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Recruit & Retain: Bestway Express: Finders keepers

With Curt Singleton, Bestway Express director of safety and H.R.

 

Location: Vincennes, Ind.

Drivers: 270

Power units: 260

 

By Carolyn Magner Mason

 

Curt Singleton, Bestway Express director of safety and human resources, says the JOBehaviors compatibility assessment test helps find top-performing drivers upfront.

When Curt Singleton, director of safety and human resources for Bestway Express, joined the Vincennes, Ind.-based fleet 2½ years ago, the company was experiencing more than 90 percent driver turnover – a statistic in line with a recent American Trucking Associations survey. After researching solutions, Singleton determined the JOBehaviors compatibility assessment test would help select top-performing drivers upfront rather than go through the expensive weeding-out procedures later in the process. Singleton says the results exceeded expectations and resulted in lower turnover and more targeted recruiting.

 

How did you rank drivers before this program?

The metrics were in place to rank our drivers based on criteria such as safety, on-time delivery, compliance with regulations, customer service and proper care of equipment. The metrics clearly identified both high performers as well as the lower-scoring ones. However, our metrics could not distinguish the intangible characteristics that separated the top-ranked drivers from the lower-tier ones. We sought out a program that could help pre-select candidates who would go on to become top drivers with our company.

 

What made you decide to go with a behavioral/aptitude program?

At the time, we were only hiring experienced drivers. We spent a lot of money on background checks – moving forward with those who looked good on paper. However, we found that it was only a 50/50 chance they would go on to become top-ranked drivers. We decided we needed a tool for choosing better-qualified drivers earlier in the hiring process. When we tested JOBehaviors assessment on our current pool of drivers, we were amazed to see the results accurately ranked our top drivers 80 percent of the time. Their results matched up with our own established metrics.

“50 percent of new drivers coming out of driving school leave or are let go in the first 60 days on the job.”

– Mark Tinney, JOBehaviors

 

How does the compatibility assessment work?

Interested drivers take an online assessment that evaluates behaviors related to the job. Applicants are ranked from 1 through 5 stars and compared to all others who complete the assessment. Those applicants with the highest stars exhibit behaviors that are in common with known top-performing drivers.

 

How does this program streamline the hiring process?

Before we commit to pricey background checks, we have already weeded out the applicant pool with candidates displaying the highest potential to be a good fit with Bestway Express. We not only identify potential high-performing experienced drivers but also pull from recent CDL graduates as well.

 

What results have you seen?

After 18 months, turnover is down more than 35 percent and declining. Cost per candidates has been reduced and interview time cut in half. We used to interview 10 candidates to find one, and now top candidates come from only five interviews. Reduced turnover means an increase in top performers who exceed safety and attitude expectations.

How have you fared with new drivers?

Our retention with drivers new to the industry is 75 percent, much higher than the industry average.

 

How do you attract drivers to the assessment?

We advertise, use social media and attend job fairs. Any interested applicants can download the assessment, and we get their ranking.

 

How many stars does it take to continue to the interview process?

We accept inexperienced drivers who test at the four- or five-star level. Experienced drivers generally must test at three stars or above to be hired by Bestway Express.

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