Honesty in the Trucking Industry

By: Brandon Baxter - Staff Writer
Posted: Jan 14th 2024

In transportation, honesty is a door that swings both ways. Not only are drivers seeking employment expecting a straight-up recruiter to give them the scoop on what to anticipate with a potential company. But to be fair, there is a certain level of honesty that recruiters require out of potential driving candidates as well. And as long as we're being honest here, both sides could certainly learn a thing or two from the other.

Don't Tell Me What I Want To Hear

A recruiter telling a driver what they want to hear is one way to gain a candidate's trust, even if everything that's divulged isn't on the up-and-up. When a driver contacts a company about a potential driving position, either as a company driver or owner operator, the expectation is that there will undoubtedly be lies and embellishments told to help sway a candidate's decision.

But what happens when that driver shows up for training, or orientation, and is now being told a completely different story by the company's trainer or in-house facilitator? Chances are likely that the applicant will not only feel betrayed by the recruiter but will feel flat-out lied to. And what kind of message does that send to a driver or owner operator?

The message sent, and received, is one of blatant falsehood. Now, when the driver begins their career with said carrier, it's started with an air of distrust right from the get-go. And chances are pretty good that this driver might not stick around long enough to see if these instances hold true or were actual lies all along.

Deceit Can Go Both Ways

Now, take the above example and reverse that from the recruiter's perspective. Drivers also tend to stretch the truth, especially when it comes to making sure they can get qualified for a position.

Recruiter: "Have you ever failed or refused to take a DOT drug screen?"

Driver/Owner Operator: "Nope, I've never touched the stuff."

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (DAC): Failed drug screen in 2019

Recruiter: "Huh."

Driver/Owner Operator: "That's impossible, they must've screwed something up."

Unfortunately, this is a very common occurrence in recruiting circles. The problem with a driver trying to skirt the truth when it comes to drugs, alcohol, and previous employment record, is that the dirt always comes out in the wash. And this isn't even taking a candidate's driving and safety record into consideration, which are other instances that also tend to be exaggerated.

Honestly, What's The Point?

Be honest. That's it. That's the point being made.

Recruiters, if you make honesty a staple of your driver placement repertoire, you not only gain respect from the people you interact with. You also garner a stronger reputation for being truthful, even when you're communicating something someone might not want to hear. In the long run, your name will be passed on from one candidate to another as someone who can be trusted. This will help you grow your base of candidates, and it should also increase your ability to place a higher quality of driver.

Drivers, if you're able to be up-front and honest with a recruiter, especially at the onset of the initial conversation, you increase your opportunities of being placed with a reputable company. Dispatchers love a driver who is not only operating with truth as their co-pilot, but this also promotes a trust between driver and dispatch. If there's a sure way to increase a driver's earning potential, it's having a driver who can perform a task in absolute earnest, making it more likely that a dispatcher comes calling more often than not.

Honesty certainly is the best policy.

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