Nationwide UK outsourced human resources company The HR Dept has signed a deal to launch its services into Australia. Gemma Tumelty, managing director of The HR Dept, which was founded by her mother Sue in Bristol in 2002, has signed the agreement with Sydney businessman Brad Adams for taking the brand Down Under. Considerable research has been done prior to the deal to establish the differences between the two countries’ HR legislation, research which Ms Tumelty hopes other UK firms looking to expand to Australia could benefit from.
The deal represents the culmination of a two-year project – one to research and one to secure the deal – which she believes could be the first of many similar SME deals as Britain looks for additional trading partners after it exits the European Union. But there is more to the venture than the A$424,000, including A$100,000 of working capital, that Mr Adams has invested for the Master Franchise and shareholding in the new company. HR expert Pia Engstrom has been appointed as the company’s first independent franchisee and has invested A$53,550.
The HR Dept in the UK has also invested A$100,000 of working capital to support Mr Adams, in return for management service fee and shareholder dividends.The 10-year deal will see Mr Adams maintaining responsibility for growing The HR Dept nationally, focusing on bringing on new franchisees and supporting them to succeed.
Market research by The HR Dept has identified potential for around 80 franchise sales to provide HR services to SMEs in Australia and Mr Adams and Ms Engstrom have already set up in the Lower North Shore area of Sydney and Perth respectively. Tumelty said, “We are extremely excited to see the HR Dept brand going international and it’s something we’d never have dreamed of when we first started. In some ways Australia was an obvious new market for us, despite the distance. The language, cultural and business similarities and the legislative cross-over meant that we have a lot in common. This common ground greatly helps us to provide up-front and ongoing support to Brad’s new venture. As the UK looks to leave the European Union it is important that businesses of all sizes look further abroad for ways to achieve growth and success.”