Top 5 Significant Factors for the Future HR Operating Model

The worldwide business climate is changing at a rapid pace. Increased use of technology, soaring employee expectations, and rising cost pressures have shifted organizational priorities. As a result, HR leaders are questioning whether their current methods of operation will benefit organizations in the coming years. Many are looking into new ways to organize the function so that it is agile, strategically aligned with the business, and customer-centric in terms of employee needs.

To address this reorientation, we have created a vision of the future HR operating model. The goal is to assist CHROs in identifying how their strategies can function differently in the future, as well as the steps they should take to get there.

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5 Significant Factors for the Future HR Operating Model

The future HR operating model is driven by 5 significant factors, which are explained below:

1. Strategic talent leaders should take over the HRBP role

Several HRBPs nowadays want to be more strategic. The broadening of their work, time-consuming employee relations tasks, and capability gaps, however, limit their strategic impact.

Strategic talent leaders are an advanced form of the VP-level HRBP who address the organization’s most demanding talent opportunities and challenges. They are assigned to a specific business unit or function and are in charge of that group’s talent management strategy. Great partnership skills and the capability to influence the aligned business unit or function leader are required for success in this role. They have unique problem-solving abilities, as well as proficiency in collaboration, business acumen, and data analytics.

2. Make a fluid group of problem solvers

A vibrant pool of problem solvers who work on a variety of projects is essential for the success of the future HR operating model. This group will serve as the heart of the HR function, developing and improving the majority of the resources, practices, and policies used by HR and the workforce.

The primary responsibility of the problem solver, as the name implies, is to define talent problems and theorize, test, and build solutions. Problem solvers work quickly on shorter-term projects and can be redeployed as needed. Problem solvers collaborate closely with their end users employees and managers as well as the Center of Excellence (COE) team, which provides them with extensive HR knowledge to assist them with their project assignments.

Project management, critical thinking, experimentation, and the ability to empathize with the end user are all desirable skills for a strong group of problem-solving people. The most efficient problem solvers also have an entrepreneurial mindset and are willing to try new things.

HR leaders can find problem solvers from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, including:

  • Internally from conventional COEs or as strategic HRBPs
  • Externally as consultants, change agents, and lean experts
  • Backgrounds in marketing, customer experience, and product development outside of HR

Instead of a traditional top-down hierarchy, the problem-solver pool is a flatter network of interconnected teams. Transitioning in and out of project teams provides problem solvers with a broad understanding of the business as well as opportunities to develop a wide range of HR and business advisory skills.

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3. With next-generation COEs, you can provide agile support

COEs face an irregular requirement challenge today. Despite conquering a substantial chunk of the HR agenda and resourcing, COE utilization varies greatly throughout the year. To confront this, we propose that the COE role evolve.

The goal of COEs remains the same: to provide skilled expertise across specialist domains. However, how they carry out this will differ in terms of production and delivery. Rather than being the sole producer of policy, processes, and procedures, COEs should collaborate with the problem-solver pool to create policies, practices, and procedures across HR. COEs will rely less on full-time, fixed teams and more on contract workers. This allows them to adapt as talent requirements change.

4. Transform talent analytics into HCI

The human capital intelligence (HCI) team is a deeply engrained analytics function that provides robust talent data to help leaders make better talent decisions. HCI projects may include discretionary effort and intent to stay trends, predictive models forecasting attrition, or analyses of the impact of new benefits on employee satisfaction.

HCI is customer-centric, adapting its offerings to changing leader needs. HCI’s success includes generating strategic insight to assist HR in partnering with the business to achieve its goals.

5. Create a strong HR operations and service delivery team

The HR operations and service delivery team is led by an HR chief operating officer (COO) and is in charge of providing technical assistance to the function. HCI, an HR technology team, people relations managers, and shared services are all part of it.

Create the position of HR chief operating officer for strategic oversight. An HR COO focuses on the day-to-day administration and operation of the function, particularly how it supports the business. With HR focusing on dissolving silos, the HR COO is in charge of connecting different roles to maximize functional effectiveness.

Create an HR technology team to manage the technical infrastructure. To capitalize on increasingly important automation and analytics, HR should establish a dedicated and sophisticated HR technology team.

While this team will be necessary for technical maintenance, the most forward-thinking HR technology teams will use emerging and proven technologies to strategically develop the function. The team will be in charge of not only providing and managing technology but also supporting employee experience and efficiency outcomes.

People relations managers should be added to provide the necessary functional support. Ultimately, to address the most pressing needs of employees and managers, HR should add a centralized pool of people relations managers to the HR operations and service delivery team. People relations managers now handle a large portion of the work that was previously handled by the HRBP role. Compliance and employee relations issues, as well as support responsibilities for people managers, such as mediating workplace disputes, harassment claims, or other legal matters, and people-management coaching, are among their responsibilities.

People relations managers are critical for ensuring strategic talent leaders thrive because they handle much of the work that was previously done by HRBPs.

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Closing Thoughts

Although the future HR operating model can be tailored to a specific organization. The underlying trends that underlie each factor reflect significant shifts in today’s business landscape. Taking steps to address these trends will assist your organization in becoming more agile, strategically aligned with the business, and responsive to employee needs.

To understand further about HR operations, you can read our earlier article here.

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