A Game Changer!

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In my new gig as a partner at Transrep Inc, I get to meet both new folks and old friends while we showcase some of the new products and services that we have chosen to represent to the trucking industry. I have never been one for using this particular format to showcase these products and services because for too many of the readers of these articles there just wouldn’t be the interest to keep you all engaged. I thought that I might change this rule this time because I think everyone is interested in some of the new services that are available for screening and hiring new drivers into the industry and to screen experienced drivers into a new company. Whether you’re hiring drivers or looking to get hired or are entirely new to the industry, there are new tools afoot that you should be aware of.
I had the opportunity to join a couple other fellows last year to do some consulting at a trucking company that was performing well below what the ownership believed was possible. During our review of the entire company, when we got to recruiting I was amazed when I heard from one of their recruiters that 80% of the company’s new hires were coming through Kijiji. I knew of course that this type of recruiting was the future and that eventually it would dominate but when I heard the numbers from this high profile, mid-size company for the first time it was a little shocking. The future is here! I mention this because as many of you know a lot of great products and services are victims of poor timing. It might be a good idea but if the market is not ready for it, it won’t fly.
I first met the folks from JOBehaviors www.JOBehaviors.com/transportation at this year’s Truckload Carriers Association’s annual convention this past March. It was during the Schools Committee meeting that I was co-chairing that we revealed that our committee had been charged to build a case for FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) to review and hopefully have them consider allowing 18 year olds to drive interstate in the US. For those of you who don’t know, it’s illegal for an 18 year old to drive across a state line. The strange piece here is that in more than 40 states, an 18 year old is perfectly legal to drive a class 8 vehicle within a state’s borders. There are no restrictions in Canada for an 18 year old to drive from one province to another.
It was during this meeting that I became aware of JOBehaviors and what it can do for a trucking company. How it works is that, an individual goes on-line and answers a list of questions. It usually takes 12 minutes to complete and at most, 15 minutes. What it produces is a behavioural profile of two important personality traits that are imperative for the success of a driver in their career and also the long term success of the company hiring them. The results come back in the form of a zero to five star rating that measures the individuals global prospective on safety; do they get it and, an individual’s propensity towards loyalty.
As an employer in the trucking industry this is a GAME CHANGER of the first degree. To be able to get an inside look into an individual’s behaviours and get a measurement like this allows the trucking industry to change with a tool like this. Let’s face it people, we don’t want a low scoring individual on our highways. But they’re there right now. They went for their written and their road test, they passed because they are not stupid…….they are just dangerous and in the wrong profession and they are on our highways wrecking havoc as we speak.
So getting back to the shift to on-line recruiting, this is where it gets neat for me and again it is all in the timing. A trucking company places their application on their web page and invites potential drivers to fill it in. If the individual has a profile that would qualify them to go to the next step, which is normally an interview, their info is forwarded to the on-line questionnaire center at JOBehaviors. The individual is assessed and a zero to five star rating is sent with the application to the recruiting department. Now the recruiter knows whether they want to go to the next step or not. JOBehaviors has screened the minutia out. The trucking company may have a policy to only interview the three stars and higher or they may be almost fully seated and say we are now going to only hire four or five star rated drivers. Like I said, a “game changer”. With a tool like this we could clean the bottom feeders’ right out of this industry, make the roads safer, and bring folks into the industry that will have a much higher chance at having a successful career.
We are of course planning on including this technology in our presentation to FMCSA on the young drivers program. We could try it with nothing but five star individuals to begin with. The State of Arkansas www.truckingarkansas.com is a believer and have built their workforce development program for entry level drivers around JOBehaviors as has the State of Utah.
There is always a new widget or gadget parlour trick in this industry but this one has the pedigree to raise the bar on every measurable there is in this industry and I can’t wait to see the results as it gains more and more acceptance.
Safe Trucking
Ray J. Haight
CEO Transrep. Inc
Past Chairman TCA

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Mr. Ray Haight has enjoyed a successful career in transportation starting as a company driver and Owner Operator logging over one million accident free miles prior to starting his own company. After stepping down from a successful career managing one of Canada’s 50 largest trucking companies, Ray focused on industry involvement including terms as Chairman of each of the following, the Truckload Carriers Association, Professional Truck Drivers Institute, North American Training and Management Institute and the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities voluntary apprenticeship of Tractor Trailer Commercial Driver, along with many other business interests, he enjoys a successful consulting business, also sitting on various Boards of both industry associations a private motor carriers. He is also Co-Founder of StakUp O/A TCAinGauge an online bench marking service designed to assist trucking companies throughout North America focus on efficiency and profitability within their operations.

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  • In the past, I’ve used a ‘version’ of this survey you speak of, which gave a profile for the driver, in several categories. Unless the profile results were really ‘ugly’ re: poor safety scores etc., we hired the driver anyway. When the driver left us for other employment, we then took a look at the original profile results, to see if they held true. For the most part, they did.
    However, something to note. The ‘really smart drivers’, knew how the system worked, and knew how to answer the questions. They really wanted a job and didn’t really answer the questions truthfully.
    For drivers and any other employees in our company, I found honesty and integrity to be two of the absolute necessary qualities in an individual. I’ve found these qualities to be markers which accurately predicted company loyalty.
    The best way to predict ‘safe drivers’? Not a paper test. Smart truckers can work the system. Take them out for a road test works best… highway driving, city driving, see how they take the corners (are they checking their mirrors, etc.), watch them shift and accelerate, are they aggressive in their moves, are they ‘antsy’, in a hurry, and most of all, give them a back-up challenge… it’s surprising the number of drivers that just can’t do even a mediocre back-up job! Practice, practice, practice!
    To summarize, paper tests are great for sure, however they should be utilized as just another measuring stick for the ‘quality’ of the driver!

  • Thanks for your comment Catherine, my reply would be that not all test are created equal, the purpose of using a behavioural assessment tool is to avoid bringing someone into your company that will not fit and to screen these people out before you ever get to the interview stage or the road test etc. This test cannot be manipulated anyone trying to do so will default to the lowest score and of course be screened out, assuming you are not looking for anyone with a pulse. The interesting point to note is that when the tool is mandated from above for implementation it is accepted and the results show vast improvement in driver behaviour, when it is left to be implemented by recruiters it is often seen as a threat to the recruiter and it is seldom implemented properly up front and results are sketchy to say the least. If you are using a tool like this and still feel the need to hire a driver that scores poorly then there larger issues at play I think.

  • I keep hearing there are not enough drivers to fill the seats of expensive equipment parked at terminals. If that is true, I’m guessing using a pre hire screening test must make it even more difficult to fill the seats behind the wheel. At some point I think companies will want to disregard the test scores and get the rigs rolling. At that point I think they will work with gut feelings following a road test. The screening process would be a great asset if there were more drivers looking for work than companies looking for drivers.

  • The test CAN be easily manipulated. I did it a few times with different “attitudes” just for fun. Basically if you go with the “respect first” attitude you’ll get 5 stars. If you go for more technical safety attitude you will do worse. I think it’s a case of if something is too good to be true (a simple quiz to solve a major challenge like recruiting) it probably is.

  • This is an industry I have been in for twenty years and the optics are that company’s “Don’t Trust Drivers” We have computers and GPS, tach cards, we have safety guys who think they are policemen and their job is to catch you doing something wrong instead of helping guys be better drivers. The folks from JOBehaviors are just another group of people looking to make money off the backs of the transport industries HR departments, which in most cases are already a detriment to drivers concerns. We have driver services that have a lock on the jobs in a given region so we are pimped out. This what Transport Company’s of the last twenty five years have made for themselves.
    There is no shortage of good drivers I have worked with hundreds of them over the years, but they are mad and tired of being treated like children and taken for granted. A man will come to work on time do a good days work safely and be a professional if you pay him a fair wage and are considerate of him, it’s not rocket science, just common sense, stop trying to make it bigger then it is. Listen to what the man who sits in the seat ten hours a day is saying, he’s not just being belligerent at the dispatch window. Drivers always marvel at how a guy behind a desk can know more about drivers then they do. In the Transportation the only thing that is worth anything is the driver’s license, nothing moves without it, so how about treating the man who had the wherewithal to get it with a little consideration instead of disdain.