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4 min read

5 Questions You Should Ask Drivers Before Hiring

By Connor Zazzo on Mar 16, 2021 11:12:29 AM

Whether you know it or not, your truck drivers are a much bigger part of your operations than many business owners suspect. After all, there's much more to the role than simply delivering packages. A truck driver may make several deliveries on an average day, serve as a customer touchpoint, and even resolve some smaller issues or customer requests.

As such, you both must attract and hire top talent for your business. The right truck driver can make a major difference in your daily performance.

1. How would you handle a difficult customer request?

how drivers handle customers

During the recruiting process, it's often difficult to suss out how CDL truck drivers will perform under pressure. After all, many CDL recruiters are only able to see work history and any applicant recommendations. As such, CDL driver recruiters need to ask questions that will help uncover how different drivers perform. While a recruiter can ask how a driver would handle tasks under pressure, it's a better idea to ask a prospective CDL driver how they'd handle a specific situation. This gives the recruiter better insight into potential job performance.

To get a solid answer from an applicant, it's a good idea to use specific scenarios that your business has encountered in the past. Maybe there was an instance of an incorrect order. Perhaps a customer was unhappy during the delivery. Whatever the scenario, develop your own ideal solution and then see what the applicant comes up with. It'll help you see how closely a CDL employee aligns with your brand values and methods.

2. How do you ensure you meet deadlines?

Deadlines are more important now than ever. Due to COVID-19, more and more customers have turned to e-commerce and online ordering. This means that delivery networks are juggling a larger influx of orders than before. Customer service and social media channels are flooded with requests for delivery updates and tracking information. Companies are also working on enabling greater levels of Saturday and Sunday deliveries. As such, you need to address these concerns during the recruiting process.

To attract great people to your brand, it's important to understand how a driver will address complex deadlines. It helps you maintain a stronger level of customer satisfaction and ward off the potential for any complaints.

3. How do you maintain good client relationships?

how drivers maintain relationships

CDL driver recruiters often need to focus on client relationships during the hiring process. This is especially important since your CDL applicants are often the face of your brand. In most other situations, the customer interacts with the brand via social media, its website, or over the phone. However, when a delivery occurs, this may well be the first time the customer physically interacts with your brand's representative. Each customer touchpoint needs to work towards building a more robust relationship and a sense of brand loyalty.

It's a good idea to discuss this with each of your applicants. Ask them for past examples of them going above and beyond to connect with the customer. See how they describe past client relationships and how that worked for the good of the brand they represented. This can give you some better insight into a driver's willingness to adapt to your company's customer service standards.

4. What basic maintenance steps are you familiar with?

Especially where touch freight is concerned, it's important that your drivers know how to handle some basic maintenance. After all, vans, trucks, and other commercial vehicles are expensive. This means that ongoing repairs and maintenance can cost quite a bit. If your driver can handle general maintenance, this can save you time, money, and resources. If you're working at job fairs, this step can help you sort through candidates more quickly and effectively.

When you ask these sorts of questions, you should look for more specific answers. Ask an applicant what steps they'd take to handle any small fixes or repairs. Try to determine what troubleshooting steps they'd follow before reaching out to their coordinator or supervisor. This can give you a better sense of their capabilities while they're on the road. If you have a strong candidate on your hands, you can also consider investing in some ongoing maintenance training if they don't have the sufficient skills but excel elsewhere. This will ultimately depend on your brand's needs and your willingness to train new hires more comprehensively.

5. What logs are most important to keep?

what questions should you ask before hiring

While automated electronic logging devices make it much easier to assess performance, track metrics, and review analytics, they don't give you all the information you need. You'll also depend on your CDL A driver to keep some of the important logs for you. It's a good idea to ask any candidate which logs they keep and which are less important. This gives you an idea of what each driver might prioritize while they're on the road. While it doesn't give you a full picture of how well a driver is performing on the job, it gives you some greater insight into what they view to be their essential responsibilities.

It's also a great idea to follow up with a question about how a driver ensures accuracy. After all, logs and reporting can't do much if they're inaccurate or improperly kept. This can greatly help you determine whether or not a candidate is a right fit for your brand.

It's important to get to know the candidates.

When you're looking for truck drivers to represent your brand, you need to be able to source top talent. Otherwise, you're more likely to experience higher rates of turnover. Turnover and churn cost you time and money, so you should avoid them when at all possible. It's ultimately better for your brand. By asking the right questions when you're looking to hire a driver, it's more likely that you'll find someone who helps your brand grow and develop. Don't skimp when it comes to the interview process. It can mean the difference between a long-term employee and someone who leaves the company shortly after being hired.

Connor Zazzo

Written by Connor Zazzo

Connor is the Marketing Manager for FATj.com, focused on providing valuable insights to help drive forward the hiring efforts of recruitment teams across the country. Interested in reaching out to Connor to learn more about FATj.com? Connect with him on LinkedIn!