The quality of your drivers affects the entire fleet operation, the safety of others on the road and your company’s good reputation. Establishing a driver selection program using specific guidelines will yield the most positive results.

Before the Hiring Process Begins

Set realistic driver qualifications and criteria that each driver must possess. Create a written job description including the essential job functions of the position, experience and level of skills needed.

Outline the physical and mental attributes necessary to perform tasks safely (e.g., vision, hearing, substance abuse and health record). Determine the abilities that the driver must possess, such as: avoiding accidents, following traffic rules, vehicle care, meeting schedules, getting along with coworkers and adapting to new situations.

Determine which, if any, violations drivers have had in the past that will not be accepted by your company (e.g., driving under the
influence of drugs and/or alcohol, hit and run, reckless driving, careless driving, failure to obey traffic laws and speeding).

Driver Selection Process

Recruit well-qualified applicants by highlighting minimum requirements in advertisements. Also look internally to upgrade present employees, take referrals and industry contacts.

Once candidates have been recruited, have them fill out job applications to obtain personal information, references and information about experiences.

Check the validity of the candidates’ drivers’ licenses to make sure they are valid, current and the correct type for the position. Photocopy this information for their personal file.

Conduct face-to-face interviews with potential employees. Inquire about gaps in employment and fleet safety awards earned with respect to the amount of time the candidates have worked in their positions.

Inquire about accidents and violations within the last three years and compare this information to their motor vehicle records (MVR) once they are attained.

Contact potential employees’ references, specifically the candidates’ former supervisors. Check dates of  Employment, reasons for leaving, job duties, types of vehicles driven and job performances. Obtain written consent from the candidates before contacting their references.

Obtain a MVR from the state in which the candidates hold a license. This will list their violation and accident history for the previous three years. (Note: Some states do not indicate all accidents and violations on MVRs. Some states will also require written consent from the candidate to have their MVRs released.)

Administer physical examinations to determine whether candidates are physically able to perform job tasks.  Consult your Human Resources department regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act with respect to physical exam procedures.

Administer road tests to candidates to determine candidates’ skills and proficiencies. Determine a route ahead of time that simulates the conditions drivers would find on the job. Use a checklist to guide the road test specifically highlighting the maneuvers you would like to test.

Administer a written test on traffic regulations and driving knowledge. Gear questions towards actual job requirements. 

Once Drivers Are Hired

Drivers should remain on a probationary period when first hired for a period of time to allow the company to obtain any other necessary motor vehicle records and to observe drivers in action. Generally, 30 days is a sufficient time period.

Review driver MVRs annually!