The Only HR Audit You’ll Ever Need

Let’s be frank; commissioning an audit for your own function is like inviting Prue Leith to critique a batch of Betty Crocker cupcakes. It’s not going to be pleasant.

It’s why we in HR orientate towards the audits, benchmarks and accreditations that I describe as ‘Loud and Proud’. They’re opportunities to shout about the work we do and the successes we’re responsible for. I’d use ‘Loud and Proud’ to describe the Stonewall Top 100, Sunday Times Best Companies and basically any employer awards event.

Whilst all these Loud and Proud programmes are valuable assessments, there are two problems with them.

The first is independence. The organisations behind them aren’t spending time and effort administering them out of charity; they’re a commercial opportunity with business objectives. This influences overall placements so that these objectives can be met. A business awards ceremony that has seats and tables to sell can’t have a shortlist comprised purely of sole traders, regardless of merit, as they won’t fill all the places. This also leads to rumours of awards going to the organisations who buy the most seats. Likewise, the ranking lists must have a well-known employer at the top to guarantee the press coverage and visibility which generates entries for the next year.

The second issue is criteria. The criteria for these accreditations is designed to make it easy for the judges to rank entries, not to generate a fair assessment. They’re also influenced by the issuing organisation’s own objectives – this is a popular media criticism of the Stonewall scheme.

Luckily there’s another way.

ISO 30414:2018 is the international standard for Human Resource Management. It’s published by the ISO, the International Organisation for Standardisation, and recognises a global standard of efficacy, transparency, and good practice in people management.

I accept that ISO 30414:2018 accreditation doesn’t sound as sexy as being the Greatest HR Leader In The World This Year. But what the ISO standard lacks in sexiness, ease of enunciation and well catered award dinners, it more than makes up for in competitive advantage, cost savings and boardroom credibility.

The ISO standard has been designed to be applicable to all employers regardless of type, size nature or complexity; or whether they’re public, private or not for profit organisations.

Your organisation is tested against 11 core areas. Not all core areas are equal; Recruitment/Mobility & Turnover includes 15 different metrics whilst Productivity and Organisational Culture each only have two.

Each of the core areas, and the metrics they contain, have been chosen to demonstrate that you and your function are delivering the highest standards of HR. Proof to the whole organisation that you’re eliminating waste and providing a quality service to the employee population.

But where ISO 30414 really stands out is its ability to measure the intangible. It helps put a value on under-reported components of a modern organisation such as human and intellectual capital.

Get Audit ready with our Pre-Audit Assessment

A Pre-Audit Assessment is a light touch approach to a full Audit. This gap analysis is carried out in line with a full Audit and is completed before an organisation commits to the full certification process. It assesses the current position of the organisation, its compliance to the standard and highlights areas for improvement, allowing organisations to address these in advance of a full Audit.

Organisations often choose to consult with an external provider whose knowledge, skills, and experience determine their level of conformity to ISO 30414, as an independent consultant brings an unbiased approach that is considered best in preparation for certification. This, in turn, helps to focus resources on corrective actions thus avoiding additional resource and cost during the full Audit process.

This assessment empowers organisations to make decisions regarding their readiness and confidence to start the Audit process. It will also familiarise employees with the Audit process and develop their understanding of the importance of standardisation and compliance.

What are the benefits of a Pre-Audit Assessment?

Getting assessed before an Audit will:

  • Save you time during the Audit process
  • Help divert resources to the most critical business needs
  • Avoid additional costs and wasted resources
  • Address the current position of the organisation, helping you to understand the most pressing corrective actions to take
  • Get you ready to undergo an Audit, by building your confidence and giving you an insight into what to expect from an Audit
  • Get your team and stakeholders ready. Communication during a pre-audit will raise awareness and understanding which will see less resistance at Audit
  • Commitment from a Certified Auditor will give you the confidence that you are reporting the right metrics to make a difference in your organisation

A pre-audit has a number of functions. It’s an excellent way to introduce senior leaders to ISO 30414 at a fraction of the price. Being a significantly smaller investment than the full process means stakeholders receive valuable insights at an earlier stage, in turn creating an environment where a full assessment is likely to be approved.

Alternatively the pre-audit can act as part of an organisation’s self-assessment and reporting process should completing the full audit be unrealistic due to cost or resourcing. As a gap analysis the pre-audit delivers a full report on areas for improvement and current compliance levels, covering all 11 core areas and 60 metrics, complete with recommendations.

Learn more about ISO 30414 Pre-Audit Assessment