CIPD viewpoint

We need to continue to research and understand the evolving operating models and structures of the HR function. We must also understand and help develop the capabilities or competencies, but you also have to organise the function to deliver: design roles, responsibilities and reporting structures and utilise technology.

We support the view that there is not one model for delivering HR that is suited to all organisations, that different organisations have different needs. How an organisation should structure its HR function depends on its organisational strategy, wider organisational structure and the requirements of its customers and the organisation it is supporting. These things can be influenced by other factors such as size of the organisation and maturity.

Decisions about how to structure the function should be taken using a rigorous approach to organisational design, starting by looking at the organisation holistically rather than straight at the HR function.

  • Does your organisation have a clear organisation strategy?
  • Is your organisation structured to deliver this strategy?
  • Do you have a clear HR strategy that is aligned with your organisation's strategy?
  • Does your HR structure replicate your business structure?
  • Is your HR structure set up to deliver your HR strategy?
  • Do you understand the capabilities your organisation needs to deliver upon its strategy?
  • Will the decisions above withstand change?

You should also consider;

  • Who are your clients and what do they need?
  • What capabilities do you need within HR and how might these be organised into roles? How can these capabilities be developed?
  • How will the different roles work together?
  • How can you use technology to improve processes and your client experience?
  • To what extent might you want to outsource some of your HR activities?
  • What role will your line managers be playing and do they have the required capabilities?
  • How will you evaluate and measure HR's performance?

It's an exciting time to be in HR. There is no doubt that the function is changing and will look decidedly different in the future. Much thanks goes to the contributors of these thought pieces, who have helped highlight some of debates changing HR operating models. The CIPD would like to invite people to contribute to this discussion by emailing J.Cooper, or tweeting under #CIPDHROP.


Changing HR operating models

This collection brings together a number of thought pieces by lead thinkers who have contributed to the CIPD report 'Changing HR operating models'. The full report is published by the CIPD.


What does the HR operating model of the future look like?

Jessica Cooper considers the latest thinking and practice in terms of HR operating models and a new report - 'Changing HR operating models' - which summarise the relevant issues, challenges and questions associated with the debate about how to structure HR.


CIPD viewpoint

CIPD reflects on evolving operating models for HR posing a series of questions for future consideration and thanking the various contributors whose thought pieces have added so much to the debate.