HR function transformation

Building an HR function to fuel growth

Fears that talent shortfalls will constrain growth mean that organisations are looking to refocus efforts and invest in those employees who will be most valuable to their businesses. HR leaders are being challenged to mobilise and manage talent to help businesses grow and it appears that HR has a long way to go in persuading business leaders that it’s up to the challenge. Two years ago 64% of CEOs felt that HR was unprepared for transformational change and that doubt still lingers. Many CEOs are demanding a rethink of their entire people and HR functional strategies and plan to look again at HR effectiveness. This year, 60% of CEOs say they are rethinking the HR functions.

Sources: PwC's 19th Annual CEO Survey, PwC's 20th Annual CEO Survey

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Is there a lack of clarity on the alignment of business objectives and HR priorities? Do you need to rethink your HR functional structures, capabilities and role designs to enable a shift in focus to more strategic, high-value activities? People expect HR operations to provide the same user‑friendly experience they have become accustomed to in other areas of their lives: is your organisation delivering? And do you need to optimise costs across the HR function?

How we can help

Our HR projects increasingly have both a technology and a transformational element – the true value that comes from ‘real transformation’, shifting HR from transactional to strategic activity, a more agile and robust operating model, business driven talent and performance strategies and a radically improved employee experience. A successful HR transformation project will usually require a cornerstone element of technology.

We bring together a large global team of SMEs, thought leaders, programme and project delivery experts with specific experience in:

  • HR Transformations based around SaaS transformation, change and implementations with Workday, Oracle Fusion and SuccessFactors;
  • HR function organisational design expertise;
  • HR functional strategy and vision aligned to our people strategy capability;
  • Learning and Organisation Development functional assessment, transformation and services design experts;
  • HR functional effectiveness diagnostics experts leverage our People Analytics solutions and Saratoga.

We help organisations to both look ahead at the HR organisations they need for the future - and to fix their HR problems of today. We bring our HR function and HR technology capabilities together to help organisations transform - but can also provide flexible point solutions to specific client needs:

HR function strategy

We work with clients to review, align and develop HR functional strategies that realise the needs and intent of an organisation’s strategic business and people objectives. This sets the change agenda for the HR function of the future and works in alignment with the broader people strategy capability.

HR operating model and design

The design of the HR operating model and the HR service delivery Model involves a top down approach which incorporates the strategic vision of HR and the business to develop design criteria, identify work types and delivery options, structure the high-level design, and define the enablers.

HR policies and processes

HR policies and processes are the lifeblood of the function and tie a number of our capabilities together. We work across business, technology and data interdependencies and apply PwC’s global process standards to operationalise the operating model through defined tasks, actors, activities, workflows and governance.

HR shared services and outsourcing

HRSS are a structural, technological and cultural way of achieving scalable administrative and tier two efficiencies. PwC can provide ‘make vs buy’ assessments, as well as end to end sourcing, design and implementation support for HRSS options.


HR function capability

We review how the capabilities and behaviours that HR needs to deliver the HR strategy can best be developed and maintained. We explore ‘build’, ‘buy’, ‘borrow’ and ‘grow’ approaches to HR capability in the context of the defined operating model parameters and business needs.

HR function audit

We provide audit and effectiveness based reviews of the HR function as part of business case development or for internal audit purposes. This can typically include a review of each element of the function and operating model layers along with key KPIs.

Other transformation services

The HR function services capability can also undertake sub-functional transformation within the HR function such as payroll, recruitment and learning for optimisation, risk management and cost reduction.

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Chris Murray

Chris Murray

Global Leader for HR Technology, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 77 5380 9483