The latest Quarterly Employment Statistics from stats SA revealed that one of the few industries to have an increase in employment was the transport sector. This is a positive statistic to see since there was an 86 000 decrease in overall employment statistics in non-agricultural sectors in the second quarter.

The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says while these statistics are encouraging, it also places extra pressure on the industry. “During the second quarter, the transport industry again faced massive pressure as South Africa battled the third wave. There was great reliance on the sector as demand for certain products increased. This was likely part of the reason for the recent growth.

“It also placed pressure on the industry to hire good drivers and quickly. Companies face great responsibility when hiring drivers for their vehicles. There is much more to it than just checking that they have the right licencing requirements. It is especially difficult in South Africa as there is no real certainty that a licence was obtained legally or whether a driver has the necessary skills and training. This is particularly important when hiring a driver for a vehicle like an 18-wheeler truck.”

Irrespective of unexpected pressure or demand, a company must follow stringent processes when hiring those who can affect the safety of all on the roads. “This includes normal processes of sorting through CVs and checking if a driver has the necessary licencing. When hiring drivers, however, recruitment processes should include pre-employment assessments.

“This allows you to see if what was put on paper matches their real-life skills. If you hire a company to assist you with this, they will not only assess the quality of the driver but quickly identify if a driver is skilled for the position. Pre-employment assessments are essential in the transport industry to protect lives and reduce costs.”

There are numerous advantages to pre-employment assessments. “This includes avoiding collisions or serious crashes as a result of a driver’s competency. Notwithstanding the potential loss of life, the cost of a crash can soar into the millions. You also do not want to develop a reputation as a company that took shortcuts and did not complete additional assessments to ensure competency.

“Cost-savings extend beyond a crash itself. Additional downtime and reduced productivity are part and parcel of a crash. When under such immense pressure to deliver and develop a reputation of reliability as opposed to the opposite, the benefits of pre-assessments are immeasurable.”

MasterDrive’s Driver Psychometric Programme assists with this. “These assessments test the cognitive skills, psychomotor skills and driving behaviours of potential employees. It provides a comprehensive overview of the driving ability of a potential candidate. It indicates exactly what a good driver looks like. It is also important to help identify drivers who have potential to be excellent employees if given additional training.

“The importance of hiring the best drivers for the job and for your company cannot be understated as the transport sector is likely to continue its growth for some time to come,” says Herbert.