A Recruiting Mishap

A glitch in company hiring practices hampers the CAE’s ability to hire a qualified audit candidate.

Edited by Timothy R. Holmes

Darby Williams is the chief audit executive of Mumford Motors, an automobile manufacturer located in North America. The firm’s operations are concentrated in three facilities and have grown in size during the past several years, with annual revenues now approaching us $600 million.

Darby’s department consists of one audit manager, two senior auditors, and two additional audit positions. The annual audit plan, which is based on The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission’s Internal Control–Integrated Framework, includes operational, financial, and compliance reviews. Because the company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and subject to U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requirements, the audit department works with management, the audit committee, and the external auditors to comply with the act’s provisions, although to a lesser extent than in previous years.

Darby has just hung up from a disappointing telephone call. A senior auditor candidate that Darby had hoped to hire just called to inform him that he accepted a position with another organization. Apparently the candidate never received a formal offer letter from Mumford Motors’ human resources (HR) department, despite Darby’s verbal assurances to the candidate days ago that he was interested in hiring him.

The company’s mishandling of this situation is particularly frustrating for Darby. He’s seen the demand for talented internal audit professionals increase dramatically over the past few years, and he and other members of the audit department have spent considerable time recruiting qualified practitioners. In fact, in the four years that Darby has worked for Mumford Motors, he has never experienced a full head count.

What steps should Darby take to increase his recruiting success? How can he help change HR’s policies and practices so that its communications with external candidates identified for hiring are more timely and effective? What best practices could Darby learn from his internal audit peers to make the department’s talent search more effective and efficient, especially in light of today’s recruiting challenges?

Post your own thoughts on this scenario, or see expert commentary in the full version of the article.

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