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HR goes digital: Interview with Andreas Assmus

Interview with Andreas Assmus at MANN+HUMMEL

It's employee stories like Andreas Assmus' that inspire us. His career path from trainee to Director HR Digitalization shows us that hard work pays off. In his first senior position as Manager Payroll and Manager HR Services Germany, he focused on employee consulting, data management and systems. Today - after twelve years at MANN+HUMMEL - the focus is on digital transformation and global harmonization of human resources (HR) processes. In this interview, Andreas reveals what these new areas entail, the goals that he and his team are pursuing, and how digital transformation is revolutionizing HR.

Andreas, you’ve definitely climbed the career ladder! What is the key to success for you and how has MANN+HUMMEL supported you along the way?

Andreas: For me, success is about the right mix of trust and encouragement. Initially, I completed my training as an industrial clerk at MANN+HUMMEL. After that, I continued to receive individual support during my studies. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that ambition and hard work always pay off. And of course I appreciate how supportive MANN+HUMMEL was.

You've been working at MANN+HUMMEL for twelve years now and still love your job. How come?

Andreas: That’s really because of my colleagues. I've never been a fan of rivalry in the workplace. Instead, we think and work as one unit. Through integrity and high-quality standards, we can achieve so much more. Working closely with the top management enables us to make quick decisions. Everyone plays a part in shaping things and feels listened to and valued. This is very motivating.

How does MANN+HUMMEL contribute to this?

Andreas: MANN+HUMMEL creates a healthy working environment in which employees feel comfortable, and promotes their potential. You are offered many interesting training opportunities, both for young employees and for management positions. Especially for young managers there are interesting initiatives such as Fit for Leadership or, at a later stage, the Leadership Summits. Initiatives like this help us grow beyond our limits and make sure employees continue to develop. We also need to rethink human resources and the role of HR professionals. Right now, we are digitalizing the entire HR area.

That sounds exciting. How do you digitalize human resources?

Andreas: When speaking of HR Digital Transformation, it’s about the employee experience with digitalization of end-to-end processes, as well as the intelligent use of data and information. Analog structures must be digitally transferred, processes standardized, and manual administrative tasks must be automated. That’s the case for managing documents, recruiting or even onboarding. Digitalizing HR saves costs and valuable time, hence enables employees to organize their daily work more creatively and profitably - which ultimately increases performance overall.

In an agile environment, virtual teams exchange ideas across physical and temporal boundaries, they contribute new ideas and work more closely together. This makes us more efficient and successful as an organization. Speed is crucial, especially in times of shortage of skilled workers: you need to find talent faster, fill positions better, and retain staff longer. Right now, I’m focusing on digitalizing the employee lifecycle. That’s why we are developing a global data model as a base.

So, the digitalization of HR is changing the way HR professionals see their role?

Andreas: Definitely, and that’s precisely what makes it so appealing. The administrator becomes a designer, a change manager, and a business partner at ​eye level. However, in order to get there, HR professionals need to have an affinity for technology and be proficient in various tools. Thanks to the latest trends and technologies, we can introduce new approaches through targeted coaching, create evaluations and put decisions into action more quickly. 

And what kind of decisions do you handle in the context of this digital transformation?

Andreas: I decide on the tools that will get us there and determine how and in what timeframe we will achieve our goals. In my role as a manager, I love dealing with unpredictable challenges. We want to be at the forefront of trends and being connected is critical to achieve that. To me, it's always exciting to see an idea develop into reality - especially as a team.

Eventually, digital transformation is more about people than technology, right?

Andreas: Absolutely. People are the driving force behind our success, digitalization is our enabler. I have a young, dynamic, and diverse team. My colleagues learn quickly and have adapted very well to the tasks in this challenging and agile work environment. 

So, what does the future hold for you? Can you give us an insight?

Andreas: Personally, I can imagine a cross-functional role in the future, for example in the areas of controlling or IT. As we strive for international excellence, internationalization is also becoming more and more important at MANN+HUMMEL. I studied in Hungary and the USA and I found it immensely enriching. Diversity, global assignments and learning from other cultures will bring us to the next level. This is the only way we will remain a global leader in filtration in the future.

This is very exciting! Thank you, Andreas.

Andreas: Thank you very much.

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