There is a limited pool of skilled auditors to fill the needs of internal audit roles today. Compounding that challenge is the pressure for the profession to adapt a work environment that aligns with the unique attributes of today’s millennial workforce. In fact, our recent research shows that finding qualified candidates and managing existing employees are the most significant challenges for Chief Audit Executives (CAEs), with just 13 percent of internal audit functions reporting that they perform very well at sourcing and managing the right talent for their teams.
So what are the steps needed to close this widening talent gap? In our latest survey, we delve into four key ways organizations can build an effective internal audit talent strategy.
#1: Map out your talent acquisition strategy
Hiring should occur as part of an overall talent strategy, developed in conjunction with business units and human resources. When staffing up, companies should complete a skills gap assessment to have a full understanding of the team’s needs as well as to promote their internal audit brand inside and outside the company. Teams should also acquire diverse talent that matches risk areas, including nontraditional backgrounds such as engineers, supply chain professionals and deep industry specialists.
#2: Invest resources in mentoring and development
Leading functions are deploying innovative new mentoring models, which is also an important consideration for today’s diverse pool of millennial employees. When assessing programs, companies should use new models like apprentices, sourcing partners and rotational programs. It’s also important to create a capability model that shows people what they need to do to succeed in your organization. Other considerations from millennial feedback also include establishing a culture of real-time development with frequent, informal feedback around their work while also focusing on nontechnical attributes such as leadership, executive presence and business acumen. Finally, internal audit leaders should understand the different working styles and needs of today’s multigenerational talent pool and create an experience that suits them all.
#3: Implement strategic sourcing into the process
We found that 73 percent of very effective internal audit leaders implement strategic sourcing to supplement with needed talent. This helps fill the right talent gaps while managing their risk landscape in a cost-effective way. In developing a sourcing strategy, CAEs should think strategically about the function’s entire sourcing value proposition and be honest about the capabilities and skill sets needed and should also use their sourcing partner as a trusted advisor to help extract the most value from the relationship.
#4: Enable performance management through technology
CAEs report they are driving higher performance and more value for the business by increasing their investment in data analytics and enabling tools, including audit management systems and GRC technologies. Increasingly, internal audit leaders are using these systems to enhance their talent management strategies and increase existing capabilities through automation.
As pressures mount for the internal audit functions to hire the right talent, leaders of the profession can benefit from a strategic vision to evolve talent management and advance the function. Talent is a cornerstone of internal audit’s strategic plan and central to internal audit’s ability to align to business needs.
To learn more about the shift in internal audit talent, click here.