Research Approaches to a Human Resource Audit
- Comparative approach. The audit team compares its finn (or division) with another firm (or division) to uncover areas of poor performance. This approach commonly is used to compare the results of specific activities or programs. It helps detect areas of needed improvement.
- Outside authority approach. The audit team relies on the expertise of a consultant or published research findings as a standard against which activities or programs are evaluated. The consultant or research findings may help diagnose the cause of problems.
- Statistical approach. From existing records, the audit team generates statistical standards against which activities and programs are evaluated. With these mathematical standards, the team may errors while they are still minor.
- Compliance approach. By sampling elements of the human resource information system, the audit team looks for deviations from laws and company policies or procedures. Through its fact-finding efforts, the team can determine whether there is compliance with company policies and legal regulations .
- MBO approach. When an MBO approach is applied to the human resource area, the audit team can compare actual results with stated objectives. Areas of poor performance can be detected and reported.
forms of applied HR research are described in Figure 19-4and explained in the following paragraphs.
Perhaps the simplest form of research is the comparative approach, in which another division or company that has better practices or results is chosen as a model. The audit team then compares its results or procedures with the ‘ .est practices’ of the other organization. This “best practices” approach often is used ith absence, turnover, staffing levels, and salary data. It also makes sense ‘hen a procedure is being tried for the first time. For example, if a company installs an alcohol rehabilitation program, it may copy a successful program at another firm or division. Then the results of both programs are comared. IBM conducts a “Common Staffing Study” to compare employment Ie els among its various plants and facilities, for example.