36 performHR


$3 million




Lyndell Fogarty, 44

Head office

Newcastle, NSW

Year founded





Human resources and recruitment



The combination of “speed dating” and a HR business wouldn’t usually go hand-in-hand, but that’s exactly what Lyndell Fogarty had in mind when she introduced a new concept at performHR for consultancy.

As part of monthly webinar sessions to help drive internal development, Fogarty introduced a peer-to-peer feedback system where each team member spends five or 10 minutes giving advice to another co-worker. Each tip is recorded and shared with the team.

Quirky? Perhaps, but Fogarty says these types of additions are crucial to avoiding “cultural anarchy”.

“When I started performHR, I had a clear vision for developing an organisation that was driven to change the way HR is done and, to embrace the power of creating a connected but flexible workforce,” she says.

The approach appears to be working: performHR has grown its revenue by 90% over the past three years and secured number 37 on this year’s Smart50 list.

Fogarty spent years developing organisational development programs for companies such as Vodafone, Westpac and QBE. She quickly noticed that a lot of big-tier solutions for HR departments could be brought to smaller businesses using the same processes and tools.

“This spawned my idea to start performHR – to bring solutions that have traditionally only been considered by corporate (budgets) to the mid-tier market (and smaller),” she says.

“My experience of starting, leading and growing performHR across three locations, to a team of over 30 people, working with in excess of 50 organisations per month and growing year-on-year, has enabled me to bring both my technical experience in HR, my accounting/business studies and my creativity together.”

As a HR company, it makes sense that Fogarty’s biggest challenge has been its people – specifically, developing them quickly enough to manage growth.

“I am committed to a workforce strategy of ‘growing our own’ where we can – to be the HR organisation the best, most motivated HR grads want to work for,” she says.

So what’s her secret to building a high-performing team?

“Get them involved in things more broadly than their core role – for example, marketing ideas, business development ideas, research, driving key partnerships,” she says.

“Give them latitude, have coffee with them, celebrate the wins and share with them the truth – just be authentic.”