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Redesign Your HR Structure

Create a fit-for-purpose HR structure.

  • There is no one-size-fits-all HR structure, as no two HR functions are the same – they have different strategic objectives, clients, employee value propositions, etc.
  • Designing an HR structure is complicated and often doesn’t produce the desired results.
  • A poorly structured HR function impacts the larger organization, as it can result in bottlenecks and delays in meeting client needs or misalignment between priority HR capabilities and HR resource allocation.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • There is no one-size-fits-all structure. Invest time in identifying how the HR function enables your unique organizational strategy.
  • Optimize HR to ensure resources are allocated where they will have the biggest impact and create no conflict between subfunctions.
  • Prepare for iteration. Designing an HR function is an iterative process that requires re-evaluating previous design decisions to ensure they are still appropriate.

Impact and Result

  • Design a fit-for-purpose HR structure rather than replicating or copying another.
  • Design for the future, aligning HR structure and HR functional capabilities with organizational and line of business strategic objectives.

Redesign Your HR Structure

1. Align HR structure with strategy

Review the current state and desired outcomes, create design principles, and identify HR functional capabilities.

2. Define delivery characteristics

Determine each capability’s priority, centralization level, co/outsourcing, and delivery mode.

3. Create the new HR structure

Create capacity work units as well as their accountabilities and responsibilities to finalize the new HR structure.

Workshop: Redesign Your HR Structure

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 roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Align HR Structure With Strategy

The Purpose

  • Review the current state and desired outcomes.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Design principles




Review organizational and talent strategies and identify implications for HR structure.


Review organizational structure and identify implications for HR structure.

  • Organizational and talent implications on the HR structure

Review current HR structure pain points and identify implications for new structure.

  • Current HR structure pain points

Create design principles.

  • Design principles

Module 2: Define Delivery Characteristics

The Purpose

  • Classify HR functional capabilities according to their priority level.
  • Decide whether each capability will be mostly centralized or decentralized.
  • Outline client-facing capabilities and their mode of delivery (i.e. face-to-face vs. technology-enabled).

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Client-facing and virtual capabilities




Identify and define HR functional capabilities.

  • Heat map of HR functional capabilities

Determine importance and effectiveness of capabilities.

  • Identified the degree of centralization, and the sourcing strategy, for each capability

Identify delivery characteristics for capabilities.

  • Identified client-facing and virtual capabilities

Module 3: Create the New HR Structure

The Purpose

  • Categorize work units for each capability.
  • Assign accountabilities and create mandates for each work unit.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Work unit accountabilities
  • Work unit mandates




Categorize capabilities into work units.

  • Future state structure

Identify which work units will be accountable and responsible for each HR activity.

  • Capability-based R/A chart

Create mandates for each work unit.

  • Work unit mandates

Module 4: Define Roles and Finalize Work Units

The Purpose

  • Identify roles within each work unit.
  • Confirm the new HR structure’s alignment with the design principles.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Roles for each work unit
  • HR structure




Define roles for each work unit.

  • Future state roles defined (two levels below CHRO)

Finalize the new HR structure.

  • Finalized HR structure (two levels below CHRO)

Ensure the new HR structure aligns with the design principles.

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Try Our Guided Implementations

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 5 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Align HR structure with strategy
  • Call #1 - Discuss stakeholder consultation plan and required information/analysis.
  • Call #2 - Review design principles and chosen HR functional capabilities.

Guided Implementation #2 - Define delivery characteristics
  • Call #1 - Review selected delivery characteristics and discuss structural implications.

Guided Implementation #3 - Create the new HR structure
  • Call #1 - Review work units and discuss other options or changes.
  • Call #2 - Identify possible efficiencies in final structure and discuss next steps.


  • Ronald Capelle, President, Organization Design Consultant, Capelle Associates Inc.
  • Anton Fishman, Managing Director, Fishman & Partners Ltd.
  • Cathy Lyttle, SVP, Chief Human Resource Officer, Worthington Industries
  • Jim Rankin, Organization Change Management Consultant, Jim Rankin & Associates Inc.
  • Paul Sparrow, Emeritus Professor of International HRM at Lancaster University Management School
  • Naomi Stanford, Organizational Design Consultant
  • Dr. David Weiss, Author, Strategist, Consultant, Educator, President and CEO of Weiss International Ltd.
  • Stuart Wigham, Content Manager and Consultant, On The Mark
  • Jan De Visch, Owner, Managing Director, Connect & Transform