Operations

How To Find The Best Chauffeurs In A Tight Job Market

Jim Luff
Posted on May 24, 2017
(LCT file image)
(LCT file image)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. --- Recruiting chauffeurs is a top challenge throughout the limousine industry regardless of city or locale. Operators say the situation has worsened during the last several years.

Some of the reasons include competition from TNCs that allow drivers a flexible schedule as well as the ability to pick and choose which passengers and jobs they accept. Also, many operators have entered the bus market requiring special driver’s licenses which place drivers of high-occupancy vehicles under closer scrutiny from insurance underwriters to be accepted on a policy.

Those concerns were voiced in a near capacity room during a Show session moderated by Robert Alexander of RMA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation in Rockville, Md., Fe Allen of MGM Resorts, and Jeff Nyikos of Leros Point to Point in Hawthorne, N.Y. The panelists shared their methods for recruiting “outside the box,” such as offering benefits and portraying your company as one people want to work for.

The panel polled participants at the start of the session on specifics they hoped to learn from the session. This set the stage for much audience participation. Many ideas were shared about recruiting methods, where to advertise to find potential employees, and what kind of employees you might want to reach.  

Recruiting Ideas
Some suggestions for recruiting include using Facebook advertising, community job fairs, community partners who focus on placement for job seekers such as veteran’s affairs groups, and placement coordinators on college campuses. Other government entities might provide some tax credits.
Panel members also suggested: Holding your own job fair; implementing an internal referral system for employees to earn bonuses since employees know what kind of candidates you look for; checking Craig’s List, Indeed.com, and Glassdoor.com.

Allen suggests when advertising online, a link should be provided to begin the application process immediately. Operators and moderators shared the need to find the right kind of people, and all agreed people from the service industry such as hotel desk clerks and similar professions make great candidates. They know the value of great customer service and will have less of a learning curve.  

The Vetting Process
Once you have potential candidates applying for the job, there must be a “systematic approach to the hiring process,” Alexander said. Allen explained the boarding process at MGM Properties includes the use of assessment and/or personality tests designed for people in the hospitality industry. These tests are widely available online and help avoid hiring someone who won’t fit into your organization. Multiple staff members should be involved in the interview and vetting process, as each might have a unique perspective on a candidate.

Hiring and Training
Once a candidate has been hired, a clearly defined program must guide the boarding process, including management of background checks, drug testing, and a formal training program. Nyikos uses a knowledge test of general information to determine the level of training needed for the new employee. This has helped identify candidates who are most likely to deliver service that meets the expectations of the company. A strong training program provides confidence for the new employee before the start of service. Allen shared MGM’s policy of placing all new employees on a 90-day probationary period while they go through the training specific to the company orientation and culture, as well as the duties they are expected to perform and how they should deliver customer service.

Retention
The session concluded with a discussion on retention. Obviously, a large investment is needed to train a new employee, given the money and time of trainers. The panel suggested adopting incentive programs that recognize employees for exemplary performance and low-cost morale boosters that can be used to make employees feel appreciated. This can be as simple as a Starbucks gift card to say, “Thanks for a job well done.”

Related Topics: hiring chauffeurs, How To, human resources, ILCT 2017, industry education, recruiting chauffeurs

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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