When you need to take on new staff it can be a daunting prospect. How do you know they can do the job? Are they reliable? Will they fit in with the existing staff? So, what should you be focussing on when hiring?

First Impressions

We’re usually told not to judge on appearances but sometimes they do matter. Never discount your first impression of an applicant. After all, if they are driving for you then their first impression on clients is also the first impression the fare has of your firm. A bad journey will make them less likely to choose you in future!

Qualities you should be looking for are a friendly outlook, patience, good communication skills (good grasp of English), good numeracy and memory skills as well as organisational skills and a professional manner. Your driver’s dress code might be quite casual but for an interview you would expect applicants to have made an effort to be smarter than they would expect to be whilst working.

Driving experience

It should go without saying that the experience the applicant has should make a difference to their prospects. Young and inexperienced drivers will push taxi fleet insurance premiums through the roof so pay careful attention to when they passed their test. Your ideal candidate will have several years of blemish free driving – ideally as a taxi driver for another firm or self-employed.

Local knowledge

Sat Navs are all very well and good but often local knowledge is essential for finding the optimal route where a local may well be able to beat the sat nav. Knowing without looking how long a job will take or when to detour are essential skills. If you run a black cab fleet your drivers will also need to know where fares are likely to be found!

Do they own their own taxi?

If they are looking to join you as a driver then you will need to make sure there is a vehicle for them to drive. If they come with their own taxi or minicab then you will need the details of it to add them to your private hire fleet insurance – or have proof that they have applicable insurance. You may need to check that it is valid if they are employed by you (as opposed to being self-employed but being dispatched through your firm).