Implement HR Shared Services

Lay a foundation for HR customer service excellence.


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Your Challenge

  • HRSS is not a universal solution; organizations should adopt it when their size, culture, geography, and homogeneity of demand require it.
  • Prior to implementation, organizations need to establish baseline measurements to accurately assess the potential and actual impact of an HRSS implementation.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Use feedback mechanisms like satisfaction surveys to understand the client perspective and drive improved service.
  • Prepare for HRSS implementation in terms of people, process, and technology.
  • Consider the HRSS impact on people – if stakeholders, HR clients, and HR staff are not adequately prepared to embrace HRSS, it will not be used, undermining the significant potential benefits.
  • Technology is a significant enabler of HRSS through task automation and facilitation of metrics collection and tracking.

Impact and Result

  • Organizations should assess their readiness in terms of people, process, and technology to determine if an HRSS implementation is the right move and the degree of complexity that they are ready for.
  • Increasing client satisfaction should be a driving objective and key measure of success.


In October 2012, McLean & Company surveyed HR professionals and business leaders on the topic of HR shared services. The survey attracted 74 respondents.

In the same timeframe, McLean & Company also interviewed several experts and HR leaders with deep experience in the area of HR shared services.

The following people contributed to the research for this blueprint:

  • Bruce Baker, Human Resources Director, Wajax Equipment
  • Vivian Herrera, MPK Associates
  • Jill Morrison, Senior Manager, Human Resources, MicroStrategy
  • Barb Quinn, Managing Partner (founding), 22c Partners Inc.
  • Peter Reilly, Director, HR Research & Consultancy, The Institute for Employment Studies

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Get to Action

  1. Set vision

    Conduct an HRSS readiness assessment, set project scope, create a business case for HRSS, and establish HRSS performance measures.

  2. Get your processes ready for HRSS

    Select HRSS services and the channels, standardize HR policies and procedures, and negotiate a service level agreement (SLA).

  3. Get your people ready for HRSS

    Prepare employees and managers to accept and use HRSS.

  4. Get your technology ready for HRSS

    Implement an employee self-service portal and case management system.

  5. Evaluate HRSS success

    Evaluate HRSS performance and overall success and action on gaps in HRSS performance.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a nine call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Set vision

  • Call #1: Discuss results of readiness assessment and best path for implementing an HRSS.

  • Call #2: Review business case, including outsourcing, goals, metrics, and financial projections.

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Get your processes ready for HRSS

  • Call #1: Review service portfolio and discuss potential challenges going forward

  • Call #2: Evaluate current state of HR policies and determine the best way to standardize and document.

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Get your people ready for HRSS

  • Call #1: Discuss starting point of people, both within HR and the broader organization, to anticipate resistance and challenges. Review communications plan.

  • Call #2: Evaluate new roles, training plans, and career paths to ensure people are properly prepared to transition to new roles.

  • Guided Implementation #4 - Get your technology ready for HRSS

  • Call #1: Assess current HR technology solutions ability to support HRSS (including case management tools if advanced implementation) and decide on next steps.

  • Call #2: Review state of technology prior to launch to ensure challenges are anticipated and planned for.

  • Guided Implementation #5 - Evaluate HRSS success

  • Call #1: Review results of implementation and plan for next steps

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Develop Vision

The Purpose

  • Determine organizational readiness and HRSS implementation method.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • HRSS project outline and goals determined.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Conduct readiness assessment.
  • HR Shared Services Readiness Assessment Tool
1.2 Examine outsourcing alternatives.
  • Outsourcing assessment
1.3 Complete the business case.
  • Business case for HRSS

Module 2: Develop Processes

The Purpose

  • Plan HRSS activities and processes.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • HRSS process roadmap developed.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Identify activities for HRSS.
  • HR Shared Services Service Level Agreement Template
2.2 Map processes within HRSS.
  • HRSS process map

Module 3: Prepare People

The Purpose

  • Prepare the organization to accept and use the HRSS.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • HRSS buy-in from managers and employees.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Define new roles and responsibilities.
  • Defined roles and responsibilities
3.2 Develop a communication strategy.
  • Communication strategy
3.3 Identify required competencies.
  • Require competencies

Workshop Icon Book Your Workshop

Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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