The ultimate guide to hiring driving instructors

The ultimate guide to hiring driving instructors

If you’re the owner of a driving school, you know just how difficult it is to find and hire quality driving instructors. It can even be a bit overwhelming at times. However, it doesn’t have to be.

The right strategies can help weed out candidates who aren’t a good fit. With standard hiring procedures in place, you’ll be able to determine which candidates will make the best driving instructors and lead your school to success. So, keep reading this ultimate guide for my tips to hire quality driving instructors.

How to hire driving instructors – Step #1:
Brand your help wanted ads

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According to the Deluxe Small Business Resource Center

A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of a company’s customer service, reputation, advertising and logo. When all of these parts of the business are working well together, the overall brand tends to be healthy.

Your brand is the “face” of your company. If your driving school needs a brand identity, be sure to check out this article . When you run help wanted ads for driving instructors, your brand image should stand out. Therefore, the ad needs to look professional so that quality applicants want to apply.

The key is to give a lot of advance thought to the copy and design of the ad. Invest in the branding of your ads to increase the number of people who will actually apply.

As posted by Glassdoor

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, especially when it comes to a job listing. If you want to attract the right employees, then you have to view job posts as a marketing tool rather than merely a help wanted ad.

The goal of your job postings for driving instructors should be to sell your driving school and the job to the best candidates. If your ad is interesting, reflects your brand image, and looks professional, applicants will envision doing the job rather than meeting the requirements. Bingo!

How to hire driving instructors – Step #2:
Determine WHO you should hire

Driving instructors hire

In a perfect world, driving instructors have past in-car lesson experience AND love working with teens. If you find THAT person, make an offer. However, it’s hard to find that perfect candidate.

I recommend hiring teachers, coaches and school bus drivers. They may not have actual driving school experience, but they do love teaching young people. People can be trained to become driving instructors. You can’t force their passion for children. That has to come from within.

There’s another benefit of hiring teachers, coaches and school bus drivers. They have summers off. Your busy season IS the summer. Win-win! You have driving instructors to run your lessons during crunch time and they can make some extra money during their time off.

After the peak summer season, many will continue to moonlight when school starts. To see my tips on finding teachers and coaches for driving instructors, please see tip #5.

How to hire driving instructors – Step #3:
Decide if you need part-time or full-time instructors

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When I speak at conferences, driving school owners always ask me if they should hire part-time or full-time driving instructors. My response is always a resounding, “Both!” I like a blended staff because you can rely on full-timers and expand the staff with part-timers to meet demand during the busy summer months.

Most full-time driving instructors usually work 30-40 hours per week during slow months and 40-55 during peak months. I don’t recommend paying overtime, but sometimes it’s worth it to stay ahead of the drives.

How to hire driving instructors – Step #4:
Determine WHEN you should recruit driving instructors

If not now when Drive Scout

Should you recruit driving instructors in the spring to staff up for the summer? Yes, of course you should. However, you should also recruit them all year. Yes, that’s right. Successful driving school owners are always on the lookout and recruiting quality instructors.

So, why should you always recruit? Well, you never know when the perfect candidate is looking for a new job. Your perfect candidate could come into your path in October (a typically slow month for driving schools). Instead of waiting until the spring to hire, go ahead and move forward in October. If your new hire is SO good, you can always replace a current employee who is under performing or not meeting goals.

How to hire driving instructors – Step #5:
Think outside-the-box to hire driving instructors

When you’re ready to post a help wanted ad for driving instructors, go beyond the typical job posting websites. In other words, think outside-the-box.

I recommend checking out Linkedin’s Sales Navigator feature. From a recruiting perspective, Sales Navigator lets you search for “driving instructors” or “teachers.” After coming up with people in your area, you can then communicate with them through InMail messages.

To learn more about Sales Navigator, head to this Linkedin resource page.

What is the perfect avenue to recruit driving instructors?

You might be surprised, but your website is the PERFECT place to recruit driving instructors year-round. In the springtime, I suggest putting a clickable starburst at the top of your website’s home page. When job seekers click on it, they will be taken to the online application page. In slower months, you could move the starburst to a lower portion of your home page.

Another option is to create a separate “Careers” page on your website. Be sure to include information on jobs, benefits, the company culture, internships, and tips on what it’s like to work at your driving school.

Your website is your best and cheapest tool for recruiting driving instructors.

Offer a referral program

Another good tool to recruit quality driving instructors is a referral program. You should ask current instructors about the best ones they’ve worked with in the past at other schools. Ditto with your teacher employees. Ask them for email addresses of their favorite co-workers and reach out to them. If your instructors can’t provide email addresses, you can usually find them on Linkedin.

When hired, offer your employees a referral reward. Be sure to make it worth their time and effort!

How to hire driving instructors – Step #6:
Be responsive and nurture qualified applicants

Potential driving instructors that apply to your ad are actually interested in the position. That means they want to hear from you.

Send an email response

I recommend sending a reply within 48-72 hours to qualified candidates. Why? If you wait too long, a great candidate may land another job. Showing a qualified applicant immediate interest is very encouraging and a good practice to follow.

Send an electronic application

Be sure to send qualified candidates an electronic application. Nobody wants to print and manually fill one out. That’s so 1990’s! On the electronic application, potential driving school instructors will provide more detailed information.

The purpose of the digital application is to weed out your pool of potential driving instructors. If someone can’t work during the hours you need, it will come out in the application phase. You can’t spend hours and hours on phone screens, so the application weeds out people that simply aren’t a good fit.

Set up phone screens

After you review the online applications, it’s time to set up phone screens. Phone interview questions should be used to further screen applicants and save time. The phone screen questions for driving instructors should include salary expectations, availability, qualifications, experience and work history.

A preliminary phone interview is a great tool that will help you streamline your hiring process. This is simply because they require a lot less time on everyone’s part. There’s no commuting and no scrambling to find a quiet space for the conversation.

In 15 minutes, you can check to see that the applicant understands the job, meets the job description and has reasonable salary expectations. You can also do a quick probe of any resume gaps and roles that didn’t last long.

Sample phone screen questions for driving instructors

  • What is your expected salary?
  • Have you been a driving instructor before?
  • What hours are you available for driving lessons?
  • Why are you leaving your current position?
  • Do you love working with teenagers?
  • Are you patient?

During the phone screen interview, I recommend trying to convince candidates not to take the job. What??? That’s right. Driving instructors do not have easy jobs. They spend hours and hours in the car. They must drive from one location to another during their shifts. Plus, teen drivers can be difficult at times.

Do NOT sugarcoat the job. Tell them the truth and wait for their reaction. You will lose candidates this way, but in the end you won’t regret this approach. It’s better to hire driving instructors who will stay with your driving school, rather than ones who will quit in two weeks. So, don’t paint a false picture because you’ll regret it later. It’s worth it to hold out for the perfect fit.

Conduct an on-site interview

You’ve whittled down your field of driving school instructors through the use of online applications and phone screen interviews. So, what’s next?

It’s time to meet your most qualified candidates face-to-face and on site. You can garner a ton of information from applicants during the earlier phases, but you can’t see how they react to pressure. A face-to-face interview can be intimidating, but so can getting in a car with a new and inexperienced driver. Your potential driving instructors must be able to handle the pressures of both.

You’ve already asked basic questions during the phone screen. It’s time to delve a little deeper during the face-to-face interview.

Suggested questions for potential driving instructors

  • Do you really, really enjoy driving?
  • What is something you’d be happy doing every single day for the rest of your career?
  • Do you have a lot of experience interacting with young people?
  • What project would you consider your most significant career accomplishment to date?
  • Can you pitch our driving school to me as if I were a parent interested in signing up for our services?
  • What has surprised you about this interview process so far?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

After you hire driving instructors, train them for 90 days

The first 90 days is critical for new driving instructors. They should be given a structured training and an education schedule to do their job properly.

It’s wise to have a reputable and experienced driving instructor serve as a mentor. In addition, a direct manager or supervisor should conduct intermittent reviews with the new instructor to provide guidance and counseling.

After 90 days, conduct a performance review and give constructive criticism. A happy employee is likely to stick around for a long time.

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In review

When it’s time to hire driving instructors for your driving school, follow these steps to successful recruiting.

  1. Brand your help wanted ads
  2. Determine WHO you should hire
  3. Decide if you need part-time or full-time instructors
  4. Determine WHEN you should recruit driving instructors
  5. Think outside-the-box when it comes to hiring instructors
  6. Be responsive and nurture qualified candidates

About the Author: Steve Jones, CEO at Drive Scout

In 2009, I opened my first driving school with a $15,000 loan, used office equipment and my Honda Accord from college. Within three years, we hit one million in sales and were growing rapidly. After being unable to find a customized software solution to help us scale, I partnered with a brilliant engineer and built Drive Scout. Soon thereafter, I stepped down as CEO and started working full time on Drive Scout. I created this blog to share my experiences (both good and bad) to hopefully help your company become more profitable and easier to manage. Enjoy and thanks for reading!

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