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How to Conduct an HR SWOT Analysis

Author: Louis R. Lessig, Esquire, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Partner, Brown & Connery, LLC

The opportunity to drive action and improve results for an HR department and its organization's mission and vision can be derived from a focused review of results via a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is designed to examine all of the factors affecting the work of an HR department. More specifically the "S" stands for Strengths, "W" for Weaknesses, "O" for Opportunities and "T" for Threats.

An honest assessment includes considering and interpreting those things which are:

  • Internal to an organization, dealing with its strengths and weaknesses relative to the inner workings of the entity; and
  • External issues, which will impact future choices and decisions via the opportunities and threats that exist in the area, region or industry.

By taking the time to conduct a SWOT analysis periodically, an HR department can assess the areas that need improvement, while acknowledging and celebrating the success of its strengths.  Additionally, the chance to consider and reveal issues outside of the organization allows strategic decisions to be made for the utilization of limited resources in the future.