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ā€‹Baldwin & Lyons partners with JOBehaviors, Inc. to help our insureds hire and retain qualified, safe drivers. They provide job-specific hiring assessments that are based on an in-depth job analysis with proven top performers. The following article is written by Mark Tinney, president and CEO of the company.

Within any group of employees or driver applicants approximately one third are high performance, one third are average and one third are low performance. Statistically, this is known as the “normal curve,” and holds true for any job, including truck drivers.

Which of these groups is most likely to be available to work for your company tomorrow? If you said “bottom 30 percent, low performance driver candidates,” you would be correct. And they are irresistible to recruiters. I don’t say this as a put down. Recruiters are often hard-working, dedicated professionals. That said, they are human beings with goals that are often more focused on demonstrating to management their ability to generate lots of applicants (process) than their ability to identify talent (outcomes). If confirming minimum qualifications and generating large numbers of applicants were the answers, the industry would have solved the turnover/performance problem long ago.

Unfortunately, low performance driver candidates often meet subjective minimum qualifications and are extremely attractive to recruiters under pressure to fill trucks yesterday, if not sooner. The poor job performance of newly hired drivers is evident only AFTER they’re hired. In many ways, driver candidates are like icebergs. What’s visible – resume, application, interview – provides 20 percent of the picture. The intangibles – their behaviors – are hidden from view. This leads recruiters to focus on the bottom 30 percent who often are acceptable on paper, interview surprisingly well and haven’t had an accident…yet. And did I mention they’re available for work immediately?

Unfortunately the bottom 30 percent also generates the bulk of the chaos, customer complaints and safety and equipment problems. The resulting dysfunction caused by non-predictive hiring methods often results in our best drivers voluntarily leaving for greener pastures, thus continuing the cycle.

In a recent Truckload Authority article, TCA Chairman and American Central Transport President Tom Kretsinger discussed the perils of hiring low performance drivers. He said, “It does seem the tenured, really good drivers in our company are staying. There’s the bottom 30 percent that just churns at an alarming rate. This is one of those things everyone talks about doing differently…but you wake up tomorrow and do it again.”

Selection and retention: The ultimate weapon against driver shortage

It’s not that there aren’t good drivers out there. It’s that they don’t always present themselves as obvious choices. Some don’t interview well. Some don’t submit pristine resumes. Some don’t have the best appearance. Is it possible your recruiters are casting aside top talent because of personal bias? What if the Seattle Seahawks had turned away Russell Wilson because he didn’t appear to be the ideal quarterback (too short, too slow, not enough experience, etc.)? Were the Seahawks more interested in Wilson’s appearance (20% of the iceberg) or his behaviors (80%)?

The challenge is to identify the best candidates in the applicant pool as objectively and quickly as possible. Job-specific behavioral driver assessments are extremely accurate predictors of performance and very easy to administer online. Simply embed a link to the assessment in your website, online job postings or email to candidates and receive instant comparative results. Use of objective behavioral assessment allows you to target the best driver candidates and paves the way for your recruiters to implement an effective relationship-recruiting strategy.

Rather than wasting valuable time and resources on the bottom 30 percent that churns endlessly, recruiters are able to redirect resources to the top 70 percent who may take more effort to recruit but who will ultimately be a long-term asset to your company.

You may not be able to solve the driver shortage for the industry but you can go a long way toward solving it for your company by consistently hiring drivers from the top 70 percent. Selection and retention of high performance drivers is the ultimate weapon against driver shortage.

Process vs. outcomes

Believe it or not, many carriers are generating far more candidates than necessary to meet capacity and wasting tons of money. Yes, you read that right. Is your company wedded to a process that generates large numbers of candidates rather than an objective approach to determining the talent in the applicant pool? Without an objective way of identifying candidate potential, there is no benefit to generating large numbers of applicants. Use of random selection criteria results in random outcomes even if you have 100 candidates for every driver opening.

Clients and prospects we speak to regularly report generating an average of 30 candidates per hire. Using the “normal curve” statistics, that equates to 10 high-performance candidates, 10 medium-performance candidates and 10 low-performance candidates typically under consideration for each driver position filled. Using an objective behavioral driver assessment unlocks up 10 times the numbers of viable candidates within your existing candidate pool, and that’s if you focus solely on the top 30 percent of applicants. It’s also the first step toward an outcome based hiring strategy.

Go on offense with behavioral driver assessment

Behavioral assessment puts you on offense by positively identifying the best drivers (top 70 percent) in the candidate pool. They also allow you to uncover hidden talent that’s often hard to spot when you rely solely on subjective minimum qualifications. In order to win it’s important to avoid the bottom 30 percent at all cost. It’s even more important to consistently hire from the
top 70 percent.

To learn more about hiring and retaining outstanding drivers, or call 800-763-9550.
Baldwin & Lyons’ customers will receive a free 30 day, no obligation trial.

  • Categorized in:
  • Transportation Safety
  • Driver Management