Shaping the Future of HR Shared Services



As we’ve said over and over, we at Dovetail are fans of HR. I would go so far as to say in our corner of the HR Tech industry, our team has logged more years as practitioners, more hours working and speaking at events, and have invested more personal time in serving the profession than anyone. And we’re terribly proud of it. In that time, though, we’ve observed an interesting phenomenon when it comes to HR Shared Services, especially when it comes to events. Conferences tend to be either HR events or HR Shared Services events, but rarely do they serve both groups. It’s fascinating to watch, but troubling when you think about the long term implications.

The message being sent, potentially, is that you are either a true practitioners, slogging through the trenches and trying to save the world alone, or you are part of an HR Helpdesk team, working as a unit to reduce costs and call times and increase first call resolution numbers. Why are these so often thought of as different worlds? We should look at them as truly cooperative, teaching HR practitioners the skills to run shared services teams, and teaching those teams how to be great practitioners.

I see a future that includes really great practitioners leading HR shared services teams, taking their hard earned trench experience and sewing the seeds of future leaders, not just call center workers.  Leaders who get inspired about HR, who love interacting with people, who love to serve, and who soak up the basics of HR in a role that challenges them to learn every day.  Those Tier One team members should be our candidate pool for moving into a business partner or COE role. They should be the foundation of HR going forward.  If not them, then who?

We, as a profession, have the opportunity to turn call centers into crucibles.  To use the entry level positions as training grounds for future leaders.  Teach them HR.  Teach them metrics.  Teach them about technology, SLAs, regulations, ethics, benefits, compensation, training, succession planning and budgeting.  Give them a reason to stick around and a chance to grow.  You’ll not only build the future of HR and HR shared services, you’ll build the future of your own organization.

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