In companies where there are larger HR teams, it is common to separate the business-facing side of Generalist HR from the back-end HR function, and this is where HR Operations comes into play. The Head of HR Operations looks after the efficient functioning of the HR team itself, acting as the line manager for all HR staff and making key decisions on how to structure the HR function using both in-house and outsourced resources. This division of responsibility allows the HR business partner to be more responsive to the daily needs of the business, freeing up the HR Operations practitioner to concentrate on keeping the HR house in order. In small to medium-sized organisations, HR Operations is more hands-on, and an HR Operations specialist will look after the tactical and day-to-day running of a simpler HR function.

Suitability Factors

The best practitioners in this space are hands-on, detail-oriented, process-minded and cope well with a high volume of HR transactions. They will also be skilled at developing relationships with a broad range of HR and business stakeholders, as the function at its most senior level can demand the ability to oversee a large team of HR specialists. The career track into an HR Operations or Shared Services role will often be up through a Generalist HR role, but some also come from the specialist backgrounds of Compensation & Benefits or HR Information Systems.

Example Job Titles

HR Operations Director; Head of HR Shared Services; Head of HR Centre of Excellence; HR Service Delivery Director.

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