If you look at everything in your taxi service – cars, office, marketing, – pretty much all of it can be copied. The only thing that can't be copied ever, even theoretically, is your stuff, is your employees.
One of the musts a driver or a dispatcher absolutely needs to possess is attitude, smiling, values, behavior. The problem here is that you can't ask about all directly. And because you can't do it directly, you need to learn to find out about it indirectly.
An important thing to remember is that you need a lot of integrity when putting somebody through the selection process: you have to do what you say you'll do.
If you say that you'll check references or that you'll do A, B and C, you've got to do A, B and C, because your employees will treat your clients in the same way that you treat your employees. Deliver on your promises from the moment you meet someone for the first time, otherwise your employees will not be delivering on their promises to you and your customers.
What should your answer be to the question: are you hiring in your taxi service? The correct answer is: "We're always looking for the right people." You can't be waiting to be looking for somebody until you need them. When you need them – you need them, usually right there and then. Also, in most cases taxi drivers need hack licenses and getting approved for one takes time.
When I first drove a cab I was still in college. I think that driving a cab is a great job for college kids: they are younger, they are not bitter about life, they are getting their education, so they can read maps and follow directions and can find places that they're going to, they are easy to train, they are usually not yet married, so they are more flexible with their time, meaning they'd be willing to work weekends and nights. One of the benefits that college students will get from driving a cab is meeting tons of people, which may lead to getting a job offer after they graduate from college or learning about this or that industry. Sure, someone in college will not stay a driver for you forever, but getting someone really good for a year or two in my opinion is way better than having a bad employee willing to stay with you for a long time.
For more tips like these, click here to get a copy of 17 Mistakes You Must Avoid That Can Ruin Your Taxi Business book and 3 best issues of Cab Millionaire Club Letter.