HR Assessment: What Is It & Why Is It Needed?


For any business to grow, regardless of size, it needs to perform regular analyses to see what is working well and which areas require more focus and improvement. Generally, assessments should be a company-wide initiative. However, there is one area where focused assessments are critically needed—the Human Resources (HR) department.

HR professionals perform a great deal of HR practices and have many responsibilities in the company. This makes it all the more important to perform a thoughtful and comprehensive HR assessment to ensure everything is in place.

If you’re unfamiliar with HR assessments, or unsure where to start, our guide discusses the What, Why, When, Who, and How to help you understand the essentials of such assessments.

What is an HR Assessment?

An HR assessment is a comprehensive review and evaluation of the services the HR team delivers to an organization. Compared to an HR audit, assessments are actually broader in scope as it looks at all your HR practices, including policies, development programs, and termination practices.

HR Assessments help…

  • Provide a strategic analysis of existing workplace policies, programs, and practices
  • Evaluate the compliance and effectiveness of the said policies, programs, and practices (i.e. their impact on employee satisfaction, employee’s performance, and the organization’s goals)
  • Evaluate the structure and competencies of the HR function, role, and responsibility within the department
  • Address any strengths and gaps and determine how those align with employee needs and company goals
  • Provide actionable recommendations and solutions

Why conduct an HR Assessment?

There are plenty of benefits to conducting an HR assessment, one of which is being able to determine whether HR needs are being met in an organization.

Other benefits include:

Identify priorities

When you are working day-to-day, tasks can quickly pile up and make everything overwhelming. Conducting an assessment can help you identify your priorities and help determine what categorizes as an “emergency.” It can also help you set what tasks you should address within the next days or weeks and what you can put off until the next month or year.


Laws are ever-changing, so much so that it can be hard to keep up with the changes. An HR assessment can uncover any areas where the company is non-compliant and provide solutions that could save the organization money and prevent any negative feedback on its reputation.

Beyond complying with the latest laws, HR assessments can also help you determine if your policies are consistent and equitable.


HR assessments can help you get an inventory of your HR programs and identify which functions do not exist. This will give you ideas on what functions you can consider building out. For example, if you do not have performance management or employee retention, you should consider building out these programs with the understanding that they can improve employee retention and make employees feel valued.

Identify gaps

After conducting an HR assessment, you may discover gaps in your HR’s service delivery or uncover the need for additional education, resources, or upgrades in HR-related technology

When to conduct HR Assessment

There are multiple circumstances that may prompt the executive team to conduct a human resource assessment, such as:

  • A desire to ensure that HR practices and programs are delivered efficiently and effectively
  • Significant HR changes that are impacting existing policies, programs, and practices
  • The number of employees in the company has surpassed a certain threshold
  • A sudden change in leadership or organizational structure
  • A merger or acquisition

Who should conduct HR assessment

An HR assessment is extremely important. As such, we recommend committing adequate resources and expertise to the process. If your internal team does not have the skills and knowledge needed to make a thorough assessment, do consider hiring an HR expert to ensure that the assessment generates measurable results and provides actionable recommendations that benefit the company.

What to include in an HR assessment

A formal assessment should aim to identify whether the HR professional or the department is being successful with their endeavors and determine where improvements can be made.

Below, we’ve listed several key areas that HR assessments should review:

  1. Compliance and Administration

Is the company meeting legal obligations in areas such as employee file retention, medical leaves, employee classifications, and anti-harassment programs?

  1. Compensation

How are the compensations and benefits being offered to new hires and existing workers (both part-time vs. full-time) determined?

  1. Training and Development

What training programs are being offered internally to employees? Is attendance at said training programs being encouraged? Is the company allocating enough funds for the training? Are there any skills gaps that need to be addressed?

  1. Talent Acquisition

How is the company advertising open positions? Who is involved in the hiring process? How are offers being made to potential team members? Is there an applicant tracking system in place? Are the job descriptions accurate?

  1. Performance Management

How does the company assess employee performance? How are opportunities for improvement communicated to employees?

  1. Analytics

How long does the company take to hire for a new position? What is the current turnover rate? How does the company analyze employee engagement?

  1. HR Department

Which HR team member is responsible for a certain task? Is the HR department understaffed or overstaffed?

  1. Employee Relations

How are employee meetings held and in what form? Has the company conducted an employee engagement survey? How is the company’s mission and vision impressed upon employees?