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Four Steps to Help Pick the Best Drivers from Your Applicant Pool
Mariah Barr
8 mins read

We’ve recently covered ways to increase the number of applications for open driver positions at your company. Now that you have more applications coming in, the next question is: how do you efficiently evaluate these candidates to make the best hiring decisions?  

After all, with demand for drivers on the rise, it’s important that you respond to qualified candidates quickly – while they’re still interested in working for you (and before they get scooped up by a competitor)! 

We’ve Cracked the Code on Driver Recruiting- Download Your FREE Guide Today! 

Here are a few tips to help you identify the best prospects from your applicant pool and build a better, stronger fleet.

Have a Digital Application System in Place

Applications are easier to evaluate when they’re immediately delivered to one online location for you to look at as they come in. As we’ve discussed in the past, having a driver-specific ATS with a digital, mobile-friendly application has the added advantage of increasing the overall number of applications you receive (often by more than 20 percent), as candidates will be more likely to apply if they can fill out an application on a computer or mobile device.

Having an eApplication that doesn’t need to be filled out all at once – meaning the candidate can save their progress and complete it at their own pace – makes the application process easier and more appealing to them as well. They’ll have a better first impression of your company just from this simple feature!

Hire Faster & More Compliantly with Our Digital DOT-Compliant Application  

What’s another way a digital application benefits you? If you choose to hire a candidate, the compliance documentation they provided in their original application (copies of their CDL, medical certificate, etc.) will automatically save in the cloud, helping you create and manage DOT-compliant driver files. It’s truly a win-win scenario for you and the candidate.

Have a List of Questions Ready

Knowing what you want from a new hire in advance, and having those things written down in an easy-to-use checklist will help you find candidates from your applicant pool with the traits you’re looking for – and those who don’t.  

Some questions you may want to ask yourself are: 

  • Does the candidate have the required training for the position? 
  • Do they have relevant past work experience? 
  • For DOT-regulated drivers, do they meet all the required qualifications as established by the federal government? 
  • Do they have any related skills that will make them a great asset to your company? 
  • Does the applicant have a history of excessive job hopping? (Although this can be very common in the trucking industry, if you’re looking for a long-term employee, this question is worth considering) 
  • Is the application full of careless misspellings and errors (this can be a red flag with their thoroughness and attention to detail) 
  • Are there unexplained gaps in their employment history that are worth asking about?  

From here, you can filter out any applicants that don’t meet your expectations, or don’t seem like a good fit for your company, and find the ones who can move on to the next step in the hiring process…

Schedule a Phone Interview 

Once you’ve narrowed down the candidate field, reach out to the applicants you’re most interested in and ask to schedule a brief phone call to discuss their application in more detail. This informal conversation can be a good way to get clarification on any questions or concerns you may have about their training or past work experience. It can also be a good opportunity to gauge whether the applicant might be a good fit for both the position and your company culture. 

Even if they’re in your applicant pool, candidates are more than likely applying for other jobs, so make sure you speak with them as soon as possible to avoid losing them to a competitor. 

Reducing Your Time-to-Hire Starts Here

If possible, scheduling and initiating phone interviews right from your recruiting platform allows you to get to the front of the line in terms of speaking to candidates you’re interested in.  

After the phone interview (hopefully) goes well, you can then get to know the candidate better…

Conduct Basic Background Screenings

You want to know the person behind the application. Running standard background checks can help verify if the candidate is someone you’d like to sit behind the wheel of your company’s vehicles.  

The background screenings you should be running before the interview are as follows: 

  • MVR – Collect motor vehicle records from each state in which an applicant held a license or permit in the last three years. 
  • PSP – Investigate the driver’s past three years of safety performance history with all DOT-regulated employers. 
  • Initial DOT Clearinghouse Query – Perform a limited query to see if the driver has records in the Clearinghouse.

You can learn more about these screens, and how to master other steps in the hiring process, in our helpful eBook: The Motor Carrier’s Guide to Hiring Drivers. 

Take these Steps with the Best Automation Software 

Ideally, all the above will take place within a day or two of receiving a new application so that you get the best pick from your applicant pool.  

If you’re looking to get talent in the driver’s seat even faster, the Foley Platform provides an automatic background screening process that takes all the information provided through a candidate’s online application and uses it to kickstart all the driver’s pre-employment requirements as soon as a hiring decision is made. This includes scheduling a pre-employment drug screen, running a motor vehicle report, running prior employer verifications, and compiling a compliant driver qualification file.  

Foley’s mobile-friendly platform makes the hiring process easier for candidates and employers too. Our Driver First eApplication has even increased application submissions by 33%.

Ready to see the Foley Platform in action? Request a free software demo and get the nitty-gritty details on how we can help improve and automate your hiring process. We’ll even help reduce your time to hire by a substantial amount – just like we did for this company!

Remember to check back often for updates on our new software launch – coming soon!

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Whether you’re looking for a quick background check, or a comprehensive DOT compliance solution, Foley can help.