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How to Source and Interview Forklift Operators

How to Source and Interview Forklift Operators

By: Joanne Cleaver

What skills do you need in a forklift operator? Distribution logistics managers say that good forklift operators have an easy-going confidence in their ability to handle materials and customers alike.

The following recruiting tips will help you interview, source and retain forklift operators.

How to Source Forklift Operators:

  • Veterans with large vehicle experience often pick up forklift skills quickly 
  • Construction workers who have operated large vehicles and equipment are a natural fit 
  • Non-traditional workers, such as the long-term unemployed, ex-cons, and those re-entering the workforce after substance abuse recovery, often view operator jobs as a steady first step into the workforce 

Recruiter Tip:

What to Cover in Interviews with Forklift Operators:

Your interview questions should pivot around safety habits and teamwork — ask the candidate:

  • How they've made suggestions for process improvement at a prior position 
  • How they've gone above and beyond for an internal customer 
  • For an example about when his concern for safety has made a difference to co-workers or to the organization

Recruiter Tip:

Ask the candidate to explain what a stability triangle is (it’s a basic precept of keeping the forklift upright while handling loads).  If he can’t explain it, his training didn’t stick, says Paul Satti, technical director for the Construction Safety Council.

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