Seven Takeaways From LACE Partners’ HR Shared Services Trends 2022 Report

November 24, 2022
June 26, 2023
Learning And Development

How have HR shared services evolved post-pandemic? The latest LACE Partners pulse survey had the answers, they packaged the best insights in a free report that you can download today!

And that survey was only sent to HR shared services directors, meaning you’re getting senior insights from people in global companies.

Download your copy of the report here.

Still not convinced? Good news! We’ve picked out seven key takeaways, from an L&D or more general HR perspective that’ll help you understand what you’re missing out on!

1. Outsourcing for HR services might have reached its peak (or be set to decline)

If you don’t have the resources or skills internally, it’s understandable that you’d look into outsourcing them. 59% of respondents said they currently use outsourcing providers as part of their HR service delivery model, with payroll (36%), mobility (16%) and talent attraction (9%) topping the list.

However, moving forward, 71% stated they aren’t planning to outsource further, with 9% planning to bring functions back in-house.

LACE Research 1 Outsourcing

2. Although organisations continue to measure operational effectiveness as a measure of HR success, the focus on employee experience is growing

What the below findings tell us is that there’s no single way this is being done either. Feedback on resources and the ability for self-directed content discovery is part of it, but so are satisfaction scores and the rate of complaints.

LACE Research 2 employee experience

What’s slightly worrying is that close to a third currently have no process in place to measure experience of HR shared services. You manage what you measure, and measuring nothing makes it far harder to manage and improve.

3. Continuous improvement is currently a mixed bag: Some have dedicated teams while others have nothing

It’s always easy to let the biggest number sway you, and the fact that 46% currently have no formal mechanisms in place for continuous improvement is quite eye-catching.

However, 27% have a dedicated team, 30% have gone down the ‘global process owners’ route and 16% stated they use experience champions or cross-function experience forums.

4. Building a customer-first mindset is by far the biggest behavioural priority for HR teams in 2023

Interestingly, when it comes to skills, continuous improvement is by far the biggest priority for 2023, with 91% of respondents naming it in their list. However, we often talk about HR and L&D being in the business of behaviour change, so it was great to see LACE’s insights on desired behaviours for the year ahead.

LACE research 3 behaviour

While customer-first mindset will rightly steal the limelight, there are some interesting inclusions on the list. 34% want to get better at saying no and challenging people, and 30% hope to improve their connection or facilitation skills. Finally, 45 stating they want to be a better big picture thinker, able to think about the overall business goals as they build out their plans.

5. HR is open and willing to hire from outside the HR bubble!

More than 90% said they hire from non-HR backgrounds either ‘sometimes’ or ‘regularly’, while 73% said a HR qualification was not a prerequisite for their HR advisor job descriptions.

So, when HR do bring in talent from other industries, where do they look? Customer-facing and operations roles top the list, which is unsurprising when you consider the transferable skills between these roles, while the digital and analytics speak to some of the behaviour and skill priorities for the year ahead.

LACE Research 4 talent hiring

6. The factors HR teams believe will be critical to success are filled with plenty of fresh and exciting ideas!

By no means were they top of the list, but it was really refreshing to see 41% extolling the benefits of investing in new skills and capabilities, while 32% stated that creating a culture of curiosity and innovation would be critical to success.

36% also believe HR’s ability to act as a catalyst for change would be crucial to winning the next couple of years.

7. Career pathways need more work, but HR have plenty of plans to support development

What’s great about this report is the real honesty from HR pros! 70% were open enough to share they have no defined career pathways for their shared services teams!

LACE researh 5 Career pathways

The good is that they’ve got the self-awareness to recognise that and have plenty of plans to support future development. You can find the full list on page 23 of the report, but here are a few of the notable responses:

  • 59% are subsidising professional development and education.
  • 59% are investing in skills development programs.
  • 46% are proactive developing succession plans.
  • 46% are offering role rotations within their HR shared services team.
  • 39% are committing to formal mentoring programs.