Restructuring of the HR department as interim personnel manager

A recent report on the deployment of an interim HR manager at an international group of companies in the special machine construction sector.

Group of companies for the development, manufacture and sale of special machines and systems
according to customer requirements. Group turnover in the project period up to € 40 million p.a.; number of employees up to

Initial situation:
The project was launched as part of a restructuring program. The headcount reduction had already been completed, leaving around 200 employees. There was neither a commercial nor a personnel management, and therefore no meaningful personnel figures such as absenteeism, age and seniority structure. Two payroll accountants (one of them part-time) were responsible for time recording, monthly payroll accounting and personnel files. There was neither a works council nor collective bargaining. Requests for a wage or salary increase were examined on a case-by-case basis and often approved without comparative wages or standardized assessment. Apart from a few new contracts, the contract system was outdated and needed to be revised. Job descriptions were only partial and responsibilities were not consistently defined.

Objective and task:
Development and implementation of a modern personnel management system. The project was for 1.5 years
planned with two days per week. The objectives and tasks arose from the situation described above and, fortunately, there was also an increase in turnover and therefore the need to find, retain and develop staff. The position had professional and disciplinary personnel responsibility for the department, including training.

The practical project implementation was carried out with the involvement of existing personnel and know-how – in an evolutionary and agile manner in six task packages, some of which were processed in parallel:

1. creation of transparent and valid personnel statistics
The first steps were to create transparent and valid personnel statistics by cost center (at the end of each month with data on full-time and part-time positions, trainees and temporary staff and the associated continued payment of wages, long-term sick leave, parental leave, etc.) as a basis for work and action. This was supplemented by wage and salary statistics with all remuneration components in order to be able to create quick analyses and the urgently needed forecasts.

2. contract management
In the second, parallel work package, the interim manager took care of the design and introduction of new employment contracts in line with current case law, which were initially applied to new hires. These contracts were also used when renegotiating wages and salaries and adjusting old contracts.

3. personnel controlling and operational integration management
No serious personnel management without personnel controlling: this is why, among other things, regular evaluations of absences and company integration management have been institutionalized.

4. job and task descriptions
Together with the respective line managers, the existing job descriptions were updated, corrected, supplemented and, where necessary, completely new ones created. This provided the basis for making urgently needed organizational adjustments – which were then implemented.

5. feedback discussions, salary reviews and performance appraisals
An important milestone in the project was the introduction of structured, annual wage and salary adjustment rounds, in which historically grown inequalities in pay were eliminated. Performance components found their way into these rounds. The interim manager moderated these rounds together with the managers of the respective departments and the management. Naturally on the basis of the employee and feedback discussions that have taken place previously.

6. professional recruiting process
Finally, the recruitment process (from the written request for personnel to onboarding with induction plans) was defined and professionally implemented in line with the times. In all the implementation processes described, the employees managed directly and indirectly by the interim manager were introduced to the new tasks and coached.

Results and successes:

  • Reducing the processing time for recruitment
  • Adequate staffing of key positions
  • Filling all apprenticeship positions against the trend
  • Lowering the average age
  • Reduction of absenteeism
  • Modern employment contracts
  • Increased satisfaction with payment, increased transparency in the payment process
    Remuneration development
  • Regular feedback discussions between line managers and employees

Would you like more information or do you have similar challenges? Talk to us, we will be happy to help you!

Dr. Martin Ludwig Mayr, Managing Director
+49 89 20 500 8695

Feel free to share this post with your network as well.

Scroll to Top