Amazon have announced a temporary pay increase of £2 an hour for UK delivery drivers, and they’re currently hiring thousands of new employees in the US to cover the increase in demand for deliveries. Small retail businesses looking to keep up with the competition in the current climate may be considering how they can branch out into home deliveries. With pressure on existing courier services, it may not seem like the best time to offer home delivery, but local businesses could navigate the issue by recruiting in-house drivers. If you’re looking to hire only the best talent for your business, here’s what skills you need to look for when you’re recruiting a delivery driver.
Any driver you hire for your business should be able to prove a clean driving licence, so make sure they bring this with them to interview. You can check their licence information online using a check code from the candidate and the last eight characters in their licence number. Prepare a checklist for the interview to ensure that candidates have no positive substance tests and no history of traffic violations. As well as a valid driving licence and no record of having had a suspended licence, they should also have no record of operating a vehicle without permission and no criminal record.
The ideal candidate will also know the basics of the vehicle they will be driving and be confident about carrying out minor repairs if necessary. If you will be providing them with an older vehicle, this is particularly important, as older cars and vans are more likely to run into problems, such as oil on their spark plug threads. If your driver spots this, for example, and knows that it can be a sign of something serious like faulty compression rings, the vehicle should be taken to a mechanic immediately. This will protect the efficiency of your deliveries and minimise the financial burden of repair. While this level of knowledge is not essential in a driver, recruiting someone with this skill can give your business the edge.
Any driver you employee will need good energy levels and focus in order to make deliveries both promptly and safely. Your business cannot afford time lost through unnecessary delays, and it’s important that the driver is safe at all times. Additionally, as they will be making deliveries as well as driving, they should be physically capable of lifting the deliveries and bending and carrying safely. Once you have hired your driver, you can provide them with training on safe lifting, but it’s important that they’re fit and healthy before they begin. Be mindful, however, of the fact that you are only legally allowed to ask a successful candidate to complete a health check if it’s a legal or insurance requirement. Make sure you include information about health checks in your offer letter and do not contact the candidate’s GP without their consent.
An Ombudsman Services report estimated that UK businesses lose approximately £37 billion each year because of poor customer service. Customer care is vital to your business, so your new recruit should be courteous, personable, and willing to go the extra mile when interacting with a customer. To help you find this person, include interview questions about how they would appease an irate customer and how they would respond to a question they don’t know the answer to. Ask them to provide anecdotal evidence of times they’ve delivered good customer service.
Branching out into delivery is a big step for any small business, so finding the right driver is essential. However, in a world where home delivery is playing an ever-bigger role, investing the time and energy in doing this can make your business stand out above the rest.
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