With the demand for home delivery increasing, this guide explains how to recruit delivery drivers for your business.
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, and what you can do to attract and convert these kinds of applicants.
The Basics: Driving And Vehicle Maintenance Knowledge
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.
The Cutting Edge: Good Physical Shape
Any driver you employ 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.
The Icing On The Cake: Good Customer Service Skills
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.
Optimise your recruitment process
To attract and hire these kinds of delivery drivers, it’s important you also optimise your overall recruitment process.
1. Write an appealing job post
How you write your job advert is an integral part of how to recruit delivery drivers. Many businesses make the mistake of writing a simple job spec listing the essential role requirements with little else to excite and engage the prospective driver.
You want to really sell the role and opportunity to potential applicants – a few tips for doing this are:
There are more than 5500 job advertising media channels in the UK alone, so you want to select the right ones that your ideal candidate will be searching on. You can research this yourself by doing a simple Google Search of the job title and location you’re advertising for. You can then review what the top 3 results in the search results are as a starting point.
3. Appear on enough media channels
You also want to appear across enough job advertising channels to get your role in front of more ideal candidates. Buying advertising credits for these top channels can become expensive – using a fixed-price recruitment service like a job multi-poster will allow you to post across multiple job boards at a reduced cost.
This will ultimately save you both money and time in your recruitment process, and increase your job advert visibility.
4. SEO optimise your job adverts
75% of internet users never scroll past the first page of results, so if you want your job advert to appear in the top spots of your chosen advertising channels, you would benefit from SEO optimising them. This ensures the job search algorithm picks up your advert and displays it.
Some key ways to increase the chance of this happening are:
Use the most effective or most searched for job title
Use relevant keywords that your ideal candidate will be searching for in the ad copy or relevant synonyms
Try to always select job boardswhere relevant applicant traffic is going
5. Screen candidates properly
Validating applicants using a range of screening processes and tasks is vital in how to recruit delivery drivers. This is because if gaps in experience or cultural fit appear after hire, this can cause issues with performance, productivity, and even increase your attrition rate.
5.1 Skills and experience
Ensure they will perform well in the role by assessing skills and experience. A good CV parsing software is effective for this, as it will automatically screen CVs and pull out important information on their suitability for the role. This avoids the risk of human error or bias, and fast tracks you to the best, most-suited applicants.
5.2 Cultural fit
Assessing for cultural fit ensures your new hire will fit into your company values. After establishing 5 or 6 values for your business, the interview stage is the perfect place to assess these.
Some examples of questions to ask are:
“If we were stuck somewhere, what would you do?”
“Walk me through your perfect workday”
“What are you most passionate about?”
“Describe your ideal working environment”
5.3 Behavioural alignment
Assessing behavioural alignment uncovers candidate motivation and engagement for the role itself – after all, if they don’t enjoy the role they won’t stick around for very long. Behavioural profiling tools are ideal for assessing this, where you can build a benchmark and have candidates complete multiple-choice questions to uncover any areas of conflict.
Video profiling is also a great tactic to use here – you simply invite the candidate to send a short video of themselves answering pre-defined questions. This can give a real insight into their confidence levels, communication skills, passion for the role and more.
6. Interviewing candidates
77% of candidates base their final decision on their interview experience according to a LinkedIn survey – so you want to make sure you impress them at the interview, so the strongest delivery drivers don’t drop out of your process.
6.1 Train your interviewers
It’s important any interviewers are given proper training on best practices, to keep the process as effective as possible.
Some simple ways to do this are:
Shadowing experienced interviewers in the business
Having an experienced interviewer sit in on their first few interviews
Seek professional interviewing help via courses or training seminars
Standardise the interview process and structure and agree in advance what you are evaluating them against
6.2 Don’t book too many interviews in
Interview fatigue can happen if you book too many interviews at once – this can negatively impact your candidate experience, and lose your top talent if the interviewer seems tired, distracted or disinterested. You can avoid this by only moving the strongest candidates to interview by using the screening methods suggested.
Additionally, using an interview scheduling tool will help you stagger your interviews, and let candidate select their own slot, saving time.
So, there are some tactics on how to recruit delivery drivers into your business. 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.
Making these changes may seem overwhelming, which is why we’re here to help. Our talent acquisition platform comes integrated with all the tools you need to quickly recruit delivery drivers directly into your business for less. Simply book a demo, and one of our experts will show you how it all works!
September 17, 2021
Lucy Wyndham is a freelance writer and editor.
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