Starting a new job, while exciting, is not always easy. There are all the new processes, procedures, technologies, and, yes, people to learn and understand. You want to start on a good foot without overstepping in your first few days. Trying to get up to speed, onboarded, and familiar with a company while spending most of your time on the road can be even more daunting.
Drivers are asked to do many things in their first few weeks with a new company, which can sometimes cause some friction. To make this transition as smooth and easy as possible, here are some tips and tricks recruiters can keep in mind:
- Start onboarding as early as possible, even if it is informal.
As a recruiter, you can sometimes tell early on if a new driver will 'stick' or not. Start informal onboarding as early as possible – even during the recruiting process – to make sure the new driver feels like part of the team from the first moment on. Introduce him or her to your teams' processes and let them ask any questions they may have
- Check-in daily during the first few weeks.
While nobody wants to be hand-held during their onboarding, it's not a bad idea to check in with your drivers daily during their first few weeks on the road. A quick phone call, text, or video chat can work wonders for keeping them connected and engaged with the larger team.
- Pair the new driver up with a tenured driver.
Sometimes, you need advice from a person who has been there before. Set up a mentor or advisory program to pair new drivers with tenured drivers. Have the tenured driver check-in, see how the new driver is faring, and gauge their satisfaction. Plus, the new driver may have questions he or she doesn't feel comfortable asking their dispatcher or HR, which makes a tenured driver the perfect person to provide guidance.
- Start planning professional development right out of the gate.
One of the easiest ways to ensure a driver (or, really, any employee) is in it for the long haul is to be completely transparent with professional development and growth opportunities. Don't be shy about discussing these with your new drivers. Knowing where a driver wants to progress in his or her career can help recruiters get them there faster.
- Make a splash.
Celebrate your new drivers and the addition they're bringing to the team. Post a 'welcome to the team' message on your social media accounts with fun facts about the new team member. Call out your new drivers in your team newsletter or town hall meeting and welcome them to the organization. It's a big deal to find a new position, and your team should celebrate your drivers' accomplishments.
How does your team reduce new driver friction? With a strong company culture, your newly hired drivers can quickly feel like a valued member of the team.
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