Review German Association for Personnel Management Conference (DGFP) 2017
Challenge Transformation

HR Managers must face up to the challenges of tomorrow’s workforce

Bad Nauheim/Berlin (JG). The 2017 conference was filled with challenging questions: “Rigidity vs Agility, Analogue vs Digital, Evolution vs Disruption. Everything seems to be on the move with little stability” and HR is right in the middle of it. How can employees, management and trade unions move forward and also HR? How can we adapt the working environment/conditions and the political framework to the new challenges we face?

The B&H Group, as sponsor of this HR conference, presented its early retirement model in addition to other schemes.  Thomas Hundertmark, Managing Partner, commented “In times of change, companies need flexible cost-saving solutions that lead to a renewed personnel structure and a safe transition into retirement”. Demographic developments show that retirement at the age of 55 will be up for consideration in the next few years. This target group will need to be offered attractive incentives to ensure financial security until retirement. Studies have shown that partial retirement is too expensive for companies. In addition, political statements (Ref: “Retirement at 70”) have increased pressure to act, continued Thomas Hundertmark.

Against this background, HR Managers need to manage the challenge of emerging skills shortages. On the one hand, this means keeping high performers in the company as long as possible and on the other hand, changing certain company positions/structures. Additionally, the new Flexi-Rent Law which came into force 1/1/2017, has not yet been fully explored. This is a huge area where advice is needed for both HR and trade union executives.

A new aspect of the conference was the combination of visits to companies in Berlin, where delegates were able to continue discussions with their HR colleagues. It was an innovative and very well-received concept, to be repeated in 2018.