Trucking is a highly competitive industry these days because freight companies often have lots of open jobs and relatively few drivers available to actually fill them. As such, many businesses are raising wages and giving truckers more flexibility, but when dealing with potential hires, there are still a number of skills every one must bring to the table to be successful.
Hiring the right people is a must for any company because the costs associated with moving on from an ineffective employee, re-opening the candidate search and onboarding a new worker is usually quite high. Here are six key traits for shippers to watch for with any candidate:
1) Practical skills
Of course, the most important part of being a pro hauler is actually having the know-how to operate a big rig, according to The Balance Careers. That obviously means knowing how to operate a big rig on the open road, back it into a loading dock, make sure loads are properly distributed in the trailer and so on. It also means having all necessary licensure in good standing.
2) A clear knowledge of safety issues
A big component of any trucker's job is getting from Point A to Point B without incident, so new hires have to be aware of the safety concerns they are likely to face, The Balance Careers noted. Quizzing them about what they would do in certain worst-case scenarios could help you get a better handle on how well they understand the risks they are likely to face, and proper reactions to them.
3) Willingness to learn and advance
While some drivers are content to just drive their big rigs for decades, others may see a different path for themselves in the sector, according to Load Delivered. If candidates express a desire to move up the ladder, that could be a good sign that they see themselves spending many years in the trucking industry overall, and potentially with your company if you provide them opportunities to advance.
The ability of any driver to effectively communicate with dispatchers and others on the road is a key component to trucking success, Load Delivered added. When drivers understand the best practices for dealing with others at the company, everything is likely to go a lot more smoothly.
Of course, while the ability to effectively communicate with dispatchers and others on the road is a must, drivers also have to be capable of independent thinking, strong decision-making and fixing any problems with their trucks on an ongoing basis, according to Monster. Truckers spend the vast majority of their time alone on the road, so those who have a tendency toward excelling independently could be ideal candidates.
6) Understanding of the industry
Some may now be interested in trucking for the first time, but not fully realize the scope of the commitment, Monster cautioned. This is a difficult job that often requires drivers to spend days or more away from home at a stretch, and that can be hard on a family, on their bodies and on their psyche. Candidates who go into the job clear-eyed about what they are likely to face are far more likely to succeed.
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