How to Conduct a Job Audit (Steps, Types and Reasons)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 March 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.

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. In this article, we explain how to conduct job audits step-by-step, explore the types of job audits, discuss why companies conduct them and show you how to prepare for one.

How to conduct a job audit

There are several steps to follow in learning how to conduct a job audit. Human resources managers usually oversee and coordinate job audits that assess current employee responsibilities. The primary aim is to ensure that job descriptions match the employees' actual duties. Job audits may also involve reviewing employee compensation to ensure the pay matches the roles they perform.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to conduct a job audit:

1. Review the current job descriptions

Begin by reviewing the current descriptions of the job roles under audit. These descriptions are typically what companies use when putting out job advertisements. Check for details such as job titles, responsibilities and required qualifications. Ensure that the information is accurate and revise the descriptions where necessary. The aim is to accurately reflect the skills, education and expertise that job holders require so that they can perform their roles successfully.

2. Discuss with the department manager

Next, have a meeting with the department manager who oversees the job roles under audit. Discuss the responsibilities of each of their employees to see how their roles fit within the department and the company. Department managers usually have an overview of how different job roles work together. They may also identify areas that need improvement or revision. Compare the information from the department manager with the current job descriptions and note the differences.

3. Update the job descriptions

You can then revise the current job descriptions based on the department manager's inputs. Draft new job descriptions that fully reflect the roles and responsibilities of each role. If employees move on to senior positions, check with the department manager about what additional duties to include. Remove duties that are no longer relevant. For instance, a job description for social media managers may specify that they're responsible for social media postings. If they're also in charge of reporting on engagement analytics, include that in their job descriptions.

4. Review the qualifications

As job descriptions change, it's also necessary to review the required qualifications. For example, if there are additional duties within revised job roles that require specific certifications, check if the employees have the required qualifications. If they don't have them, devise a plan for them to gain the training and credentials. To find out what qualifications a job requires, talk to the employees in the position and check with the HR department. They may provide insights on the level of education and expertise required to perform these job roles successfully.

5. Compare industry salaries

An important aspect of job audits is salary comparison across similar job roles. It's useful to understand how your compensation offer compares with salaries for other similar jobs in the industry. This may guide hiring decisions or provide insights about staff turnover. You may review salaries by comparing with other competitors or across similar roles within the same organisation. You may conduct your research on average salaries using online job salary tools.

6. Include new data in company records

Finally, change the company's records to reflect the new data and information gathered from the audit. This includes updating employee information, revising job descriptions and recording salary changes. Apply these updates to human resources records, job postings and any other public information sources. It may be useful to file a copy of the original job description before the audit so that future auditors can note the changes made.

Related: What Is a Job Audit? (Definition and How to Conduct One)

Types of job audits

Job audits involve streamlining job roles to ensure that job responsibilities are productive to achieving company goals. An organisation may perform job audits in various areas at different intervals depending on their requirements. Here are some common types of job audits:

Classification audit

A classification audit assesses whether an employee's job title accurately reflects the duties performed. It reviews the job responsibilities and uses the information gathered to determine if companies have classified employees in the correct category. For instance, if the job duties of contract employees have changed over time to become the same as permanent employees, a classification job audit may justify converting these contract job positions into permanent positions.

Compensation audit

A compensation audit reviews whether the company pays its employees accurately for the job duties performed. This typically involves reviewing salaries among those who hold the same job title and ensuring that they receive salaries within the same pay range. Companies may also compare their compensation with other competitors or conduct research on the market rate salary for comparable job positions. They can then use this information to determine if they're paying below or above the market rate and make adjustments where necessary.

HR audit

An HR audit reviews the human resources procedures, practices and policies in the company. Companies usually conduct HR audits to identify HR issues or evaluate the HR department's performance. The results of an HR audit help to identify areas for improvement and refine processes. Companies may engage external auditors to perform the HR audit who may provide objective insights on their HR functions. They may also conduct internal audits where HR department managers review their own performance by comparing with industry standards or referencing employee satisfaction surveys.

Related: How to Write an External Auditor Resume (With Example)

Why are job audits conducted?

Job audits take into account organisational changes and ensure that HR teams review job roles when these changes occur. Effective job audits can help to gather useful information that allows companies to improve job functions across various departments. They can also use the information gathered from job audits to implement changes that align with organisational goals.

Here are some reasons for conducting job audits:

Company reorganisation

When companies reorganise and change their operating structure, they may also adapt their human resources needs. For example, when companies expand, they may restructure and hire more employees to perform additional job functions. Job audits are useful to find out the ideal way to do this restructuring. These audits may provide information on whether to combine job roles, create new positions or add more responsibilities to existing roles.


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Employee promotion

When employees move to higher positions, they may take on a set of totally different responsibilities. This may differ from situations where they perform their existing role with added duties. Job audits help to determine the differences between their previous positions and the current ones. The audits may also provide insights on whether salary increases from employee promotions are appropriate for the additional responsibilities.

Related: How to Get Promoted at Work With These 15 Strategies

Fulfil compliance requirements

Sometimes companies conduct job audits to fulfil compliance requirements. For instance, in companies where employees hold licences to perform their jobs, regular job audits ensure employees adhere to licensing regulations and that their licences are up-to-date. Job audits also help to ensure that employees have the necessary certifications and credentials stipulated by industry bodies or the government.

Related: FAQ: What Does a Compliance Auditor Do? (With Salary)

Outcomes of job audits

The results of a job audit may have implications on employees' job titles, job responsibilities and compensation. It's important to communicate these results to those who are impacted as these changes may affect staff morale and teamwork. Here are some potential outcomes of job audits:

  • No changes: This means the job position is classified correctly, the current job description is accurate and the salary is appropriate. Changes in job duties don't require a change in salary range or job title.

  • Change in position: In this case, the HR team allocates the job to a higher-level position with a corresponding increase in salary because of a significant addition of job duties.

  • Change in department: Here the HR team allocates the job duties laterally to a different role or another department but in the same pay range.

  • Change in salary: This means the salary for the job position is less than appropriate for the job duties performed. Job duties performed warrant a higher job title or higher compensation, and the HR team may meet with management to discuss this change.

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