Outsourced Support For Melbourne Smes – The HR Dept Continues Expansion With Three New Franchises

(L to R): Tegan Rose, Jo Gazzola, Jenna Paulin and Lee-Anne Hunt of The HR Dept

Outsourced human resources franchise brand The HR Dept has launched in Victoria with four businesswomen simultaneously launching three new franchises in Melbourne.

Tegan Rose and Lee-Anne Hunt are setting up The HR Dept Ringwood, Jo Gazzola is establishing The HR Dept Essendon and Jenna Paulin is launching The HR Dept Docklands.

Each will offer high quality, outsourced HR advice and support within their own locality, helping SME communities navigate a rapidly changing human resources landscape, ensuring that business owners can grow their companies and reach their goals through their biggest asset – their people.

The HR Dept originates from the UK, launching in 2002 and franchising in 2005, before expanding to Ireland. It launched in Australia in April last year, opening its first franchises in Sydney and Perth.

Exporting its unique offering to SMEs alongside a proven business model for franchisee success, The HR Dept’s network of franchisees now work in over 100 territories worldwide, serving well over 6,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In Melbourne, the four new franchisees each bring decades of corporate experience to their new enterprises and are looking to develop a strong brand reputation across the city’s SME community.

For Jo Gazzola, it’s a lifetime’s ambition to launch her own business. Free from the toll of corporate life, she is now reinvigorated and looking forward to the challenge of setting up on her own. And she’s excited about the potential for the company and The HR Dept’s brand.

Jo’s professional background includes time spent with major corporations including car manufacturer Toyota and specialty biotherapeutics company CSL.

“There are a number of human resources issues impacting modern businesses. The HR Dept can make a real difference in each of these areas, providing education through customer relationships and network meetings.

“I looked at starting my own HR consultancy 12 months ago but the list of things to do was never ending – from policies and position descriptions all the way through to mapping process. It was beyond what I could achieve, never mind the investment needed set it all up.

“Then I came across The HR Dept and the franchise model got me really excited. There’s nothing else in the Australian market that has the business infrastructure all set up for HR professionals and it was perfect for my situation.”

Lee-Anne Hunt and Tegan Rose are two working mums who have decided the time is right to juggle family life with starting their own business.

“The combination of being able to chase our own dreams, help out business people in our local area and contribute to our community, all blended with our family commitments, was too good an opportunity to walk away from,” they said.

“We’d both always dreamed of having our own HR business, but the timing never felt quite right with family commitments. We were putting it off until we could focus in more depth on marketing, IT and accounting – all extra things you need to understand to set up a business from scratch.

“This opportunity gives us the chance to do what we loved, with the support and backing of a network of professionals and an established brand.”

For Jenna Paulin, the move into self-employment brings some local focus after years of interstate and international travel, following work in both public and private sectors as diverse as manufacturing, mining, health, government, hospitality and IT.

Having overcome significant health issues to reach this point, she’s fighting fit and ready to run the business, strengthened further by the knowledge that she’s backed by a company with over a decade of supporting franchisees across the globe.

“Without The HR Dept I would not be able to take this step,” she said. “It provides me with the opportunity to establish my own business but with the support and development from the franchise and its network.

“I loved my time in the corporate world but I always felt like I wanted to take a step out and do something on my own. With The HR Dept I will be able to solve problems, create solutions and build my own future.”

Gemma Tumelty is managing director of The HR Dept. She said: “We are delighted that these four women, with all their expertise and experience, are helping us launch The HR Dept in Melbourne joining our existing franchisees in Perth and Sydney. It’s great news for the tens of thousands of SMEs in the city and beyond and I am confident that each franchise will be a great success.

“Part of the benefit of The HR Dept’s franchise model is that our professionals can share knowledge and resource, meaning their clients effectively have access to a pool of expertise. As such, it’s great news for SMEs in Melbourne who will benefit from not just one, but four different skills sets.

“HR and employment law is constantly changing. Business owners struggle to stay on top of the requirements of legislation, modern awards changes and Fair Work cases. Ignorance is no defence so working with The HR Dept is pure peace of mind. In order for SME businesses to grow they need to get the best out of their people and ensure they have an excellent culture and engagement. The HR Dept helps employers navigate the complex landscape, stay legal and maximise their people resource to achieve their ambitions.”


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