Queenstown is a great place to staff a business

December 10 2018 by Sam Hazledine Founder and Managing Director of Me

Why is Queenstown a great place to staff a company? When I moved my business to Queenstown in 2006, people told me it was a terrible idea and that I’d struggle to find good staff. “BS,” I said then, “It’ll be great.” Twelve years later, people are still saying the same thing and I’m still saying, “BS, Queenstown is still a great place to staff a business.”

I had no staff when I moved here in 2006, I’ve got 65 here now and that’s growing every month. I have wonderful people doing exceptional work and I am incredibly grateful for them. But before we look to how to make Queenstown a great place to staff a business, let’s look at why some businesses are struggling. I think the ‘staffing crisis’ that some businesses are facing is a direct result of the relentless race to the bottom; trying to cater to the lowest common denominator and make things as cheap as possible. A huge cost for most businesses, particularly service businesses, is staff. In a race to the bottom, businesses must pay their staff the least they can get away with. If you’re paying people as little as possible, especially in a place with a high cost of living, they’re always going to be looking for a better option, and you’re forever going to be losing staff.

So, what’s a better approach? It starts with your business model. If your business model relies on paying people as little as possible, you’re probably always going to have high turnover, especially in an expensive place like Queenstown. To create a business that moves from trying to be as cheap as possible, to adding enough value to charge more, takes a bit of thought, but it’s worthwhile because quality and cheap don’t go together. Quality allows you to pay good people what they’re worth, and that allows you to attract staff.

Then, it’s important to have a culture that retains your staff. I think culture comes down to four main things:
• Purpose – being a business that does something that your people can feel good about
• People – protecting your people by being careful who you add to the team
• Processes – creating the best conditions for people to do their work
• Environment – creating a place where people enjoy being, where they feel supported, and where they can progress

The reason that you love Queenstown is the very same reason that it can be an exceptional place to staff your business. People love it here, and want to live here. Rather than taking advantage of this and paying people as little as possible, utilise it to retain exceptional people and pay them fairly. If we create businesses that add enough value that you can charge customers enough to pay your people well, then we create a thriving town. People will be better able to afford to live here, and businesses will be able to retain great people. It just requires a different perspective.

Sam Hazledine
Founder and Managing Director of MedRecruit

- Sam Hazledine Founder and Managing Director of Me
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  • Jimmy

    It doesn’t take a scholar to work this out. Nice try at being some kind of business guru.

    Posted 10/12/2018 5:45pm (6 months ago)


    I agree Sam.....trouble is I can name two very big business here that dont see it your way, and guess what, they get away with it....they dont care about staff turnover....

    Posted 10/12/2018 10:45pm (6 months ago)

  • Your Name Here

    I see there is something of a trend in the last editorials so... why doesn’t LWB have the next editorial about bullying in the workplace and why sponsored migrants are the biggest victims - either by cultural differences, language barrier or the simple fact they’re tied to the company that sponsored them so the employer feels entitled to treat migrants like dirt.

    We’ve had winges in the past some very recent and I myself have been working here for years and never had a job where I wasn’t bullied so how about an editorial about this issue..?

    Posted 12/12/2018 6:38am (5 months ago)

  • Jack

    Nice one "Jimmy"

    Looking forward to your words of wisdom in a publication one day....

    Or better yet, result to back up your snarky comments.

    Oh, how many staff do you employ?

    What have you contributed to the community?

    Jimmy / Jealous Guru...

    Posted 14/12/2018 8:55pm (5 months ago)

  • Point and Post

    Is this the same Sam that is currently advertising for a Korean speaking and culturally aware person for his retail business which appears to be almost exculsively for Koreans? I hope that he parctices what he preaches and employees a New Zealander and if necessary inputs the time and funds to upskill and retain them accordingly. Or is this another pro forma instance of going through the motions to statisfy the Department of Immigration requirments?

    Posted 18/12/2018 8:01am (5 months ago)

  • Remember

    Remember - Its only racist when its white!

    Posted 20/12/2018 12:07pm (5 months ago)