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HR Operating Model: A new blueprint for HR

To create a more agile business, organizations need new and more flexible HR operating models.


Business is changing at a faster pace than ever before. Is your HR operating model—HR’s blueprint or organizing strategy—keeping up with the needs of the business, as well as the employees, in a flexible way?

Based on Accenture research and experience, we have identified new, innovative HR operating models. A key feature of these models is an emphasis on digital; cloud-based delivery, technologies that facilitate collaboration, and analytics capabilities to deliver timely insights.

Key Findings

According to Accenture research, 75 percent of HR executives say that ensuring their operating model provides a competitive advantage is a major challenge.

Interviews with CHROs reveal that many are struggling with problems related to inflexibility of their HR operating model: insular HR functions, duplication of work between HR roles, and the creation of universal, one-size-fits-all talent practices not relevant to today's diverse workforces.

The result can be slow reaction times, a lack of innovation, and fragmented solutions that conflict with one another. Ultimately this can become an enterprise-wide problem if HR cannot produce relevant strategies based on a deep understanding of the business.


Accenture has identified six new, innovative HR operating models that create and sustain more flexible and integrated HR capabilities.

  • Just-in-time HR model: Replaces COEs and business partners with a small cross-functional workforce effectiveness group.

  • Professional services model: Internal HR consulting group creates talent practices and advises various parts of the business.

  • Talent segmented model: Organize HR resources around talent segments.

  • Crowdsourced model: Employees define their own talent practices.

  • Lean HR model: Division into shared services; small corporate function; and planning and analysis experts.

  • Federalized/decentralized model: Moves business partners and COEs into the business units.

Your business is changing faster than ever. But is your HR keeping up?

Executives know that their traditional, one-size-fits-all HR operating model isn't keeping up with the needs of the business.


A New Blueprint for HR