How carriers oversee their applicant management processes has changed dramatically over the years. To begin with, carriers are using the internet to find applicants in the early stages of the process, which allows them to start the vetting process faster.
Recruiting and File Management
For example, carriers use online classifieds with a link to an electronic application containing the questions required in §391.21 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). When using this approach, carriers need to be sure the online application contains all the required components, including the driver’s signature.
Fortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) allows for the use of e-signatures on the forms. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, as long as the carrier can demonstrate that applicants saw what they were agreeing to online. Applicants can provide authentication of their identity using signatures created with a stylus, mouse, or finger-to-screen technology.
Alternatively, carriers can require applicants to create private usernames and passwords to use while they fill out paperwork. These accounts can act as an authentication of the applicant’s identity and serve much the same purpose as an electronically generated signature. Both approaches speed the application process up, reducing or removing the need to bring drivers in for a face-to-face contact.
This same technology makes it easier to get the necessary consent and provide the required disclosures quickly so that carriers can start their various background checks earlier. Many vendors offer advanced recruiting and applicant management tools and services that make not just hiring easier, but ongoing file management, too.
Build a Better DQ File
Efficient applicant management also allows carriers to begin building complete, compliant DQ files right away. These new hire documents are not only essential to the hiring process, they also act as a risk-management tool. The pieces of the DQ file that carriers assemble during the hiring process help ensure that drivers are not only legally able to drive by way of licensing, but also capable by way of training and experience.
The documents a carrier generates during hiring are more than a recordkeeping or administrative burden. In an ongoing capacity, they provide visibility into whether drivers are not only qualified to drive, but also to meet the company’s standards going forward.
For new hires, these files help identify high-risk drivers when considering driver applicants. And for existing drivers, these documents can help with corrective actions, such as coaching, refresher training, warnings, and even suspensions or termination. Of course, these files can also be used in positive ways, quickly showing carriers who their top performers are.
Strong applicant management creates consistency in the hiring process so that only qualified applicants are brought on board. This is especially helpful to manage hiring throughout the organization and between different locations and managers. In the event of a crash, a well-managed DQ file is a strong defense against claims of negligent hiring and entrustment.
In addition, safe drivers equate to low Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores, a better brand recognition with customers or job seekers, and lower insurance rates. The benefits of a robust DQ file process are endless, and it all begins with strong applicant management.
J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. is the most respected name in safety and regulatory compliance. Since its beginning as a one-man consulting firm in 1953, the company has grown to over 1,500 associates serving more than 500,000 customers — including over 90% of the Fortune 1000® companies. With subject-matter expertise spanning a multitude of industries and regulatory agencies, the company offers consulting and managed services for fleet and transportation, workplace safety and environmental, and human resources. In addition to these professional services, J. J. Keller also offers electronic logging devices, training, online management tools, publications, and forms and supplies.. www.jjkeller.com
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