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Auditing to improve the HR workflow

Auditing is a critical part of any business, but most of us think about financial auditing when the term is brought up. All corporate functions perform some form of auditing – from measuring performance metrics to assessing data accuracy, preparing compliance documents to tracking inventory.

Lauren Winans

Lauren Winans

CEO of Next Level Benefits

auditing HR workflow

HR professionals are no stranger to audits. If you ask an HR professional how they spend the bulk of their time, you’ll hear the same response: auditing.

HR audits are a critical part of ensuring an organization’s employees are productive, satisfied and constantly improving. Audits are kind of like checklists for HR managers. According to SHRM, audits are most commonly used to go over current HR policies, systems, documentations and other various aspects within an organization.

After working in human resources for various corporate organizations over the last 20 years, I know firsthand how important auditing is to both HR professionals and to the overall health of an organization. Audits and productivity go hand in hand.

Here are a few auditing tips for HR professionals to facilitate an organization’s workflow.

  1. Focus on the employee experience
  2. Fine-tune your candidate experience
  3. Conduct ROI analyses
  4. Create consistent audit schedules
  5. Survey your employees

1. Focus on the employee experience

When auditing an organization’s workflow, the best place to start is by focusing on the organization’s employee experiences. Look at the recruiting, onboarding, service/performance milestones, and administrative processes you have in place. Ask yourself, are they intuitive? Are they simple? Are they effective?

If not, identify areas of improvement within the organization so employees will want to brag about where they work. If employees have positive experiences, they’re more likely to be more productive.

Factors that may contribute to a positive employee experience include:

Additionally, employees with a more positive experience are more likely to produce higher rates of employee retention, customer satisfaction, profitability and work performance.

Read more: Josh Bersin also has a lot to say on the subject of employee experience. Check out our top 10 insights from a recent webinar.

Because of the abundance of hiring laws involved in nearly each step of the employment process, it is also critical for HR professionals to constantly conduct audits to ensure their organization’s workflow is in compliance with all applicable policies and laws in their jurisdiction.

2. Fine-tune your candidate sourcing

Whether or not your candidate sourcing process is effective can also have a massive outcome on the number of new hires your organization receives, as well as the types of hires your organization receives.

How often an organization audits its candidate sourcing practice will vary from business to business. An easy rule of thumb to remember is, if your hiring successes are low, then your audit has been delayed for too long.

Start out by determining how candidates are entering your hiring pipeline, from what sources, and whether or not you’re finding the right kind of talent. Are you using hiring boards? Social media? Have you noticed a pattern since using these sources?

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Experience the process as a candidate

This step is more focused on mapping out a potential candidate’s journey. By doing this, HR professionals can clearly see an overview of what an organization’s application process looks like, and whether or not it is effective.

It is important to constantly adjust these processes to ensure your organization is focusing on hiring relevant talent that will only contribute to the growth of an organization.

Define your candidate persona

Additionally, in order to effectively recruit potential employees with relevant work experience for your organization, you must determine more than just where and how candidates are applying in the first place. Start by creating a candidate persona and aligning that persona to the employer’s or organization’s brand.

Next, check the engagement numbers on each of your recruiting platforms. Is posting on Instagram more effective than posting on LinkedIn? Is that technique bringing in large amounts of potential candidates with relevant work experience?

Auditing the hiring process goes beyond avoiding candidates with little to no relevant experience. Ultimately, it saves an organization time, money, energy and resources.

3. Conduct ROI analyses

Return On Investment (ROI) is a term used when measuring the financial return on an investment made. This concept can be applied in HR when conducting audits to analyze employee productivity, budgets, future initiatives, and of course, an ATS.

If you’re looking to build a case for a new ATS, we’ve got an ATS ROI Calculator to get you started. You can tell your decision makers that a good ATS can save your business $127,875 annually – no exaggeration!

When auditing an organization, you should also analyze your budget forecast and scrutinize your spend. This can be achieved by determining which items make sense to continue to invest in and which areas are no longer needed.

This ultimately frees up dollars to improve the HR workflow. Organizations can gauge whether or not they need to reinvest in employees, or save for a future initiative. ROI analyses help HR professionals clearly see what is worth spending on, rather than continuing to spend company dollars on expenses that have a low ROI.

4. Create consistent audit schedules

Most HR processes are heavily dependent upon employee data. Keeping the data clean and updated is imperative in order to create analytics dashboards that help your organization make important people and business decisions. Audits are a reflection of the data at your organization. If your audits are consistent and accurate, then it will reflect in the data you collect.

Regular process audits keep data clean and serve to identify breaks in the process before those breaks become a huge problem. Process audits examine a set of results and then determine whether the activities, resources and behaviors that caused those results are being managed effectively and efficiently.

HR professionals will most likely create a schedule for their process audits, either annually, monthly or quarterly. Each organization’s auditing needs will vary based on many different factors such as the employee workforce population size, the company’s size as well as the company’s overall goals.

Process audits can also help HR teams better assign roles and responsibilities within the team, identify administrative burdens and ways to resolve them, and whether or not the process is worth continuing altogether. In turn, process audits boost the overall productivity of an organization.

5. Survey your employees

Surveys are an important tool, often overlooked by many organizations and HR professionals. The best and most effective way to know what your HR team should be focused on, is by simply asking your employees.

Begin outlining your survey by deciding what type of survey you would like to conduct in order to answer your question. Different types of surveys produce different outcomes. Do you want to conduct a qualitative survey, focused on written feedback? Or would you like to gather data by using a quantitative survey instead?

Planning these surveys out can be easy and quick, depending on the content and length of each survey question.

Surveys, while sometimes cumbersome, provide the insight you want and the opinions you need to hear to overhaul processes and develop a meaningful people strategy. They blatantly show us what we should be focusing on, as well as how employees feel toward certain elements of your organization.

Employees are willing to tell you where you are falling short, what things they love about the company, and what things need more attention. Asking for employee feedback also establishes a level of trust between supervisors and employees; if employees feel safe enough to give quality, in-depth feedback, most HR professionals can assume they have a high level of trust with them.

Auditing is worth the time

While auditing may seem like an unnecessary or time consuming process to many people, HR professionals know how important auditing is. Auditing an organization’s processes, employees, investment returns and hiring practices ultimately give HR professionals a clear picture of what’s working and what isn’t.

They save organizations time, money and resources while continuously striving for improvement and improving workflow. That’s exactly why audits should be included in every organization’s HR toolbelt moving forward.

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