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Effectively Defining the Scope of HR Shared Services


Determining the process areas that best fit within the scope of HRSS depends on a number of factors that can vary from company to company, including geographic design, culture, and technology infrastructure.  This research abstract highlights the experiences of a major corporation that recently shared their experiences in determining their Human Resource Shared Services (HRSS) scope of services and how they keep that up to date as Shared Services and the company continue to evolve.

Company Experience

During a recent Peeriosity PeercastTM, the Senior Director of Human Resources for the Global Shared Services organization at Peeriosity member company presented the evolution of their HRSS operation.  The company is a global manufacturing company with over $10 billion in revenue and 50,000+ employees in more than 100 countries.

The company first shared its business drivers for their HRSS operation, which included increased effectiveness for the HR business partners with a singular focus on driving business results, increased efficiency for HR Shared Services through improved employee support and more consistent delivery of HR services, and enhanced risk management and compliance by establishing deep expertise, control, and audit in HRSS.    

As part of the process to determine the services to be provided, HRSS management met with key HR leaders to review the HRSS model.  They reviewed a list of all HR activities performed, analyzed where and how the work was being done and by whom, and then agreed to a list of activities that would move to HRSS based on answers to questions regarding staffing & activities considerations, systems considerations, and regional pain points. 

Some of the lessons learned in carrying out this effort include the following:

  • Implement key systems with language capabilities prior to creating HRSS
  • Standardize/Harmonize processes & policies prior to HRSS go-live
  • Aim for one center per region
  • When possible, move people from their current work locations to a Shared Service location
  • Hire/transfer the right talent
  • If moving people internally, only move duties that fit the HRSS model 

The presentation concluded with some next steps, including implementing global systems for Cloud HR and Cloud Payroll, moving the payroll function from HRSS to Financial Shared Services when Cloud Payroll goes live, and training all HRSS staff in Transactional Lean.

iPollingTM Results Review

Determining what process to deliver using an HRSS model isn’t a “one size fits all” proposition.  As one example, a recent poll initiated by a Peeriosity member provides some insights related to the inclusion of the Employee Relations process area as a part of HR Shared Services.  Looking at the results, 59% of the surveyed companies include this type of activity in their HRSS operation, while 21% do not.  The remaining 20% of the companies, do not currently utilize the HRSS structure.

iPolling: Defining the Scope of HR Shared Services

The second poll question then addressed the length of time Employee Relations has been a part of HRSS.  For 42% of the companies, it has been for one to five years, while for the remaining 58%, it has been over five years.

iPolling: time that your company is providing basic employee relations

Some of the Peeriosity member comments related to this poll include the following:

Consumer Products & Services Member: We migrated 2 regions for Employee Relations support to an SSC model. It’s not easy, but can be done. You will need senior-level talent and great process documentation.

Computers & Electronics Member: The Contact Center in HR has Level 1 support and also virtual support considered Level 1 just for the US. Level 2 and 3 services are provided with fewer resources and longer response times.

Consumer Products & Services Member: The Employee Relations services within our HRSS organization are focused on non-union employees only.

Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Biotech Member: Our organization isn’t quite there yet in terms of HR wanting employee relations to be centralized. Maybe someday!

Closing Summary

As transaction-based activities continue to be automated through the use of advanced technology, such as Intelligent Automation, the need to keep the HRSS service offering both robust and relevant should be a high priority for every HR Shared Services leader.  Through careful evaluation and consultation with senior HR leadership, the service offering can be fine-tuned as needed, and even revolutionized when necessary.

What is the status of your company with respect to evaluating and enhancing your existing HRSS service offering?  Is your current offering meeting your needs or is it time to take another look at this critical area?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?


“PeercastsTM” are private, professionally facilitated webcasts that feature leading member company experiences on specific topics as a catalyst for broader discussion.  Access is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from attending or accessing discussion content.  Members can see who is registered to attend in advance, with discussion recordings, supporting polls, and presentation materials online and available whenever convenient for the member.  Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, attendees can easily communicate at any time with other attending peers by selecting them from the list of registered attendees. 

“iPollingTM” is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility of all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in iPollingTM.

Peeriosity members are invited to log into to join the discussion and connect with Peers.   Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted.  To learn more about Peeriosity, click here.

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