The transport company VCHD Cargo invests in its personnel policy and focuses on training top professional drivers. At a time when this profession has been lacking on the labour market for many years, the most experienced drivers have remained with VCHD Cargo for a long time. The company prevents fluctuations through thoughtful on-boarding and a family-friendly company climate. As a result, the elite Millionaire’s Club – drivers who have driven more than one million kilometres at VCHD Cargo – grows every year.
VCHD Cargo has more than 220 trucks in its fleet and employs 370 drivers. They operate over 110 regular scheduled lines to many European countries and also guarantee the quality of VCHD Cargo’s services. At a time when there is a chronic shortage of quality candidates for professional driver on the labour market, VCHD Cargo manages to recruit, train and sustain long-term quality employees for these positions despite many obstacles.
“The workload of the HR department is enormous – in the first five months of this year alone, we registered more than 500 applicants with a C+E driving licence,” says Ing. Petr Kozel, CEO and Chairman of the Board of VCHD Cargo, and adds, “It would seem that there are many applicants for the job of truck driver. However, a large number of them are often just looking to see if a change of employer would lead to slightly better earnings, and often their expectations are incompatible with reality in this respect.” For those candidates who pass a screening process of eliminating questions targeting their experience and expectations during the first telephone interview, VCHD Cargo invites them to a personal interview. Despite the transparent interview process, the first year proves critical to the future of new drivers. “Our experience tells us that it is very important to explain at the very beginning what the job of a professional driver on our lines involves and whether it matches the expectations of even a relatively experienced candidate. Then comes the next, equally important phase of proper training,” says Petr Kozel. According to him, the high turnover of new recruits is largely due to their low professional level, unrealistic expectations and low motivation. “It is a demanding process, which partly slows down the pace of our development, and we have to take into account the irreversible and often unnecessary costs of training new recruits. They cost over 28,000 CZK per job,” he explains. According to VCHD Cargo, candidates from driving schools come into the practice completely unprepared and have to undergo a series of training courses and training days before they can head out on the road independently.
The situation is different for drivers who have already established themselves in the company. Their turnover is low and their professional level is very good. “From the second year onwards, people stay with us. They appreciate the stable and predictable work, they drive their route, which they know to the smallest detail. They know the specifics and requirements of particular customers at loading and unloading sites and know how to meet them, thus constantly improving the quality of our transports,” says Petr Kozel.
These elite drivers have been employed by VCHD Cargo for 15 years and the company regularly appreciates their work. Among other things, it has established an elite Millionaire Club – drivers who have driven under the VCHD Cargo brand over a million kilometres. Three of the Club’s members have already achieved two million kilometres, one of them even surpassed the 2.5 million kilometre mark last year. “We are very proud of our driving elites. They are the face of our company and it is often their professional approach, willingness and smile that decide on the continuity or expansion of cooperation with our satisfied customers,” says Petr Kozel.