbs threshold, DOT regulations would apply. This is just one of the many regulations violated by most fleet companies from time to time.

Every company regulated by DOT should maintain a high classification for each driver, which includes a series of required driving records, road test certificates, medical examiner’s certificate and an annual driving review.

An established hiring policy is essential and it should include rules specific to hiring drivers. It is also important to include a clause that will state fleet or service changes into the driver hiring policy. The policy should also include company’s requirements and state or federal regulations that specifically talks about employment. With a policy in place, every driver is ensured to have been properly vetted before getting hired.

Scheduling an Interview

A very straight-forward way of starting off an interview is not by asking questions, but providing statements instead. Provide the applicant with information that will be discussed in the interview and that the company would be requiring an MVR and background check. This should go side by side when giving a short statement on how the company values safety in driving and it’s an integral part of his would-be duties and responsibilities.

In order for you to get a more in-depth safety-related behavioral information from the applicants, you may ask if they have taken a defensive driving course, and why they think it is necessary or not. Other behavioral traits that can be pointed out during the interview are the applicants self-accountability and responsibility.

Motor Vehicle Record (MVR)

NHTSA recently released an information stating that the average cost of non-fatal crash with no injuries is more than $16,000, which does not include wage-risk premiums. If injury was inflicted, that rises to more than $70,000. These figures are the reasons why it is really important to know the driving history of your employees and to keep track of their records from time to time. This ensures that accidents are proactively prevented from ever happening.

For example, if you hire a driver with a suspended license and he gets into an accident, your operations could get slammed with a civil judgement and even larger penalties for negligent entrustment or knowingly providing a vehicle to an unqualified person.

This is the main reason why MVRs should be considered “standard” in the background check process. A thorough background check is the first line of defence for employers to make better and well-informed judgement when choosing or considering an applicant for the driving post.

It is also good to note that MVRs should be run annually to ensure that all your employees are free from any negative records.

GRG’s Driver History Management Application makes running your annual MVR’s, and managing your drivers’ history easy and fast. Get notified of drivers with violations, and monitor the points on their licenses.

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