HR Audit definition

A comprehensive and wide-ranging review of an organisation’s HR policies, procedures, systems, documents in order to provide recommendations for operational improvement and ensure compliance with relevant employment law.

Audits may or may not include qualitative research based on employee perception of workplace culture, as well as interviews with HR staff. If employee relations are included in the audit, it will inevitably take much longer as it’s harder to assess a culture than it documentation.

HR audits come in many different shapes and sizes and will follow different paths to completion. Generally, however, there will be a pre-audit stage which will involve an information-gathering process – part of this will be self-reported by the HR department and/or senior leaders. An on-site review will follow, where the auditors will spend time assessing the culture and daily processes used. They will then analyse the relevant documentation, records and HR software data before building a final report. This report will be used to make recommendations for improvement.

HR audits may be conducted in-house by the HR department or another department or by an external company with expertise in the area.