Early hiring trends point to banner year

Publish Date: 
Jan 17, 2014
By Vince Guerrieri

INDIALANTIC, Fla. - Henry Lonski sees something building on the horizon for the powersports industry in 2014. And it’s good news.

Lonski, who runs a nationally known powersports recruiting firm, currently has 58 jobs posted on his website. Of those, he estimates nearly half are dealer job postings, with a significant number for Harley-Davidson retailers. Harley dealers, he says, are known for their willingness to spend on training and employee enrichment.

“It’s a breath of fresh air. I think it bodes well. I think we’re trending toward more investment in people,” he said.

Lonski, who is based in Florida, said he typically sees open positions increase around Daytona Beach Bike Week in March, but this year industry job postings spiked earlier.

“I’ve never seen a January like this,” he said. “I’ve never seen this much demand.”

Powersports dealers tried to weather the recession by reducing staff, and now they’re in a position to start hiring back as consumer spending and interest increase, he noted. 

Bill Nash, chief operating officer for RideNow Powersports, a chain of 19 dealerships in Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Florida and North Carolina, said many dealers cut to the bone during the recession, and they’re among the dealers hiring people back from layoffs and courting those who might have left the industry during times of uncertainty and found they missed it. 

“You can only 'grow' so many,” Nash said. “We promote from within whenever possible, but we can’t always do that.”