When most people think of Human Resource Planning, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the internal environment of the organization. There is, however; the external environment which is just as important. The external environment consists of governmental policies, condition of the economy, demographics, technology, international influences, competitors, and a changing labor force (Greer, Peters & Youngblood, 1998). Neglecting the external environment can have devastating effects on an organization. Entire civilizations have vanished for failing to address external environmental factors and the need to adapt in an ever-changing environment. You may ask what extinct cultures have to do with HR planning and the external environment? Well, the answer is, everything. A great example of this is Easter Island. Mismanaging their natural resources, the forests in this case, left the island unable to sustain life. No one knows exactly what happened to the inhabitants, but we do know why their culture became extinct. The same thing can happen to any organization that neglects the external environment.
The most important part of HR planning regarding the external environment is environmental scanning, a means to study the environmental climate to identify opportunity or potential dangers to an organization (Jackson & Mathis, 2008). As we move into the next century, the necessity to adapt, change, and update will be more important than in the past. Being able to adapt while staying flexible are essential if an organization is to be a successful in dealing and being able to predict changes in the organizational landscape. In order to effectively predict changes, an organization has to identify and address the changes as they are happening. Environmental scanning will assure that the proper policies and guidelines are being followed correctly.
Environmental scanning consists of six phases. The first phase is to figure... [continues]
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