Encouraging people into the industry – insight from Dews Coaches’ recruitment drive
25 Jun 2021
This week’s blog post is from Katie Dew, Commercial Manager at Dews Coaches. Katie writes about their latest recruitment drive, where potential candidates had the opportunity to drive one of their vehicles and offers insight for other operators.
Getting good candidates is the problem for any coach operator now and staffing is an industry wide issue. At Dews Coaches we decided a few years back to think outside the box in an attempt to boost the number of applicants.
Something we have picked up on over the years is that many people are interested in a career in the industry, but we hear all the time “I’d love to drive a bus, but they’re so big” and “I would love to try the training but what if I don’t get on with such a large vehicle”. This was why we recently held a ‘come and have a go day’, where people debating a career in the industry could come and meet the team, get more information and have a go at driving a double decker bus, which enabled potential candidates to really see if it is something they would be comfortable doing.
The day was a huge success! We had a queue of people waiting to take part, lots of interest in our information packs and our enthusiastic team were busy all day talking about their experience of being a driver at Dews. Thanks to the ‘come and have a go day’ we have had more than thirty strong applicants who we are now interviewing, and I would encourage any operator struggling to find candidates to try doing a similar day themselves. It proved that there are people out there who are interested in a career in the coach sector, they might just need a little bit of encouragement to take the leap and send that application.
One of the features that applicants have found appealing is our trainee school, where applicants sign into a two-year bond, which after completing they don’t have to repay. We take care of the provisional, theory, practical and CPC and we have great retention through using the scheme. By coordinating this ourselves it takes the stress out of candidates having to arrange their own training, which can be daunting if they are new to the industry.
I really encourage operators to try something similar where possible. Sometimes people need a bit of a confidence boost to take that leap, and some help navigating the ins and outs of how to become qualified. It’s all worth it though. A career in the coach industry is a fulfilling one, made up of passionate and supportive people.