Efficiency and revenue gains for the Riverland Group

The Organisation:


Riverland Group is a Victoria-based hospitality group that manages six restaurant and bar venues throughout Melbourne and surrounding regions. These businesses include Riverland Bar, The Boatbuilders Yard, Pilgrim Bar, The General Assembly, Wye River General Store and Bang Bang RC.


Michelle Tankey is the HR and Compliance Manager for the group. She has an advisory role and offers advice to the venues on all things relating to the Hospitality Award including compliance, performance management, recruitment and wages. Her role also pertains to managing the people and culture discipline for the organisation. Michelle also performs spontaneous audits on venues across the group to ensure compliance.

The Challenge:


Prior to finding Employment Hero, some of the HR challenges the Riverland Group faced were recruitment, contract version control and inconsistent staff filing, and compliance across visa checks.


Challenge 1: Cumbersome Recruitment and Onboarding


The recruitment and onboarding process was laborious, with managers complaining about the amount of time it took to recruit and onboard new staff. Due to the high staff turnover and shift-work nature of the hospitality industry, this delayed turn-around impacted the business’ productivity.  


Challenge 2: Inconsistent paperwork


Inconsistencies in all of the paperwork and filing meant some staff files had little to no information in them. It was also hard to track the information, and there was a version control issue with contracts.


Challenge 3: An inefficient visa verification process


The hospitality industry can be quite transient and relies on drawing expertise from all over the world. There was no standard tool for verifying eligibility for working visas, an important step in the recruitment process for Riverland Group. All visa checks would be manually done by various staff and that process would begin by looking at the actual passport. It was time-consuming and the manual process allowed too much room for error.

The Solution:


Michelle knew that she needed a HR solution to assist the organisation across the challenges they faced, but didn’t want to take on another full-time resource. She knew there were efficiencies to be had. Instead, Michelle chose to try software.


After reviewing several systems, Michelle decided on Employment Hero, citing reasonable pricing, ease of use, and the system being Australia-based and therefore strong in compliance.


Since its implementation, Employment Hero has streamlined their processes and centralised information, solving issues in compliance and preventing version control issues – such as the use of old contracts and agreements.


“Every time we can eliminate a piece of paper, it makes the process easier and more streamlined. The centralisation of employee information solves the problem of having paper files distributed around the various venues, because now they’re in one central place that I can access,” says Michelle.


“The ability to have every single piece of information in one centralised place is great – the certification process really does help keep track of who’s done what and who needs to do what – just by adding a team to someone and then allocating that team to a certification. From there, all you have to do is run a report and see who is outstanding, who hasn’t uploaded their documents or RSA for instance, so it’s very easy to stay compliant,” she continues.


The visa online portal has additionally minimised the time it takes to process a visa, moving the business toward becoming a paperless workplace.


“It’s also helped with our internal training. If we have a manager’s course, or a course on finance – any of our internal courses that we like to put people through – it’s a very easy way for myself and managers to keep track of where everyone’s at.”

Michelle Tankey

HR and Compliance Manager

“The centralisation of employee information solves the problem of having paper files distributed around the various venues, because now they’re in one central place that I can access.”

The Result:

Employment Hero has provided a holistic and easy-to-use system that has helped to deliver efficiencies across all venues in the company. It has also streamlined and centralised timesheets, rostering, annual leave and has been integrated with payroll, saving time and money while reducing risk and errors.


“Prior to actually installing the system I did do a business case around saved hours and what that would mean cost-wise for the business. We are talking, for our business, somewhere in the tens of thousands. We have most definitely achieved those numbers in savings already.”

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