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HR Audits – The Paperwork Behind the People

“What is an HR Audit?” is almost always the first question I am asked when introducing this service to clients. Often business owners have never even heard the term “HR Audit” before, let alone its purpose and the benefits it can provide. In short, an HR Audit is the process of examining every policy and procedure that effects an employee. Here is a brief run down on how they work and additionally, why they are important to your business.

An HR Audit is a process that examines every facet and part of any process that involves your employees. This can include recruitment and on boarding processes, employee contracts and position descriptions, performance review documentation and staff retention strategies to name a few. The process of “examining” these documents and processes is an exercise in ensuring two things; first of all, that all these areas are compliant with relevant legislation and secondly, that any process follows “HR Best Practice” principles.

To ensure that an HR Audit provides real value to your organisation you need to give due time and consideration in order for it to be completed. Whether you decide to complete the exercise yourself or to engage an outside professional, it is important to examine everything in detail. This includes cross-referencing against relevant legislation and also researching and applying sound HR methodology to your procedures. This is a process that can and will take hours, if not days and requires a high level of planning and record-keeping.

The positive effects of completing such an exercise though, is twofold. The act of ensuring that your business is legally compliant from a people management perspective is in itself a positive thing but also, many businesses are not aware of the significant fines that can be attracted for non-conformance. Also, by ensuring that you are doing everything you can from a process and procedure perspective for your employees goes a long way to contributing to reduced staff turnover. Among the other benefits of increasing staff retention, it often has significantly positive effects on a business’s bottom line.

At JP Smith, we are experienced in providing robust and comprehensive HR solutions, including HR audits. Our HR audit process involves two consultants attending your business on site. Our consultants will examine every part of your “HR system” and make note of any potential legal compliance and “best practice” issues. From there, a full report is presented to you detailing what you are doing correctly and if needed, offers suggestions for improvement. If you still find yourself asking “so, what is an HR audit?” after reading this, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’d be happy to explain further.


Declan Ryan

Recruitment and HR Consultant 

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