Operations

Go Fish: Catching And Keeping Prized Chauffeurs

Lexi Tucker
Posted on November 13, 2018

What's been your best catch?
What's been your best catch?
One of the most common challenges you’ll hear talked about among operators is recruiting enough chauffeurs who will stay. It’s become more difficult to find the ones worth the time of interviewing, hiring, and training for the long term. That’s why LCT and The LMC Group teamed up to offer a webinar in August titled “Deep ‘C’ Fishing: Catching — and Keeping — Outstanding Chauffeurs.” Presenters Stephanie Carnes and Alison Ford helped operators figure out the best places to attract and find quality employees.

Set Your Bait

To start, online job boards such as Indeed, Craigslist, Monster, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, and Simply Hired are practical, affordable places to begin your search, Ford says. “Personally, I find CareerBuilder is the best site for searching resumes. But Indeed has been what I have found to yield the best results when you post a job and get applicants back,” she explained.

Another place to find potential chauffeurs is driving schools. People often go to driving schools to get their CDL licenses. “They make good candidates because you know right away they want to drive for a living.” Social media is another avenue. Try posting jobs on your company page or help wanted groups.

Alison Ford
Alison Ford
Retirees make excellent chauffeurs. If they’ve reached that point in their lives, it’s likely they’ve been in the professional world for many years. “I’ve talked to operators who are sometimes reluctant to consider retirees, thinking they don’t really want to work full time, or work at all. We’ve had many retirees end up being excellent chauffeurs. They may not necessarily want to work full-time or certain days or times of the year, but they do want to work.”

Job fairs are also good places to continue your search. Nothing is better than being able to talk with prospective candidates face-to-face. You can also get a paper copy of their resume. “Sometimes we have done interviews right on the spot if they have the time to sit down. Otherwise, we can get it set up on the fly, so that’s always an added value for job fairs,” Ford said.

Finally, and although operators may not want to hear it, the truth is Uber and Lyft drivers actually have the potential to become great chauffeurs. “I can tell you, in speaking with candidates, there are plenty of good people who come from this world. The good ones I’ve found are not really on board with how things have been going with ridehail. There’s been a lot of bad press, and they don’t like to be associated with that. They like driving and customer service, but don’t like spending much on the wear and tear of their personal vehicles, and they want to get away from that.”

Investing in an applicant tracking system will help you follow the people you interview. If you talk to somebody who you think would be a good candidate, but isn’t necessarily looking for a job at the time, this will help you remember them for the future.

Reeling Them In

Stephanie Carnes
Stephanie Carnes
First, you’ll want to start with a phone interview. This will help you not waste your time bringing in people who you can immediately tell are not a fit for your company. Keep the conversation light. Use a more casual tone and have them talk about themselves and their work history.

“They may divulge more than they should, which is maybe a good thing for you, but not so good for them,” Ford said. “They will be more at ease and give you more information during that conversation. When you look at their work history, I would say don’t automatically discount an employee if they’ve jumped around a bit. There may be a reason.”

Maybe they do contract work and move around. Look at why they left a position, but be mindful of their staying power. 

“I have had situations where they will tell me everything that went wrong at every job they’ve had and why they hate their ex-manager. That’s obviously a red flag,” Ford said.

She always asks for specific examples of how they dealt with a difficult person or situation in past jobs. “Obviously traffic is always going to be an issue for drivers. So you may want to ask something like, ‘How do you handle situations that have thrown your schedule off, and how do you plan ahead?’”

If they pass the phone test, you want to make sure you can sell your company to them when they come in for an in-person interview. “You want to present what it will be like as an employee for your company in a positive light.” This means talking about how you get along as a team, what you do for your staff, and what makes working for you a good experience.

Securing Your Prize Catch

Once you’ve hired the right chauffeur, you should do all you can to keep them. Losing them means forgoing the knowledge and skills they brought to your company. The good news is 75% of turnover is preventable. Many employees who leave shortly after they’re hired report the job wasn’t as advertised. Be honest about the requirements and the potential of the work. Properly onboarding your new chauffeur determines if they feel prepared to do what you hired them to.

Make sure their tablets are setup and they have access to your livery software and any other tech they might need. Orient them to company policies, rules, regulations, and procedures. Share your vision so your new employees will be proud to belong. If you have a mission statement, share it with them and explain how they fit into the mission.

Adopt a plan to introduce your new chauffeurs to the office staff and other chauffeurs. Some companies send out a company-wide email asking all employees to welcome the new chauffeur. Others will take new hires to lunch or call everyone together for coffee and introductions. Take steps to encourage warm and welcoming behavior from your current employees. 

Related Topics: chauffeur pay, driver pay, employee recruitment, hiring, hiring chauffeurs, How To, recruiting chauffeurs, webinar

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
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