The words “business audit” may make some people wince a bit – after all, what organization likes being inspected and scrutinized for mistakes?
But in fact, auditing your organization’s business practices will benefit you in the long run. It’s important for companies to regularly review their policies to prevent any problems that can arise in the future – such as potential lawsuits – as well as ensure employee retention. Not only will you be in compliance with state and federal laws regarding employment, but you’ll give your procedures a fresh update and attract the kind of talent you want at your business.
RTR Consulting offers 5 areas you should consider performing an audit:
1. Job Application Process
Does your job listing adhere to fair employment laws, giving all candidates equal opportunity? If not, you might be in danger of perpetuating discrimination in your recruitment ads. Using a fine-toothed comb, go through your recruitment collateral to see where discriminatory language may exist and eliminate any words that may target someone’s age, race, gender, or sexual orientation.
You should also review what sort of interview questions you’re asking candidates. Nix any questions that may venture into discriminatory territory (for example, asking if a female candidate plans on having children in the near future is a big no-no).
2. Background Checks and Consent
Bear in mind that it is illegal to conduct a background check on a potential employee without being given their permission first. The best thing you can do is make it a condition of the candidate’s employment to undergo a background check.
Because background checks are not necessary for all employers to conduct, it’s possible you may want to starting implementing them at your business now after years of going without them. Evaluate if you want to begin the process of having both current and future employees undergo background checks. Look into what paperwork will be involved to make that happen.
3. Social Media Use as a Factor in Hiring
Everyone knows that what you post on the Internet is there forever. This is especially important to acknowledge now that social media has changed the recruiting game.
Since the dawn of Facebook, Instagram, and a wealth of other social channels, hiring managers have come to realize that the person behind a stellar resume may not be who they say they are. You might come to find that the Harvard grad you recently hired is compromising your company’s reputation with his partying photos or offensive Facebook posts.
When it comes to your recruiting policies, consider the pros and cons of integrating candidates’ social media profiles into your background checks. The benefit might be that you’ll get deeper insight into a candidate’s character, however, you might also later realize that the person whose profile you thought belonged to a candidate isn’t theirs at all. Making this mistake could cost you an amazing staffer.
4. Compensation and Benefits
Earlier this month, we discussed the importance of creating a compensation plan that keeps both you and your employees on track. Does your company offer employee benefits like health insurance and retirement benefits? If not, why not? You may justify that because it’s not required by law to offer these benefits, they’re not important to have. But if you want to have a better shot of retaining your team, revisiting your compensation and benefits package is something you’ll want to do during your audit.
Most employees are hired on an at-will basis, meaning that businesses can lay off staffers for any reason at any time. But is your company being lawful when it comes to letting employees go? Remember, you cannot terminate employees for discriminatory reasons. When laying off an employee, have a legitimate reason why, follow your employee handbook, and document everything.
So when is the best time to perform an audit on your company’s employment practices? That will depend on you and the amount of time you can reasonably afford to conduct one. You have the option of conducting a self-evaluation, or if you wish for a completely unbiased third-party to weigh in, you can hire independent consultants to perform a review.
If you need guidance on reviewing your company’s internal practices, RTR Consulting has more than 20 years of experience developing effective and efficient Human Resources policies, procedures, and best practices for small to medium-sized businesses. Contact us today to learn more.