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Spotlight on Jo Gazzola

Jo Gazzola launched her HR Dept office for HR Dept Essendon Melbourne earlier this year.

Jo is an accomplished HR Specialist with years of experience across a wide range of industries. As we welcome Jo to our network she shares some of her background in this month’s spotlight interview.

What inspired you to get into HR?

I actually wasn’t inspired to do HR…I just fell into the role.  I was working as a Training Assistant on a contract basis when I was asked to fill in for the Personnel Co-ordinator who was preparing to take Parental leave (going by the old title..this is showing my age!).  I had some experience with HR Administration and thought this would be a great opportunity to learn new skills.  I found the role very enjoyable and the role broadened my mind about business and its operations.  Twelve months went by and the Personnel Co-ordinator decided not to return to work as she wanted to stay at home with her children.  This allowed me the opportunity to take on the role on a permanent basis.  This was the start of a wonderful career in HR and I have not looked back!

Can you share a funny/odd story from your world of HR?
In the early days of my HR career, our team consisted of HR Co-ordinator, HR Administrator and HR Manager.  The HR Manager was an Irishman and an ex Clergyman!  He told a lot of bad jokes and ones that would have you gasping in the current environment. He was not your typical HR Manager and many of us wondered how on earth he got into HR! He regularly called us ‘dear’ and ‘darling’ and he loved to sing! To us he was a great boss and always had our backs.  He gave me the confidence to move into HR and helped me with my start in HR.

What made you think about starting up your own HR Dept franchise?
Everything I have done in my life and career, I believe has led me to this moment. I have always had a passion to have my own business but never really knew when, where or how.  The opportunity to have my own business presented during the time that I left a long standing position in a Global organisation.  I really wanted to do something on my own at this time, but the investment to put the infrastructure in place to make it work was not possible at the time.  I took on another role for a another Corporate before realising the role was not what I really wanted.  Then one day whilst at work and catching up on my emails I was reading HRD emails and then there it was, The HR Dept Franchise ad looking for Franchisees to start their own business!  This was my calling!

How are you finding it at The HR Dept? 
I am loving being an independent business and making my own choices.  I am on a steep learning curve but it’s the opportunity that I have been waiting for.  I feel like a have a purpose and renewed energy.


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