Best HR Service Providers in Australia and New Zealand | Service Provider Awards 2023
Best HR Service Providers in Australia and New Zealand |
Service Provider Awards 2023

Showcasing the best HR services

Human Resources Director’s sixth annual Service Provider Awards recognise 2023’s best HR software vendors in Australia and New Zealand for their crucial contributions to help their clients’ workplaces prosper.

This year’s award winners are standing out in a fiercely competitive market with products and services that enable HR professionals to tackle their most critical workplace challenges, noted by industry experts:

  • leveraging best-in-class analytics and insights to make data-driven decisions

  • recruiting, employment compliance standards and relations

  • employee engagement and wellbeing

  • rewards and recognition that foster belonging


“Robust workforces and talent ecosystems are key contributors to organisational success, and award-winning service providers can play a vital role in the value chain,” remarks Andrew McKechnie, head of Workforce Solutions, New Zealand at Mercer. “Ultimately, it’s about building trust and delivering customised workforce solutions that cater to clients’ unique needs.”

Positive People director Alan Pettersen echoes that sentiment, emphasising how the best HR software vendors identify their unique expertise and communicate that in a way that genuinely resonates with potential clients.

“The point of difference becomes the magnet that attracts new clients and allows the service provider to thrive,” he adds.

Chris Michalak, Virgin Pulse
“Innovation never stops; we continually need to adapt to ensure that we are pushing the bar for our clients and our people”
Chris MichalakVirgin Pulse


Engagement at centre of best HR software vendor

Digital-first health and wellbeing solutions provider Virgin Pulse claimed the silver medal for leading the pack with its groundbreaking use of engagement, moving employees into the next era of health.

Its platform Homebase for Health enables clients to provide their workforce with:

  • personalised, gamified, AI-driven, health and wellbeing tools and resources

  • higher utilisation and engagement

  • improvements in the overall employee experience


“We are committed to technology and innovation and go above and beyond in delivering high-tech, human-touch experiences that empower people to improve their health and wellbeing while reducing healthcare costs and optimising outcomes,” explains CEO Chris Michalak.

As the world’s largest comprehensive digital health activation and engagement company, Virgin Pulse reaches over 150 million people with its single destination portal. In addition, it’s a driving force encouraging users to take specific action — such as closing a health gap or getting more active.


Virgin Pulse’s industry-leading status is evident in its performance metrics:

  • 54% jump in satisfaction scores for members who engage with a health plan using Virgin Pulse

  • 60% lower turnover for engaged employees

  • members engaging six times daily on average, interacting with new concepts, programming, culture initiatives and employee benefits

  • 87% of members reported a positive impact, including developing new daily habits and improving clinical metrics

  • earning a 4.9 app store rating

  • 78% of coaching/live service users reported improved self-care and resilience

  • 46% of those who engaged reported stress reduction after three sessions


“By connecting people, data and technology, every user gets served up a unique, engaging experience,” Michalak notes. “Individuals are empowered to make small, achievable changes that result in meaningful outcomes.”

With an analytics capability that powers engagement, the platform puts data at the centre of its ability to communicate with members and impact their wellbeing decisions while fostering a circular system that connects actions to outcomes.

“The relationship between wellbeing and work is vital because how people experience work influences their lives outside of work,” he adds. “In today’s environment, wellbeing is more than programs, apps, and nice-to-have resources; it’s an organisation’s engagement strategy.”

Matt Seadon, Achievers Solutions
“We’re leaning into our investment in technology, science and better understanding of what is going to drive outcomes; it’s a super exciting space to be in”
Matt SeadonAchievers Solutions


Science at forefront of rewards and recognition

According to Workforce Solutions NZ’s McKechnie, staying abreast of ever-evolving workforce trends and dynamics is a key attribute of the best HR software vendors.

That focus keeps Achievers Solutions (Australia) at the forefront of the rewards and recognition market, the category for which it won the gold medal in this year’s awards.
For over two decades, the company has leveraged science-backed research from its renowned Achievers Workforce Institute to develop innovative products and technology that helps to:

  • build employee engagement

  • foster workplace belonging

  • improve employee behaviour


The leading all-in-one engagement platform integrates with an ecosystem of technology partners, including Workday, Ultimate Software, SAP SuccessFactors and Microsoft, to bring recognition into the workflow and the future.

“Achievers’ mission is to change the way the world works, and we’re a passionate team driving towards that mission,” explains Matt Seadon, managing director, APAC. “Science-backed innovation is built into our business; the technology is fantastic, but it’s our people who design and launch the campaigns and identify hotspots and trends that drive the most out of the program.”

One focus area for the Achievers team addresses a top HR concern: manager effectiveness during a time of transformative and sometimes tumultuous change in various work environments. By using tech tools such as nudges or reminders, the platform can help managers perform better by recognising their teams regularly and in meaningful ways.

Achievers’ customer metrics are a testament to its effectiveness:

  • 36% more likely to see an increase in employee engagement than customers of other providers

  • 33% more likely to rate employer brand higher than customers of other competitors

  • receiving on average 12 recognition moments per year, compared to industry averages of 1 to 2 per employee per year


The organisation’s unique global enterprise employee engagement solution aligns company and employee values, drives desired employee behaviours and business outcomes, and captures meaningful employee insights.

The true differentiator is opening an always-on communication channel between an organisation’s leadership team and its workforce.

“All of these factors contribute to us having high active usage, which drives great returns for managers,” Seadon adds.


Australian payroll experts continue to lead

The demand for data security is growing, making it a necessity for organisations to focus on their cybersecurity.

For over 35 years, recurrent gold-medal winner Aurion People and Payroll has supported its customers in achieving this by:

  • maintaining strong security, compliance and accreditation programs

  • developing purposefully built software to encompass the complexities of Australian payroll, ensuring its solutions are compliant with industrial, legislative and regulatory requirements

  • training its team as experts in Australian payroll


“Our entire suite of people and payroll solutions has been specifically designed and built onshore for Australian organisations by local industry experts,” explains executive general manager Kathryn Wilson. “The passion and expertise of our team shine through in everything that we do, from solving our customers’ complex people and payroll scenarios to driving our 97% customer retention rate.”

To build upon its pioneering reputation, the leading people and payroll solutions provider’s team is working on the next advancement of the Aurion software, version 12.

“The key difference for version 12 is that we can build an even stronger foundation for payroll processing through a cloud-native platform, with the additional functionality to offer an always live pay run with a fresh user interface,” Wilson remarks. “This new offering will empower organisations and will see the complete reimagining of enterprise-level payroll software in Australia.”

The development of version 12 demonstrates the company’s commitment to its customer community, as the functionality has been determined based on their evolving needs.

“This is achieved through the prioritisation of fully comprehending our customers’ businesses, goals and motivations,” she adds.


Kathryn Wilson, Aurion People and Payroll
“Our hands-on approach is what drives our successful partnerships to work collaboratively with organisations to deliver exceptional people and payroll solutions”
Kathryn WilsonAurion People and Payroll



Best HR Service Providers in Australia and New Zealand | Service Provider Awards 2023

Corporate Health and Wellbeing

  • Sonder
  • The Wellness Workshop

Employment Law Firms

  • Harmers Workplace Lawyers
  • Bartier Perry Pty Limited
  • Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers

Human Capital Management Systems

  • ELMO Software
  • ConnX
  • HR Central

Immigration, International Relocation, and Settlement Support Firms

  • Crown World Mobility

Learning and Development

  • LearningPlanet
  • Inspire Group

Payroll Systems

  • Aurion People & Payroll Solutions
  • ELMO Software

Pre-employment Screening and Psychometric Assessment

  • Testgrid
  • Deeper Signals
  • HR with ease

Recruitment Firms

  • Invisible Partners
  • Inspire Group
  • Polyglot Group

Recruitment Systems and Technology

  • ConnX
  • ELMO Software
  • Tomorrow’s People

Rewards and Recognition

  • Compt
  • OC Tanner

Talent Management

  • ELMO Software
  • Engagedly
  • Culture Amp

Workforce Management Software

  • Culture Amp
  • ConnX
  • Tomorrow’s People
Applications are now open



As part of our editorial process, Key Media’s researchers interviewed the subject matter experts below for an independent analysis of this report and its findings.
  • Andrew McKechnie, Mercer
    Andrew McKechnie
    Head of Workforce Solutions, New Zealand
  • Alan Pettersen, Positive People
    Alan Pettersen
    Positive People



Human Resources Director’s sixth annual Service Provider Awards recognise the industry’s top performers in 12 key service areas. Vendors operating in these areas were invited to submit nominations during a call for entries conducted from July to August this year. The entries included an overview of their business or product, insight into their point of difference in the industry, statistics around market share and growth over the past 12 months, and other relevant information such as industry accolades, client testimonials, and the like. The HRD team reviewed all the submissions, with the top three in each category awarded gold, silver and bronze.