HR Audits can be an excellent tool to protect your organization, establish best practices and identify areas that need improvement. The evaluation process includes using numerical data (e.g. How long it takes to fill an open position and employee satisfaction rates), and using an in-depth assessment of the how well policies, practices and processes work to support the organization and minimize risks.
Audits can be comprehensive or may be done separately and at different times, focusing on specific areas, such as recruiting, records management, hiring and firing, etc. Depending on the scope, the audits can be conducted by HR personnel, internal auditors, or external consultants.
The following steps should be included in an audit:
- Determine scope and type of audit
- Develop an audit questionnaire
- Collect data
- Use HR benchmarks to measure the data
- Provide feedback
- Create action plans
- Create a continuous improvement environment
Be aware that audits in certain areas can create a record that could be discoverable and potentially damaging to an organization. Therefore, the HR professional should consult an attorney, if necessary, to learn how to minimize those risks and also to have an avenue to fix any legal compliance problems that may occur. Here’s a good example: Supposed you conduct an audit of job descriptions and discover that an employee is incorrectly categorized as exempt. If you do nothing to correct the situation, and this is later discovered as a part of a government investigation or in litigation, the violation will likely be seen as willful on the employer’s part.