HR Shared Services & Outsourcing: Boldly Going Where They’ve Never Gone Before…A New Future State

HR Shared Services & Outsourcing: Boldly Going Where They've Never Gone Before… A New Future StatePosted by Arthur Mazor

There was a time when simply deploying a shared services model or outsourcing some parts of HR meant your organization was on the leading edge of HR efficiency, effectiveness and compliance. Today that’s not the case. HR shared services and outsourcing are evolving beyond administrative and foundational HR functions (compensation, benefits, employee data, job changes and the like) to encompass even greater-value services, such as workforce analytics, succession planning and employee relations. This new future state ups the ante on shared services or outsourcing arrangements, making them capable of delivering increased strategic value and having greater business impact.

Enabling tools and technology, such as Software as a Service (SaaS), have been one of a few key drivers in allowing shared services to make this transition. Before SaaS, shared services capabilities were more difficult, time consuming and expensive to establish. As a result, achieving true scalability was often reserved for the largest of organizations that had the resources to manage the expense and the scale to justify it. With SaaS, however, shared services functions for HR become more practical—easier and more affordable to implement, manipulate and maintain. And, the ability to deliver services that contribute even greater value to the organizations they serve is within reach more than ever before.

The new future state also means realizing value for HR shared services functions through outsourcing in different ways. The history of well-tested experiences helps drive a different way of evaluating the fit of outsourcing within an enterprise’s complete HR service delivery model. The blend of SaaS technology with a selective approach to outsourcing provides organizations more flexibility in constructing HR service delivery models. These models can be increasingly tailored to the nuances of an enterprise to meet business priorities, geographic differences and strategic talent management needs.

Companies we work with that have had shared services and outsourcing arrangements in place for a number of years are now looking at how to take these capabilities to the next level in serving their global populations. They’re considering how they might improve and expand things like the level of service they provide, the types of services and the functional areas they’re involved in. For those organizations that may not yet have implemented true HR shared services, the opportunities are vast and the ability to leapfrog the “old future state” is a key focus.

For the past several years, Deloitte has been proud to be the exclusive sponsor of the HR Shared Services Executive Retreat in Atlanta. The event brings together a mix of leaders from across many global companies to talk about their experiences bringing about or planning to realize their new future state. Deloitte provides insights from our work in shared services and in helping companies implement cloud-based technologies. We’re seeing how the possibilities and potential of the new future state are intriguing our clients around the world. They are eager to know more about what the future state is, whether they should be considering it for their organizations and if so, how they can get there. It’s one more key example of HR’s ongoing business-driven transformation and it’s exciting to be a part of it.


Arthur Mazor Art Mazor a principal with Deloitte Consulting, collaborates with complex, global clients to transform their Human Resource strategy, service delivery and organizations with a business-driven focus.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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  1. Shared Services: A Look Before You Leap (or Step) | HR Times – The HR Blog

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