Hospo’s changing workforce

New staffing pool: Republic Hospitality's seeing an influx in part-time and casual workers looking to spice up their lives

One Queenstown hospo operator says remote workers might be part of the solution for the resort’s worker shortage woes.

Republic Hospitality boss Blair Impey, whose company operates 11 venues throughout the
resort, says he’s noticed a distinct change in the type of people now looking for work within the business.

While, traditionally, hospo staffers might have been here on an OE and working to fund their stay — and future travels — Impey says he’s seeing an influx of people already employed elsewhere, looking to pick up some hours in a complementary job.

For example, he says the group’s seen a fair bit of interest from people who work remotely, or work from home, and want to have a tangible connection with people for a few hours
a week.

‘‘We’ve got someone doing IT, for example, and they’ve been doing it for a long time, but they just felt, ‘let’s get out and meet some people as well’.

‘‘We’ve got a dental hygienist, she does that through the day and then she does three nights for us.’’

Impey says it’s a ‘‘win-win’’, because these workers are also providing part of the solution to the critical staffing shortages, and increasing issues caused by sickness-induced absenteeism.

‘‘We have a really big roster of [casual and part-time] people, which means that we can call on them when needed.

‘‘By having that, we’ve been able to be open seven nights’ a week and [open] all our large venues.’’

While Republic prides itself on being a workplace which is ‘‘all about the fun’’, he says they’ve found a lot of people who relocate here are looking for a ‘‘community’’.

So, they’ve tried to offer as many work perks as they can, including accommodation support, staff meals and training.

‘‘I suppose the big thing is just that kind of welcoming and friendly team of mates,’’ Impey says.

‘‘We adapt to what works for people, and, at the end of the day, you want to present an opportunity where someone wants it.’’

Expecting the increase in remote work options to send more and more people Queenstown’s way, Impey believes this demographic of worker will only grow in the region.

‘‘Covid’s shown that human connection is so important, and so what this does is provide a nice mix, or balance, for them in their life.’’

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