The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

HR Audit – A Tool for Discovery

audit small (300x240)“We just don’t have the time.”
“Things seem to be running smoothly, so I’m sure we’re fine.”
“There are more pressing issues at hand.”
“I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

Ever find yourself having thoughts like these when the topic of an HR audit comes up? On the spectrum of what has to get done, HR audits often fall on the lower end. But an audit done right offers a unique opportunity to take stock of where your HR organization is, where it wants to be, and how it can get there. Concerned about what it might turn up? Keep in mind that the job of an audit is not to test the merits of your organization’s work, but rather to serve as a tool for discovery.

Here are three reasons your HR department and your institution might find an audit valuable:

  • To demonstrate how HR services are contributing to the institution’s mission. HR has come a long way from the days of providing only transactional services. As a strategic partner in institutional leadership and an architect of your institution’s culture, HR provides services that are vital to the mission. An audit lets you collect evidence to prove that.
  • To determine whether regulatory compliance is being managed effectively. HR may not hold sole responsibility for regulatory compliance, but that doesn’t mean HR can’t audit the areas over which it has influence. The time to identify issues is before your institution finds itself under the scrutiny of regulators.
  • To identify gaps in HR services. An audit can look into recruitment, training and development, compensation and benefits, employee relations, risk management and safety, and more. Use it to explore ways to better serve the needs of the campus community, and to unearth work processes that can be streamlined or strengthened.

Need help putting your HR audit in motion? Check out the resources, including several checklists, in the HR Audits toolkit located in CUPA-HR’s Knowledge Center. You’ll also find tips for conducting audits specifically related to Title IX, FLSA, I-9 and OFCCP rules.