3 Characteristics Of A Great Transportation Dispatcher

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Transportation DispatcherThere are few jobs in a school district more immediately demanding and with more responsibility than that of a school's transportation dispatcher. It's an understated title, truly. They're tasked with directly overseeing the transportation and safety of hundreds or thousands of students daily. There are few other times that so many students' hands will be in the lives of so few, and the transportation dispatcher is the one directly on top of all of it.

Finding the right candidate for the job is imperative.

We've identified three key areas that your search should focus on when looking to recruit a transportation dispatcher. They're hard to find in combination, but when you do, you'll have found a great member of your team.

Three Vital Characteristics Of A Great Transportation Dispatcher

I. Computer Skills

Transportation dispatchers are long past the point of using pushpins and string on physical maps. Modern school bus management needs transport software, and the skills necessary to use it.

While the software itself is easy to use, it's crucial they have a strong sense of data management. They will need to input any new information in a timely manner, as well as keeping all systems and software up to date. This last is especially crucial, considering they will be among a handful with direct access to data on the comings and goings of the students.

So, a strong grasp of computer security is another must. They may even be called to consult on student privacy issues from time to time, so a full grasp on computers and their larger impact on your district is a key factor.

II. The Human Touch

At the same time, your dispatcher is also going to be the direct interface between operations at the school and operations on the ground. They'll be overseeing day-to-day scheduling of the drivers and meetings with staff, as well as letting higher management know about issues “on the ground” they may need to be aware of.

Further, however, they're likely to be the main point of contact for any parents with inquiries regarding the transportation system, up to and potentially including calls regarding lost or misplaced children. As such, they'll need to know how to use the soft touch when interacting with the public.

Your transportation dispatcher will be one of the faces reassuring parents their children are safe.

III. An Eye For Detail

transport softwareWhile a dispatcher does need to be aware of the wheels above their head, it's much more important that they be focused on the details of the job at hand. It is an extremely detail-focused job, from data entry to overseeing driver fitness reports. Noticing finer details can ultimately head off disasters, or save your school money with new optimizations.

After all, when dealing with thousands of students, it's easy for them to become statistics. Your dispatcher needs to be the one who remembers they are all people who need to be safely delivered, and keep the processes running to ensure that happens.

Mold Your Transportation Director Into The Best

Finally, going forward, keep this thinking alive. These are also the areas your transportation dispatcher will want to focus on in their ongoing development, so consider them when looking into training programs. Remember, they aren't the ones making policy, but they are the ones keeping the students safe on a day-to-day basis.

Your transportation dispatcher is of utmost importance to your school. Find the best you can, then keep challenging them to be better!