Hiring a great fleet manager is one of the most crucial tasks for a successful transportation and distribution company.
However, hiring the perfect person for the job is not easy. There are a limited number of fleet managers in the labor market, making a very competitive situation.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there are just over 113,000 transportation and distribution managers in the nation. Of that, there are just 8,000 in the general freight trucking industry.
With a limited supply of experienced managers in this industry, selecting the right fit is of the utmost importance.
Read on to learn 5 secrets to hiring a great fleet manager.
1) Time Management is Key
In this industry, the primary objective is to get whatever you are transporting there on time. Fleet managers are a critical cog in that process.
When time is of the essence, you need someone who can multitask and master the art of clock management. Not only must fleet managers worry about themselves, but they also must coordinate the time of the group at large.
During the interview process, ensure you ask pointed questions. Ask about clock management and how the prospective candidate reacts to a time crunch.
2) A Great Fleet Manager Maximizes the Use of Technology
Fleet managers have been employed for many decades and there are certainly still some old-school managers out there. While experience is important, your company should hire a manager that is willing to evolve with advancements in tracking technology.
Many great technological tools have been developed for this industry. A great manager will be interested in evaluating and deploying these tools.
For example, GPS tracking systems can be installed in each vehicle in your fleet. You can track drivers’ whereabouts, ensure they use the most efficient routes, and gauge driver performance.
Ask applicants how they have used technology to improve productivity to see if they meet these criteria.
3) Emphasis on Resource Management
In the transportation industry, resources are broadly defined. They include people, vehicles, technology, infrastructure, and more.
Superb fleet managers do not treat resources as dispensable. Instead, they ensure resources are ready to produce at the highest levels.
This means that the applicant values preventative maintenance and keeping vehicles in great condition. It also means the prospective manager has ideas on how to motivate and retain employees.
4) Does the Applicant Value Safety?
There is a lot that can go wrong in this profession. Not only is a reckless driver putting his or her life in jeopardy, but they are also risking costly repairs and possibly vehicle replacement.
The interview should dedicate time to safety and how the prospective candidate plans to prioritize it.
5) Is the Candidate a Leader?
Not everyone can be a manager because not all are suited for a leadership position. Great fleet managers will have visible leadership potential.
A good resume will highlight leadership experience. During the interview, ask for specific examples of a time when leadership characteristics were on display.
Clearly, there are a lot of variables to consider when interviewing managerial candidates. Each applicant will have strengths and weaknesses, and you must decide which criteria are the most important to the company’s success.
If you have any additional questions about hiring a fleet manager or using GPS technology, please feel free to contact us and get more information.