How to Hire the Right Truck Driver
Have a Current Driver Interview the Potential Driver
If no one in your Human Resources Department has ever driven a truck before, have a member of your transportation department sit in on the interview. On the off-chance that you have no one in your transportation department management who has ever driven a truck (and that does happen every once in a while), then select an experienced driver to be part of the interviewing process.
Allow the transportation member to actively participate in the interview. H.R. can have beforehand schooled them on what is proper and what is not as far as asking questions.
Your H.R. Department is undoubtedly well staffed with knowledgeable individuals who can ferret out individuals who are job hoppers or just plain lying on their resume and/or application, however, that extra layer of knowledge by having someone from transportation in the interview can greatly reduce a company from hiring the absolute wrong person for the job.
What your transportation employee brings to the interview is knowledge about the job that your H.R. staff will not necessarily have if they have never driven a truck. The company driver can ask job specific questions and then know from the interviewee's answers if they have at least the basic skills.
Have a Practical Skills Interview
Have the applicant demonstrate basic skills during a second interview. You want to know that the driver can back up, accelerate smoothly through the gears, knows how to hook up air lines, can hook/un-hook a trailer (or doubles/triples along with converter dolly if needed) without issue.
Run the CSA Driver Profile
Run the potential driver's Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) profile as soon as you are legally able to do so. You undoubtedly have already run a motor vehicle report on all new drivers, however, running that CSA profile (again, once you have obtained legal permission to do so) will assist you in weeding out drivers who have a propensity to accidents, tickets, or other safety-related incidents.
Within the first two weeks following the completion of training, have a transportation manager follow the driver on the road (when practical—long-haul operations might make this difficult). Do not tell the new driver in advance. The purpose of the following is just to evaluate their driving skill and adherence to company policy.
Within the first three months of employment, invite the driver to sit down with management and discuss the job. You might do this as a 90-day review or simply an informal meeting to see how the driver likes the job if they have any input on day-to-day operations, or any comments or concerns.