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The evidence from 25 years of the Workplace Employment Relations Surveys shows that a growing number of workplaces have a personnel specialist in place and that an increasing proportion of these specialists have relevant qualifications. Personnel management is becoming more embedded and more professionalised. It is reasonable to assume that personnel specialists are hired to apply contemporary best practice and thereby, perhaps indirectly, to improve performance. The analysis fails to support this assumption. Personnel specialists are more likely to be associated with traditional industrial relations practices rather than human resource practices.
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