With somewhere between 35,000 and 40,000 truck driver openings in the United States1, carriers are always looking to hire qualified drivers. When applying for a new position, we all tend to wonder how we can set ourselves apart in a pool of applications. Here are a few qualities that carriers look for when hiring drivers.
Focuses on the Customer
Carriers want drivers who will take on the customer service goals of the company as their own. Always keeping the customer’s interest a priority is important in the shipping industry. If a driver’s interaction doesn’t meet expectations it reflects negatively on the driver, carrier, and shipper. In many instances, the driver has a unique role in that they represent the transportation company and the shipper. Therefore, it’s their responsibility to ensure that they are meeting the requirements of both companies and performing to the best of their abilities.
Safety initiatives are a top priority throughout the entire transportation industry. Carriers want to keep drivers and the general public safe. Even with adequate training and safety reminders, it is up to you, the driver, to carry out safety precautions when on the road. If something were to go wrong, companies want drivers who will take all the right measures to keep themselves and other motorists safe. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) makes safety among companies a priority and the slightest infraction could effect your CSA score.
Committed to Success
Being committed is an important quality throughout the entire workforce. Carriers want to employ those who enjoy and are truly committed to what they do. They want drivers who are on-time to their shifts and deliver on their day-to-day responsibilities. Aside from the commitment to the job, the best drivers have a dedication to learning. From technology to regulations, the transportation industry is constantly changing. It’s important that drivers remain educated in their field and continue to have their work reflect these updates.
Work history is an extremely important aspect of the application process, as it is used by carriers to mearure your experience.Employers tend to look at the longevity of your work history as well; more specifically, how many employers have you had in the past three years. Unfortunately, the trucking industry as a whole sees an enormous share of turnover. In the last quarter of 2014, turnover rates for long-haul truck drivers was 96% while the turnover rate for local drivers was much lower at 10%2. For these reasons, it’s not uncommon to see multiple carriers in a three year span on a resume, however the fewer the better. Staying at a company shows your dedication and flexibility.
Communication is key in truck driving. Drivers who have exceptional communication skills to relay information about their load, their truck, and their job overall make excellent employees for any company. If you have questions, ask them. Opening up lines of communication to your co-workers generate opportunities for everyone to learn. Visibility is critical so that the carriers can manage and relay information to the shippers. Without good communication from a driver, it’d be difficult to forecast deliveries and manage goods.
A truck driver has a lot of responsibilities while representing both the carrier and the customer. Whether you’re a recent driving school graduate or one who has driven millions of miles, having these qualities could help you land a position and remain employed with a top transportation solutions provider.