What Is a Job Audit? (Plus Steps for Conducting One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When organisations experience change, it's important for them to reassess the current status and duties of employees. Some perform audits often to verify that they adequately compensate and classify employees in a specific role. Learning about the components and reasons for an audit may help you better understand their purpose in your workplace. In this article, we define what a job audit is, outline how to perform one and discuss the common types of audits.

Related: What Is a Risk Audit? (With Steps, Tips and Example)

What is a job audit?

A job audit is a formal job evaluation of a position to assess its current duties and compensation to ensure they align with what an employee actually does. Audit participants typically include personal managers, such as human resources (HR) managers, but other senior managers and compensation professionals may also participate in them. During this meeting, participants usually discuss the position's duties and responsibilities, including compensation and qualifications. An audit may occur when someone receives a promotion or a job's duties change.

Audits may also take place when a company experiences rapid growth or expansion. This ensures that employees receive accurate compensation and possess a thorough perception of the company's expectations. It may also ensure that employees receive adequate classification and that the company complies with federal and state laws.

Read more: What Is Auditing? Common Types and Steps to Perform an Audit

How to conduct an audit

Conducting an audit may require specific components or the participation of certain professionals based on your role and your employer. While the process of some audits may vary, review these steps to learn more about how to conduct a job audit in the workplace:

1. Review the job description

First, review the company's job description for the position on which the audit focuses. Evaluate whether the job description completely explains the actual position's title, department, responsibilities and minimum qualifications. This is an important step in the audit process because job descriptions usually describe the specific duties and tasks involved in a job.

If it presents inaccurate information, the company may benefit from revising the job description. This may also help the management team determine the required qualifications of a job, to ensure the description explains the correct skills and education that candidates require for success in the role. Consider reading numerous job descriptions for identical roles if you're conducting audits for more than one position.

Related: Job Specification vs. Job Description: A Comprehensive Guide

2. Consult the department manager

Discuss the position with the department manager, including the required duties for the job. Department managers usually understand exactly what the employees do on their teams. This helps them offer advice on whether the current job description sufficiently describes the job. Next, compare these responsibilities and duties to the information in the job description. This may help you update the job description to match the current expectations of the job. Some audits may require you to observe employees working to learn accurate information about what they do.

3. Discuss additional job duties with the manager

Ask the department manager if the job requires adding new duties and responsibilities to the job description. For example, an employee working in the finance department might be responsible for managing a certain amount of money. If they demonstrate proficiency in their role, the management team might consider raising the amount of money the employee can manage. This increased responsibility would require updating the job description.

4. Create a new job description

An auditor can typically begin creating a new job description after meeting with the department manager to discuss a specific job. They review the additional information the manager supplied and create a new one that reflects the updated duties. This also involves adding some of the information included in the original job description and removing outdated or inaccurate details. For example, an auditor may remove a duty that both managers and employees state aren't part of the role.

5. Assess the role's qualifications

After creating the new job description, assess the qualifications required for the new duties and responsibilities. They may require additional training, education, skills, credentials or experience. If you're writing a job description for an incumbent position, consider an employee's recently acquired credentials or education to make sure their qualifications meet the role requirements. After reviewing the updated qualifications for the job, add them to the new job description so future candidates can review them.

This is another important part of the auditing process because the qualifications for a job often determine the salary or earnings a professional can receive in that position. This is especially true if the qualifications involve advanced training, education or specific credentials. Some auditors discuss qualifications with the HR department or specific employees who work that job, to discuss the required education levels and expertise for potential candidates.

6. Evaluate the position's salary

Determine an adequate salary for the position by comparing the current salary offering to the salaries of similar positions in the industry. You may also compare what other companies pay their employees in the same role with similar qualifications and experience. After this, evaluate your company's pay structure and determine whether it may adjust the pay level to one consistent with market conditions. This may include increasing or decreasing the current pay level.

7. Compare position data with industry regulations

Auditors usually compare job descriptions and salary information to federal and industry regulations. Many regulations set standards for information, such as requirements for minimum earnings and responsibility levels. These regulations may differ depending on the type of position, the location of the job, the organisation and the industry in which it operates.

8. Finalise position records

The last step for completing an audit is changing and updating records in the human resources department, employee census data, company charts and job postings for that position. This typically ensures that the company's records accurately reflect any changes or updates made to the position. An audit on a specific employee may also require that the auditor update the employee's file within the company. Some auditors save the old versions of the job description for future reference, in case someone wants information on updates to the job.

Related: What Does an Auditor Do? (With Career Steps and Skills)

Types of audits of jobs

Companies conduct many types of audits involving the company as a whole, its operations or its employees. Companies often perform three types of audits on their employees and their departments:

Classification

Classification audits evaluate an employee's job duties related to their specific position and compare them to the company's overall classification of the role. These audits often verify that the company classifies employees correctly. This process may include interviewing employees, reviewing work logs and comparing the employee's responsibilities to their job descriptions. For example, an employee classified as a part-time worker may find that they're working full-time hours. They may request a classification audit to earn a full-time classification.

Human resources

An HR audit reviews the organisation's HR policies, practices and procedures. These audits typically assist companies with identifying issues or challenges within the HR department. They may also help companies improve the function of the overall department. External auditors usually conduct these audits so that the company can receive objective advice and insight into the department's functions. Some organisations also ask senior HR managers to conduct their own internal audits to review their own departmental processes and how they match both industry standards and general company employee reviews.

Related: What Is an Internal Audit and What Are Its Primary Objectives?

Pay

A pay audit reviews a company's compensation process and level for one or more positions and ensures that they adequately compensate employees for the work they do. This process usually includes evaluating the pay rate numerous employees receive for the same position and assessing whether they receive accurate pay. Many components contribute to this type of audit, including gathering data on employees such as their ages, credentials and genders. It also includes learning about the requirements of the job. Pay audits also often verify that companies follow industry and federal regulations when paying their employees.

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