When hiring someone, there are so many questions a recruiter has to ask. But it’s important to get all of the information you need to asses whether a candidate is a good fit for your organization. Office cultural fit is becoming increasingly important, and the skills needed to do different jobs are becoming more and more specialized. The often overlooked, mundane questions are the ones that can actually cause problems. And while reference checks are a “nice to have,” background checks are often mandatory.
Criminal records, work history, and education are the things that are most often checked. But what about driving records? If you’re not checking them yet, maybe it should become part of your hiring policy. Sure, you can ask about it in the interview process, but is that enough? There are some jobs that require a lot of driving; truck drivers, delivery drivers, and salespeople use cars every day. But what about your other employees? Do you need to be concerned about their driving records? Sure, you do! Our roads are becoming more congested every day. Cities are growing and expanding in every direction. It is not uncommon for someone to commute 30 minutes or an hour to get to work. In cities like New York or Chicago, you may not need a car, but for almost every other city in America, a car is a part of life.
Mitigating risk is the main reason for checking someone’s driving record. You want to employ honest, reliable, and ethical individuals. And you want to avoid negligent hiring, on-the-job accidents, and potentially catastrophic events. There are times when candidates may say they have a driver’s license, but you find out later that it’s been suspended or they don’t have one at all.
First of all, you can tell how responsible a candidate is. While having a DWI may not prevent a hire every time, if someone has drinking and driving on their record, you know they may not be as responsible as someone who doesn’t. Some people by nature aren’t great drivers, but others are just careless. If someone has been in multiple accidents, it may be more of a risk to employ that person. Secondly, as mentioned before, you can find out if someone’s license has been suspended. Licenses can be suspended for a number of reasons, but it can help you understand what kind of employee you are getting. Lastly, a driving record can tell you if the person is able to do the job. If the job requires driving and a candidate does not have a good driving record or a license, they are unable to do the essential functions of the job and you should not hire them.
A poor driving record can also say a number of other things about an individual. If someone has multiple speeding tickets, then they may be reckless and lack the ability to pay attention to details. Simply not paying attention to the speed limits or ignoring the law can raise a red flag. Would you want someone who is reckless or lacks attention to detail in your organization? On the flip side of that coin, a clean driving record can also say a number of things. It could mean absolutely nothing if the person simply doesn’t drive a lot. It can, however, mean you’d have one less concern about hiring them.
If the job depends on driving, would you want an individual with a bad driving record representing your organization? What if your employee is a salesperson and goes on client visits? Think about the liability involved if a salesperson were to injure a client while driving them to lunch. Something else to think about is that if someone has a reckless driving record, they may be reckless about other things like maintaining their vehicle. Sounds funny? Not at all. If your car is a mess, you could make a bad impression on a potential client.
And what if you’re hiring a truck driver? These kinds of jobs require specific licenses and often need special insurance coverage. If your truck driver is on the road and harms another individual, there are huge liability issues. You have to make sure that their license is valid and they are responsible drivers. You don’t want to have a bad truck driver to represent your company poorly.
In conclusion, it’s very important to check the driving record of your employees. It says a lot about the character of the employee and whether he or she is able to do the job. A driving record can tell you a lot about how someone’s behavior will be in the workplace.
What is your company’s stance on checking driving records? If you don’t have a policy on this, you should!
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International HR Director for OSF Global Services, Andreea is a veteran recruiter who has seen them all. She developed HR recruiting strategies and retention programs that guarantees the success of the company. She is a people person and she handles very easy new relationships with new employees, but her most interesting challenge is to find the middle way between company’s best interests and employee’s needs. To learn more about Andreea contact her on LinkedIn.