Onboarding, or orientation, is when you start with a new company and they give you a crash course on how things roll. You can tell a lot about a company by how they run their onboarding classes.
If you are going to a company with 30, 40, 50 even 100 drivers in their orientaion class, beware! These are generally the companies that tell recruiter ''Just get them in the door". The recruiter will get paid for any driver that shows up. Of the huge group of drivers starting out with you, maybe 10 will stick around and make it into a truck. The recruiters are happy because they get paid on all those drivers, the company is happy because they at least found 10 drivers. Most of the drivers ARE NOT happy as their time has been wasted and they are now stuck trying to find a way home.
If you find a company with an onboarding size of 10 or less, then it is more likely that company is not just cranking through numbers to get drivers. They are probably a bit more selective in who they bring on, and will take better care of the driver to retain them.
With Jim Palmer, recruiters are not paid a big fat commission on a driver, we are not taught to see drivers as money or numbers. We are taught from the ground up to value and respect drivers. We strive to find the best drivers and to give them the most accurate information possible. Our recruiters do not brag about how many drivers we bring in, we brag about how long our drivers stay with he company.
Rarely does a driver get sent home from our onboarding classes (once in awhile it happens, sadly enough it is generally from a failed drug test) and if they do, the recruiter is pretty humiliated by that. We take pride in finding a good clean safe team of drivers, not just the wham bam thank you ma'm kind of deal.
When you are talking to a recruiter, just casually ask, how many drivers are generally in an orientation class? Ask how long the class is, (ours is two and a half days because we are smaller classes and organized, some companies might be a week long!) Also ask how many of the drivers generally make it into a truck after the class. This may not be an easy one for a recruiter to tell you with honesty, but toss out that question and see what the reply is.
In an attempt to let people know what it is like for over the road drivers, I am heading out with Jim Palmer Trucking driver Allie Knight.