Finding talented internal audit professionals seems to be a common problem plaguing audit functions regardless of country, industry and function maturity. Even in this down economy job websites are full of internal audit opportunities. I have spoken with colleagues who have received literally hundreds of applications for one job opening. However they have also commented that the quantity of applicants does not necessarily equate to quality applicants.
I have one friend who manages a large internal audit function of about 40 professionals. We recently asked him if he had issues filling positions. His response was mixed and also enlightening. He said the bigger they become the easier it is to find people. He likened the recruitment process to a spiderweb of connectivity. For example most new experienced personnel not only brought their knowledge with them but they brought a network of contacts that they could reach out to when new positions opened. Therefore, referrals are huge part of their recruitment process.
This is a great strategy for internal audit functions large and small. Obviously larger shops are able to cast a wider net, so to speak. This may place smaller shops at a slight disadvantage. For example, the larger shops may inadvertently or blatantly recruit talent from the smaller shops. Regardless, this is still a great method for finding talent. Theoretically, you end up with someone you have prior experience with either directly or indirectly through other friends and colleagues. I challenge everyone to (1) think about at two people in your network that may be a perfect match and introduce them and (2) expand your network by introducing yourself to someone new today.
Famed human resources professional and author Lou Adler seems to agree with this concept for recruiting. In a recent article he displays a preliminary research data indicating that a majority (about 44%) of recruiting efforts will take place through networking. This is why I believe every audit pro professional should participate in some form of networking in person and online. Here are some suggestions:
Attend local IIA events
Attend local ISACA events
Volunteer in your local IIA or ISACA chapter
Join and become active in LinkedIn groups
Respond to blog posts
Share your knowledge with others (heck, Auditor Exchange is a great place to do that)
If you decide to participate in any of these activities, you will start to notice your network grow. Since starting That Audit Guy, my contacts have increased dramatically. I am thankful for the wonderful people I meet and believe they have helped me grow as a professional. And that is pretty cool considering I started the site to share my experience with others. Again, I encourage you to purposefully expand your professional network today. Anyone looking to connect with me, you may do so as follows: