(L to R): Lee-Anne Hunt, Jo Gazzola, Jenna Paulin and Tegan Rose of The HR Dept
Four ambitious businesswomen, forming three new companies, under one brand. Launching in Melbourne to provide the SME community with a unique level of personal and local human resources support.
The four HR experts are bringing decades of corporate experience and simultaneously setting up three independent franchises of The HR Dept, a successful international franchise brand.
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.
As with any new business, the four businesswomen each have their own individual stories behind the launches of their new ventures.
Victorian country girl Jenna comes from a family of businesspeople and brings her working ethic to the state capital after years of interstate and international travel for employment.
Jo brings over 20 years of corporate experience and is feeling reinvigorated by a new challenge and the realisation of her lifetime’s ambition to set up on her own.
Working mum duo Tegan and Lee-Anne feel the time is right to juggle family life with starting their own business. They are aiming to create something big as they go into business together.
The HR Dept, which originated in the UK in 2002, launched in Australia last autumn and the four Melbourne businesswomen join two other HR Dept franchisees, Brad Adams and Pia Engstrom, in Sydney and Perth. Across the world it serves well over 6,000 SMEs in more than 100 territories.
It’s now ready to put its marker down in Melbourne and the four HR professionals who are set to take up the standard are all raring to go
“We’re aiming for the stars,” said Lee-Anne, who alongside Tegan will support businesses in a territory from Blackburn to Healesville and the Yarra Valley, along the Maroondah highway corridor.
“We’ve always dreamed of having our own HR business, but the timing never felt quite right.
“Now we’re ready to go and there’s lots of support we can offer. SMEs maybe unaware of recent changes to legislation but ignorance is not a defence and business owners need to be vigilant to ensure their staff are trained and they have the correct policies in place. We can help.”
“What’s really exciting is that there’s nothing else like this in the marketplace,” said Tegan. “There are off-the-shelf HR options for small businesses but nothing which compares to The HR Dept’s offering of highly expert outsourced advice and support, backed by employers’ indemnity insurance at a price which even a start-up can afford.
“We want to help businesses grow and thrive through good people practices, in turn helping our community be productive and successful.”
Jo’s background includes time spent with major corporates including car manufacturer Toyota and specialty biotherapeutics company CSL. She is looking to support clients in Essendon, Moonee Ponds, Tullamarine, Melbourne Airport, Sunbury & Diggers Rest and the surrounding suburbs.
After more than 20 years of corporate life she said she is ready for a change. “I have always loved working in HR and enjoyed the people interaction of the role,” she said. “However, it is very hard to sustain the long hours of corporate life year in and year out. Constant organisational changes took their toll and business values just didn’t align with mine.
“I felt I needed to make changes to my life. I was tired from over 20 years of working in corporate environments years and wanted to make changes so I could add value, and feel valued. Then I came across The HR Dept and the model got me really excited. There’s nothing else the Australian market that has the business infrastructure for HR professionals all set up. It’s perfect for my situation.”
Jenna, who originally hails from Warrnambool, Victoria, will focus on Docklands, Montague, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Fishermans Bend, West Melbourne, North Melbourne, Kensington, Flemington and Newmarket. Over time, she hopes to expand her business by establishing a wider client base throughout territories across Victoria.
She said: “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.
“Without The HR Dept I would not be able to take this step. It provides the opportunity to establish my own business but with the support and development from the franchise and its network.”
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 launching The HR Dept in Melbourne. It’s great news for the tens of thousands of SME businesses in the city and I am confident that each franchise will be a great success.
“One benefit of The HR Dept’s franchise model is that the HR professionals can share knowledge, 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. Jenna, Jo, Tegan and Lee-Anne are already working together as a team, I am certain that they will be unstoppable!”