How to Conduct a Job Audit: A Step-by-Step Guide

A job audit is a systematic process to review and document the roles, responsibilities requirements and compensation of specific jobs within an organization. Periodically conducting job audits helps ensure that job profiles accurately reflect current work being performed and are equitably aligned to market pay rates.

This article provides a step-by-step guide to planning and executing a robust job auditing process

What is a Job Audit?

A job audit examines a job to confirm that the official description matches day-to-day job duties It aims to identify any discrepancies between documented job specifications and the work actually carried out by employees

The key objectives of a job audit include:

  • Ensuring job profiles reflect the real work performed
  • Confirming job requirements are appropriate
  • Evaluating proper job classification and grading
  • Identifying gaps in skills, knowledge or abilities needed
  • Assessing appropriate compensation and title assignment
  • Maintaining legal compliance
  • Supporting strategic workforce planning

When Should You Conduct a Job Audit?

Organizations should consider performing a job audit when:

  • Onboarding new employees into existing roles
  • An employee takes over a new job role
  • A job function evolves over time
  • Roles expand through acquisitions or growth
  • Job requirements need validation
  • Employees raise concerns about job scope or pay equity
  • Comparing benchmark pay rates for a job
  • Updating job architecture and classification structures

Conducting job audits at regular intervals, such as every 2-3 years, is an effective ongoing practice as well.

Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Job Audit

Follow these key steps to perform a comprehensive job audit:

1. Identify Jobs to Audit

Determine which jobs will be included in the audit. Prioritize roles that:

  • Have unclear or outdated job descriptions
  • Underwent recent substantial changes in scope
  • Play critical roles in the organization
  • Experienced high turnover or have current vacancies
  • Feed into key compensation, classification or recruiting decisions

2. Review Existing Job Documentation

Gather current job descriptions, qualifications, classification, salary grades and performance metrics for the targeted roles.

This provides baseline details on assigned responsibilities and requirements.

3. Interview Employees

Schedule interviews with employees to gain insights on day-to-day job activities, critical skills needed, and any mismatches with documented specifications.

Identify when current work differs from their understanding of the official role. Highlight any frustrations.

4. Shadow Employees

Shadow employees on the job to personally observe key responsibilities executed and challenges faced.

Note activities that don’t align with formal job profiles.

5. Survey Managers

Interview managers to validate perceptions of the roles. Have them outline:

  • Primary objectives and deliverables
  • Essential knowledge, skills and abilities needed
  • Critical interactions with other roles
  • Challenges and pain points

6. Compare to Industry Benchmarks

Research typical job scope, requirements and salaries for similar jobs in the external market.

Use compensation surveys or jobs from online boards in the same industry for benchmark comparisons.

7. Identify Discrepancies and Gaps

Analyze all the data gathered from job documentation, employees, managers and market research to identify discrepancies between current and documented job profiles.

Look for gaps in skills, qualifications, responsibilities, titles, classifications or pay grades.

8. Update Job Descriptions

Based on audit findings, update the job descriptions and specifications to accurately reflect current scope of work, essential duties, and requirements.

Get confirmation and sign-off on changes from both managers and employees.

9. Re-Classify Jobs if Needed

If job scope changed significantly, reassess appropriate job classification and pay grades based on relative value, qualifications and market pay rates.

Adjust grades upward or downward as warranted to maintain internal equity.

10. Recommend Next Steps

Document all audit findings and suggested actions, such as title changes, re-grading, skill development or compensation adjustments.

Provide recommendations based on findings to management and HR to enable evidence-based workforce planning.

Key Components of Effective Job Audits

Follow these best practices when conducting job audits:

  • Maintain open communication on the purpose and process.

  • Gather input from employees, managers and other key stakeholders.

  • Objectively compare current realities to documented profiles using established criteria.

  • Focus on auditing job content, not individual employees themselves.

  • Use consistent job evaluation methods and factors.

  • Leverage both internal data and external market research.

  • Provide opportunities for feedback and acknowledgment of changes.

  • Follow defined protocols for revisions to titles, grades and pay structures.

  • Document all findings, actions taken, approvals and changes made for future reference.

  • Share results across the organization to maximize transparency.

Job Audit Process Considerations

When planning and conducting job audits, consider factors like:

  • Timing – Avoid busy or volatile periods that skew audits.

  • Sample size – Balance thoroughness with time constraints.

  • Consistency – Use the same process steps and criteria for each audit.

  • Compliance – Ensure audits meet regulations and union contracts.

  • Data validation – Corroborate findings using multiple input sources.

  • Confidentiality – Protect sensitive employee compensation data.

  • Change management – Handle job profile adjustments carefully.

  • Costs – Weigh HR time needed to conduct quality audits.

Job Audit Effectiveness Tips

Follow these tips to enhance the quality and impact of job audits:

  • Clarify objectives upfront to keep focus. Tie to business goals.

  • Get executive sponsorship to reinforce importance.

  • Start small if this is your first time auditing. Pick one job family.

  • Use a consistent framework and factors to enable comparisons.

  • Gather data from multiple sources for accuracy.

  • Maintain open communication and transparency.

  • Handle audit findings sensitively, especially for pay.

  • Make updates quickly after audits to sustain momentum.

  • Share high-level results organization-wide.

Using Job Audit Results

The findings from job audits feed into many essential workforce management practices:

  • Compensation – Audits validate appropriate pay based on content.

  • Job architecture – Titles, classifications and grades get realigned.

  • Recruiting and hiring – Job details guide better candidate selection.

  • Learning and development – Skill gaps help identify training needs.

  • Succession planning – Requirements for promotion are clarified.

  • Performance management – Updated job profiles define expectations.

  • Employee relations – Audits reassure employees about fair treatment.

Key Takeaways on Job Auditing

  • Job audits compare current duties to documented job profiles to identify discrepancies.

  • The process involves researching job documentation, interviewing employees and managers, observing work, and benchmarking.

  • Updated job descriptions, titles, classifications, requirements and pay rates are common outcomes.

  • Job audits help ensure roles stay relevant, legal, appropriately compensated, and aligned to organizational objectives.

  • Findings feed into many HR programs around compensation, recruitment, development and advancement.

  • Regular job audits are a best practice for organizations seeking to optimize their workforce planning.

With so many benefits, instituting job auditing processes should be a priority for HR professionals seeking to enhance the employee experience.

how to conduct job audit

Audit Score Determination and Outcome

HR uses a standard weighted average tool to score the job audit. The tool determines a score based on analysis of the answers that the employee selected on the questionnaire, responses to open ended questions on the form, and the discussion that occurs during the job audit in-person interview. Each pay zone has an established job audit score. We compare the determined job audit score and the established score, and then we notify you and your supervisor of the approval or denial of the reclassification.

If job audit is approved:

  • HR will submit a Job Audit action in ProcessMaker.
  • After final approval of the Job Audit action, HR will send the employee a notification letter with their new job title and pay rate. The changes take effect the first day of the pay period following the date the job audit was submitted.
  • The reclassification changes will be entered into Banner.

If job audit is denied:

  • HR will send a Job Audit determination letter to the employee.
  • Employees can appeal the outcome of their job audit within 30 calendar days. The re-audit will be conducted by the Director of Compensation or assigned to an HR Generalist.
  • If HR denies the job re-audit, employees cannot complete another job audit request on their position for one year from the date they submitted the original job audit.

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ProcessThe audit procedure is as follows:

  • Complete the online Job Audit Form and submit to Human Resources.
  • The employee’s supervisor will receive an email from Human Resources requesting additional information on the employees job and work performed. The information provided by the supervisor is submitted to Human Resources.
    • It is not necessary for a classified employee to have the support of his or her supervisor in order to request a job audit.
    • Supervisors can not erase or change the employee’s responses or comments. Supervisors can provide comments on the answers provided and can also provide additional information pertaining to the work the employee performs.
  • HR will conduct an in-person interview with the employee to discuss their selections on the questionnaire and will seek additional information on the employee’s work performed from the supervisor or other sources.
  • Once the job audit is scored, the employee will be informed of the results of the job audit. The employee may appeal the results by submitting a written request to [email protected] within 30 days of receiving the audit results.

How To Properly Audit A Vendor

How do I conduct a job audit?

Begin your job audit by reviewing the current job description. This includes details such as the job title, its specific duties and any required qualifications. Look for this information in company records, old job postings or employee contracts. This helps you that ensure the job description is complete and covers all important details.

What happens during a job audit?

When an employee receives a promotion, you might conduct a job audit to determine the changes between their previous role and the new one. During this process, you may review the new position’s duties and any potential salary increase.

When should a company perform a job audit?

Some companies perform job audits when there are organisational changes or when employees move to senior positions. Effective job audits help companies become more efficient by reviewing different job roles. It’s important to understand how to conduct these audits especially if you’re in human resources.

Who should perform a recruitment audit?

Recruitment audits are best performed by a cross-functional team made up of your recruitment operation’s stakeholders, including hiring managers, interviewers and HR specialists. You may also ask for input from outside sources, such as external recruiters and job candidates.

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