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Subjective vs. Objective Hiring Policies for Fleet Safety

Do your hiring policies meet the objective standards for every member of your fleet? Or are your policies more relaxed for current team members? By understanding the difference, you can refine your efforts to establish balanced standards.

October 11, 2021

When you set qualifications for a new hire candidate, is the same expectation set for all members of the fleet? Or is there much left open to interpretation for current employees, leaving a business in jeopardy?

“I encourage employers include hiring criteria in their formal written policies,” said Kevin O’Sadnick, Senior Risk Control Manager at Safety National. “This makes it as transparent as possible and lets your drivers know the expectations for qualification.”

Understand whether your current policies are as objective as they should be with help from the below comparisons.

Subjective: Checking for a valid license only.

Failing to perform a thorough check of a candidate’s records beyond that of a basic driver’s license leaves too much open for interpretation, and provides you with no information of their driving record.

Objective: Running a thorough motor vehicle records check.

Checking all current motor vehicle records leaves no room for error. It allows employers to make sure a driver meets their safety criteria and forecasts the possible outcomes for how that particular candidate could affect their fleet safety record.

Subjective: Checking records upon hire only.

Checking new employees’ driving records upon hire is a great start, but what if you have to reject a new hire candidate for a major infraction (e.g., DUI)? If a current employee in the fleet has that same significant infraction years later, do you fire them?

Objective: All drivers must meet specific criteria.

Having clearly defined policies in place that state all employees must meet specific qualifications allows for a more current and accurate view of the overall safety of the fleet. All drivers are then aware of requirements and understand the consequences of any infractions.

Subjective: Checking driving records based on management preference.

This method is inconsistent and relies on management to set their safety standard, allowing for favoritism and employee interpretation. It also requires an employer to remember to conduct their checks when they see fit.

Objective: Conducting driving records checks at least annually.

Conducting record checks at least annually provides a consistent and accurate view of fleet safety. Real-time events can still be missed, though, so even more regular checks are encouraged. This expectation also encourages fleet drivers to act more responsibly behind the wheel.

Subjective: Drivers must self-report any event.

Leaving it up to employees to report any incident is incredibly unreliable and leaves a fleet in jeopardy. No one can be certain that a driver would honestly come forward to communicate an event in the first place.

Objective: Driver notification systems will inform the business of any incident.

Specific applications will alert management in real-time when a driver has an incident so that records can be tracked regularly. Regular reports allow for the most accurate view of the overall safety of a fleet, and set a clear expectation for each driver.

Keeping a clean fleet safety record is pivotal in maintaining your organization’s reputation. No matter how long your drivers have been employed, setting the same standard for all members of a fleet ensures a more reliable and responsible group of drivers. These standards make drivers aware of all the expectations and resulting consequences of any incidents that occur, which holds the most significant impact on your reputation.