Human resource audits are designed to assess the health of the HR department, as well as that of the larger organisation. HR audits may be performed for a variety of reasons: to ensure that the department is in compliance with laws and regulations, to offer recommendations for more effective employee relations
or to help an organisation determine how HR-related problems can be solved. Whatever the reason for conducting the audit, organisations need to create a thorough checklist of what will be evaluated, from benefits and compensation to employee education and training programs. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list and that your organisation may require different auditing strategies.
Recruiting and Hiring
Recruiting and hiring practices are often evaluated during HR audits. Job descriptions for each position should be evaluated for clarity and currency. Interviewing practices and policies can also be reviewed. Other practices that may be evaluated are whether all job applicants submit the same required materials such as resumes and application forms, whether references and backgrounds are checked before hiring and whether all applicants are interviewed equally and appropriately. The application itself may be evaluated for clarity, thoroughness and its appropriateness to the position.
Compensation and Benefits
During an HR audit of compensation and benefits, how pay for each position is determined and whether pay is consistent among employees in the same position are important. The quality and price of the benefits plan, as well as which employees qualify for it, may also be evaluated. Paid time off for vacation and illness and appropriate compensation for overtime work are other issues to evaluate.
Evaluating the characteristics of the workforce is often included in HR audits. Skill shortages should be determined, as well as the tasks of current positions. Do new positions need to be created to fill in skill gaps or do current job descriptions need to be updated? The organisation's succession plan should be reviewed to identify any succession issues such as future gaps in positions. The diversity of the workforce can also be evaluated on the basis of age, gender and ethnicity.
The current performance evaluation system should be reviewed, including how evaluation criteria are determined, whether they are appropriate for each position and how often employees are evaluated. Disciplinary actions for poor performance can also be reviewed for effectiveness and fairness.
Education and Training
The amount and type of training given, as well as how the education program is managed, are important factors in an audit. Are staff development and education programs developed and held on-site, or outsourced? Do only employees in certain positions receive training or do all employees receive the same development opportunities? Overall, what does the education and training plan achieve and how might it be improved?
Auditors should investigate whether employees, including supervisors and managers, receive training on discrimination issues and antidiscrimination practices. What does the training entail? How could it be made more effective? Employment practices should also be evaluated for adherence to antidiscrimination laws. The effectiveness of policies designed to handle discrimination complaints from employees can also be reviewed.