Doing HR Differently – Winning formula for Workplace Wizards


Traditional, conservative, formal. These words often applied in the context of lawyers and law firms. They’re exactly the kind of descriptors that the team at Workplace Wizards set out to avoid.

“Having worked in large law firms as well as in-house for large companies and government agencies, we had experienced the frustration that many clients experience with traditional advisory services when experiencing a people problem at work,” said Managing Director Mark Ritchie and Director Susanna Ritchie (pictured above).

“The formality, the inflexibility, the long-winded, inconclusive and often unhelpful advice, and not to mention the large and unpredictable legal bills”

The Ritchies believed there was a better way to offer workplace relations and human resources (HR) support to organisations without spending exorbitant time and money on traditional lawyers and law firms. They set up Workplace Wizards in Melbourne to provide outsourced HR support to clients Australia-wide.

“We believed there had to be a better way to deliver employment law and workplace relations services that was better, more enjoyable and achieved better results,” they said.

While the firm does not label itself a law firm, all its advisors are legally qualified and practising employment lawyers. It offers a range of employment law services but the website refers to team members as “workplace relations and HR specialists”.

This innovative approach seems to be working: the firm was recently named Best HR Consulting Firm (less than $30m revenue) in the 2022 Client Choice Awards. These annual awards celebrate the best professional services firms across four categories of accounting and consulting, built and natural environment consulting, legal, and specialist IP services.

The Client Choice Awards offer a unique assessment of how a firm is faring in clients’ views, as winners are determined by client feedback submitted to beaton rather than expert panels or through self-nomination. This gives firms an honest assessment of where they sit among industry competitors. In 2022, more than 15,000 pieces of individual client feedback were submitted to judge between more than 250 firms that entered from Australia and New Zealand.

Mr and Mrs Ritchie said they were “absolutely thrilled” to win the award among an “incredibly high calibre of firms that rate well”.

“Our goal was to deliver fit for purpose solutions to help our clients’ people problems disappear, and make clients feel good about their experience. So receiving an award like this – that is based on the feedback of our valued clients – affirms for us that we are hitting the mark when it comes to client service and what we set out to achieve.”

The directors added that the award was evidence that turning traditions on their head and adopting innovative, flexible approaches could work – even in a usually conservative area like law.

“We have also worked flexibly since COVID-19 was a thing so to get this award we think shows that you can still provide top client service in a flexible way,” Mr and Mrs Ritchie said.

“We know it works – and this award just proves it.”

Workplace Wizards was named Best HR Consulting Firm (<$30m revenue) in the 2022 Client Choice Awards. This award is presented in partnership with Accountancy Insurance.

Firmchecker is the Research Partner for this category.

The Client Choice Awards rewards firms for excellent client service, technical expertise, innovation and client experience. It is the only multi-profession and fully client-judged awards anywhere in the world. The Principal Partner of the Awards is NAB.

Enter your firm for the 2023 Awards here.

This post originally appeared on the Client Choice Awards website.