It’s always a good idea to review processes and update documents on an occasional basis. For example, job descriptions should be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that they are up to date. If someone is in a role for 10 years, it’s easy enough to not worry about updating the job description. However, it will surely be out of date after an extended period of time and will likely not be a true reflection of the work of the role. If the description is kept up to date, it will also be a bit of a time saver in having to overhaul the job description every 10 years, for example.
Like other departments or functions within your organization, it’s important to conduct an HR audit on a regular basis. This process can either be completed internally within your organization or can be outsourced. Completing this process on an annual basis is likely the best course of action. You may be thinking that putting resources into something that isn’t broken may seem like a waste. However, think of it like a vehicle: while you don’t necessarily have to take it in for regular maintenance, doing so can save you a lot in the long run. In other words, it is often more efficient and less costly to maintain things than it is to deal with an issue or problem when it becomes significant.
It’s recommended that – at a minimum – you review the following when conducting an HR audit:
- HR policies and procedures. It’s important to review policies and procedures, as information can often become outdated very quickly. For example, changes to provincial employment standards may change, and your policies need to be updated to ensure that they accurately reflect these changes.
- Hiring practices and onboarding. Reviewing these practices will ensure that your organization is up to date and consistent in the hiring process and onboarding of employees.
- Employee performance review process. Annual (or quarterly, etc.) reviews are important. By internally auditing this process, you will ensure that reviews are occurring correctly and will also provide an opportunity to make changes to the process as needed.
- Total rewards. Regularly reviewing your compensation and benefits strategies will help to ensure that you are using these tools in the best ways possible to reward and retain employees (and attract potential candidates).
- Job descriptions. As mentioned above, job descriptions should be reviewed regularly. Technology changes, structural changes, and needs, etc. can change quickly – it’s best that job descriptions are updated to reflect these changes.
Scheduling time to complete an audit – ideally at the same time each year – and developing a check-list will help to keep you on track with an HR audit.
Putting in the time and effort on a regular basis to conduct an audit will ultimately create efficiency for your organization from an administrative perspective, and will help to ensure that you are following best practices – this will result in your organization being more attractive to current and future employees.