How NOT To Hire For Your Taxi Company

Judging by all the comments and emails I received, last week’s article “I love our industry: TLPA and “the bad guys”” seems to have hit the nail on the head.

Why are we having all these issues in our industry? Truth be told, it all starts with the taxi business owner. Not your employees. You. Yes, you do need quality people to have a quality business. However, it is you who hires them. They did not just show up and start working for you without your knowledge.

When you don’t believe that quality people will work for you, then you don’t even bother spending time or money on quality advertising. So, you decide to use the same tactics that everyone else does, and that makes these ads boring and tired.

You know the ads: “Drivers wanted”; or “You can make good money”. It’s easy to simply put a sticker on the cabs that say: “Drivers wanted.”

Recently, I had a client who was complaining to me about having a hard time finding good drivers. I asked where he advertised. He told me he advertised in the paper, and I asked him to show me a copy. He brought the newspaper to me, and spent time looking and flipping the page, going back to the first page to look again. He couldn’t find his own ad! All the ads in the “Hiring—Transportation” section looked exactly the same: “Drivers needed, great pay, flexible schedule. blah-blah-blah.”

Look at your own advertising. Does it look the same as all of the others? It isn’t a surprise that the great drivers don’t line up to work for you; they can’t even find you! Imagine a great driver who happens to be looking for a job. What would catch his eye? What would make him respond to your ad? Why would he want to work for your service? You can’t expect different results from doing the same thing over and over again. Start looking for people in a totally new way. Great people will not line up to work for you just because you wished they would. They won’t respond to the ads that all your lesser-quality taxi drivers respond to.

You’ve probably noticed that all of this is interconnected. Quality advertising is the way to get quality employees. Those good employees help you retain great clients. It’s all connected. Opting for what is simple and easy will get you employees who think working for you will be simple and easy too.

Here’s the way I got hired to drive a taxi. In the summer of 2003, I just showed up at the office. They asked me if I wanted to drive, and so I told them yes. The boss simply handed over the key to the car and said, “Go drive.” No one even checked my driver’s license! Now the rules got stricter and they have to check driver’s license, and in a lot of places, taxi drivers have to apply for a special license. They go to the police department and get fingerprinted, get a background check, and all of that is a step in the right direction.

Still, back in 2003, they never even checked my license. At the same time, the owner of the company would call the office twelve to fifteen times a day to check on the business. He did not trust that anything would be okay, and so he never stopped calling or showing up at the office. The poor guy couldn’t even go on a vacation for a few days. Even then, I saw this and I thought, “This is no way to run and business, and no way to live!”

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