Temporary workers can help you save money and give you the flexibility to get truck drivers at short notice. Some trucking companies are reluctant to use temp agencies because they're unsure how to get value from the relationship. or they have had a bad experience in the past. In either case, an effective temp agency can make a valuable contribution to your trucking business. Find out how to get the most from a temp agency with these five useful tips.

Negotiate on pricing

Temp agencies generally charge trucking companies a fixed percentage of the hourly rate paid to truckers. Some trucking company owners mistakenly believe that these rates are non-negotiable, but most recruitment consultants know that it's important to reward valuable clients. As such, you should aim to negotiate a pricing structure that meets your needs.

When negotiating, a recruitment consultant will consider various factors including:

  • The skill level you are looking for
  • The number of hours you expect to 'buy' monthly
  • Any future business growth plans that show how your needs will increase
  • How quickly you are likely to need candidates

For a valuable client, recruitment consultants will negotiate good deals, as long as you can show a valuable long-term business plan. It's also important to remember that you don't have to agree the same terms for every hire. For example, you'll probably need to pay more for a long-haul truck driver than you would for a delivery van driver, so make sure you are realistic in your approach.

Ask for a dedicated account manager

Hiring temporary workers is generally easier when you can work with the same person. A dedicated consultant will quickly adapt to your needs and will even start to pre-empt your requirements. As such, you should always ask for a dedicated account manager you can work with. Over time, use a mixture of 1:1 meetings and phone calls to make sure your account manager gets to know you and understands how your business works.

Collaborate on legal requirements

In the United States, certain regulations place strict controls on truck driving jobs. To drive certain vehicles, drivers must hold a Commercial Driver's License. What's more, endorsements apply to specialist roles. For example, you need a special license endorsement if you plan to drive a truck with a tank. You should expect a temp agency to screen all workers for these requirements, but you can still ask for evidence of completed checks.

Talk to your account manager, and find out how the temp agency screens candidates. Reputable companies will openly share details of how they work with you. What's more, you can also discuss how your company will work with the temp agency to manage legal driving limits. Collaborating in this way can help you shift some of the administrative burden and can give you confidence that the agency is using legally qualified workers.

Agree satisfaction guarantees

Any temp agency relies on the strength of its reputation, and many of these businesses will offer a satisfaction guarantee. In these instances, the agency will refund some or all the fees you paid if a temp is not satisfactory. This type of guarantee can take away some of the uncertainty that stop trucking companies using temps.

Of course, in turn, it's good practice to recommend reputable temp agencies to other trucking companies. By recommending a good agency to other employers, you can further improve the relationship you hold, which may lead to further discounts, benefits or preferential terms.

Mutually agree a full induction

Health and safety are top priorities in any trucking company, and this focus starts from the moment the driver starts to work for you. While you often need temps to work at short notice, you cannot overlook the need to brief these workers on critical health and safety issues. As such, it's a good idea to agree an induction format with the agency.

For example, you can create a safety briefing that the agency will issue to all candidates. You should also make sure every driver reads and signs a safe work statement. This process becomes easier when you deal with a temp agency, as your account manager can make sure every candidate completes all necessary steps before he or she turns up for work.

Trucking companies often need drivers for short-term assignments or to cover special leave and unplanned absence. A temp agency can help plug these gaps, and there are plenty of ways you can get extra value from a competent recruitment business.