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10 Basic Rules of Driver Hiring

1. Determine your need and maintain a presence – If you don't need new truck drivers, don't hire them. However, maintain driver awareness of your company in the best recruiting sources to cultivate ongoing interest.

2. Look internally – If you do need new truck drivers, recruit from within as well as externally. Usually, there are many qualified employees available from within the company. These employees tend to be more loyal and productive. Plus, you will be able to avoid hiring an unknown quantity.

3. Be fair and consistent – Give all prospective candidates an equal opportunity for selection. Prepare a job description documenting the essential functions and minimum qualifications for the position.

4. Keep things official – Accept official company employment application forms only. Require all candidates to fill out your company's official driver application. Expressions of interest, such as unsolicited resumes, personal letters, walk-in visits, and cold-call telephone inquiries, should be treated with professionalism, but you should begin your qualification and screening process only after accepting an official application.

5. Keep things legal – Make sure your driver application form is legally sound, adequately protects your interests, and is in compliance with Section 391.21. Review your company's employment application to see that it contains no improper questions and includes all necessary legal protections.

6. Interview consistently – Ensure that the personnel you have conducting interviews are trained to ask the right questions and avoid the wrong ones. The right questions are those designed to determine the best qualified person for the job, without regard to the applicant's race, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

7. Do your homework – Conduct all necessary and required background investigations and reference checks as prescribed by the FMCSRs (Parts 383 and 391).

8. Put it down on paper – Evaluate all candidates based on objective criteria derived from essential job functions and individual qualifications. Employment decisions based on accurate and up-to-date job descriptions may provide one of the best defenses to charges of discrimination.

9. Follow hiring standards – Make sure that the right people make the final decision after carefully considering all relevant job-related information and history. Be consistent and adhere to your hiring standards without making exceptions, unless carefully reviewed by designated leaders. Employee selection is one of the most critical decisions you can make to avoid a claim of negligent hiring. Hiring decisions need to be taken seriously.

10. Be respectful and professional – Be consistent and fair with all applicants. Consistency is the hallmark of any well-run driver recruitment process. If unsuccessful applicants feel they were treated poorly or the selection process was not fair, they may decide litigation is their only recourse. Be honest in communicating with rejected candidates. Treat all applicants with respect so that, whether or not they get the job, they leave the process feeling they were given a fair chance at selection.