Employment Solutions, Industry Updates

What to Be Aware of When Choosing a Driver Staffing Partner

March 8, 2021

Partnering up with a driver staffing partner has numerous benefits including minimizing turnover and reducing your hiring costs. In order to get these benefits, you need to partner with the right staffing agency.

In this article, we identify some issues to be aware of when partnering with a staffing agency, and explain how TransForce Group handles such scenarios. If you have any additional questions about partnering with a CDL driver staffing agency, contact TransForce Group today!

Beware of firms that:

Don’t guarantee access to driver records. If audited, you would be required to produce files for all drivers – including those from a staffing firm.

What TransForce Group does instead:

Our contract with our customers guarantees access to records within 48 hours – the DOT standard. In most cases, records can be forwarded instantly since our driver files are maintained electronically.

Beware of firms that:

Are not contractually designated to qualify drivers on your behalf or do not hold themselves accountable for failing to do so.

What TransForce Group does instead:

We contractually commit that we are an agent designated to qualify drivers on your behalf and hold ourselves accountable in accordance with contract terms.

Beware of firms that:

Take shortcuts on conducting past employer inquiries. It can be tempting to ignore large gaps in past employment or simply be satisfied with a failed attempt to contact a past employer – though were unsuccessful.

What TransForce Group does instead:

We require an explanation for any past employment gaps greater than 30 days. Further, we are not satisfied with failed attempts to contact past employers. In these instances, we require documentation (check stubs, tax records) to support the driver’s employment claims for nearly all of the prior three years.

Beware of firms that:

Accept motor vehicle records (MVRs) provided by their drivers. Doing so increases the potential for fraud. Employers are required to obtain these documents from the state, not their drivers.

What TransForce Group does instead:

We obtain MVRs from each of the driver’s states of licensure in the prior three years. We obtain these documents directly from the state with the assistance of a national, reputable, third party administrator.

Beware of firms that:

Don’t attempt to verify available hours before dispatching a driver. If a driver has accumulated too many hours on-duty working for multiple employers in the prior 7 days, you could be found in violation.

What TransForce Group does instead:

Prior to each dispatch we make a good faith effort to ensure that the driver has available hours to complete the assignment within the legal limits – by reviewing payroll records and other recent assignments.

Beware of firms that:

Don’t operate a DOT-compliant drug and alcohol-testing program. Instead, they may use a non-qualifying program that employs invalid testing methods such as “instant” or “on-site” tests.

What TransForce Group does instead:

Our drug and alcohol-testing program meets the regulatory requirements (49 CFR, Parts 382 and 40). Our tests are conducted using DOT defined procedures at certified laboratories.

Beware of firms that:

Don’t share contractual ownership of their drug and alcohol-testing program with you. DOT requires that every driver you use (including drivers from a staffing service) be in your testing program or that you have obtained contractual co-ownership of the staffing firm’s program, guaranteeing you access to records and notification of positive test results.

What TransForce Group does instead:

Our standard contract provides each client with contractual co-ownership of our testing program. The co-ownership agreement guarantees access to all testing records and notification of positive test results.

Beware of firms that:

Don’t contractually establish the driver staffing company as the sole employer. As a result, you could be classified as a “co-employer” and accountable for providing benefits and meeting other employer obligations.

What TransForce Group does instead:

Our contract establishes TransForce as the driver’s sole employer and uniquely responsible for all matters including hiring, termination, discipline, wages, salaries, benefits, compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act, and the like.

Beware of firms that:

Don’t carry workers’ compensation coverage. If one of their employees gets hurt, you would be on the hook for the claim.

What TransForce Group does instead:

Our contract guarantees that we provide workers’ compensation coverage for our employees and that we are solely responsible for workers’ compensation claims.

Beware of firms that:

Consider their drivers independent contractors rather than company employees. If they don’t meet the IRS independent contractor tests, you could be accountable for withholding and other employer obligations.

What TransForce Group does instead:

Our drivers are at all times employees of TransForce – not independent contractors.

Beware of firms that:

Who don’t guarantee contractual indemnity. Some won’t defend and hold you harmless from workers’ compensation claims or other claims which would impact your employer’s liability insurance coverage.

What TransForce Group does instead:

Our contract guarantees that we will defend and hold you harmless from workers compensation claims or other claims covered by our employer’s liability insurance coverage.

The Bottom Line

There is a certain degree of risk to calculate when partnering with a staffing firm for your CDL Driver needs. Be sure to vet your partners thoroughly and understand how they handle safety and compliance with their driver staff. For more information on TransForce Group’s vetting process, you can view our 3 step screening process for driver safety and compliance. Robust driver screening is just one of the reasons we boast the safest private fleet on the roads for 9 consecutive years.