Smile! Bus company launches recruitment drive to find happy drivers
The company behind the Bath’s buses is launching a new campaign to recruit happy drivers.
First Group has revealed plans for a new advertising campaign that will highlight the personal attributes needed to be a good bus driver.
The firm’s HR director for the South West and Wales region, Catrin Asbrey, said a new series of adverts and posters would depict happy, sociable people - the type of person the company wants to recruit.
She said the campaign was not in response to complaints about drivers.
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“We’ve always had a focus on customer services. What we are doing through this process is ramping this up. This isn’t just about recruitment, we are running a lot of training.In recruitment 90 per cent of recruits come to us without a bus licence so we don’t recruit for the driving licence but for the right attributes.”
Ms Asbrey said would-be bus drivers already had to successfully complete a written test, as well as take part in an interview where they are given scenarios and asked how they would deal with them.
The campaign is part of First Group’s Better Journeys For Life vision for customer service. Ms Asbrey said: “The adverts explain that we like. We want people who smile or people who like people.”
She added: “Our drivers do what is a very difficult job, they drive the buses, negotiate the traffic, deal with customers, handle money. Getting the right person for us is actually really critical. Drivers need to be not just good drivers, but patient and understanding.”
B&NES Council tranpsort cabinet member Councillor Roger Symonds said he welcomed the initiative but said First would have to do more than recruit happy people.
He said: “It’s about providing good working conditions and motivating the drivers, and making them proud to provide an essential service.”