By Kelin Finley - EveryTruckJob.com
So there I was, sitting at my desk answering the dozens of phone calls and emails I get every day from drivers in bad situations that are unable to find trucking jobs in the industry. To be completely honest, I really don't like getting these calls. It's not that I don't like spending time on the phone, and it isn't because these drivers are in a bind and I don't want to help them – It's the fact that I have to tell them that they probably will not be able to find a driving job. I have to tell drivers with sometimes 20 years of experience and a love for this industry that they will have an incredibly hard time getting hired somewhere. It never gets any easier for me.
It was on one of these days as I sat frustrated that I began to wonder, then to brainstorm a new idea for my monthly column. I had always looked to newsprint journalists and been envious at the platform that lay before them to educate the populous on whatever subject they deemed important. Then it struck me – I too have that platform! What if I began questioning some of the driver recruiters I work with through Trucking Jobs, Inc.? What if I asked them the same questions I get asked every day? What if drivers finally had the straight answers they need to hear – right from the source?
So this is it – the first part of a three part interview I conducted with Freymiller recruiter, Tamina Rawlins. This part, aptly named "Windows" is a glance into the daily undertakings of a driver recruiter – from the first look at an application, to the phone call to a driver. This is the process your application undergoes.
Q: What are the first three things you look for on an application?
A: When I first look at an application, I check to see if the applicant meets Freymiller's basic requirements. (work history, driving record, and criminal background). Questions I ask myself are: Does this driver jump from job to job, or do they stay with a company? How many points or infractions does this driver have on their driving record? What for? Has this driver recently had a felony or misdemeanor? Have they ever had a drug or alcohol conviction? These three items have a big impact on every application. They can make it or break it.
Q: What are the top five things that disqualify a candidate in your eyes?
A: The top fives things that disqualify a candidate from Freymiller are a drug and/or alcohol conviction, a felony within the last 3 years, their safety record (i.e. Accidents, or driving record), a bad DAC report, or a positive and/or refusal of a drug and alcohol report.
Q: What are some key characteristics you look for when deciding between two similar candidates?
A: If I have to choose between two drivers who are both similar, I would probably look at their work history. How a driver performs at a previous employer shows me the most at how they will represent Freymiller. Which driver left the best impression and did the best job for their past employer?
Q: What would you say the most important personality characteristics are of a successful driver?
A: Timeliness, professionalism, and appearance.
Q: About how many applications do you receive in a day?
A: I probably receive 20 – 30 online applications a day, in addition to the 5 – 10 applications that are faxed or mailed to me. So probably a total of 30 – 40 a day.
Q: Of all those applications, how many applicants do you contact?
A: I probably contact 50 percent of the applications that I receive.
Q: Of those that are contacted, how many are hired for driving jobs?
A: I probably hire anywhere from 10 – 20 drivers a month.
Q: Other than not meeting your company standards, what are some other reasons that candidates do not get contacted?
Q: What are the major discussion points when contacting an applicant?
A: Pay, hometime, running lanes, and our pet and ride policies.
Q: How do you feel about getting the "special requests" from some drivers – drivers wanting specific home time or certain runs?
A: Each applicant is recruited on a one on one basis. We strive to fit the driver and company together, and to make employment with Freymiller successful for both parties.
Q: How can a driver best convey his desirable hiring conditions without coming across as "too demanding"?
A: The best thing a driver can do is be honest about what they need. Being open about their desires, not demanding, but just asking if we have anything open that can fit their needs.
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