Pre-employment Screenings for Commercial Drivers

Nov 12, 2023 | Business Insurance, Personal Insurance

It’s challenging to find qualified semi-truck drivers. Many potential drivers are turned off by long commute times and difficult working conditions. There are a ton of jobs available for those who are still around. Truck drivers are impossible to retain, even if you are successful in hiring them. Companies must constantly hire new employees due to the industry’s 94 percent turnover rate for large fleets and 73 percent rate for smaller ones. A hiring war for truck drivers has resulted from a constant need for new employees. There is a heated competition for candidates among trucking companies. Businesses frequently employ these strategies when attempting to attract candidates: increasing pay and expanding benefits. To find the best employees in this fierce candidate competition, you must streamline your hiring process through pre-employment screening.

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Why Do Companies Not Conduct Background Checks?

Employers, seeking to streamline hiring, emphasize background checks—an expensive and time-consuming facet of applicant screening. Incorrectly conducted checks can result in legal issues. Priced between $10 and $20 each, the cumulative expense can significantly raise hiring costs if applied universally. The process takes 3 to 5 business days or more, providing applicants ample time to explore alternative opportunities during the wait. Strictly regulated by federal, state, and local laws, conflicting legal requirements can create confusion and pose legal risks. Despite these challenges, background checks are indispensable for a company’s viability, ensuring a thorough understanding of potential hires and maintaining compliance with necessary regulations.

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The transportation sector must interview prospective employees.

The transportation sector is facing some challenges. Employers must strike a balance between hiring new drivers quickly and adhering to legal requirements. Background checks assist businesses in striking this delicate balance.

The results of the applicant screening show which drivers are qualified for the position. Background checks guarantee the suitability of your truck drivers for the position. But applicant screening goes beyond merely determining whether your drivers possess the necessary abilities. It also maintains legal compliance for your company.

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New hires must be screened by your company. Potential drivers must undergo background checks as required by law for the transportation sector. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) demands that truck drivers undergo specific background checks. Background checks shield your company from legal issues. You also need to be protected from other things. When a semi-truck driver hit a car and lost control, he killed seven people. If the driver’s trucking company had investigated his driving history, lives might have been saved. Before this collision, the driver had received five tickets, including one for speeding and careless driving. One driver’s reckless driving could destroy everything you’ve worked for, causing everything from property damage to human life loss. Background checks make known any previous convictions for offenses related to driving. By preventing you from making an unsafe hire, knowing your candidate’s history protects other drivers.

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Making an informed hiring decision also protects your company from claims of negligent hiring. You don’t have to hazard a guess as to whether a candidate is trustworthy around your staff, customers, and equipment. Instead, research candidates before hiring.

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Car accidents are only one of the issues caused by careless drivers. If they disregard the law, unsafe drivers may also result in the closure of your establishment. When the FMCSA found that the drivers were unplugging the monitor tracking their driving hours, one trucking company was shut down. Five of the drivers additionally lacked the proper license classification for commercial driving. Additionally, four of the drivers tested positive for illegal drugs. Background checks done correctly shield you and your business from the hurtful problems that bad drivers cause.

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pre-employment screening

The background checks that your company must conduct on new drivers

  • Check for criminal records

Pay attention to convictions for controlled substances or offenses involving motor vehicles. These point to a driver who isn’t a safe driver or who requires rehab.

  • Alcohol and drug testing 

A standard Department of Transportation (DOT) drug panel must be completed as part of pre-employment, as mandated by the FMCSA. Testing for marijuana, cocaine, phencyclidine, amphetamines, and opioids is part of a DOT panel.

  • Verification of employment.

 Some applicants make up their employment history. Verifying a candidate’s employment history reveals whether they’ll be a trustworthy employee.

  • Verify your license

Candidates must possess the appropriate license type to operate a semi-truck. The license needs to be current. It cannot be severely restricted, suspended, or revoked.

  • Verification of vehicle records

Driving infractions like drunkenness and recklessness point to a pattern of poor driving. The FMCSA mandates that you review the records of each state an applicant has held a license in during the previous three years.

  • Physical examination

This examination, which is also required by the FMCSA, verifies that applicants are fit enough to drive for extended periods.

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Records and results from the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP). 

To make driver information more easily accessible to employers, the PSP score was developed. It provides employers with a thorough picture of a potential employee’s driving when combined with motor vehicle records. A registered sex offender is probably not someone your business should hire.

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Run background investigations on job candidates:

In summary, the laws governing background checks and look into the background check laws in your country, state, and city. Additionally, use them as the foundation for your selection procedure and use a reputable background check business. The business needs policies that guarantee accurate results. It must also adhere to any applicable screening laws. Apply a uniform background check procedure to all candidates. As a result, hiring practices are fair, and hiring discrimination is prevented. Thus, for drug and alcohol tests, use a medical review officer. Moreover, the results of drug and alcohol tests must be examined by a medical review officer. Examining physicians vouch that test results are accurate.  They also safeguard a candidate’s personal medical data. Get candidates to sign a form of authorization. Any background investigation must have authorization.

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