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Started from the Bottom, Now We Here: Operations Manager Greg Hale

"In an interview, I’m looking for somebody who’s willing to go through the trials and tribulations of an entry-level position."

 

Seminole PowerSports, located in Sanford, Florida, does work on everything from ATVs and motorcycles to jet skis. “We get a lot of enthusiasts because everyone wants to play with these big toys,” says Greg Hale, Operations Manager at the company.

The company, which has 60 years under its belt, acts a seller, reseller and service shop for big brands like Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Sea-Doo.

Because of Seminole’s small size and its proximity to Motorcycle Mechanical Institute (MMI), the company gets the cream of the crop in terms of the graduates that they hire. “We may have a bit of an unfair advantage sometimes…” Greg laughs.

Greg started racing jet skis and riding motorcycles when he was young. He’s been with Seminole for 25 years now and has evolved with his role. “It’s provided me and my family a good living. I enjoy coming to work every day,” he says. Greg takes pride in his work and providing a great outcome for customers even if it means doing tasks that don’t fit into his job description.

In the same way Greg worked his way up, he appreciates those new to the job market who are also starting at the ground level. “In an interview, I’m looking for somebody who’s willing to go through the trials and tribulations of an entry-level position.”

“We’re always looking for good people with a strong work ethic.” Greg says he goes through many academic transcripts from people looking for jobs at Seminole and most the time, attendance is more important to him than grades. “I want someone who has the desire rather than just someone who wants to get through school.” Though he admits he does take a peek at the grades his applicants earned in their electrical classes. Why? “Electrical tends to be more difficult, so if I see someone excels in electrical, usually the mechanical and the theory tend to fall right in sync.”

When students finish school, they are often not ready to enter into the workforce as a full-blown technician. At Seminole, they mostly employ flat-rate technicians, which means techs have to work fast and efficiently. Generally, more experience techs do well with flat rate, as they have the experience and knowledge that comes with seeing similar problems more than a few times.

Most new grads who start at Seminole come in as a PDI (pre-delivery inspection) technician. They get the chance to work with their hands, work on the bikes, and see the new stuff. They understand what’s coming in and what the products look like. “It’s a good opportunity to emphasize to them that these bikes have to be right on the floor. It instills a sense of thoroughness,” Greg notes.

Students often come to Seminole after they’ve taken some manufacturer-specific training. “That’s a huge advantage for us,” Greg says. This training paired with a good work ethic is key. Once new hires have some experience under their belt as a PDI tech, combined with their education, they are able to move into a more advanced technician role when the time is right.

Once someone is in the shop, they can stand out by hustling, and being productive and efficient. Greg says Seminole is great place to get involved in the industry. “Where they take it is unlimited,” he adds.


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