HGV Driver Recruitment – How to Recruit Delivery Drivers

HGV Driver Recruitment – How to Recruit Delivery Drivers

In this blog, we’ll look at the different ways of how to recruit delivery drivers for your business, and what you should look out for. We’ll explore the common problems recruiters face when trying to recruit HGV drivers, and what you can do to avoid them.

 

Home deliveries have always been popular, but since the pandemic, the desire for them has only continued to grow. Figures suggest that home deliveries could add a whopping 20 billion pounds to the UK market by 2025! That means the need for delivery drivers has never been greater.

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Common problems recruiting delivery drivers

 

An ageing workforce

In the UK, the average age of an HGV Driver is 55. That’s not good for recruiters. With many drivers set to retire over the next few years, recruiters face the difficult task of trying to replace them. That means attracting a younger workforce. Which brings us to our next challenge…

 

Little funding for new drivers

For young people today, qualifying as an HGV driver is much more expensive. They’ll face training costs of around £3000 as well as higher insurance. According to Transport’s Friend, they’ve seen “big-name insurers charging as much as £4k excess for a driver who is 22 years of age should he have the misfortune of having a road traffic incident.”

 

If the Transport & Logistics industry could provide free or subsidised training, (the same way the Health & Social Care industry has in the UK) that would take away a large barrier that’s currently stopping younger applicants.

statistic about HGV driver recruitment

Retention 

Recently, Amazon delivery drivers walked out on a mass strike for the first time ever. Drivers walking out of their profession causes a headache for recruiters who are now forced to replace them – often quickly as well. So, what can you do to make sure you recruit the delivery drivers you need? Let’s have a look below: 

 

How to recruit HGV delivery drivers 

Now we know some of the issues recruiters looking for delivery drivers are facing, let’s look at how you can overcome these. And of course, it all starts from a great job ad.

 

Write an appealing job advert 

How you write your job advert is an important part of how to recruit delivery drivers. Many businesses make the mistake of writing a simple job ad listing the essential role requirements with little else to excite and engage a potential driver. 

 

Instead, you want to really sell the role and opportunity to potential applicants. Below is a list of things to avoid, and things you can do to make your ads stand out more.  

woman signing no

If you want more detail about writing effective job ads, have a look at our blog which covers this entire topic in more detail.  

 

Optimise your adverts for the algorithm  

75% of internet users never scroll past the first page of results – and the same goes for job boards. You want your job adverts to stand the best chance of appearing in the top spots on advertising channels.  

 

Here are a couple of points to get you started:  

  • 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 similar words 
  • Make sure the job title is repeated 4 – 5 times in the ad copy. But be careful not to overdo it and use them naturally 
  • Try to keep your ads between 400 – 500 words. They tend to get the most candidate engagement 
  • Try to always select job boards where relevant applicant traffic is going 

 

If you want more information on optimising your job ads, take a look at our job ad checklist here.

 

Advertise in the right places 

There are hundreds of job boards in the UK alone, so you want to select the right ones that your ideal candidates will be searching on.  

 

You can research this by doing a simple 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.  

 

Also, pay attention to social media channels. LinkedIn might be great to find Marketing Executives & Project Managers, but might not be so great to find delivery drivers. Instead, try using Facebook and YouTube, which according to this survey, is used much more by delivery drivers looking for work. 

 

Screen candidates properly   

Your job ad was successful, and you’ve had a whole host of applicants come through. Now what? Before anything else, you’ll want to screen your candidates properly to make sure they’ve got all the licenses and background needed 

man sat next to a woman interviewing her

Screening can typically be quite time-consuming, especially if you have a high volume of applications to get through. Many recruiters still filter through applicants manually, which takes up a lot of time, effort and money.  

 

That’s where using recruitment software that automates parts of the candidate screening process is invaluable. Let’s look at the different screening areas you’ll want to do and how automation software can help.  

 

Reference checks  

The back and forth nature of reference checks can really slow down your hiring process, but it’s still an essential part of it. A recruitment platform like occy will automate this for you – with the click of a button you can send reference checks and even follow-up with reminders without a second thought.  

 

Background checks 

As with cars, drivers will need a valid UK driving license. But that won’t be enough if you’re looking to drive an HGV, which includes buses and lorries. Similar to reference checks, a platform like occy can check licenses for you 

 

Health & fitness check  

Delivery driver roles can be quite physically demanding, so carrying out a health and fitness check is something to consider. This can be done easier using ‘killer questions’ in your initial application form.  

 

All you need to do is ask applicants to fill in a form with a question like “Do you have any medical issues that might prevent you from carrying out the work? Back problems, poor eyesight” etc. If a candidate answers yes to that question, then you can filter your applicants more effectively.  

 

Once again, using an automated system that does this for you is the ideal way to save your recruiters’ time.  

 

Training test days to verify skills 

As a last precaution, you may want to do a test day where you invite potential drivers to your training centre to drive an HGV and carry out other tasks like parking, loading and unloading. This is something our client Whistl does, one of the largest logistics companies in the UK.  

 

Again, you could use a ‘killer question’ in your initial application form to see if applicants agree to do the tests. Those that progress to the next stage can then auto-select their training test day, picking a day and time that works best for them.

HGV driver sat in a van

Look for candidates with the right qualities and skills 

There are a range of skills needed to be a good HGV delivery driver. Many of these can be uncovered either in an interview stage or ensuring you mention them in your job adverts 

 

Being acutely aware of the skills you need avoids candidate drop offs later in the hiring process and even turnover after hire.

 

Driving & Vehicle Knowledge  

The ideal candidate should know the basics of the vehicle they will be driving and confident about carrying out minor repairs if necessary – especially if you’re providing them with an older vehicle. While not essential, this can lessen the financial burden of a repair. 

 

Good Customer Service 

According to DriverMetrics, “customers that receive a poor delivery experience and are inconvenienced by delays are less likely to place further orders”. This is why it’s important to look for delivery drivers with good customer service or conflict management skills to avoid negative customer interactions. Even just a few poor reviews from unhappy customers can put your business at a disadvantage! 

 

Problem Solving 

Even though most delivery drivers now use GPS, problems can still come up during a drive. Whether that’s unexpected traffic, a diversion, no parking, issues can come up that might require a driver to think on their feet.  

 

Look to test drivers in the recruitment stage with some real-life scenario questions. This could help avoid problems, delivery delays, and a poor customer experience in the future.  

 

Organisation 

Even though drivers might have a head office arranging the deliveries and times for them, they still need to be organised enough to plan their day around it. That means checking to see if travel times between addresses are reasonable, and if not, being organised gives them the time to correct that.  

 

It also means keeping track of your own delivery record. Making a note of every delivery you made, and backing it up with photo evidence, or signatures. That way if a dispute arises, and a customer claims they never received it or it got stolen, your driver’s covered. 

 

Hire & onboard quickly   

The last tip when it comes to HGV driver recruitment is hiring and onboarding candidates quickly. Hiring delivery drivers is a fast-paced business. In the US, logistics has one of the fastest time-to-hires across all industries, and the same stands for the UK.  

 

That means the longer your hiring process is, the more drivers you’ll miss out on. Using the hiring automation tactics in this guide will significantly help you with speeding up your hiring and avoiding this!  

 

To wrap up 

This guide should give you enough information to substantially change the way you approach recruiting HGV delivery drivers. But if attracting and hiring candidates is a key challenge for your business, our free guide 5 Steps to Attracting Candidates goes into more depth on how to do this.  

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