How will companies become fit for the future world of work? The challenges of the revolutionary world of work can hardly be mastered without expert advice. How companies grow and operate successfully.

The future of work is dynamic, agile and digital. Innovative technologies offer a huge potential for growth. Digitization also changes the way work is organized. HR plays a key role in this. For example, HR must proactively accompany the digital transformation process in the company and change itself at the same time. To master this change and guarantee entrepreneurial growth, technical expertise and support are required.

Startups have to learn to grow in a structured way – and established companies should try to integrate innovative technologies and the spirit of an agile startup.

Digital HR tools generally lead to greater efficiency. However, its implementation is not enough. Based on our years of experience, we have identified three critical points with which HR digitization stands or falls.

  • In our view, the first step is always an assessment of added value – beyond the mere cost savings.
  • The second important point is the selection of employees in the project phase. We even developed our own assessment for the selection of the right actors.
  • The third point is the answer to the question of how new, digital HR is changing the company.

HR cloud systems – About the digitalization of HR management and its challenges.

The new, cloud-based HR systems reach far into every corner of the company and thus become management systems with HR content, to which every employee and every manager also has access – of course limited within the framework of authorization competence.

In order to develop and establish a suitable HR architecture that is helpful in daily, recurring processes and saves a lot of time, it is necessary to clarify various questions about the HR strategy and the HR business model in advance.

The digitization of HR processes (human resources) faces managers of a company with special tasks and is also a question of culture.

The digital revolution is progressing inexorably and this also applies to the area of ​​human resources (HR). The managers are particularly challenged. Digitization is changing tasks, processes and responsibilities. In addition to changed competence requirements, a new understanding of culture and leadership is also required. The challenges of HR can only be mastered in the future through the consistent use of digital media, processes and systems. Because the new technical possibilities of HR cloud systems have immense advantages for the area of ​​human resources: processes are faster, established structures are questioned and, if necessary, changed.

The digital HR organization – Quo vadis, personnel management?

This book inspires the digital transformation of human resources and offers a solid starting point for everyone who helps shaping change.
In 22 articles we give HR experts from science and practice an insight into key areas of activity and areas of development.

These outline ways to the HR organization of the future and show:

  • How digitization is changing HR target images and business models
  • why HR managers need an expanded set of skills
  • How HR departments are changing their structures, processes and systems
  • the benefits of HR analytics, artificial intelligence or robotics
  • what needs to be considered with regard to labor law and data protection
  • how the HR function sets impulses in organizational development

You can find information and summaries in the 03/2018 issue of the trade journal “Human Resources” or purchase the hardcover here.

Editor: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Appel and Michael Wahler, Luchterhand Verlag, Munich 2018


From HR data management and digital files to workflows to HR intelligence and task management.

HR excellence is defined by the four parameters strategy, organization, portfolio and efficiency. A key driver for efficiency is the support of the processes with appropriate IT systems. The right systems and their integration increase both the performance and the quality of the processes and thus lead to HR efficiency. Therefore, HR-IT is increasingly proving to be the engine and drive in achieving HR efficiency and thus HR excellence.

HR work is supported in all companies today by IT systems. Even small businesses with only one employee indirectly use software for payroll accounting with their tax advisor. As the number of employees increases, the requirements for personnel work increase. It is therefore essential that the selection of IT support for the HR processes has to be adapted to the peculiarities, requirements, culture and strategy of the company and should therefore be appropriate. IT support for large corporations should certainly be different than for SMEs. Efficiency can therefore only be measured relatively, always depending on the appropriateness and form of the systems. Efficiency drivers, however, can be defined independently of the company-specific framework.

Two maturity criteria: level of system support and integration

Efficiency can be assessed using two maturity criteria: system support and integration. It is important to work out which efficiency drivers should be supported in which form with IT (system support). A support with Excel or Word is usually better than paper but less powerful than a dedicated application. Nevertheless, a solution with Microsoft Office components can be appropriate from an economic perspective.

The graphic shows the change in the age structure and associated with this will also go hand in hand with a change in values ​​in companies. This change will change HR work. First examples of possible consequences due to the changes:

– The working life is extended
– Competition for qualified resources is increasing
– The average length of service decreases
– Knowledge and experience of employees are becoming more valuable
– Employee loyalty to the company is becoming more important
– Flexibility becomes a success factor

What do HR functions have to do now?

There are four core topics that can counteract these symptoms in the future. Firstly, procurement, secondly, empowerment, thirdly, commitment, and fourthly, the care of employees is becoming increasingly important and intensive.

Procurement is no longer about optimizing the selection process, but rather about finding a sufficiently large number of applicants. Active sourcing can be a solution. This process begins with the search procedure and runs through the social networks to companies where the young professionals can be found. Active addressing and poaching cannot be prevented by monetary incentives alone.

The empowerment of the employees includes ensuring the employability beyond the age of 60. To do this, both the workplaces and the employees must be put in a position through health measures. Qualification also means technical training, qualification and training. In particular, it also means active knowledge transfer. This transfer must be organized. The topic of knowledge management is largely neglected today, since many failed to implement it. This is because the introduction of a database for storing documents was mainly understood to mean this. The media are just a building block in a sustainable knowledge organization. In addition to appropriate media, other components are individual incentives, the ability of employees to prepare and impart knowledge for the transfer of knowledge, as well as structures that organize the transfer, check target achievement from the incentive systems and ensure quality.

The concept of employee retention is most affected by the change in values. The management of the employees becomes an essential binding instrument. This can partially counteract the emergence of a pay contest, since monetary commitment generally only has an effect in the very short term. Cafeteria systems can be used to create individual options and thus incentive systems that, due to their individuality and flexibility, lead to sustainability. Finally, the care of employees is the central task of human resources work. The topic of “care” only appears traditional at first glance. In the course of virtualization, individualization and decentralization, mobility needs to be increased. Mobility in personnel work runs through almost all processes and begins with mobile recruiters and ends with the care of the employee during maternity leave. From the HR perspective, one can only hope that the economy will not be too good in the next few years, because then there is still some time to prepare for the challenges. Until then, the future-oriented restructuring of HR functions should be addressed.

What is important to young people today when choosing a career, what interests and needs do they have and what motivates them? The often unknown requirements of Generation Y on their training companies often unsettle the established decision-makers in companies and organizations.

This volume gives HR and recruiting managers a deeper insight into the current realities, interests, attitudes and habits of digital natives (Generation Y) and thus offers them more decision-making bases for the design of their concepts and processes.

The editors and authors concentrate on the living environments of the young people born between 1993 and 1999. A particular emphasis is placed on young people who are aiming for a simple or medium-level education, because they represent the central target group of personnel marketing for those who are particularly critical in the commercial and technical training professions from the point of view of recruiting young people.

The articles were written by experts from science, companies and youth work and are aimed primarily at practitioners in companies.

The content

  • Chimaera or real phenomenon? HR and digital natives
  • Digital natives and their living environments: youth cultures, real and virtual networks
  • Digital natives at the transition from school to work: performance, motives and maturity
  • The meaning of gender: interests, attitudes, social behavior, performance etc. of boys and girls
  • Promotion of specific target groups: social skills, migration and career entry as a second chance
  • Digital natives and new media: usage behavior and recruitment opportunities

Publisher: Springer Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 2013

Coming from the financial sector, the concept of the Human Resources Shared Service Center (= HR-SSC) has been established in Germany for a good five years. This includes the bundling of administrative HR tasks in an independent organizational unit.

With the massive use of technology, such as the databases from the call centers for customer relationship management, as well as a work-organizational separation of customer advice from process management, HR work in HR-SSC can be provided more cost-effectively. However, HR shared service centers require a change in the entire personnel structure of a company and are therefore quite complex projects. In the past, large companies in particular were interested in this concept.

The majority of DAX companies already have such a service center. Meanwhile, medium-sized companies with a size of 3,000 to 10,000 employees are also examining the suitability of this approach. The concept can be expected to become more widespread, which is also evident in the development of consulting capacities on this topic at various large consulting companies. However, it must also be seen that there are companies that clearly oppose the concept because it contradicts their basic understanding of closeness to employees. In this book the idea of ​​the HR Shared Service Center is comprehensively presented.

Based on the motivation, the basic idea, structures and processes of the HR-SSC are shown. The management, control and monitoring of an HR SSC has its place, as does the critical consideration of the advantages and disadvantages, but also the prospects.

“A successful contribution to the topic of “Personalwirtschaft No. 07/2012”

Author and other contributors
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Appel has been Professor of Business Administration and Personnel Management at the Saarland University of Applied Sciences since October 1, 2007. Lecturing and consulting activities, in particular for the organization of the personnel function and for the establishment and operation of HR service centers. Born in Mainz in 1965.

Training in statutory accident insurance. From 1989 to 1993 studied business administration at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz with a focus on organization and journalism. There also assistant at the chair of organization. Research stay at Rockefeller College, New York State University. 1999 Doctorate on questions of computer-assisted group work.

With BASF Aktiengesellschaft in Human Resources since 1999. First there as a speaker for fundamental questions, then for HR-IT, especially for the introduction of employer and manager self-services. From 2003 he was commissioned to set up and manage the HR shared services of BASF AG, responsible for 110 employees and a budget volume of € 24 million. Lecturer at the Warsaw University of Applied Sciences.

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Employment and Employability. Numerous publications and lectures.

Werner Felisiak is an independent consultant in the field of HR organizational development.

Editor: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Appel, Werner Felisiak, De Gruyter Oldenburg Verlag, Berlin 2015