Why The Transportation Industry Needs Better Employee Screening

Scan the internet for standard employment screening procedures and you’ll find basic background and drug testing requirements. However, they don’t go much deeper than that. People have created a society where trusting your fellow humans is difficult. Murders happen every few minutes; from small hate crimes to large shootings, we no longer have the luxury of pretending we live in a safe society.

Because of this, employers need to screen potential employees  better, especially those in the transportation industry. Without proper background or psychological screenings, taxis and other modes of transportation may be unsafe. In addition, would you think twice about flipping the bird if you knew that semi drivers were not required to undergo psychological testing? Would you think twice about aggressively passing a semi if you knew that four out of ten drivers carry weapons in their vehicles?

Ten years ago, these were things you probably wouldn’t have had to consider during your morning commute. But today, your safety depends on knowing exactly who you are dealing with at all times.

Current Screening Procedures

HireRight, a company that has been conducting transportation industry screenings for more than 30 years, has dozens of awards and partners from all over the world. They operate in 240 different countries and support 20 different languages, but most small businesses—even large businesses—can’t afford an accredited association to run accurate and in-depth screenings like the ones offered by HireRight.

So, instead, they provide a basic assessment that only flags the future employee if they have committed a crime or some other infraction.

Here is what is being vetted during the basic screening process:

  • Driving records
  • Vehicle registration
  • Credit records
  • Criminal records
  • Social Security number
  • Education records
  • Court records
  • Workers’ compensation claims
  • Bankruptcy
  • Character references
  • Medical records
  • Property ownership
  • Military records
  • State licensing records
  • Drug test records
  • Past employers
  • Personal references
  • Incarceration records
  • Sex offender lists

The list appears credible. However, what’s missing is crucial for providing consumers a safe environment in which they feel that they can trust all transportation workers to react appropriately in a less-than-comfortable situation. Even the list above is difficult for most employers to fill out because gaining access to these records costs time and money.

Although all background screening processes are federally regulated, employer have to determine how they wish to administer the process. If the company outsourced to an agency like HireRight, they are more than likely be more accurate and the testing more credible. However, if they wish to stay in-house, then the job is left up to whatever software they are currently using.

ADP, an award-winning company dedicated to providing excellent outsourcing materials for businesses, lists the following as the downfalls of not outsourcing to a company that specializes in employee screenings:

  • An in-house staff essentially operates without a safety net.
  • Keeping abreast of applicable laws and regulations is a constant task.
  • Software can fail and cause a compliance issue.
  • Your staff may fail to detect information about a candidate who shouldn’t be hired.
  • Late discovery of a hiring error might result in either a negligent hire lawsuit or, conversely, legal action for wrongful termination.

Although current screening methods appear to be in depth, there are many ways to improve the screening process. Including:

Ways To Improve Transportation Employee Screening

  • Employees should be required to undergo psychological testing prior to being hired.
  • Employees should be required to meet with a mental health doctor prior to being hired.
  • Unlicensed cab companies should be required to implement background checks.
  • Further testing should be required every few years.
  • Current employees should be required to undergo psychological testing after any traumatic experience.

Current employee screenings only cover the basics; they do not delve deeply into the employees psyche. Unfortunately, this is the key ingredient that’s missing in all employee screening processes.