For decades, many HR departments have relied on Shared Service Centres (SSC) and Centres of Excellence (CoE) to help streamline and enhance the diverse role of HR. Yet despite these services being so well known, they are often perceived as out-dated and insufficient in providing relevant support to HR teams. Irrespective of such perceptions, I remain an advocate of this model, which – if executed well – can bring a wealth of advantages to organisations across the globe.

Remaining compliant

As most of us are aware, it can be a hard task trying to keep on top of complex HR legislative changes, while juggling day-to-day responsibilities. This becomes an even greater challenge for organisations working on a global scale, as they attempt to adhere to HR legislation that can potentially differ so greatly across countries. By outsourcing compliance issues to CoEs, experts can ensure legislative ruling is followed, relieving in house HR teams from dealing with this especially important task.

Frees up time

A recent survey showed that 9 in 10 managers spend time on administrative tasks outside their core job function. This is a concerning statistic, since it means HR professionals are spending their time on tasks that don’t add a great deal of value to the organisation.

By using SSCs to take care of these admin tasks, they can become standardised, streamlined and dealt with in a cost effective way. HR can then give their undisputed attention to important value adding tasks such as developing and implementing HR strategies or dealing with important employee matters.

An employee-centric approach

SSCs and CoEs also enhance employee HR experiences. Of course, while SSCs can take care of efficient technology driven services, HR should look to CoEs to maintain a personal employee approach. Such centres provide employees with personal support, safeguarding the human aspect of HR from being lost in outomated processes.

Here at ADP, we use such services to enhance the talent acquisition process. Candidates are provided with an online welcome pack and can also view contracts online. However, if they wish to speak with someone personally, they can easily get in contact with the specialists, who are on hand to offer employee support at any time.

It is undisputed that when incorporating modern Shared Service Centres and Centres of Excellence into people strategies, HR can be relieved from unnecessary burdens often attached to their role, freeing them up to focus on important value adding tasks. Employees, on the other hand, benefit from an extremely efficient yet personal service and the entire HR process will thrive as a well-oiled talent machine. Ultimately, the benefits of using Shared Services and Centre of Excellence are colossal, as long as you don’t forgot to keep humans at the heart of human resources.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Shared Service Centres and Centres of Excellence. Have you had good experiences using these services?

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