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Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:11

Machines to replace personnel managers and trainers Featured

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Image courtesy of  Boians Cho Joo Young at FreeDigitalPhotos.net   Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Robots and machines are replacing personnel working in Human Resource management and radically transforming the white collar professions in the workplace of the future.

A look into the workplace of the future, with technology increasingly able to do the work of personnel managers and trainers, will be on display in the German city of Cologne in October at the HRM Expo (Zukunft Personal). The Expo will show an extensive range of hardware and software innovations, while also examining current software trends in a number of presentations and discussions.

"The automation of work is no longer restricted to an industrial context," comments Jan Kirchner, Managing Director of the digital agency for human resource marketing and employer branding, Wollmilchsau, and author of the blog with the same name.

According to Kirchner – a speaker at the HRM Expo - thanks to Big Data and the Internet of Things, robots and software algorithms are starting to change white collar professions.

"They do the work of doctors, journalists, lawyers, bankers and HR professionals," Kirchner says.

Nevertheless, another speaker at the HR exhibition on the opportunities and limitations of Big Data - Professor Dr. Torsten Biemann of the University of Mannheim - reckons that there are still a number of hurdles to be faced before ‘People Analytics’ can be used successfully.

The human resource researcher, purportedly one of the leading figures in human resource management in Germany, explains the situation: "Firstly, companies often lack the relevant know-how and secondly appropriate data is often simply not available or is not that easy to generate."

“Although there are many potential fields of application and a recruiter's assessment algorithm is often a superior approach, the causal links in human resource management are often very complex when it comes to employee motivation or fluctuation, for example,” Professor Biemann says.

According to the professor, Big Data is mainly recommended for use by HR managers in checking the effectiveness of their own work.

On the subject of the human computer as a learning coach, we’re told that digitalisation is also bringing radical changes to in-company further education as the computer increasingly becomes the employee's assistant and learning partner.

Digital learning systems are now reportedly able to mimic human tutors and coaches by measuring and interpreting the learners' activities, facilitating the learning process, and with many e-learning providers now adding such adaptive learning systems to their product ranges.

The exhibition not only shows how Big Data, learning analytics and so-called Massive Open Online courses (MOOCs) can be used – as part of new dimension of e-learning - it also presents software solutions for further applications in human resource development as well as applicant management, recruitment, payroll accounting, personnel administration, time recording or access control.

To get further information about how to register at the HRM Expo – which takes place for the 15th consecutive year from 14 to 16 October 14 - go to the Expo website.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).