HR on a budget


This is the non-negotiable part of HR. Employers cannot reduce their expenditure on legal compliance when it comes to their people and meeting their employment obligations.

  • Prevention is better than defence! Defending legal claims made by an employee against an employer is far more costly that preventing them occurring in the first place; this can be achieved by ensuring that all employees are employed under the right employment contract and the employer is meeting their minimum legal obligations.
  • Train a member of your existing team to be responsible for the workplace health and safety responsibilities for your workplace to reduce your reliance on external providers.
  • Automate your induction and recruitment processes to ensure greater legal compliance.


  • Effectively communicate changes in the business. If you are stopping or deferring investment in the business this may be viewed negatively by employees so be sure to present the business case for such decisions openly.
  • Ensure you are meeting your legal minimum requirements when it comes to paying employee redundancy packages, seek HR advice before proceeding with redundancies so avoid costly disputes in the future.
  • Replace farewell gifts and leaving celebrations with more intimate morning teas or in-house events, which employees can cater for.

For those organisations that are fortunate enough to have an in-house HR function, it is critically important that HR is focused on the current priorities and requirements of the business. This may mean that the HR agenda that existed a year ago in boom times is put on hold so the organisation can respond to any new challenges they are facing.

—Tina Radford is managing director of HR Business Solutions (

Get Creative
Motivate staff without spending a cent

There are many ways employers can retain and motivate employees without added overheads. You just need to get creative. Employers need to increase recognition and praise to their employees; it costs nothing and can make a big difference to employee morale. Think outside the box; issue thank you cards to employees for doing a good job, they are meaningful but inexpensive. Get the whole team involved by replacing costly employee events with lower cost family days where employees can bring a plate and the company can organise the event to promote a work-life balance. Make sure everyone in the company is a part of the change. Introduce boardroom lunches and morning teas for informal inter-company networking which is a more cost effective alternative to paying for external networking opportunities.

  • I agree 100% that recruitment fees take a large part of budget away.. I had my recruitment all inhouse, untill I found a company that’s super cheap but actualy real good at recruitment. and for 2% fee I can sleep at night knowing I never have to look over anither CV again.. Google Recruitment Alternative and you will find it..

  • Bianca make a valid point. Doing away with agency fees can have a positive impact on budgets, particularly if your agency charges “per candidate” fees. Still, it is important to ensure advertising reaches quality candidates. There are alternative marketing companies out there that target your campaigns to the right candidates and that only charge one flat fee. I know only charges $150 ex.GST for a custom written advertisement. It stays up online for a whole month and you even get a free advertisement on a second industry-specific job board. and run similar sorts of alternative marketing. It’s definitely worth looking into, particularly if you are struggling with budget restraints.

  • I have worked in HR Software space for years. HR Technology providers should be doing more to provide HR Specialist with better more cost effective tools to to enable them to do away with the expense of outsourcing recruitment. With web technology and the internet driving innovation, SME’s should be able to have access to solutions that rationalise HR spend, Focus Budgets and allow HR pros to focus on Strategy… Pay by the month. Manageable and Easy. Forget Scrolling through endless amounts of CV’s. Use CV searching an filtering to deliver you the best cadidates in a instant. Use web service integration to link your HR/Recruitment system to job boards: Seek, My Carrer, Jobs Jobs Jobs …

  • Matthew I agree 100%. The recruitment process has features much space to be streamlined, and the web can do a much better job in my opinion of making this happen. Your ‘non’ software package looks interesting. Are you a developer?

  • I’ve worked with a number of temporary and permanent placement agencies when filling holes in my personnel roster and I have to say I\’ve always been satisfied. Not only does it save me from the whole process of advertising for and weeding through dozens of applications and resumes, but often the placement company can provide verified recommendations for individual employees. Something that is invaluably useful to me in making a hiring decision, yet normally, were I to do it on my own, time consuming.