HR Audit Checklists

Posted in : HR Updates on 28 September 2016
Neil McLeese
Personnel & Training Services Ltd
Issues covered:

Given the scope of the work undertaken by HR Departments it would be easy for things to be missed or forgotten about and that’s where the idea of a HR Audit comes in.

An audit is a tool that HR Professionals can use to objectively examine and evaluate all HR activities and, like a financial audit, when done correctly it will highlight areas of good practice within the HR department as well as those that require improvement before a problem arises.

There are different ways of conducting an HR Audit but I prefer to use a checklist of questions relating to different areas of HR’s work. To get answers to these questions requires the HR Professional to analyse of figures (such as absence rates or staff turnover), review documentation (for example, policies and procedures) and interview personnel from different areas in the business (for example Front Line Managers).

I have included some suggested questions below:

Area / Question









Is the HR strategy vertical aligned to the business strategy?




Is everyone within the department aware of the HR strategy?




Are HR KPIs relevant to the business strategy?





Do job descriptions exist?




Are job descriptions up to date?




Are new employees references checked?




Are staff turnover rates monitored?




Are all applicants required to fill out and sign an application form?




Is the Company complying with its monitoring requirements?




New employees

Do new employees receive a contract of employment and an employee handbook?




Is the employee handbook specific to your workplace?




Do new employees receive induction training?




Do review meetings take place with new employees and are these documented?





Are pay levels monitored and reviewed?




Are employees informed about their benefits?




Are the employee benefits seen as relevant to employees?




Employee relations

Is there a system for performance appraisal of all employees?




Are managers conducting appraisals for their employees?




Does the system check for effectiveness of the evaluation?




How many disciplinary hearings have there been in audit period and are there any patterns developing?




How many grievances have been raised in audit period and are there any patterns developing?




What have the Company’s absence rates been during the audit period?




Are managers complying with the Company’s absence management system?




Dignity at Work

Are employees aware of the Company’s policy relating to dignity at work?




Are managers trained in anti-discriminatory practices?




Are employment practices compliant with the anti-discrimination laws?





Do exit interviews take place?




Recordkeeping and other documentation

Are personnel files present for each employee?




Does the department comply with its obligations under the Data Protection Act?




Are documents regarding employees kept for their required duration?




 There is always a fear of highlighting things that haven’t been done fully (or at all) but an audit of this nature is only useful if it is completed honestly, therefore, it is critical that the person conducting the audit does so in an objective and impartial way as possible.

Collecting the answers in a table format like this allows you to easily see the areas that you are doing well in but, more importantly, it allows you to identify the areas that require improvement.

Once you have identified the areas of improvement ensure that target deadlines for improvement are set and that someone is made accountable for their implementation as a lack of accountability usually results in a lack of progress.

This article is correct at 28/09/2016

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Neil McLeese
Personnel & Training Services Ltd

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