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Working in the e-bike industry

Have you ever wondered how one ends up in the e-bike industry? Many paths have led people to EBT, and it’s usually not been based on a technical biking background, nor from specific retail experience. In fact, it’s hard to tie down exactly what skills are required, as there’s such a variety of ways that people contribute to the team. Something particular about EBT compared to many other chain stores is that we’re Head Office, flagship showroom, warehouse (around the corner) and workshop all in one, adding to the variety of skills required. And of course we think we’re a special bunch in other ways too 🙂

It’s fairly common that when bike shops are looking for staff, they default to advertising for ‘bike mechanics’ or perhaps ‘shop assistants’. We’ve been guilty of that, it’s the easier choice to hope for someone who can fix a bike, because then there’s always something for them to do, even when there aren’t any customers around. It’s a lazy choice in another way too – if someone has already worked in a bike shop somewhere, then someone else has possibly trained them. And if they’re still looking for a bike shop job, then they’re probably not about to leave the industry.

We’re aiming a bit beyond that. Where hiring bike mechanics is concerned, we’re quite happy to train people from scratch and not just fish in the same, small pool. We hope that this will also increase our chances of addressing a gender imbalance at EBT (and the bike industry at large).

And for all roles, we are looking first and foremost for energetic people who are motivated to get their community onto two wheels. We see huge value in the life experience that potential candidates bring with them even if it doesn’t appear at all related to bikes.

This does bring up a small dilemma though – how do you post a job ad? What category do you put it in? We’d happily welcome an e-biking singing instructor into our team but there’s probably not a lot of point in posting an ad saying that. And people who are keen to join the e-bike revolution will still want to know what they’ll be doing day to day, but that in turn will depend somewhat on their skills. So one thing we’ve tried this time is to list an ad looking for an ‘e-bike evangelist‘, with emphasis on character and life experience over any bike industry experience.

The next dilemma is that we’re looking for people who may not be looking for a job right now. Motivated and energetic people with lots of life experience don’t generally find it hard to land a good job, and their teams generally want to keep them! So although we list the jobs on Seek so that it’s easy to point people towards the job info and how to apply, we need to work out how to reach the right people and show them the job listing! This is where you come in! If you know someone who you would make a great addition to EBT, please introduce us! And if you have a good idea about where to promote this (publications, places etc), please let us know!

Edit: one idea we’re trying is to hold an EBT Open Day. Our next one is Wednesday March 23rd, 4-7pm, spread the word!

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Maurice Wells

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