Trucking companies have a new, interactive vetting tool for hiring drivers.

Modern Hire has expanded its standard science-based virtual job tryout (VJT) simulation and text-based assessment technology with a preconfigured pre-hire assessment for candidates seeking employment as a commercial driver.

VJT for Drivers allows hiring teams to assess candidates while they experience a realistic preview of a typical day on the job, helping them determine if the role is right for them, which leads to improved retention and low turnover, said Modern Hire Chief Science Officer Mike Hudy.

“VJTs provide a fair assessment by measuring the candidate’s skills, knowledge, aptitude and interest for positions in multiple industries based on a simulation of the actual aspects of the job,” Hudy said. “By giving candidates the opportunity to engage in tasks and demonstrate skills related to the specific job, employers can identify qualified, diverse candidates most likely to succeed in the role and stay with the company. This helps speed up the hiring process and creates greater efficiency for recruiting teams who are overwhelmed with candidate applications and positions to fill.”

Hiring teams can use a combination of live and on-demand interviews to quickly learn about their candidates, assess quality of fit and make a hire while providing candidates an engaging experience that can be easily accessed anytime, anywhere.

VJT for Drivers is designed to be used across a variety of roles where commercial driving is the primary task. It includes a situational judgment exercise, which allows candidates to step into the role and respond to a variety of situations drivers are likely to encounter; measurement themes include productivity, teamwork and safety.

The VJT also includes a check-your-dashboard exercise that asks candidates to assess their vehicle’s dashboard and review the operating guidelines before they can begin driving; they are then asked to select the correct course of action to prepare their vehicle. A check-for-errors exercise assesses a candidate’s ability to accurately verify data including dates, mileage and plate number. The work style exercise evaluates styles and personality traits related to driver success, including following directions, being monitored, focused and adaptive to change.

And the work history exercise evaluates a candidate’s past in areas such as motivation, experience, rule-following, past performance, reliability and career stability.

“Through simulations, candidates get to experience what the job is really like while feeling that the decision-making process is transparent, fair and secure,” Hudy said. “VJTs are proven to mitigate bias and increase diversity since candidates are analyzed based on job-relevant questions and situations as opposed to subjective information typically shared during the application and interview process.”

One of Modern Hire’s clients reduced bias in hiring by 70%, Hudy said. It also saved over 20,000 recruiter hours each year and nearly $7 million in costs from reducing turnover.

Along with a massive driver shortage, turnover rates of commercial truck drivers have recently run at 72% for smaller carriers and over 90% for larger long-haul carriers since the pandemic, as discussed in a recent roundtable hosted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

“Based on the success of VJTs for other positions, we decided to use the same science and technology for drivers,” Hudy said.

The VJT for Drivers pre-employment assessment, designed for use internationally for companies hiring at scale across multiple regions, is based on Modern Hire’s research-based competency model. Its SaaS-based model enables enterprises to streamline their pre-employment screening with automated, on-demand text and pre-recorded phone and video interviews.

Modern Hire’s clients have complete control of the technology; the platform helps recruiters reduce manual and administrative tasks and speed up digital recruiting processes with candidate self-scheduling tools, on-demand interactions and automated workflows. They have access to advanced video interview software, pre-hire assessments, predictive analytics and validated AI and can capture and engage candidates immediately with personalized, time-saving experiences via their preferred mode of communication.

As a result, Hudy said many of the company’s clients send candidates to its platform to assess fit prior to vetting them on their own.

He said Modern Hire’s optimization team conducts ongoing analysis of all of its solutions and continuously calibrates them to enhance the prediction of important outcomes.

“For the Driver VJT, we will use data reliability, turnover, safety and other key performance metrics provided by our clients to regularly update the scoring models, ensuring the VJT continues to help our clients identify candidates who are most likely to be successful,” he said.