HR Transformation – What Is Actually Going On?

Historically the internal Human Resource function has been seen as the “place to go” when looking to get paid, deal with administration or in some cases get shouted at! To be quite frank HR has been handed the image of being one of the lower performing back office functions, that in a lot of organisations has very limited respect. However, there’s an army of change management professionals who are taking the traditional HR leadership teams on a journey that they’ve never been on before. This involves changes to internal organisational structures, people within the business, internal processes and most noticeably the technology – you’ll have noticed HR within your organisation may now be called the People/Human Capital function.


To get the brain going on this dull Monday, I want you to ask yourself the question: What comes to mind when you think of an internal/your own organisations HR function?


Please find my answers below…

·        Administration

·        Payroll

·        Old fashioned

·        Boring

·        Useless

·        Holidays

·        Absence

·        Paperwork


The list could go on. However, as mentioned above there’s a number of organisations who are now realising that HR can be a strategic partner to the “front line” – essentially where the products/services are being delivered from. There is no doubt that this will be a long journey, you just have to look at the likes of BP, BT and Vodafone… it’s a cycle of continuous improvement with no sign of BAU, this may be down to the constant innovation in today’s world.


What projects are going on within HR?



Typically, one of the first projects an organisation who are looking to transform their HR function completes is an audit/health check/diagnostic of their COM (Current Operating Model). The primary purpose of a Target Operating Model is to enable the application of a corporate strategy or vision to a business or operation – Deloitte, Luxembourg. In more simplistic terms, a target operating model (TOM) looks at how your people, processes and technologies sit together to ensure a smooth running of operations.


A lot of you will be familiar with the Ulrich Model (I’m assuming that a few people will have sighed when they read that…). Again, to keep things simple; the Ulrich model is the idea that instead of having your traditional HRM’s, who typically deal with ER cases and administration for line managers, you have HR Business Partners – these guys are focused to engage with the business around talent development, attraction, employee engagement, improving performance and internal communications, as well as other processes. Line managers are now responsible for dealing with ER cases either via the HRIS or the HRSS. Alongside the new organisational structure you then implement a Shared Service centre. Your shared services is the area that you deal with any employee relations or administrative activities, therefore allowing the HRBP’s to complete strategic work. However, the Ulrich model has come under immense scrutiny over the last couple of years and therefore, organisations are now looking towards models such as; Value Creation by McKinsey.


Cloud HRIS Implementations:

Many organisations look towards new technology as being a tool that can drive key strategic initiatives. A lot of HR leadership teams are keen to improve their HRIS (HR Information System) and in particular their core HCM (Human Capital Management). However, with the constant innovation and development within AI (artificial intelligence) we’re now seeing more and more processes being automated.

Earlier on I discussed organisations looking to improve their TOM. Technology plays a key part within this improvement, as it enables you to strip out a lot of administration and replace it with systems. E.g. during your recruitment process you can now implement video interviewing tools that allow you to review a macro sample. They are cloud solutions so you do not have to rely on stakeholder availability to interview candidates.


Key Functionality of Modern Day HRIS:

·        Cloud/SaaS – Access anytime, anywhere.

·        Self Service – This interlinks with your TOM however, driving manager self-service takes a lot of the admin out of HR.

·        MI/Analytics – You can now have real time data that allows HR leadership teams to make evidence based decisions

·        Integrations with: LMS, ATS, Case management etc.


***KEY POINT*** I’ve seen a number of posts on LinkedIn asking for recommendations of HR System providers. A lot of the replies usually say “Workday” … Workday is a great system however, isn’t for everyone. One of the most important parts of a HRIS implementation is to ensure that you create a robust functional needs document, as well as capturing all relevant requirements, before then going out to tender. This will then allow you to advise the vendors on your requirements, as appose to the fantastic sales guys selling you the world.


EVP – Employee/Employer value proposition:

A lot of organisations are struggling with high attrition and low engagement rates, as well these issues they are also not attracting candidates in the first place. This is down to a number of reasons ranging from: a lack of internal communications, that leads to a decrease in performance (both individual and business) which then has an effect on employee engagement. Your internal employees are often your U.S.P when it comes too attraction, having happy, motivated and high performing employees will encourage candidates to join your business. Other factors that can affect you externally; Benchmarking around reward, internal culture e.g. smart working/flexible cultures are attractive to a lot of candidates nowadays, also development opportunities within roles.


Summary of HR projects:

·        TOM review and implementation

·        HRIS/Systems evaluation and improvement/implementation

·        Global process redesign

·        EVP – Employee engagement, communications, performance, attraction

·        Digitalisation of HR

·        Smart/flexible Working


I have touched on some of the change initiatives that HR are looking to implement as they aim to move away from their traditional reputation. Moving forward it will be interesting to see how far organisations take things such as; artificial intelligence, organisational structures and global processes.


I’m assuming that a lot of people reading this will have limited knowledge of Réncái at the moment. To learn more please do drop me an email on [email protected] or give me a call

020 3051 9077