In our last news round-up blog, we discussed the increase in demand for drivers during the coronavirus lockdown. While some delivery companies are trying to find cover for drivers who may have fallen ill or have to care for high-risk individuals, others are losing members of the team whose heads have been turned by larger organisations.
Indeed, it seems like every retail giant in the UK is on the hunt for drivers right now, using big-budget advertising campaigns and offering attractive hourly rates. Since the lockdown, Tesco has added more than 200 new vans to their fleet and hired more than 2,500 drivers to help them deal with the increased demand. In fact, it’s estimated that demand for home delivery services has increased by an eye-watering 100 per cent, which has understandably placed a strain on supply chains.
For those businesses facing driver shortages and increased demand for services, time is of the essence to recruit. However, in a rush to secure driving talent, are businesses still taking the same safety precautions they did pre-lockdown?
First of all, let’s take a look at why it’s always safety first when it comes to recruiting drivers:
Truck driving is the fourth most dangerous profession in the UK (HSE)
Drivers at work are six times more likely to suffer a fatal accident than the average British worker (Oxford University)
Business drivers account for 40 per cent of road deaths across Europe (European Transport Safety Council).
A recent DriverMetrics whitepaper written by research director Dr Lisa Dorn aims to assist fleet managers and business owners in developing driver selection systems that can predict whether the applicants they select are likely to be safer drivers.
Speaking of the paper, Dr Dorn, who has researched driver behaviour for over 30 years, said: “With significant numbers of drivers being recruited during the current COVID-19 crisis, employers require a fast, yet accurate means of selecting safe drivers. This whitepaper reviews the research evidence for driver recruitment and advocates the use of psychometric assessments as a vital tool in the selection process.”
What Else Can You Do?
Of course, there are several steps you can take to ensure you’re hiring the safest and most compliant drivers on the market. While you probably already know what they are, it’s crucial to take the time to conduct the right checks and research, even when time isn’t on your side.
Here are some tips from the PRS driving recruitment team to ensure your hiring process is robust:
Create (and follow) a formal hiring policy. Even if you don’t have a large fleet, you should have a set-in-stone policy in place to ensure every driver is adequately vetted.
Review your interview questions. Ensure you ask open-ended questions about a person’s driving history and habits. For example, “What would you do if you were running late for a delivery?” You should also use the interview to reinforce the company’s commitment to safety.
Check. It sounds obvious but make sure everything is in order before someone starts a shift with you. It can be tempting to collect any relevant paperwork at a later date, but it’s not worth the risk.
Ask the experts. Who us? Absolutely! Our specialist driving recruitment team thoroughly vet all candidates before they start work with you, so you don’t have to worry about background checks, work history or safety records with PRS candidates.
Get in touch
For our specialist driving recruitment consultants, it’s business as usual so get in touch today to see what we can do for you.