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Let’s get technical

How hiring drivers can and should be more data driven, according to one expert


MILTON, Ont. – How many times have you hired someone thinking they would be a great asset to your business, only to find out a few months later they’re not who you think they are, and are under-performing?

That was the question that kicked off Greg Ford’s presentation at ISB Canada’s Milton location in a room full of transportation executives on May 30.

Hands went up. Lots of them.

That’s because, said Ford, having someone’s resume, educational background, and references are just the tip of the iceberg.

“Traditional interviewing only has a 50% success rate,” he said. “It’s literally a coin toss…and (hiring the wrong person) happens all the time…People surprise us, and then we have bad hires after six months on the job. And the main problem is we know this after they’re hired. What we’re here to do is give this predictive data before they are hired.”

Ford is the CEO of TalentClick, a global firm that specializes in predictive analytics that arise from employee behavioral assessments. The company’s tool, an online personality test that takes users between 10-15 minutes to complete, helps organizations hire the best people for the positions they are looking to fill.

In other words, the survey helps to eliminate the guess work or risk of interviewing and hiring someone who won’t benefit your company and won’t meet the expectations of the position.

“With the survey, we take those opinions out of the mix,” he said. “We help that 50% success rate climb to 75%…And going from 50% to 75%…that’s a big incremental gain.”

According to Ford, personality is linked to driver behavior and road incidents and certain traits can indicate whether someone would make a good driver or a poor driver.

The test gives statements such as “After a long week, I like to unwind by going out on the town” and applicants have to answer using a scale of 1 to 5 to indicate if they agree or disagree with the statement.

For drivers, the test measures whether they are more resistant to change or more accommodating; whether they are naturally more anxious or calm; distractable or focused; impulsive or cautious; more thrill-seeking or apprehensive; introverted or extroverted.

From there, Ford says the data will explain whether that applicant would be a good fit as a driver, as it spits out a driver safety quotient that helps managers with the hiring process.

“Ideal hiring profiles for drivers…are a lot of them are quite calm and are definitely more focused on the road,” he said. “Good drivers are more accommodating, more cautious versus impulsive and definitely more apprehensive versus thrill-seeking. Low performers cluster around being rule resistant and impulsive.”

According to the research TalentClick has acquired from more than 1,000 Canadian commercial drivers taking the survey, drivers with a high rule resistant scores had a 53% higher at-fault crash rate, and drivers with high impulsive scores had a 68% higher at-fault rate. As well, drivers with high distractable scores had 80% higher vehicle damages, and drivers with high spontaneous scores had seven times more traffic violations.

Ford said that today more than 70% of Fortune 500 companies are using behavioral assessment tools because of the proven science behind them.

“We increase the quality of hire and employee turnover and safety incidents,” he said.

And while the company’s survey is deemed to be very accurate at predicting whether or not an applicant would be ideal, Ford says not to use the tool as a pass or fail test.

“It’s just one piece of the decision making,” he said. “Especially for transportation where there’s a shortage of drivers, you can’t be knocking people out of the running. Sometimes you have to hire people you normally wouldn’t. But at least with this, you know what you’re getting and you can address it in the interview process and train them accordingly.”

But one thing is for sure, Ford said, if you want to increase your quality of hire, you should look into adding personality assessments to your hiring process.

“Personality is linked to driver behavior and road incidents. Personality is measurable. And personality can be used to hire and train safer drivers,” he said.


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