So, you’re at a job interview and you get asked: “Can you drive?”. Why is this significant to employers, and does it enhance your employability status, up your chances of getting the job you’re interviewing for? Together with Pass N Go, providers of driving lessons in Durham in the North East, we investigate further:
Do employers really need you being able to drive?
More times than none, it will be a simple case that the job in question requires the successful applicant to be in control of a vehicle. In fact, research carried out in 2016 by the RAC found that almost one in six vacant jobs in the UK required the applicant to own a driving licence. What employers may not realise however, is that asking if candidates own a driving licence can be discriminatory if it is not a requirement of the job as it could deter some people from applying. If an individual is disabled for example, and not able to drive, they might decide not to apply for the role and this is decreasing the pool of talent.
However, the same research from the RAC found that many of the job roles found that despite the need for the applicant to have a driver’s license, the job was not in fact driving-orientated. These included a zoo worker, hairdresser and gymnastics coach. So, why are employers only hiring those that own a license? Often, it’s down to attendance concerns. Public transport comes with delays — perhaps from taking multiple buses, facing potential disruptions from strikes and walking from the station. These things can all lead to added time onto your commute that you wouldn’t face if you drove into work. Also, if public transport is not an option, it’s likely that employers will recruit someone with a license. This might be for a job that involves night shift work for example, when buses and trains do not run regularly and the only option would be to arrive by car.
It might be that having a driving license is required as a driving role may be part of the applicant’s remit further down the line, following a promotion or personal development. An example of this could be in a sales role, whereby the new recruit starts their role in the office but eventually will be driving to carry out door-to-door sales. Another reason may be if you are applying for a job that requires flexibility such as a supply role where the employee must get to the place of work as quickly as possible and again, public transport would be a hindrance.
Will you get the job easier if you can drive?
It’s fairly obvious that when going for certain jobs, you’ll definitely require the legal capacity to drive. For a delivery job, for example, it’s understandable that a candidate who can drive would be favoured over one that doesn’t.
Your location can also play a big part; if you’re applying for a job in the city and you live in a rural area some miles away from the business location, it will help massively to have a license, as well as access to a car. Similarly, if you live in a built-up area but would like to apply for jobs further afield, having a driving license will make the commute easier, and more feasible.
It’s always likely that certain reasons lead someone to have little to no desire to drive; you may not have the budget to do so, find driving a stressful experience or have a disability which restricts you ability to do so. Certainly, there are plenty of jobs that don’t require a driving license. When looking at jobs that are out of walking distance, you could invest in a bike or consult time schedules of transport to see if you could get to a place of work on time before applying. If a potential employee is concerned about your inability to drive, prove to them that you have done your research and your attendance will not be affected. You could also begin lessons after securing the job if this will make your commute easier.