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Sarah Mullins

uptreeHR Inc is a human resource business partner for small businesses. We support our clients in areas of HR strategy, recruitment, policy development, performance management, and employee relations. Essentially, we help leaders manage their people so they can get back to managing their operations. We believe every organization deserves expert advice regardless of its size. We are a 100 per cent Canadian-owned and women lead organization based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Tell us about yourself?

I was supervising employees in a grocery store when I was 18, so majoring in Human Resources during my business undergrad just made sense. Before founding uptreeHR, I worked for almost two decades in corporate HR, including the leadership of several HR teams and extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions. I launched the company in 2016 as I saw a support gap within the small business community. The flexibility of consulting was also beneficial to my young family. Now, the team has grown to five consultants, and we support clients across the country.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

COVID-19 was challenging. My husband and I were both running businesses from home, and we had two children – five and seven at the time – who were being homeschooled. The uptreeHR team was incredibly busy supporting our clients through wage subsidies, layoffs, budgeting, working from home, vaccination policies, and heavy recruitment as things turned around. I would reassure myself (and my amazing team) that we will come out stronger because of all of this. Now, we have better systems in place and can more effectively support our growing client base.

What problem does your business solve?


We help you lead your people. So many business owners feel overwhelmed by the people side of their business, and sometimes they don’t know what to do or simply do not have time to do it. That’s where we step in.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Typically, when companies reach a certain size, they hire in-house human resource support. Until that point, leaders try to handle it on their own. Yes, there are recruitment firms out there, or you may have outsourced payroll, but there are very few “one-stop shops” for HR support. With our team of professionals, we can develop strategy, deliver management training, coach leadership, answer employee questions, interpret employment legislation, and even administer payroll and benefits. We are indeed a full-service business partner.

What is your magic sauce?

We always do what’s right, even if there is a personal cost. We are accountable for our work and our advice. Sometimes you have to look at what is legally compliant versus what is simply the right thing to do. In turn, we assist our clients in making that same distinction.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We have experienced an average growth of 20 to 30 per cent annually over the last seven years. We expect that to continue as we move into provinces across Canada. This will be achieved through expanded speaking engagements and social media reach beyond provincial borders.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Keeping up with the demand for our service while ensuring current clients continue to receive exceptional, timely customer service. For instance, pre-COVID-19, most of our support was delivered in person at the client’s office. While some clients have seen a return to that model, we simply don’t have the capacity, so we are still very much online with many clients. However, the bonus to a virtual service model is we are able to support more clients more efficiently.

How can people get involved?

For more information about our services or to book a free consult, visit