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Is a human resources audit REALLY necessary?

by , 25 September 2013
As an employer, you probably know that you must keep up with employment law and comply with any changes. You also know that failure to comply with these laws could cripple your business. But how do you ensure your policies and company procedures reflect changes in employment law so you remain complaint? Read on to find out how regular human resources audits will help you do just that.

If you think a human resources (HR) audit isn't necessary, these reasons will convince you otherwise.

Here's why you should conduct a human resources audit

The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management explains that you need to conduct an audit to review your:

  • Policies, procedures and systems
  • HR practices and systems
  • Statutory compliance
  • Existing action plans
  • Accountabilities or responsibilities.

An HR audit will determine what actions are required to develop a short-, medium- or long-term HR action plan.

When should you do an HR audit?

You can decide to do an HR audit under the following circumstances:

  • When there is a change in your company's mission, vision, and objectives.
  • As a periodic and regular check on what actions are required because of changing organisational and HR priorities, objectives and plans.
  • When legislation and statutory provisions change.
  • When changes in HR staff or staffing occur.
  • When there are changes that dictate different company or HR priorities.

For example:

  1. You need to place more emphasis on recruitment because your company is expanding.
  2. You need to address safety issues because of a bad safety record and publicity.
  3. Your company is amalgamating or being taken over. This will dictate a different culture and value system.

Who should carry out an HR audit?

There are a number of parties who can perform your HR audit. Your purpose and circumstances will determine the best method.

Some approaches would be:

  • An internal individual tasked to carry out the audit
  • A task team: HR or HR and line representatives
  • External consultant(s)

How to do an HR audit

One of the methods you can is to do an HR audit is a checklist or questionnaire. This will help you identify areas of concern by asking questions such as:

  • Do we comply with all applicable legislation?
  • Are our existing action plans still in line with the law?

What happens after an HR audit?

The important thing after an HR audit is that you develop an action plan based on the results of your audit. Remember, ignorance if the law is no excuse. Make sure your systems are up to date by conducting HR audits regularity.

Remember, ignorance if the law is no excuse. Make sure your systems are up to date by conducting HR audits regularity.

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