The Effects of Using the Internal Audit Function as a Management Training Ground or as a Consulting Services Provider in Enhancing the Recruitment of Internal Auditors
48 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2012 Last revised: 6 Sep 2014
Date Written: August 2014
This paper examines factors that influence job applicants’ willingness to apply for positions in internal auditing. We predict and find evidence that job applicants are dissuaded from applying for internal audit positions. In two separate experiments involving participants at seven universities, we discover that this phenomenon is most prevalent for applicants with business experience. Experienced applicants are 20 and 33 percent less willing to apply for a position if it is labeled as “internal audit” versus “accounting” in the two experiments, respectively. In addition, we find that the only experimental condition that increases interest in applying for an internal audit position for experienced applicants occurs when the position advertises the combination of (1) a short stint in internal auditing and then a move from internal audit into a management position and (2) work primarily related to consulting services rather than assurance services. As a potential explanation for these findings, we find evidence that participants believe other business professionals have negative stereotypes of internal auditing — which likely dissuade potential job applicants from applying to work in internal audit. The results should prove informative to practitioners, internal audit professional organizations, and business professionals concerned with high quality corporate governance.
Keywords: Internal Audit, Hiring Decisions, Management Training Ground, Recruiting, Assurance Services, Consulting Services
JEL Classification: M4, M40, M41, M49, G3, G34, M5, M51, M54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation