Deciding on an Appropriate HR Delivery Model

Deciding on an Appropriate HR Delivery Model
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  • 0:03 HR Delivery Models
  • 0:34 Generalist Model
  • 1:54 Ulrich's Three-Legged…
  • 3:30 Self-Service Model
  • 4:38 Outsourced Model
  • 5:16 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson goes over numerous HR delivery models, including the generalist model, Ulrich's three-legged stool model, self-service model, and outsourced model. You'll also learn about some of their advantages and disadvantages.

HR Delivery Models

Depending on a company's size and needs, human resource strategies and personnel can be deployed in one of many ways. This lesson goes over just a few such models of HR implementation. They include the generalist model, Ulrich's three-legged stool model, self-service model, and outsourced model. Along the way, you'll learn some of the advantages and disadvantages these models entail and what size businesses are most likely to employ each model.

Generalist Model

Let's begin with the generalist model, an HR strategy that seeks to deliver customized services that are tailored to the specific needs of a business unit. In other words, it uses HR generalists to provide hands-on HR services to a local part of the business. An HR generalist, among plenty of other things, manages HR operations on a daily basis. This can include everything from managing and developing the policies of the organization to looking out for the development of the organization's personnel. It's kind of an all-encompassing role, hence the 'generalist' part of the term. What's important to note is that the HR generalist model provides HR services in a decentralized manner. The generalist provides the necessary HR services to the local business unit based on its specific needs. Ergo, this is a model that is best used in medium to large sized businesses, especially those found in multiple locations around a country or even the entire world.

One of the good things about this model is that HR can provide custom-fit solutions for unique needs of a local business unit, which may be very different from a business unit half way across the world. One disadvantage (among others) is that a generalist may not have enough comprehensive knowledge to solve very specific or one-off problems that an HR specialist may be able to.

Ulrich's Three-Legged Stool Model

Another type of HR strategy involves the use of Ulrich's three-legged stool model, an HR model that involves HR business partnering, centers of expertise, and shared services. This model is named after Dave Ulrich, and its three-pronged approach should make the three-legged stool part of the term pretty clear.

A business partner in this case is a senior HR professional. In this leg of the stool, such a professional works closely alongside senior leaders of the company in order to help attain the goals of the organization. As an example, this could mean helping management understand how employees will be impacted by any given change in a company's strategy.

Centers of expertise refers to a team of HR experts that develop innovative solutions in specific areas such as talent managers or rewards. The goal is to boost the business' ultimate competitive advantage, thanks to these innovations.

The term shared services refers to an often centralized and large unit of HR professionals whose expertise lies in providing low-cost, chiefly standardized and effective administrative roles, such as payroll and recruitment.

Depending on the size of the company, parts or all of this model can be implemented to effect. A potential advantage of this model is the development of strong and strategic relationships between HR personnel and management, especially in the business partner leg. A potential downside is risk aversion in the centralized shared services leg. This could result in less meaningful action and more useless meetings.

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