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Identify Strategic HR Issues

19 January, 2016 - 15:28

In this step, the HRM professionals will analyze the challenges addressed in the first step. For example, the department may see that it is not strategically aligned with the company’s mission and values and opt to make changes to its departmental mission and values as a result of this information.

Many organizations and departments will use a strategic planning tool that identifies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis) to determine some of the issues they are facing. Once this analysis is performed for the business, HR can align itself with the needs of the business by understanding the business strategy. See Table 2.3 "Sample HR Department SWOT Analysis for Techno, Inc." for an example of how a company’s SWOT analysis can be used to develop a SWOT analysis for the HR department.

Once the alignment of the company SWOT is completed, HR can develop its own SWOT analysis to determine the gaps between HR’s strategic plan and the company’s strategic plan. For example, if the HR manager finds that a department’s strength is its numerous training programs, this is something the organization should continue doing. If a weakness is the organization’s lack of consistent compensation throughout all job titles, then the opportunity to review and revise the compensation policies presents itself. In other words, the company’s SWOT analysis provides a basis to address some of the issues in the organization, but it can be whittled down to also address issues within the department.

Table 2.2 Sample HR Department SWOT Analysis for Techno, Inc.


Hiring talented people


Company growth


Technology implementation for business processes


Excellent relationship between HRM and management/executives


No strategic plan for HRM


No planning for up/down cycles


No formal training processes


Lacking of software needed to manage business processes, including go-to-market staffing strategies


Development of HRM staffing plan to meet industry growth


HRM software purchase to manage training, staffing, assessment needs for an unpredictable business cycle


Continue development of HRM and executive relationship by attendance and participation in key meetings and decision-making processes


Develop training programs and outside development opportunities to continue development of in-house marketing expertise




Changing technology