PwC and HfS Research Analysis Uncovers Global Trends Driving the Need for Human Resources Transformation

Analysis uncovers global trends that have advanced the strategic role of human resources;

Reveals common traits of organizations that successfully undergo transformation

NEW YORK, June 5 , 2012 – A new study released today by PwC US and HfS Research, “Human Resources Transformation: Is it Driving Business Performance? identifies global trends in human resources transformation, including reasons HR transformations fall short and common traits of organizations that have successfully undergone a transformation.

“Firms continue to be pressured by the combination of shifting global economics and changing talent requirements -- and while HR executives have made efforts to centralize, globalize, cut costs, and embrace new technology, many organizations fall short of what's considered a true HR transformation,” said Diane Youden, principal, PwC. “Our study found that true transformation redefines how the HR team collaborates with the business to execute on business strategy.  As worldwide talent management demands escalate, HR leaders have to be prepared for transformation.”

The PwC and HfS Research report includes comprehensive analysis and research based on interviews and data collected from over 400 HR practitioners and over 350 global business executives.  Among key findings, the study shows global expansion and changing workforce characteristics have elevated the importance of recruiting, talent management, and performance management in the workplace.

“Leaders must cultivate talent within HR to make transformation possible. HR teams must also have a common strategy, which will help internal stakeholders collaborate and prioritize, and communicate the changing role of HR to external stakeholders,” said Kevin Pennington, director, PwC.  “When this is done effectively, HR executives can leverage their capabilities and earn the right to have a seat at the table.”

HR transformations need to directly support the organizations' “big picture” objectives.  The crux of transformation is the ability of HR leaders to help executives connect corporate strategy to human capital strategies.  Respondents validated that the HR executive is viewed as a critical leader and advisor to business stakeholders, and the majority of respondents also felt HR departments need to serve in a leadership role to manage skill and talent shortages.

“Organizations that successfully undergo a transformation are significantly different than those who do not succeed or never even attempt one,” said Phil Fersht, Founder, Chief Executive Officer at HfS Research. “Business-focused HR organizations vary in four key dimensions: business engagement, strategy, talent and operations and these differences enable them to undergo a true transformation.”

For a complete copy of “Human Resources Transformation: Is it Driving Business Performance?” visit

PwC's People and Change professionals help clients execute on business strategies by helping develop the right talent and leadership strategies, change and communications strategies, organizational design, operating model, and support functions such as HR, IT and finance.

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About HfS Research

HfS Research is the leading analyst authority and knowledge community for the global services industry. In addition to researching business services and technology services strategies, HfS educates and facilitates discussion among the world’s largest knowledge community of services professionals, currently comprising 120,000 subscribers. HfS provides a collaborative platform for the largest, highest impact, and most frequently visited professional community in the global services industry, offering rapid and insightful commentary on, analysis of, and debate about enterprise shared services, outsourcing, and global operations dynamics.

In 2011, HfS was awarded Analyst Firm of the Year by the International Institute of Analyst Relations (IIAR), the premier body of analyst-facing professionals, and runner-up for overall Analyst Firm of the Year. Led by recognized industry expert Phil Fersht, HfS Research differentiates itself with its global team of expert services analysts with real industry experience, provocative and opinionated research, unrivalled market analytics, and a view of technology as an enabler for business process improvement. 

HfS Research also manages the HfS 50 Sourcing Executive Council, the premier peer discussion group for enterprise outsourcing and business services executives. This by-invitation-only program fosters networking, debate and best-practices sharing among the most senior sourcing executives of large global enterprises.

Now in its sixth year of publication, HfS Research's acclaimed blog “Horses for Sources” is widely recognized as the leading destination for collective insight, research and open debate of sourcing industry issues and developments. The thriving HfS LinkedIn community includes over 17,000 industry professionals who share views and information daily. More information about HfS Research can be accessed at The company can be followed on Twitter at LinkedIn by joining The BPO and Offshoring Best Practices forum.

To learn more about HfS Research, please email


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Suzanne Dawson
Linden Alschuler & Kaplan
(212) 329-1420

Sarah Little
HfS Research
(214) 676-7762