Do you need an HR audit?

Most organisations I have come across throughout my HR consultancy experience, so far, have never considered carrying out an HR audit.

Like any other audit, an HR audit gives an objective outlook of the company’s HR policies and practices. It identifies the current state of such policies and practices and whether they are legally compliant and/or effective.

Why an HR audit?

HR is becoming more complex and it is becoming a challenge to deal with the regulations. The nature of HR also demands that we understand whether the HR practices, that we have in place, within our organisation, are helping or hindering our business strategy.

The result of an HR audit helps identify what the gaps in HR practices are. It asks: ‘where are we today?’ and helps companies understand where it should be and where it wants to be. It is an opportunity for the company to identify what it is doing right and what it should be doing better.

Therefore, the HR audit is not simply looking at whether we are handling HR matters legally and in a compliant manner, but it also helps us improve our competitive advantage by focusing on how our HR practices may be improved and whether they are in line with our business strategy.

What does it include?

The HR audit typically focuses on all areas of HR, including employee records and their retention, performance management, remuneration and rewards, recruitment, training and development policies.

Who carries out an HR audit?

The HR audit may be carried out either in-house, if the company has expertise, or by an external consultant. The external consultant is very likely able to provide a more objective analysis of the situation.

What’s the process?

There is a step-by-step process that one may follow to conduct the audit:

  1. Identify and clarify the scope of the HR audit
  2. Design an HR audit questionnaire which lists the specific questions and information that is being inquired
  3. Collect and analyse the data
  4. Identify the findings including the strengths and weaknesses found during the audit, including recommendations
  5. Prepare an action plan with timeframes and responsibilities
  6. Evaluate the plan of action as the improvements progress.

SurgeAdvisory provides both strategic as well as tactical HR advice and support. We may help in conducting HR audits for your organisation with a detailed plan of action for you to implement. We may also be involved in its implementation, if needed.  

About the author

Maria Bartolo Zahra is Managing Director and HR Advisor at SurgeAdvisory. She has over fifteen years of human resources and business advisory experience.