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CIPD Conference and Exhibition: IT systems for the HR community has come of age


The HR director of Europe's largest engineering conglomerate yesterday heralded the 'coming of age' of workforce planning technology.

Toby Peyton-Jones, Director Human Resources at Siemens and North West Europe Siemens, told an audience at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) conference in Manchester that developments have ensured that technology can play a useful role in helping organisations plan for the future.

"I think this is why we see a resurgence in this topic of workforce planning," Peyton-Jones said. "The IT now has really come of age. We are seeing the possibility of seeing online, real time data being captured."

During his presentation, Peyton-Jones outlined the challenges of working for a large organization, in which answering basic questions such as ‘how many employees do we have?’ can be difficult, and suggesting that HR operations can be granted a flexibility that finance departments are not.

"We are in a position today—and I think that’s the exciting thing—where infrastructure is catching up and we really have a great chance to bring rigour to the debate.

"This still remains a massive challenge but the possibility is there. The IT is something you need to get to grips with if you’re going to have a conversation with your CEOs."

As reported by HR Magazine earlier in the year, research by Infohrm HR at the end of 2009 found that more than 50% of the 780 respondents said they planned to increase investment in workforce planning this year. 47% could see a positive impact of it on the performance of their business.

Peyton-Jones gave his presentation during a session entitled ‘Workforce planning: future-proofing your organisation, which was chaired by Angela Baron, Adviser—OD and Engagement, HR Capability, CIPD. Roger Wilson, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, at University Hospitals of Morcombe Bay NHS Trust also spoke at the seminar.

Peyton-Jones has been in his position since August 2008. He is a former office in the Royal Engineers.