SMB Guide to Hiring HR Consultants in Melbourne

HR Consulting Meeting

As a small or medium-sized business owner or leader, you’re accustomed to wearing multiple hats, juggling the critical tasks of driving growth while ensuring your operations run smoothly. Among these responsibilities, managing human resources (HR) stands out as particularly challenging due to its complexity. For some, it’s about maintaining morale and meeting compliance requirements. For others, it’s about strategically growing your team, elevating performance standards, and molding your workforce in a way that propels your business forward. Recognising when and how to seek external HR consulting service expertise can be a pivotal moment for your business. These practices become a driving force for your business. 

This guide is developed for you, the SMB leader, in mind, offering a clear and comprehensive pathway through the diverse landscape of HR consultancy options.  We cover types of resources available to you, from 24/7 employment relations support providers like Employsure, to the specialised skills of internal HR personnel, independent HR consultants, freelancers, recruitment companies, and integrated HR organisations such as Inject.  Our aim is to demystify the process of identifying, selecting, and collaborating with the right HR support, ensuring that you can effectively address your HR needs without diverting from your business vision. 


HR Consulting Service Alternatives for SMBs

Internal HR Department

Many SMBs opt for an internal HR professional to handle a wide array of responsibilities, from administrative tasks to strategic HR planning. This setup is often favored for its cost-effectiveness and the ability to make swift decisions due to direct access to company leadership teams. It suits businesses that prefer a close-knit structure, allowing for a more integrated approach to HR management.



  • Cost-Effectiveness: Having a single HR person handling multiple roles can be cost-effective for SMBs, avoiding the need for a full HR department.
  • Swift Decision Making:  With direct access to company leadership, HR decisions can be made quickly,  leading to efficient HR processes.


  • Workload Challenges: The broad scope of responsbilities associated with HR can lead to burnout. Balancing the administrative tasks, employee relations, and strategic HR initiatives can be overwhelming, leading to burnout.
  • Limited Specialisation: Internal HR professionals may not have specialised expertise in all areas of HR like some external HR consulting options have, such as legal compliance or training development


24/7 Employment Relations Support 

Employment relations support providers consist of those alternatives that are largely compliance-focused. One core example of these providers is Employsure, which operates primarily in Australia and New Zealand and focuses on employment relations and workplace health and safety. It targets small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), offering them services to help navigate employment laws and safety regulations. The firm provides advice, documentation, and support to help businesses comply with legal requirements and maintain safe working environments. The engagement process with Employsure typically involves a fixed-term contract for a lump sum amount.  It’ll likely start with a detailed consultation to assess the specific needs and challenges of the business. This is followed by the provision of ongoing support and access to resources, designed to assist businesses in managing their employment relations and workplace safety effectively. 



  • Compliance and Workplace Health & Safety Focus: Prioritises ensuring businesses meet legal standards and maintain safe working environments, leveraging specialised knowledge in these critical areas.
  • Risk Reduction: Aim is to minimise legal risks and potential costs associated with non-compliance and workplace incidents.
  • 24/7 Support: Provides continuous access to templates, an account manager and or helpdesk call, which may be valuable for some SMEs.


  • Scope Focused on Compliance: While Employsure’s services are invaluable for navigating compliance and ensuring workplace safety, HR consulting encompasses a broader range of functions that can leveraged to help a business grow. Businesses might find the need to seek additional resources or services to cover other HR aspects such as recruitment, retention, succession planning, career planning & leadership and manager development, which are beyond Employsure’s primary focus on legal compliance and safety.
  • One-Size-Fits-All Approach: While services are tailored, some businesses might find the advice and solutions less customised than expected.
  • Helpdesk: Support is offered over phone and the caller is put through to a helpdesk personnel.


Independent HR Consultants/Freelancers

Independent HR consultants and freelancers offer specialised support on a flexible basis, making them an attractive option for SMBs looking for targeted HR consulting service solutions. They typically charge by the hour or project, providing tailored advice and services that address specific HR needs, from strategic planning to compliance and training.



  • Access to Specialised Expertise: These consultants bring deep knowledge in specific HR consulting domains, offering insights and solutions that are immediately applicable and impactful.
  • Engagement Flexibility: With the ability to tailor their engagement based on your needs, they offer a level of flexibility unmatched by traditional HR models.


  • Variability in Availability: The freelance nature of their work can lead to fluctuations in availability, potentially affecting the consistency of support.
  • Challenge in Long-term Commitment: Project-based engagements may limit the depth of their commitment to your business’s long-term HR strategy.


Recruitment Companies

Recruitment companies excel in supporting SMBs with their talent acquisition needs, providing access to a wide pool of candidates and specialised expertise in screening and placement. They streamline the recruitment process, making it more efficient for businesses to find and hire the right talent. 



  • Extensive Candidate Networks: Access to a vast pool of potential candidates increases the chances of finding the perfect match for your open positions.
  • Streamlined Recruitment Processes: Their expertise not only speeds up the recruitment cycle but also enhances the quality of hires through professional screening and evaluation.


  • Higher Costs: The specialised services of recruitment companies can come at a premium compared to in-house recruitment efforts.
  • Focus Limited to Recruitment: Their primary focus on talent acquisition means other HR needs won’t be focused on and business owners and leaders will require additional support channels.


HR Companies like Inject

Inject stands out by offering comprehensive and tailored HR solutions to SMBs. They work closely with businesses to understand their strategic goals and provide support across a broad range of HR functions, from recruitment & selection, human resource management, and training & development. Their approach is collaborative and strategic, aiming to align HR  practices with business objectives.



  • Strategic HR ServicesAlignment:  Inject’s services are designed to align with your business objectives, going beyond mere compliance to significantly boost employee engagement and talent retention. Unlike a solitary internal HR manager who may be learning on the job, Inject offers a seasoned HR team adept at handling diverse functions, which mitigates risks like turnover and knowledge gaps that can arise from relying on a single employee.
  • Personalised and Proactive Support: Inject understands that one size does not fit all when it comes to HR. Their commitment to understanding your unique business needs results in a tailored HR strategy that proactively addresses both potential challenges and opportunities. 
  • Expert Team at Your Service: Inject boasts a multi-level team, ensuring that you have access to the right kind of support exactly when you need it. This depth of expertise ensures superior outcomes since HR management is what they do best. Your employees also benefit from having access to an external party, which can add a layer of objectivity and prevent internal politics from affecting HR decisions.


  • Investment Consideration: The comprehensive and high-calibre nature of Inject’s services might reflect in the pricing, necessitating a thoughtful investment decision. However, considering the potential risks and costs associated with internal HR management or the consequences of inadequate HR practices, investing in Inject’s expert services could be more cost-effective in the long run.
  • Need for Active Collaboration:  Inject’s personalised approach to HR management requires an ongoing dialogue and active collaboration between your team and theirs. This necessitates dedicated time and resources to manage effectively but is crucial for tailoring strategies that are truly reflective of your business’s needs and dynamics.
  • Reduced Risk and Enhanced Focus: By outsourcing HR functions to Inject, the business owner can significantly reduce the risks associated with complaint management and internal HR failings. This shift not only safeguards your business against potential legal and compliance issues but also allows you and your team to focus more on core business activities rather than HR tasks.


Choosing the Right HR Consulting Solution

In addition to factors like budget, expertise, scalability, and compliance, SMB owners must consider their perception of HR within the organisation. Viewing HR as a strategic enabler for business growth shifts the focus from mere compliance to strategic value creation. SMBs should align their HR strategy with their overall business objectives, leveraging effective HR solutions that not only ensure legal compliance but also contribute to employee engagement, talent retention, and ongoing organisational success.




Navigating HR consulting service solutions for SMBs requires an evaluation of alternatives based on specific needs, budget constraints, and strategic vision. While each option has its merits and drawbacks, SMBs can make informed decisions by assessing expertise, cost-effectiveness, scalability, and strategic alignment with small-medium business owner goals of increased profitability and growth. Inject emerges as a versatile and value-driven choice, empowering SMBs to navigate HR challenges effectively and drive sustainable growth.


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