Tips for Hiring or Employing Forklift Drivers

So, you have found the perfect truck or trucks for your needs, allowing you to maximise your productivity and space and in turn ensuring you will be able to vastly increase your profits. Now all you need is the right personnel to operate them. Whether you are looking for full-time staff to use trucks on a daily basis or whether you hope to hire in drivers to help only at very specific times, finding the right operators will be vital for the safety of your workplace and the efficiency of your procedures.

So what should you look for in a forklift operator? Experience will obviously be a plus, but it is not the only thing to consider when looking to add to your workforce, and you may even find that those with no experience who are simply committed, hardworking and very focussed on the details could be perfect for the job and that training individuals up is both straightforward and rewarding.

So what characteristics should you look for in applicants?


If you are hiring in or employing individuals on a freelance basis, experience will indeed be important. You will not want to spend time and money training up individuals who may only end up doing one or two days work for you. In such cases, look for individuals who have had experience driving a range of different trucks in a range of different environments.

Whether you are hiring individuals to work on a full-time or casual basis, a knowledge of industrial workplaces will be an advantage. The best candidates will already be comfortable in the presence of forklifts and already be well aware how they work and how they are most safely operated, whether inside or out. As such, you may even find that individuals on your current workforce who are looking for a change may be great candidates for the role.

Safety Conscious

The best candidates will be very committed to safety, and whilst you may be able to glean a certain amount of how safety-conscious they are through interviews, you may have better luck finding out from previous bosses. Seek references from past employers whenever considering an individual for a driving role and make sure the references focus on their attitude to safety as well as their attention to detail. Industrial workspaces can be very dangerous places and it is vital that those driving trucks are going to constantly perform with safety in mind.


The best drivers will be focussed, constantly aware of what is going on around them. This is not just about making sure that other members of the team will be kept safe but also about ensuring that potential drivers are good with details. They should quickly be able to work out exactly what they need to get and where it needs to go and should be able to respond to changes in their environment or changes to their task quickly and easily. Again, references will help flag up who is and isn’t a good candidate in this respect as will simple questions or some very straightforward tests.

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