Environmental Scan & Human Resources

June 18, 20201:40 pm446 views
Environmental Scan & Human Resources
Environmental Scan & Human Resources

Environmental scanning refers to the process of reviewing and analysing the internal and external factors and trends that might affect current and future actions. In business, environmental scan looks at the information available in the internal and external environments to obtain a clear and accurate image of an organisation and its circumstances. The environments include personnel, financial resources, facilities, organisational culture, vendors, regulators, competitors, collaborators, and other resources. 

Environmental scan can be completed by human resources staff or by a team with members representing a cross-section of organisation. A team with members from across the organisation’s departments, divisions or units might provide greater diversity of perspectives. It also spreads the workload out, and encourages interest and participation throughout the organisation. 

See also: The Difference between People Operations & HR Management 

Approaching to the environmental scan can be done in some steps, such as follows: 

  • Each team member researches one or more of the external and internal factors, such as workforce data of colleges and educations, government influences, economic conditions, geographical and competitive conditions. 
  • Each team member prepares a list of the relevant data they have discovered for their factors. Most of the data should come from concrete data and reasoning, albeit a small portion of data might be based on perception rather than hard data. 
  • Members then share their complete lists of external and internal factors with the whole team. Teams might question each other regarding the accuracy of hard data, and the reasoning behind assumptions. 
  • Team compiles all data and provides the collected information to all members in a consolidated form. 

From HR perspective, conducting environmental scan could help in analysing some critical point of success, such as follows: 

  • How the world and economic affect organisation in terms of employment and unemployment, laws, and operation 
  • How the growing industry, such as technological trends, affect competitiveness in the HR world. 
  • Help analyse the competitors and how they are changing, so the company can adapt and adopt. 

Lastly, gathering such information is often easier said than done, yet there are a lot of sources that can be utilised to assist. There are also third-party groups that can offer competitive information, such as publications, news, and research. The key to a successful environment scan is to ensure that members of the HR management team are being proactive in scanning the environment in which they are operating. Consequently, the HR team will be able to take steps to be better prepared for the future. Less reacting, more planning and preparing. 

Read also: 10 Documents Needed to Start HR Department from Scratch