Roundtable debate: Is the web a friend or foe to HR?

You’ve
heard the cliché – the Internet has the power to liberate HR from its image as
an administrative function and release the profession to take on a new
strategic role as a business partner.

This
means goodbye to all those dull clerical chores and to what remains of the
legion of personnel officers who carry them out, and hello to a new breed of
technology and business-literate HR practitioners who add value to the
business.

It
all sounds terrific in theory. But does the Internet represent a great
opportunity for HR or is it powerful threat? And what will it mean for HR
professionals?

Personnel
Today has teamed up with e-learning company Knowledgepool to organise a debate
on the impact of the Internet on HR which will take place on 7 February 2001.

The
idea is to record the contributions of a group of HR leaders working in
cutting-edge, high tech companies, together with analysts and consultants, and
report on the main themes and sticking points in an issue of Personnel Today
later in the month.

But
before we start we would like HR professionals to raise the issues that most
concern them about the web revolution. We would like to hear your views and to
debate the questions you would like to see raised
.

Whether
you are working in a high tech company, or the e-business arm of a traditional
firm, or you are in an organisation outside the technology sector but facing
challenges from developments in new technology we want to hear from you. Let us
have your views by emailing the editor of Personnel Today, Noel O’Reilly

Some
of the issues we would like to discuss include:

Large
businesses can fulfil HR functions more efficiently and cost-effectively using
online resources. Can this help manage people or will it create a hindrance? In
a traditionally ‘people focused’ area, will the use of new technology bring a
faceless, sterile and big brother approach to HR functions?

How
can the elements of HR activities be best combined for greatest advantage?
Which activities should remain face-to-face and which should go online for
optimum results?

Will
different technologies suit different companies and how can companies get
guidance on which to use, for what purpose?

Will
the status of HR be enhanced or diminished when HR goes online?

Will
e-learning lead to the demise of the in-house trainer?

Will
online HR transactions mean in-house HR departments will become redundant?

Will
HR survivors have to join outsourcing companies that specialise in HR?

Will
the Internet usher in an era of global HR?

Will
the Internet allow HR to integrate appraisal and training?

Can
the Internet enhance the development of ‘human capital’?

How
does take-up of  online HR in the UK
compare with the US?

Those
participating in the event will include:

Noel O’Reilly, editor of Personnel Today
Ralph Tribe, vice president, human resources, Getty Images
Amira Kohler, HR director of Metrius (Internet consulting arm of KPMG)
Richard Oakes, new media director, Eversheds
Kevin Green, of strategic HR consultancy Qtab
Kate Rutland, prodcuts and servicestraining manager forBT SME
David Wimpress, executive chairman, Knowledgepool
David Brain, consultant

Let
us have your views by emailing the editor of Personnel Today,
Noel O’Reilly

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