IAM006 – A Strategic Approach to Hiring Internal Auditors


This episode is an adaption of a session I did for the MISTI IT Audit Management Summit earlier this year. #InternalAudit #Audit #hiring

That presentation related to IT Auditors, but the approach I outline is applicable to any employee hire.

I’ve refined my hiring process over the years mostly as a function of necessity. My current employer’s headquarters is in a small town (population 18K) in a remote part of Arkansas. Finding a candidate and getting them to move can be challenging.

Why Good Hiring is Critical

  • A bad hire increases turnover
    • The cost of turnover can exceed 200% of the employee’s salary
      • Lower productivity
      • Training costs
      • Recruiting and interviewing costs
    • A bad hire adds unnecessary overload/stress on your existing staff
    • A bad hire reflects poorly on the whole department
    • A bad hire doesn’t know they’re a bad hire.

View Hiring as a Strategic Imperative

Winning Against Human Resources

  • The key role of Human Resources is to keep people costs, particularly G&A staff as low as possible
  • Understand how job title and job description affect salary range
    • When tied to strategy, it is easier to sell higher title/salary
    • Maximize the key skills you need to acquire
    • Easer to hire at a higher salary than to give salary increases later
  • Help Human Resources get the types of candidates you need
    • Understand where they are getting candidates
    • Activate other resources
      • LinkedIn
      • Local IIA/ISACA chapters
      • Your peers at the company
      • Recruiters
    • Follow the rules until there is a good reason to break them. Involve HR in the decision to break the rule.


  • There are typically four layers of screening in the hiring process
    • Resume/CV
    • Phone screens
    • Office interviews (one or more)
    • References/background checks/drug test
  • Screening – Resume
    • The resume makes it easier to exclude than to include candidates
      • Attention to detail
      • Screening for key words as determined in the job description
    • Top Ten Lies on Resumes (source Marquet International)
      • Stretching dates of employment
      • Inflating past accomplishments and skills
      • Enhancing titles and responsibilities
      • Exaggerating education and fabricating degrees
      • Unexplained gaps and periods of “self employment”
      • Omitting past employment
      • Faking credentials
      • Providing fraudulent references
      • Falsifying reasons for leaving prior employment
      • Misrepresenting a military record
    • Screening – Phone Screen
      • Use the phone screen as a way to draw out things the resume may be missing (or embellishing)
        • “Please tell me about a specific thing you are proud of that might not be fully reflected in your resume.”
        • Does the candidate’s pride match your job?
        • Listen for words such as I, we, they and us.
        • Do the details align with the understanding from someone who did the work?
      • Screening – Office Visit
        • The office visit should be more about personality fit than skills
        • Limit the number of candidates you bring into the office (3 – 5)
        • Get a good interview team together
          • Co-workers
          • Clients
          • Others
        • Capture the “Airport Test”
      • Screening – References/Background Check/Drug Test
        • References are the final way to differentiate candidates
        • Even if you have a favorite, it is worth contacting references
        • I view my hires as future leaders of the company, so I require background checks and drug tests
        • The background check may identify resume lies
        • You should also look at other resources
          • Google
          • LinkedIn
          • Facebook
          • Twitter

The Five Job Values

  • Compensation
  • Job location
  • Opportunity to do cool things
  • Opportunity to get promoted
  • 360 Trust Relationship

Making an Offer

  • Working with HR to develop a compelling offer
  • Focus on the job values that matter to the candidate
  • Types of offers
    • Verbal (contingent) offer
    • Written offer
  • Negotiation

Plan B – What should you do if you lose your best candidate?

  • Does your second candidate meet your key skills and fit your organization?
  • If not, don’t settle (strategic approach)
    • Outsource for key skills
    • Resubmit for additional candidates

I hope you enjoyed this episode. I would like for you to do me a favor. Please go to itunes and rate this podcast. Your rating will help Internal Audit Mastery get noticed by others and reach more people. Thank you.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *