Hiring delivery drivers can be a tough decision, and making the wrong hire means you could end up with an unreliable and potentially dangerous person driving your company vehicle. To avoid that, it’s important to follow a structured hiring process, from determining the type of driver you need and writing and posting the job ad to reviewing and interviewing candidates and checking their references.
Step 1: Determine the Type of Delivery Driver You Need
Learning how to hire employees is necessary to running your small business. If you need delivery drivers to take your goods around town, you need someone you can rely on and trust to keep your vehicle safe and your goods secure—all while getting your customers the products they expect in a timely manner.
Here are some things to consider to help determine the right type of delivery driver for your business.
Most delivery drivers won’t need specialized licenses, so a regular driver’s license should suffice. But you do want to ensure the person you hire has a clean and safe driving record—more on that later.
Step 2: Write the Job Description & Post the Job Ad
Regardless of whether you are hiring an employee or partnering with an independent contractor, you need to write a clear job description and post your job ad to get applications. Aside from the specific skills and experience you’re looking for in a delivery driver, your job ad description should include the following:
- Job title and summary: Provide a clear and concise job title, such as “Delivery Driver” or “Delivery Associate.” Begin with a brief summary of the role, outlining its primary purpose and responsibilities.
- Job responsibilities: List the key responsibilities and duties of the delivery driver, including:
- Safely and responsibly operating a delivery vehicle.
- Loading, unloading, and transporting goods from the point of origin to the destination.
- Following delivery routes and schedules efficiently.
- Verifying the accuracy of orders and ensuring proper documentation.
- Providing excellent customer service by delivering orders promptly and courteously.
- Maintaining the cleanliness and maintenance of the delivery vehicle.
- Adhering to all traffic laws and safety regulations.
- Reporting any delivery issues, accidents, or vehicle maintenance needs promptly.
- Collaborating with team members, dispatchers, and supervisors as necessary.
- Qualifications and requirements: Specify the qualifications, skills, and requirements for the position, including:
- A valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.
- Familiarity with local routes and geography.
- Physical fitness and the ability to lift and carry packages.
- Strong time-management and organizational skills.
- Excellent communication and customer service skills.
- Attention to detail and accuracy.
- Knowledge of vehicle maintenance and basic troubleshooting.
- A high school diploma or equivalent.
- Any additional certifications or licenses required by local regulations.
- Working conditions: Describe the working conditions and environment, such as work schedule, delivery service details, outdoor work in various weather conditions, physical demands, and the need for occasional overtime or weekend work.
- Benefits and compensation: Mention the compensation structure, including hourly wages, bonuses, or mileage reimbursement. Highlight any additional benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, or employee discounts.
- Company culture and values: Briefly describe your company’s culture, values, and mission to give candidates a sense of your organization’s identity.
When you post your job ad, expect candidates to apply the same day. The less experience you’re looking for, the more likely it is that you’ll get lots of applications quickly.
When you’re ready to post your job ad, consider our top-recommended job posting sites.
Whether you’re looking for long-haul delivery drivers, drivers to move your goods around town, or food delivery drivers, ZipRecruiter makes hiring a seamless experience. You can use one of its free job description templates to help craft your job ad and post it on multiple job boards with one click of a button. Try it free today.
Step 3: Review Applicants & Conduct Interviews
Making a list of your must-haves is the best way to avoid getting overwhelmed. It’s possible that no candidate will match up perfectly to your job description, so making a list of half a dozen essential skills will help you narrow your list of qualified applicants down.
After you’ve reviewed your top candidates, call each to schedule an interview. You could email them, but only in addition to placing a call. It gives you a chance to gauge their excitement for the job and their communication skills, something very important for being a delivery driver.
It’s important to ask each job seeker the same questions so that you can evaluate them on similar grounds. Have a list of interview questions, but don’t be afraid to ask additional ones as the conversation progresses. Here are some key questions to ask:
- What do you do to ensure all orders are complete and delivered on time?
- If you have more than one delivery to make, how do you plan your route?
- How do you ensure items are loaded securely and arrive undamaged?
- Tell me about the biggest delivery mistake you made. How did you correct it?
- Tell me about a time when a customer was unhappy with your delivery. How did you handle it?
Each of these questions will provide you with insight into the person’s experience and how they handle difficult situations. Feel free to use real-life examples to see how they would react.
Check out our step-by-step guide on how to conduct a job interview for more in-depth help.
Step 4: Call References & Run a Background Check
The interview process will naturally eliminate some candidates. If one applicant hasn’t emerged as the best choice, try to keep this final stage to just two or three. This will make your decision easier and ensure you make the right choice without being overwhelmed.
Ask each candidate for at least three supervisory references and make sure you speak with at least two of them. Supervisors can shed light on the reality of each candidate’s skills and abilities as a delivery driver. A good reference check can also help you understand what it’s like to manage this person and alert you of any red flags. Learn about the important reference check questions to ask to ensure that you’re getting the most relevant information about your candidate.
You should also consider running a background check on the candidate you want to hire. While not always necessary, it’s good practice. You need to ensure the individual has a clean driving record and does not have any criminal convictions that may render them ineligible for the job. If you don’t do your due diligence and hire a person with a poor driving record who causes an accident, your company could be liable for negligent hiring.
Before running any background check, have the candidate sign an authorization form allowing you to run the background. The background check company you partner with will give you a template.
Compliance Tip: Check your state laws. Some states require that companies run background checks after a job offer has been accepted.
Step 5: Make an Offer
After you have completed all the steps and figured out which candidate to hire, it’s time to make an offer. Before writing up the formal offer letter, call the applicant. You can give them the good news over the phone and discuss any final details, like salary and start date, to ensure they are on board before doing more in-depth work.
When you do draft the offer letter, be sure to include the
- Job title
- Start date
Also include the job description. Having the candidate sign off on their ability to handle the core duties of the job gives you an opportunity to hold them accountable if they fail to meet expectations.
Sending the offer letter can be done electronically and will speed up the process. Using online signature software, upload the letter and send it to the candidate for their review and signature. Give them at least a few days to send it back to you. Once you have the signed offer letter back, it’s time to begin your onboarding process.
Step 6: Onboarding and Training
Onboarding delivery drivers is essential for ensuring safety, enhancing customer satisfaction, improving operational efficiency, maintaining regulatory compliance, upholding your brand’s reputation, and promoting employee retention. It sets the foundation for successful and reliable delivery operations, benefiting both the company and its customers.
To do this, you first need to develop a comprehensive onboarding plan, gather necessary documentation, and ensure drivers are prepared for training.
Next, you must provide training. Prioritize the following:
- safety training;
- vehicle familiarization;
- route knowledge; and
- customer service skills.
You can also include topics on:
- technology usage; and
- company policies.
Learn more about how to approach the process with our guide to onboarding new employees—we provide a checklist to ensure you don’t forget any steps.
Don’t forget to maintain open communication, provide ongoing feedback, and offer continuous training especially when there are updates or changes in company policies and regulations. You must also monitor driver performance, address issues promptly as they come, and emphasize your company’s values throughout the onboarding process.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Conduct a driving test during the interview process to evaluate their driving skills. You can also request a copy of their driving record and contact previous employers for references.
Provide comprehensive safety training during onboarding, including defensive driving techniques and adherence to traffic laws. Regularly monitor driver performance and conduct safety checks on vehicles.
Equip drivers with navigation apps or GPS devices, as well as any company-specific delivery management software. Ensure they have a reliable smartphone for communication and tracking.
Use route planning software or consult with experienced drivers to create efficient delivery routes. Consider factors like traffic patterns and delivery windows.
Instruct drivers to follow company protocols for reporting accidents, which often include documenting details, exchanging information with other parties, and notifying the company and authorities.
Be aware of labor laws, tax regulations, insurance requirements, and any industry-specific regulations that apply to delivery drivers in your area.
Offer competitive compensation and benefits, provide opportunities for career growth, maintain open communication, and prioritize driver safety and job satisfaction.
Hiring a delivery driver can seem like an arduous process, but if you follow these steps and use the right resources, you can make the right hire. Consider using ZipRecruiter to post your job ad and help you field candidates, ultimately helping you hire the best delivery driver available.