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“The Internet of Things is coming. But many companies still do not know what to do with it and how to adjust to it. Every second decision-maker in Germany, Austria and Switzerland has never heard of the term “Industry 4.0”, a term which is intended to describe the digital linking between supply chains in an easy way. Despite all the digital euphoria, both in the social environment and in the economy, half of all decision-makers can not explain exactly what Industry 4.0 means. This is a highly relevant topic because “Industry 4.0 is changing the world of work and the bosses. In concrete terms, this means especially one thing: Many professions become superfluous because they can be replaced by more efficient and less expensive programs or machines. This creates many new challenges for both business and politics, as both must respond to change. Above all, companies based in Germany, which already have disproportionately high labor costs in international comparison, must remain competitive. On the other hand, politics must ensure that there is no social imbalance which could be the possible result of the potential job losses. The central theme of this BA is the impact of Industry 4.0 on the working environment of employees and if we could face a unemployment crisis. At the beginning, the term Industry 4.0 is defined followed by an overview of what happened in the three previous industrial revolutions and how the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 arose. Then will be clarified which professions are especially affected by the fourth industrial revolution, which will grow, shrink or even disappear. Another point are skills and qualifications that are in important or necessary and which will be in great demand today and in the future.

Definition and Origin

For the term Industry 4.0 there are two different definitions that have a very different approach. The newer one, which has its origin in Germany reads as follows: “Industrie 4.0” is a marketing term, which is used also in the science communication, and stands for a “Zukunftsprojekt” (according to the “Hightech-Strategie-Website”) of the German Federal Government. In this context, the word Industrie 4.0 was first mentioned publicly and in the media at Hannover Messe 2011.
A second possible definition according to the Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon, which actually refers to the worldwide Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution, is: “The so-called fourth industrial revolution, to which the number refers, is characterized by individualization (even in mass production ) or hybridization of the products (coupling of production and service) and the integration of customers and business partners in business and value creation processes. Essential components are embedded systems as well as (partly) autonomous machines that move in and through environments without human control and make decisions independently, and developments such as 3D printers. The networking of technologies and chip-tagged objects results in highly complex structures and cyber-physical systems (CPS) or the Internet of Things.” It is probably due to these two fundamentally different definitions, which take a completely different approach, that many can not say exactly what is meant by Industry 4.0, Internet of Things or the fourth industrial revolution.
Is it just a marketing term, a future project that may be realized, or indeed an industrial revolution that will completely change the working environment?
The first and most original description for Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things, comes from Kevin Ashton, who used the phrase “Internet of things” in a lecture in 1999, at his former employer P&G.
Ten years later, in 2009, Kevin Ashton, often referred to as the father of the Internet of Things, authored an article in which he gave a very striking outlook for the future, the Internet of Things, which today, in 2017 already partially became reality.
The most important statements of this article are the following: Today’s computers and thus, the Internet, are almost completely dependent on humans when it comes to information. Almost all of the data available on the Internet was first created and stored by humans. Conventional statistics about the Internet forget the biggest and most important part of the whole: people. Our economy, our society and our survival are not based on ideas or information, they are based on things. Ideas and information are important, but things are more important. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things, using data they collected without our help, we would be able to track and track everything, reducing waste, losses and costs. We would know when things needed to be exchanged, repaired or recalled, and whether they were new or worn out. We need to enable computers to gather information themselves.
“The Internet of Things has the potential to change the world just as the Internet has done. Maybe even more.”

Industrial Revolutions

The first Industrial Revolution, which began around 1750, resulted in an increase in production management. This became possible especially through the use of power and work machines. At the beginning, an estimated 80% of the German population worked in agriculture and livestock. What followed through the Industrial Revolution was a migration to the big cities, 
despite the huge decline in the number of agricultural workers, famine could did not occur on larger scales.
Increased productivity in agriculture, transportation, textiles and mining enabled the population to be better served than ever before, resulting in rapid population growth. There was a social change. Craftsmen and simple farm laborers were largely unemployed because of industrialization and had to move to the big cities to find work there. These two groups formed the new social layer of the industrial proletariat. Although many industrial and agricultural jobs became needless as a result of the first industrial revolution, mass unemployment did not occur despite explosive population growth as new jobs emerged, especially in factories.
The social and economic winners of the first industrial revolution were factory owners who exploited the working class. The growing public discontent over poor working conditions, low wages and poverty led to a bourgeois revolution.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the beginning of the second industrial revolution, it was possible to further increase the labor output by mass-produced labor using electrical energy. Production costs and prices for goods declined as wealth grew in society. In particular, the industry sectors of the mechanical engineering, electrical, automotive and chemical industries grew and developed rapidly.
Around the year 1970, the third industrial revolution took place, which led to automation and made it possible to produce a large number of series. The individualization of products became more and more important. Sales markets changed to buyer markets. Nearly 30 years later, the fourth Industrial Revolution began. The focus here is the connection of production with the latest information and communication technology. Industry 4.0 is transforming the way in which Germany produces and works in the future: after the steam engine, assembly line production, electronics and IT, intelligent factories (so-called “smart factories”) are shaping the fourth industrial revolution.

Impact on the workforce of employees

Unlike the first industrial revolution, almost all professions will be affected by change in the fourth. People, computers and machines are working together more closely than ever before, with people being able to withdraw more and more from the production and gathering of data and act as a conductor. As Kevin Ashton, the father of the Internet of Things, said back in 2009, computers are still human-dependent. The problem is that people have limited time, attention and accuracy. That’s why it only makes sense (given cost-effectiveness) to delegate all tasks to programs and machines that can do them faster and better. According to a study by the World Economic Forum in Davos, more than five million jobs in industrialized countries will disappear in the next five years. However, these are not primarily traditional factory workers but jobs in the administration. The employees at risk are the ones with” white collar”, according to the survey.
According to this study, specialized personnel in the field of computers and technology will not only continue to be needed, but also create two million additional jobs in these areas. Many professions in factories will not disappear, but evolve. For example, the job description of the plant constructor or industrial mechanic changes so much that he will now do less manual and more intellectual work. 
The knowledge, skills and understanding of machines acquired during job training are still in demand, even in times of Industry 4.0, and will not be obsolete in the future.
Similarly, it will behave with many other craft and physical occupations for which extensive technical expertise is needed. Particularly occupations close to the MINT subjects will be very much in demand in the future. If companies facilitate training and develop training plans that are adapted to the new requirements, Industry 4.0 will not pose a threat to the jobs of skilled factory workers. Helper jobs that do not require extensive training will be more in demand in the future, but less available as these activities will be taken over in the foreseeable future by automation of robots or programs.
Much more complex and unpredictable is the future of administrative activities. Standardized and simple tasks can already be performed by programs today without human intervention. More complicated tasks still require the competence and judgment of a person, especially when dealing with isolated cases. The progress in the development of artificial intelligence will significantly influence this area and decide whether and when administrative activities are taken over computers rather than humans. Not only do occupations fall away, but new professions are created. Looking at the past three industrial revolutions, one realizes that these have led not to a reduction of jobs, but to an increase, with at the same time constantly growing population. The concern of many workers that their job profile could no longer be safe in the future is justified. However, this does not mean that they will not find a job as long as they continue their education and learn the skills they need. The actual work is changing and so is the job description and the demand for specialized staff.

Demandes competences

The key qualification of the future is digital competence. IT knowledge is essential for all hierarchical levels. Unskilled and semi-skilled people have to, especially in times of disruptive digital change, catch up on their education and training. The right for further training could become the most important employee right in the future. Qualification consulting and continuing education offers become more important for each individual in the context of lifelong learning.
Markus Lorenz is an expert on Industry 4.0 and partner at BCG. He sees the qualification of the employees as currently the biggest challenge for companies. In order to master this challenge, the Federal Employment Agency, companies, politicians and employees themselves are required to work on possible solutions. BCG has found in its study that many new fields will emerge. These new fields require lifelong learning and a stronger focus on IT skills. The BCG recommends that MINT programs are matched with interdisciplinary content. In addition, IT skills and business informatics skills should be taught.
Professors at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München have found that universities and vocational schools are still too focused on the requirements of the 19th and 20th century.
Not only the work of the future will be flexible in terms of time and space – further education of the future will be possible everywhere and at any time.
With increasing networking of machines and computers, the complexity of the systems is also increasing. The logical conclusion is that strong IT skills, coupled with industry-specific expertise, will become increasingly important. Also programming skills belong to the strong demanded abilities. Not necessarily to write even complete programs, but to be able to detect and correct errors in case of an accident. Industry 4.0 is the combination of computer science, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.

Recruiting 4.0

Recruiting 4.0 is the logical continuation of Industry 4.0 and Work 4.0. Due to the disruptive transformation of digitization, the working environment of recruiters is facing major changes. Both, the claims of the applicants and the application process are changing. According to a study by the job portal Stepstone, every second recruiter sees it as a challenge to fulfill the claims of the applicants.
The time  of printed job advertisements and published in print media or on the bulletin board is referred to as recruiting 1.0. Recruiting 2.0 made faster recruiting processes possible using the Internet and new communication technology. Big Data, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Profiler Software were the new parameters in Recruiting 3.0.
Recruiting 4.0 means modern recruiting with employer branding, active sourcing and candidate experience, ie a particularly user-friendly recruiting. Contemporary texted job advertisements must be found in contemporary channels, such as social media networks. This includes recruiting through websites that have been optimized for mobile devices. The Institute for Human Resource Management of the Ludwigs-Maximilians-University Munich and the online portal Absolventa stated in their study “How to apply today?” that 43% of participants searched job markets on the PC or on their smartphones. Only a small proportion uses the tablet when looking for a job. 97% of the 580 surveyed students, graduates and young professionals were convinced that mobile job search will play an even more important role in the future.
The biggest change in HR 4.0 is e-recruiting. In the future, routine tasks will be handed over to robots or computers – recruiting included.  Application documents will be sent to a computer and not to a HR Manager. An example for this procedure is the printer manufacturer Xerox.
 It scans all the submitted documents using a data-based analysis software and only shows the person who is the most suitable candidate. For example, it directly sorts out who is registered in four or more social networks if the computer has been programmed for this criteria, by the company.
Pre-selection by computer has many advantages. The computer does not discriminate, the procedure is fairer, more efficient and, above all, much faster than human labor. As long as the computer has not been programmed to do so, neither visual appearance, long-term unemployment nor criminal records play a role. The computer does not know a first impression. The difference compared to humans is that a software is not affected by unconscious likes or dislikes. But it is this automation, which can be exploited with particularly software-optimized applications.
Applicants get a simple application process without worrying about layout and phrasing. However, the applicant can not convince with his particular motivation or creativity. Once the person confirms the preselection, the computer can perform an automated telephone interview. As the last decision-making step, the human remains irreplaceable.
Recruitment 4.0 is still a long way off in HR. They are caught in companys 1.0, so to speak. Social media sites are blocked by many companies, but sites like Xing are important for maintaining relationships with candidates. Valuable time is wasted with the manual entry of candidate data, although there are suitable solutions such as Employee Self Service or automatic readout from PDF application files. However, management and human resources are skeptical about new technologies that come with big investments. A good recruiter experience, created by recruiter-friendly conditions, needs to be an internal business goal, otherwise human resources could lose their best people.

Chances for employees

A study of the BCG found that by 2025 in Industry 4.0 will result in more jobs than lost. In addition to 610000 jobs that disappear, around one million new jobs are created, which means an increase of almost 400,000 jobs. IT graduates will have good job opportunities as a result of the continuing increase in digitization, according to analyzes by the BCG, by 2025, there will be 120,000 graduates in computer engineering. In the areas of IT and research and development, the study forecasts 110000 additional jobs each. Particularly in the area of ??IT security, skilled workers will be needed to protect companies against increasing cybercrime such as sabotage and espionage by hackers. Our education system has to teach relevant competences, in order to set the right course for the next generations, in the future.
But even low-skilled workers can be integrated into the labor market through AR or robotic workplaces. This technological advancement also has a positive effect on the work-life balance, ie the compatibility of family and work, because it can be worked independently of time and place. The occupational accident rate is also likely to fall, because in the future work will be facilitated by assistance systems, thus reducing work-related illnesses. For example, the forklift automatically drives to the product, and the employee only has to scan the product with their smart glasses or smartphone. Anyone who used to do overhead work in an assembly line, can now program or control a robot for this work. The use of mobile devices will enable faster, higher-quality communication in supply chain management and faster response to change. In the networked future, manufacturing processes are embedded in the Internet of Things and therefore run independent of location. That makes it possible to react to faults in a factory regardless of time and place.
In Industry 4.0, human resources can be better planned by automatically scheduling suitable employees based on characteristics such as qualifications or holidays and shutting down production facilities that are not in use during this time. Employees can apply for vacation online from anywhere. If the supervisor approves or rejects it, the employee sees it on his smartphone in real time. If staff members can’t be at work, the supervisor will be notified immediately via the app and additionally proposed a suitable replacement.
Digital solutions provide employees with cognitive relief, and they are always offered alternative courses of action. For example, exoskeletons provide physical relief. Through them, people and technology grow closer together. These robotic suits help with physically heavy work. That can facilitate the long holding of heavy objects.
In addition to facilitating work, Industry 4.0 also stands for demanding and varied activities that include technical, technological, business management and IT-specific tasks. The complexity has increased continuously since Industry 1.0.

Risks for employees

In addition to the many benefits that disruptive change brings, there are also risks that must be considered. In 2013, the damage caused by cybercrime in Germany amounted to 43 billion euros. That was the highest damage in the world caused by cybercrime in 2013. 30% of companies in Germany found an IT security incident between 2013 and 2014. In addition to technical or security-related risks such as cybercrime or dependence on the Internet, there are also organizational risks. If employees are not convinced by the technical changes, this can lead to resistance of the workforce to digitization. Preventing this is the task and challenge of change management. Constantly new updates of the software mean that employees have to be continuously trained, which requires resources in the form of time and money.