How to Hire Delivery Drivers in 2024?

keyKey Takeaways:
  • When it comes to hiring delivery drivers, create a precise job description with a proper job title and summary, and draft a selection procedure to draw in and catch competent people.
  • You can recruit and keep great people by providing competitive salaries, benefits, and an enjoyable workplace.
  • The recruiting procedure for delivery drivers must include crucial stages, including a background check, licensing checks, and drug tests.

Delivery drivers are the backbone of your delivery business and give it all to perform successful delivery. If you are currently looking out for drivers, make sure they are capable enough of understanding customer demands.

Nowadays, dozens of companies are providing last-mile delivery service, but merely finding the best delivery drivers won’t cut it. You need to provide a better customer experience and excellent customer service. To do so, you will need a team of skilled drivers and efficient route-planning tools.

According to a recent survey, delivery drivers lose 4-6 mins in the search for the exact drop-off point, resulting in the loss of the company’s revenue. Therefore, your job is not done even if you find an average delivery driver because you might need a delivery route planner as well.

In this article, we will discuss how to hire delivery drivers, plus how to make timely deliveries without wasting extra time on the road.

Understanding the Types of Delivery Drivers 

Before you start the actual process of hiring delivery drivers, it is imperative to understand their types. It helps you pick the most appropriate type of driver for your business based on your delivery requirements. 

Below are the three main categories of delivery drivers.

1. In-house delivery drivers

As the name indicates, these drivers are the direct employees on your company’s payroll. They may be full-time or part-time but are entitled to remuneratory benefits like overtime, bonuses, or gratuity.  

In-house drivers are ideal when:

  • You need complete control over your delivery operations to ensure a consistent customer experience.  
  • You have the budget to manage your fleet.

For example, if you are a grocery retailer serving a small area, you can opt for in-house delivery drivers. It will help you have real-time visibility into the deliveries of your perishable grocery items. It also lets you identify issues like delays and take proactive measures like creating alternative routes to prevent spoilage and ensure timely and quality service. 


Elevated delivery efficiency
Hiring in-house drivers can give you complete visibility into the handling of goods and ensure deliveries are safe and compliant with legal regulations. You can also design custom training programs to familiarize them with your unique delivery requirements. It ensures equipping your drivers with the right knowledge, acumen, and customer service skills to handle deliveries, improving your delivery management.

Higher customer satisfaction levels

Hiring in-house drivers lets you schedule them and assign routes based on your requirements to ensure timely deliveries. As they work dedicatedly for you, it helps build a personal connection and increase accountability. Therefore, they ensure compliance with established service quality standards while delivering goods, enhancing the overall experience, and improving customer satisfaction. 


High upfront and operational costs 

Finding, hiring, and training in-house drivers result in increased upfront costs. You also have to accommodate drivers’ salary packages, pay perks, health insurance provisions, and vehicle maintenance. Managing your delivery drivers also necessitates investing in technology like GPS tracking, route optimization software, and communication tools. All these factors escalate overall operational costs.

Limited scalability and geographic coverage

Handling a sudden surge in orders during seasonal peaks may be challenging for your limited in-house drivers. Besides, expanding into new territories may be difficult due to the geographic coverage constraints that your drivers may face. Opting to hire additional drivers may shoot up your costs further, rendering it infeasible. 

Read More: Why you should hire your own drivers

2. Independent contractors

These drivers are often self-employed and enter into a contractual agreement with your company. As per the Internal Revenue Service, a delivery driver is an independent contractor if you can control only the output of their work instead of how they do it. Independent contractors are subject to self-employment tax obligations. 

Independent contractors are suitable when:

  • You have a seasonal business that faces frequent fluctuations in delivery demands but doesn’t need excess control over drivers. 
  • Your focus is on service fulfillment with minimal overhead costs involved with in-house drivers.

For instance, if you are an outdoor furniture retailer, you may face a surge in orders during the spring and summer. You can hire independent contractors who can handle these heightened delivery requirements.


Cost Savings:

Independent contractors handle their expenses, including vehicle maintenance and fuel costs themselves. They also don’t require you to spend on tax, employee benefits, taxes, or insurance, unlike in-house employees. These factors make them a cost-effective option for you, especially if you are a small business owner with budget constraints. 

Easy scalability 

Based on the rise in demand for goods during seasonal peaks, you can hire independent contractors for a specific duration. You can then relieve them when delivery demands fall and the contract duration is over. This adaptability to scale up or down your delivery staff helps you deal with fluctuating workloads without impacting your delivery efficiency.


Limited control 

Compared to an employee, you have less direct control over independent contractors. They work with a higher degree of flexibility and autonomy in their schedules. It may sometimes hinder their compliance with your company policies and standards. 

Lower commitment levels

As independent contractors are not your direct employees, they may not exhibit the same level of loyalty and accountability as your regular employees. Hence, maintaining long-term relations and service quality may sometimes become a struggle while working with them. 

3. Third-party delivery drivers

Third-party delivery drivers are those who are neither on your payroll nor in any direct contractual agreement with you. 

They are often the employees of third-party logistics companies (3PLs) that facilitate the delivery of your goods. Global carriers like DHL, FedEx, and USPS are examples of third-party delivery service providers that offer same-day delivery, international shipping, and a range of shipping options.

Third-party delivery drivers are usually ideal if you own a small business or startup without adequate resources or budget to manage an in-house fleet. For example, if you own a small local cloud kitchen, partnering with 3PL services can ensure efficient and cost-effective deliveries.


Widespread network and service area 

Leveraging third-party services empowers you to cover a broader geographical area without spending on hiring, training, and paying additional drivers. It also facilitates scaling up your delivery operations swiftly to expand into new territories.

Savings on advertising costs

Partnering with third-party delivery service companies enables your customers to discover your products and services through their apps. It reduces the need for direct advertising efforts and associated costs to extend your reach and gain new long-term customers. 


Little control over service quality 

Third-party drivers are not under your direct supervision and control. So, you can’t track their performance to identify and address any issues. It can sometimes lead to instances of a sub-optimal delivery experience, impacting your overall customer experience and brand reputation significantly. 

Potential for increased costs

Large third-party delivery platforms may charge a high service fee in some cases. As a result, your overall delivery costs may shoot up, outweighing the profit margins and cost savings you may have achieved. 

Now that the types of drivers and their pros & cons are clear, let’s understand the steps to hire them.

Step-by-step Guide to Find Professional Delivery Drivers

To hire the right delivery driver, you can follow the steps below.

Step 1: Determine your delivery needs

Step 2: Post a job ad for delivery driver ads

Step 3: Follow the innovative hiring process

Step 4: Onboard your new delivery drivers

Step 5: Set up training sessions for drivers

Step 6: Establish your delivery radius and optimize routes

Step 1: Determine your delivery needs 

Assessing your delivery requirements is the first step to hiring drivers. 

For that, you can ask yourself a few common questions as below:

What is my average delivery load? 

Knowing whether you deal with a high volume of daily deliveries or sporadic volumes plays a pivotal role in choosing your driver type.

What is my delivery radius?

Delivery radius refers to the geographical area or distance within which you want to deliver goods or services. So, how far your customers are located and the area they span also determines your driver type.

What are my general delivery schedules?

Whether you need to make deliveries during specific hours or on certain days may also influence the choice of your driver type.

Is my business seasonal?

Whether your business handles a consistent order volume throughout the year or faces seasonal demand peaks and troughs is also an important factor.

What is my budget, and can I afford a full-time in-house fleet?

Whether you have a budget to pay the costs associated with hiring an in-house delivery staff and maintaining delivery vehicles for them or not also counts. 

Once you have understood your delivery needs, you can determine the most suitable type of delivery driver accordingly, as discussed above.

Step 2: Post a job ad for delivery driver jobs

To begin hiring competent delivery drivers, you should come up with an attractive job post on multiple online job boards or offline channels. You can put a signboard saying “Want drivers” at the front entrance of your company after market research.

Or else, you can opt for a digital way to hire a full-time driver or freelancer from a popular social media networking site.

Here, you are likely to find delivery drivers if they are promoting their service. Also, you can create a post by considering driver recommendations.

a) Tips for writing a job post

Whenever you start writing a post, you can refer to the delivery driver job description template intending to hire a qualified and skilled person. It should be brief about what roles you are offering and which skills you prefer in your potential candidates.

During the process, you can highlight important words like hiring immediately, the delivery driver wanted, or opening for a driver. This would help you attract potential drivers to get in touch with you for further delivery service details.

Below are things that you can consider including in your post for delivery driver jobs.

b) List of things to consider for the recruiter

  • Keep your job title clear and concise. For example, you can keep your job title “Delivery Driver” or “Delivery Executive”
  • Pre-define your delivery driver’s job, role, and responsibilities.
  • Arrange their shift timings.
  • Know if the driver will be working full-time or part-time.
  • Check whether a candidate has a clean driving record or not.
  • Which company vehicle will be assigned to a new driver?
  • Decide a payroll, incentives, and average salary range
  • Is a driver familiar with the designated service area?

Step 3: Follow the innovative hiring process

In the next step, consider an innovative hiring process like social recruiting through social media platforms. It would attract more than 50% of candidates than the traditional method. You can create a network on Linkedin or Instagram with company details to find the right candidate for the offered role. A Hiring Manager should be there to promote the brand name and manage social media recruiting activities.

Below is how you can make use of the hiring procedure.

  • Create an account on any social media platform
  • Write a new job post for delivery driver candidates
  • Engage with followers by answering their questions
  • Use images or videos to describe the company culture
  • Reply to queries via personal messenger
  • Tell your current employees for referrals through word of mouth

If you have found the right candidate after a successful social media campaign, push for an online telephone interview.

a) Organizing an interview on a phone call

A quick phone interview will help you filter out some quality delivery drivers who are keen on the job. Anything between 20 to 25 mins a telephonic interview will help you figure out if the candidate is the perfect fit for the vacant seat.

You can ask delivery driver interview questions like:

  • Do you own a driver’s license?
  • What is the salary expectation?
  • How long have you been in the industry?
  • What is your past working experience?
  • What was the reason for leaving your previous employer?

During the phone call, ask a job seeker about their average salary expectations, flexible working hours, qualifications, and past work history.

b) Conduct delivery driver competency test

Competency tests are usually for shortlisted candidates to analyze their strengths and abilities. This step will decide whether you should keep a prospect behind the wheel or not. So, ask them to undergo competency tests and confirm the test timings in advance.

When it comes to organizing tests, you should make sure all the essential things are available to applicants. Create an environment in such a way that a person should feel like having another normal day at work.

Once the competency test is cleared, it’s time for the final round of interviews. The in-person interview is a good way of ensuring the applicant is suitable for the job. It is a great opportunity for you to convince them to be a valuable part of your team.

c) Make your final offer 

Once you find the candidate suitable during the in-person interviews, it’s time to create a compelling job offer. For that, researching industry standards and current market rates in your country or area is vital to determining the average salary range you can offer.  

You should also discuss and negotiate additional aspects, including working hours, mileage reimbursement, and health insurance provisions. While you can always begin by mentioning the salary you wish to pay first, be prepared to consider the counteroffer from your candidate.

Tip: If you begin by offering the lower limit of your predefined salary range, making adjustments based on their counteroffer can be easier. It will position you as an employee-centric employer who seeks a win-win situation for both yourself and the candidate.

Emphasizing opportunities for career advancement can also engage and drive your candidate to join your organization. Once you reach an agreement, you can fix a mutually agreeable start date. Last but not least, your job offer letter should be transparent without any hidden clauses to build your candidate’s trust and nurture loyalty. 

Step 4: Onboard your new delivery drivers

If a candidate has successfully passed the mandatory exam and accepts your job offer, get them on board to make them learn about the company’s SOP. Pay attention when drivers complain about feeling unsafe in certain neighborhoods or when delivering to certain customers.

Don’t encourage speeding or unsafe driving habits (like texting and driving)as safety protocols. Many delivery businesses require periodic check-ins from drivers if they haven’t heard from them in a certain period.

Also, you must encourage them to complete their duties on time and perform super fast deliveries. If needed, you should provide them with useful resources like navigation apps, communication devices, or route planner apps. 

After completing the onboarding process, you can organize multiple training sessions for driver safety. It would help your new as well as existing drivers to take on responsibilities.

Step 5: Set up training sessions for drivers

Now, since you have found the right candidates with clean driving records, it becomes necessary to guide them with the company policies. If not done, even the experienced person would find it difficult to meet their deadlines. Hence, you need proper delivery driver training sessions.

a) Software training

Let your new drivers learn to operate advanced software like delivery management software, route planner, Google Maps, or Apple Maps. It takes away the stress of manually navigating to an address or deciding which stop is next. Your delivery teams can be stress-free while on the road and just focus on their driving. This is just the first step towards making their job easier.

Besides, you can also teach them how to capture the e-signature as delivery proof so that they don’t need to carry manifest all the time. Also, by choosing the automated process, they don’t have to travel from one place to another to submit signed papers. 

These are just some basic ways of how the right delivery planner can support multi-driver teams and professional drivers in simplifying their jobs.

The best part about such software is that your delivery drivers do not have to juggle between multiple platforms. Thus, you need to conduct regular sessions for new or existing drivers.

b) Customer service training

Since drivers are serving new customers every day, they need guidance from senior employees on how to keep customers happy. Therefore, they should acquire knowledge of how to deal with customers via phone calls or text messages.

If the customer raises a query over late delivery, drivers should be trained to deal with such customers’ issues. Also, you should instruct them about handling packages in safety training sessions. To serve their customers better, they might need to cut off on-road time.

If you still have to answer more calls while performing deliveries, then you should opt for automated delivery instead of manual service. The use of advanced methods would not require an extra training session for customer service. 

It is part of the software training session. Your drivers would not have to engage directly with customers as the software will automatically send delivery updates to buyers.

Step 6: Establish your delivery radius and optimize routes

Once you have trained your drivers, you can define a delivery radius for each of them. You can also factor in your drivers’ familiarity with certain areas while creating their delivery radius. After this step, you can create optimal routes based on factors like traffic, priority orders, preferred time windows, or vehicle type for each driver. 

Defining delivery radius and optimizing routes help avoid a vehicle routing problem like the Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem. It reduces the time your drivers take to deliver orders. Minimizing transit time enables your drivers to cover more stops in less time, increasing delivery efficiency.

Optimal routes also help reduce the distance your drivers travel. It, thus, slashes fuel consumption and vehicles’ wear/tear, and hence, associated operational and upkeep costs.

Real-life Examples of How Upper Supported Businesses & Drivers

1. Chef Nicole delivered to more customers with the same number of drivers

Chef Nicole, a Miami-based healthy meal delivery business was unable to deal with customer orders via manual planning. The major issue was delivery drivers showing up late to perform deliveries. As a result, managing multiple delivery orders was difficult.

A business owner soon learned that the delivery process involves a great deal of time, whereas food delivery drivers spend more time clicking pictures and finding the best routes. So, he opted for Upper to streamline multiple deliveries instead of hiring new drivers.

This is how choosing Upper did wonders for Chef Nicole

  • Reduced planning time from hours to minutes.
  • Found it easier to manage multiple deliveries with accurate delivery routes.
  • Delivery drivers knew stop information and delivery time windows.
  • Priority orders were given importance by delivery drivers.
  • They don’t have to rely on frequent phone calls to the dispatching team.

On top of that, the drivers were easily able to click pictures of the delivered packages using their mobile devices.

2. Wishlist.Delivery Maker cut down time spent on the road & made drivers’ job easier

Wishlist.Delivery Maker is another fine example that turned the tables with the help of Upper. Earlier, they had to rely on guesswork as there was no route optimization software available to them.


  1. Like other delivery service providers, they used to find routes through Google Maps
  2. When they grew in a year, they fell sort of completing same-day deliveries.
  3. Delivery drivers were finding it difficult to reach the exact drop-off point.

In fact, It was the limitations of Google Maps that confined them to performing 200+ deliveries. Who could have made it possible without a delivery route planner.

Solutions offered by Upper

It was going to be the Upper as far as the number of deliveries was concerned. Moving to the completely automated delivery process, they successfully carried out time-sensitive deliveries with a small delivery team. 

Once they started using Upper, they didn’t have to plan manual routes for each driver individually. Eventually, they got rid of “guess-and-check” strategies and hired drivers to meet the customer expectations when the business expanded.

Empower your New Drivers with Upper

Hiring new drivers? What about getting a new route planning and optimization software. Get Upper to schedule multiple deliveries and auto-assign tasks. Try it out!

Skills and Qualifications to Look for in a Delivery Driver

Required skills Preferred skills
A delivery person should be able to carry heavy weight packages for required time Qualified delivery drivers in delivery industry
Valid driver’s license along with clean record Proven record of time-sensitive deliveries
One who has excellent communication skills and works in an organized manner. Familiarity with local streets of designated area
Ability to resolve customer dispute Experience in dealing with financial matters


You should hire a delivery driver if you are running single-driver operations and are receiving more delivery orders for a small team. You need to recruit delivery drivers that are a good fit for your company culture. For example, if you’re running a restaurant as a sole proprietorship, you may need to hire food delivery drivers in order to accept online orders.

One of the best ways to keep your drivers happy is to launch loyalty programs in which a bonus is provided to the driver achieving a maximum number of points. Also, as a business owner, you can include benefits like compensation for the vehicle’s fuel and other expenses.

Here are some tips to find professional delivery drivers.

  1. Start your interview process with ads on job boards
  2. Establish network on social media profiles
  3. Launch attractive employee referral program
  4. Scan received applications
  5. Schedule a telephonic interview
  6. Conduct competency test for candidates
  7. If you find an eligible candidate, give them a formal offer letter

A person who uses their own vehicle to deliver the parcel from the transportation hub to the buyer’s location is a self-employed driver. They are independent contractors who create delivery schedules as per orders received per day.

The driver-friendly app like ‘Upper for driver’ benefits both, a new delivery driver or an experienced delivery driver. You can find shortest routes, check delivery status, get real-time alerts and option to record a delivery proof.

Since the delivery numbers are growing constantly, many companies want to perform multiple deliveries with competent delivery drivers. Therefore, finding reliable delivery drivers in the market has been challenging for major firms throughout the hiring procedure.

Indeed, it reveals that the average annual salary of a delivery driver in the US is $60,943. The typical salary range is $25,000 – $112,000.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) delivery of items like meals, groceries, or small packages is often easy for professional in-house drivers. However, delivering larger items, such as furniture, musical instruments, or heavy electronic items, may require additional skills, strength, and even special equipment in some cases.

Some common types of delivery drivers are: (1) Package delivery drivers, (2) Food drivers, (3) Courier drivers, (4) Freight & truck drivers, (5) specialized drivers like medical couriers, (6) furniture delivery drivers, and (7) Hazmat drivers to transport hazardous materials.

Conducting a driving test is indispensable to evaluating your candidate’s driving skills. You can also contact their previous employers to evaluate their driving skills and evaluate their past performance records to make an informed hiring decision.

Exhaustive safety training during onboarding, including defensive driving techniques and compliance with traffic regulations, can help. You can also track drivers’ performance and conduct vehicle safety checks regularly.

Providing your drivers with navigation apps, GPS devices, and delivery management software is vital to ensuring they carry out delivery operations efficiently. Ensuring they use a reliable smartphone for real-time communication and tracking is also vital.

Different route planning software and apps like Upper and Dynoroute are available in the market to help you create efficient delivery routes. You can also consult experienced drivers to leverage their insights.

Directing your drivers to follow your company-specific protocols for reporting accidents is the first step. These protocols can include documenting details, sharing information with relevant parties, and notifying you and the concerned authorities.

Adhere to labor laws, tax regulations, insurance requirements, and industry-specific mandates for delivery drivers in your area.

Competitive remuneration and benefits, appropriate career advancement opportunities, ensuring open communication, and emphasizing drivers’ safety can help boost retention rates.


Customers prefer timely delivery once the driver has left the warehouse. So, you need a good delivery driver who can provide an excellent customer experience. For that, all you need to do is follow the aforementioned steps, and if you find the right candidate for the vacant position, hand over a job offer letter.

We hope hiring delivery drivers will be easy for you. Following the hiring of drivers, we recommend you establish a long-term relationship by offering the right delivery tools. Also, provide professional training for a customer-friendly attitude under the supervision of an experienced person.

In case you are mulling over the driver app following the hiring process, we suggest you try Upper (route planning software + free driver app). Book a demo with Upper and facilitate your delivery operation.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.