Many times people in SIL get these teams confused since they all are globally-based and HR-related. Hopefully this will help you to understand the differences and know who to go to when you need HR input.
Firstly - An Overview of the SIL Reporting Structure and how HR fits into it:
SIL is basically divided into three reporting-level tiers:
Organizational Units - these are the on-the-ground groups that do the language-related work of SIL. Each of these has a Unit Director, and as part of their team, an HR Manager. HR managers in a Unit report directly to their Unit Director (or designate), NOT to a higher-up HR person. However, when the HR Manager has questions and needs support or training, they consult the next level up - their Area HR Director.
Areas - Organizational Units are grouped into Areas, mostly (but not always) by geographical location. Areas have an Area Director, and as part of their team, an Area HR Director. The Area Director and team lead and support the Organizational Units under them. The Area HR Director reports to their Area Director (or designate), NOT to a higher-up HR person. However, when the Area HR Director has questions and needs support or training, they consult the next level up - the People Strategies - Global team.
Global - Areas are grouped into Zones as part of the global structure. Area Directors report to a Zonal AED. The Chief People Officer is the top of the HR chain in the organization. This person supports the Executive Leadership team, negotiates MOUs with Partner Organizations, manages a team of HR related domain leaders, and interacts with the Area HR Directors. The Chief People Officer (sometimes referred to as the Chief Human Resources Officer, or CHRO) reports to the AED of International Operations.
Now that we have a framework to fit them into, let’s look more specifically at the three globally-based HR-related teams:
The People Strategies - Global team - This is the top-tier of SIL HR. It prioritizes strategic thinking in all aspects of HR throughout the organization. It's also the highest level in SIL to consult with on staffing issues. This team focuses on transformational HR rather than transactional HR (which is provided by IA HR). Transactional HR functions for staff who are assigned to an International Administrative role are provided by IA or ILS HR departments.
International Administration (IA) HR - IA HR provides HR services for anyone employed by SIL in the US, or seconded to SIL into a Global (but not ILS) assignment. The IA HR Director reports to the AED of International Operations. International Administration HR, due to its size and position in the organization, basically operates like an Area and as such, the IA HR Director interacts with the other Area HR Directors.
International Language Services (ILS) HR - ILS HR provides HR services for SIL staff assigned to the ILS team. ILS provides language-related services globally. The ILS HR Director reports to the AED of Language Services. International Language Services HR, due to its size and position in the organization, basically operates like an Area and as such, the ILS HR Director interacts with the other Area HR Directors.