Recruitment and the Driver Shortage

Recruiting Reliable Staff

Finding the right staff can be difficult for removals businesses, as it’s a unique industry requiring an unusual combination of skills.

Drivers and Porters

Many recruitment agencies fail to see the substantial differences between the work of a furniture delivery driver and that of an experienced driver/porter. It has even been known for agency-provided drivers to refuse to load or unload, insisting they are employed only as a driver.

So using general recruitment agencies doesn’t usually work out well.

Poaching staff from other companies can earn you a bad reputation which can ultimately be very costly, so it is both unethical and bad business practice. Even if there are no repercussions, you can only expect the same level of loyalty from your new employee that they showed their previous employer.

Advertising in local newspapers, on social media and through the local job centre can have varying results, depending on where you are in the country and several other factors. Word-of-mouth can be effective when trying to increase the workforce, but is impractical if you are looking to replace someone. If you need another driver or porter, it’s a good idea to let all your existing staff know. There’s a good chance that the ideal candidate is a friend or relative of one your current staff.

An often discussed but under-used source for potential staff is ex-military. There are several websites dedicated to finding work for ex-military personnel. Although these sites are basically employment agencies and therefore have the same shortcomings as mentioned before, they are likely to produce slightly better results. The key is to provide an accurate and honest job description.

The Royal British Legion’s website, has an employment section where you can post jobs or browse CVs. You will be required to register and log in.

Administration and Management

There are agencies that are specific to, or specialise in the removals industry. Although they will often help to find drivers and porters, they are particularly good for filling administration and managerial roles.

Flame Recruit

Flame Recruit Limited are a global recruitment specialist dealing with finding industry specific staff for the removals, relocations and fine art service sectors.

The company’s consultants have over 20 years’ experience and can source permanent staff from estimators and operations managers all the way to directorship level.


Driver Shortage

The shortage of HGV drivers could get worse, now we have chosen to leave the EU. Depending on the deals negotiated by the newly appointed Secretary of State for European Union Relations, (dubbed the Minister for Brexit) David Davis, we may lose a large number of foreign HGV drivers throughout the UK transport industry.

“The UK has under-invested in HGV driving skills and as such, has resulted in a heavy reliance on drivers from Eastern Europe.” – RHA

Whether a removals business employs European drivers or not, they could struggle to compete for the remaining qualified drivers in the UK.

One tried, tested and successful solution is to encourage porters to upgrade to HGV drivers. There are many porters and 7.5T drivers that are long serving, dedicated removals men with a high level of loyalty to the job. By helping them to get a HGV licence, either by lending them the money or by adding a clause to their contract, (or both) movers can avoid competing for the dwindling number of UK HGV drivers.

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The Association Of Independent Movers
Unit 4, Skills Centre,
Twickenham Trading Estate,
Rugby Road,
Phone:0208 892 0369


COVID-19 Statement

Although there is no rule to prevent them from doing so, not all removals businesses are working during the Coronavirus measures advised by the Government.

Those that are working have been provided with clear guidelines by the Government and supported by AIM, with safe working procedures, specific documents and frequent information updates.

Removals firms

Removal firms are able to operate and should follow the latest government guidance on safer working. Where moves are carried out, social distancing should be followed.
Companies should ensure employees understand how to operate safely and communicate this to customers.

  • Removers should contact the household in advance to check that no member of the household is showing symptoms of coronavirus or self-isolating. If they are, works should be delayed.
  • They should also encourage households to ensure all internal doors are open and surfaces and possessions have been cleaned with household cleaning products prior to them entering the property.
  • No work should be carried out by a person who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.
  • Removers should wash their hands on entering the property using separate towels of paper towels which need to be washed or disposed of safely after use.
  • Removers should seek to minimise contact with homeowners and remain 2 metres apart from householders at all times.
  • Removers should implement a buddy system and ensure that the same people work together when moving bulky items and furniture.
  • Removers should bring their own refreshments but you should ensure they have access to hand washing facilities, using separate towels or paper towels if possible,
    which should be washed or disposed of safely afterwards.