Job Analysis

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Everything you need to know about job analysis. Job Analysis is a process to identify and determine in detail the particular job duties and requirements and the relative importance of these duties for a given job.

Job Analysis is a process where judgments are made about data collected on a job.

Job analysis involves a careful study of each job to ascertain just what the job includes, what the jobholder does, how he does it, under what conditions job is performed and what special qualification the jobholder must have.

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Thus, it is a process of identifying the facts with respect to each job.

“Job analysis is defined as the process of determining, by observation and study and reporting pertinent information relating to the nature of a specific job. It is the determination of the tasks which comprise the job and the skills, knowledge, abilities and responsibilities required of the worker for successful performance and which differentiates the job from all others.” – (United States Department of Labour)

Learn about:-

1. Meaning of Job Analysis 2. Definitions of Job Analysis 3. Concept 4. Need 5. Objectives 6. Features 7. Information Provided

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8. Importance 9. Steps Involved 10. Methods 11. Techniques 12. Approaches 13. Utility 14. Issues 15. Advantages 16. Disadvantages.

Job Analysis: Meaning, Process, Methods, Techniques, Advantages and Disadvantages


Contents:

  1. Meaning of Job Analysis
  2. Definitions of Job Analysis
  3. Concept of Job Analysis
  4. Need for Job Analysis
  5. Objectives of Job Analysis
  6. Features of Job Analysis
  7. Information Provided by Job Analysis
  8. Importance of Job Analysis
  9. Steps Involved in Job Analysis Process
  10. Methods of Job Analysis
  11. Approaches to Job Analysis
  12. Utility of Job Analysis
  13. Issues in Job Analysis
  14. Advantages of Job Analysis
  15. Disadvantages of Job Analysis

Job Analysis – Meaning

Job Analysis is a process to identify and determine in detail the particular job duties and requirements and the relative importance of these duties for a given job. Job Analysis is a process where judgments are made about data collected on a job.

One of the main purposes of conducting job analysis is to prepare job descriptions and job specifications which in turn help hire the right quality of workforce into an organization. The general purpose of job analysis is to document the requirements of a job and the work performed.

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Job analysis specifies details of what is being done and the skills utilised in the job. It enables a manager to understand jobs and job structure, and thereby, to improve productivity. It also helps in job designing or redesigning, coordinating demands on available time, individual psychological needs, technical procedures and desired performance.

It is a procedure by which pertinent information is obtained about a job, i.e., it is a detailed and systematic study of information relating to the operations and responsibilities of the specific job. Therefore, job analysis is the determination of the skills, knowledge, abilities and responsibilities required by the employee for successful performance of the job.

Job and task analysis is performed as a basis for later improvements, including – definition of a job domain; description of a job; development of performance appraisals, personnel selection, selection systems, promotion criteria, training needs assessment, legal defence of selection processes, and compensation plans.

Industrial psychologists use job analysis to determine the physical requirements of a job to determine whether an individual who has suffered some diminished capacity is capable of performing the job with, or without, some accommodation.

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When a job analysis is conducted for the purpose of valuing the job, it is known as “job evaluation.”

Job analysis aims to answer questions such as:

i. Why does the job exist?

ii. What physical and mental activities does the worker undertake?

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iii. When is the job to be performed?

iv. Where is the job to be performed?

v. How does the worker do the job?

vi. What qualifications are needed to perform the job?


Job Analysis – Important Definitions Propounded by Some Eminent Authors and by United States Department of Labour

Job analysis involves a careful study of each job to ascertain just what the job includes, what the jobholder does, how he does it, under what conditions job is performed and what special qualification the jobholder must have. Thus, it is a process of identifying the facts with respect to each job.

The following are some important definitions of job analysis:

“Job analysis is the process of critically evaluating the operations, duties and responsibilities of a specific job.” (Scott, Clothier and Spriegel)

“Job analysis is the procedure by which the facts with respect to each job are systematically discovered and noted.” (Dale Yoder)

“Job analysis is the process of studying and collecting information relating to the operations and responsibility of a specific job.” (Flippo)

“Job analysis is the methodical compilation and study of work data in order that each job is systematically discovered and noted.” (John A. Shubin)

“Job analysis is defined as the process of determining, by observation and study and reporting pertinent information relating to the nature of a specific job. It is the determination of the tasks which comprise the job and the skills, knowledge, abilities and responsibilities required of the worker for successful performance and which differentiates the job from all others.” (United States Department of Labour)

“Job analysis refers to the process of studying the operations, duties and organisational aspects of jobs in order to derive specifications or as they are called by one job descriptions.” (Michael J. Jucius)

Thus, job analysis is the process of job study. It provides the analysis with the basic raw data of specific job. Such data is classified under the suitable sub-heads.

Dale Yoder has classified these sub­heads as follows:

(i) The job identification – Its title and code number, etc.

(ii) Distinctive features of the jobs – Its location, physical setting, supervision, hazards and Discomforts, if any.

(iii) Job relationships.

(iv) How the job is performed.

(v) Required personnel qualities.

(vi) Duties and responsibilities of the workers.

(vii) What materials and equipment are needed?


Job Analysis – Concept

Job analysis is the process of systematically analysing the activities pertaining to each job. It is designed to define the duties, responsibilities and accountability of the job. The U.S. department of labour defined job analysis as – “the process of determining by observation, and study, and reporting pertinent information relating to the nature of a specific job. It is the determination of the tasks which comprise the job and of the skills, knowledge, abilities and responsibilities required of the worker of successful performance and which differentiate one job from all others.”

To do a good job, one need to fully understand what is expected of him. While this may seem obvious, in the hurly-burly of a new, fast moving, high-pressure sole, it is something that is overlooked. By understanding the priorities in the job and what constituted success within it, an employee can focus on these activities and minimise work on other tasks as much as possible. This helps the employee to get the greatest return from the work he does, and keep his workload under control.

Job analysis is a detailed and systematic study of jobs to know the nature and characteristics of people to be employed for each job.

The three outcomes of job analysis are – Job description (a description of what the job-holder does), Job specifications (the qualities demanded from job holder and job evaluation determining the relative worth of each job).

A job analysis provides the data to view the job worth, and its systematic analysis helps the HR Management to determine the compatibility of the employee with the job.

Job analysis is, therefore, a conceptual and analytical process that provide tangible outcomes such as:

1. Job description

2. Job specification and

3. Job evaluation/Job price.

1. Job Description:

One of the most important outcomes of job analysis is the job description. It is a written down document describing the job contents, method/way of doing it (Job summary), job interrelationship with other jobs or processes and the environment in which it is to be done, as well as the condition of employment. It thus describes the nature, scope, and purpose of the job.

Significance of Job Description:

The job description provides the statement of the facts that describe the job and becomes a basic component of the compensation system. It covers (i) Job Position, (ii) Job Title, (iii) Work culture and responsibilities, (iv) Class of job and (v) Grouping of job and condition of employment.

The Main Contribution of Job Description:

A job description provides a summary of the facts that describe the job and make it a basic component of the compensation system. It covers job position, job and title, work culture and responsibilities required to perform a job, class of job and condition of employment to differentiate the job price.

The main contribution of job descriptions can be grouped as:

i. Job title and the position

ii. Job summary describing the work contents, skill and knowledge required, and the technology to be used

iii. Job interrelationship or interdependence

iv. Working conditions in which the job is to be carried out.

It, therefore, includes or covers the job title, position of the employee, job summary and working environment, job interrelationships or interdependence and scope and extent of supervision and reporting.

Forms of Job Descriptions:

Job descriptions come in a variety of forms depending on the complexity and nature of job. However, whatever may be the form, it informs the employers what type of personality is required to perform that job and informs the employee what minimum level of performance and supervision role to be played in performing the job are needed.

Process of Job Description:

According to Ernest Dale, a job description should be developed as per the following guidelines:

i. JD should indicate the nature and scope of the job, including important relationships with other jobs and departmental activities.

ii. It should be brief, factual and worded with active verbs.

iii. Responsibilities and accountabilities should be clearly described.

iv. Scope and extent of supervision should be explained.

v. Porting relationships should be defined.

Drafting Job Description:

Drafting the job description follows these 5 steps:

i. Decide the title of the job on the basis of job analysis and job contents.

ii. Prioritize activities and their sequences to judge the roles and responsibilities to be assigned.

iii. Understand the complexity to judge the competency and the co-ordinations required.

iv. Tabulate these data in a format.

v. Finalize the draft for the eligibility, competence, and compatibility required to do that job.

Role of Job Description in Compensation Management:

A good quality job description provides the statement of the facts that describes the job and becomes a basis for the compensation system. It covers job title, job position, work or job contents and the work culture in which the said job is to be carried out. It, thus, helps to determine the comparative worth of a job and to establish employment and performance standards.

2. Job Specification:

Job specification encompasses the human characteristics, which include academic eligibility, the average skill and knowledge required to perform a job, and the behavioural aspect or the attitude required to maintain the desired coordination and cooperation needed to accomplish a task satisfactorily.

Since a job description spells out the desired skill, a job specification may be called a logical outgrowth of a job description, which can help the organization to fetch the right people for the right jobs.

3. Job Evaluation:

“It is a relative worth of various jobs within the organization so that different wages may be paid to jobs of different worth.” – Wendell and French

Job evaluation is a systematic way of determining the value or the worth of the job in relation to other jobs in the organization. It helps to identify the job contents and their relative worth, their linkages with the market and internal consistency, so as to work out the job price to decide the pay structures.


Job Analysis – Why to Do Job Analysis? (Need)

Job analysis provides a deeper understanding of the behavioural requirements of jobs.

It is the basis for job-related employment decisions. Legally, it plays a crucial role in the defense of employment practices (selection, performance appraisal, promotions etc.).

Job analysis helps a lot in the following domains:

(i) Organizational Structure and Design:

Clear-cut job requirements and inter-relationship specify responsibilities at all levels thus promoting efficiency and minimizing overlap or duplication.

(ii) Workforce Planning:

Job analysis is the foundation for forecasting workforce need. It is also useful for planning, training, transfer or promotion. Nowadays, job analysis information is incorporated into HR information system (HRIS).

(iii) Job Valuation and Compensation:

It is used for ranking of jobs in terms of their overall worth and for comparing with the jobs of other firms for pay fixation. Job analysis is a must for job evaluation and compensation decisions. The important components of job analysis viz., job descriptions and job specifications are essential.

(iv) Recruitment:

It is needless to state that a state that a complete knowledge of job(s) in question and personal characteristics needed is a must for meaningful recruitment.

(v) Selection:

Selection is based on forecast of job performance. What is expected of a person to do a job should be clear in formulating job-related interviews or test questions.

(vi) Placement:

To place the right person in the right place, job descriptions and job specifications help to a large extent.

(vii) Orientation, Training and Development:

For effective training and development programmes, job description and job specifications are highly valuable.

(viii) Performance Management:

To differentiate effective employees from ineffective employees it is important to specify critical and non-critical job requirements. Job analysis accomplishes this by identifying performance standards.

(ix) Career Path Planning:

For effective career path planning, a thorough understanding of the requirements of available as well as succeeding jobs is necessary.

(x) Labour Relations:

For contract negotiations between the management and unions and also for resolving grievances and legal disputes the information obtained through job analysis is very helpful.

(xi) Engineering Designs:

In the case of designing equipment’s to perform specific tasks efficiently, an understanding of the capabilities of the operator and what is expected of the operator is very essential.

(xii) Job Design:

Designing a job with focus on tasks to be done and behaviours expected of the employees doing the tasks requires a good job analysis.

(xiii) Safety:

Job analysis looks into the unsafe conditions (environmental as well as personal) to improve safety measures.

(xiv) Vocational Guidance and Counselling:

Comprehensive job descriptions and job specifications help employees make appropriate decisions on career choices.

(xv) Job Classification Systems:

Job analysis is a must to classify jobs and to form ‘job families’. Determining the structure of relationships among jobs in an organization is not possible without a valid job analysis.


Job Analysis – 5 Important Objectives: Determining Training Needs, Compensation, Selection Procedures, Performance Review & Quality and Productivity

The purpose of job analysis is to establish and document the ‘job-relatedness’ of employment procedures such as training, selection, compensation, and performance appraisal. One of the important uses of job analysis is to produce a basic job description of the job that can facilitate selection of appropriate human resource.

Another is to provide employees and supervisors with a basic description of jobs describing duties and characteristics of each incumbent in common with and different from other positions or jobs. When compensation is closely associated with levels of difficulty, these descriptions will help foster a feeling of organizational fairness related to compensation.

Other important uses that job analysis can be put to are:

i. Indicate training needs.

ii. Put together work groups or teams.

iii. Provide information to conduct salary surveys.

iv. Provide a basis for determining a selection plan.

v. Provide a basis for putting together recruitment.

vi. Describe the physical needs of various positions to determine the validity of discrimination complaints.

vii. As input for organizational analysis.

viii. As input for strategic planning.

ix. As input for any human relations needs assessment.

x. As a basis for coordinating safety concerns.

The important objectives of job analysis are discussed below:

Objective # 1. Determining Training Needs:

Job analysis can be used in training or ‘needs assessment’ to identify or develop:

a. Training content.

b. Assessment tests to measure effectiveness of training.

c. Equipment to be used in conducting the training.

d. Methods of training (i.e., small group, computer-based, video, classroom).

Objective # 2. Compensation:

Job analysis can be used in compensation to identify or determine:

a. Skill levels.

b. Compensable job factors.

c. Work environment (e.g., hazards, attention, physical effort).

d. Responsibilities (e.g., fiscal, supervisory).

e. Required level of education (indirectly related to salary level).

Objective # 3. Selection Procedures:

Job analysis can be used in selection procedures to identify or develop:

a. Job duties that should be included in advertisements of vacant positions.

b. Appropriate salary level for the position to help determine what salary should be offered to a candidate.

c. Minimum requirements (education and/or experience) for screening applicants

d. Interview questions.

e. Selection tests/instruments (e.g., written tests; oral tests; job simulations).

f. Applicant appraisal/evaluation forms.

g. Orientation materials for applicants/new hires.

Objective # 4. Performance Review:

Job analysis can be used in performance review to identify or develop:

a. Goals and objectives.

b. Performance standards.

c. Evaluation criteria.

d. Length of probationary periods.

e. Duties to be evaluated.

Objective # 5. Quality and Productivity:

Many organizations overlook an important technique in achieving the goal of continuous improvement. Work analysis is the examination of the way work is done. Work analysis focuses on shortening work periods, removing redundant or low-value steps, and simplifying interfaces between groups or individuals involved in the work process.

This process of changing what we do, how we do it, and the organization’s structure to support it is sometimes called ‘re-engineering’.

This technique also aids in the analysis and documentation of procedures. Even if the work process does not change, a new understanding of it will be gained by the participants, bringing the procedures in use into focus and providing an opportunity for continuous improvement. And, the staff members are involved in the analysis, they are trained for future analysis and are committed to the opportunities for change that have been identified.

Effectively developed, the job description is a communication tool that is significant in your organization’s success. A poorly written job description, on the other hand, adds to workplace confusion, hurts communication, and makes people feel as if they do not know what is expected of them.


Job Analysis – 4 Chief Features: Systematic Way of Gathering & Analysing Information Regarding a Job, Develop Jobs, Linked to HR Activities and Redesigns Jobs

Chief features of job analysis are as under:

1. Systematic Way of Gathering and Analysing Information Regarding a Job:

The job analysis is the basic building block of HR management job analysis is a systematic way of gathering and analysing information about the contents, context and human requirement of jobs with the help of job analysis to document HR activities is important due to the following rest in part on the foundation of job analysis the legal defensibility of an employer’s recruiting and selection procedures, performance appraisal system, employee disciplinary actions and pay practices.

2. Develop Jobs:

Job analysis strive to develop jobs that fit effectively into the flow of the organisational task or work that needs to be done. The narrow focus of job analysis centres on using a formal system to gather data about what people do in their jobs. This data is used to generate job descriptions and job specifications.

3. Linked to HR Activities:

Many methods and sources of data can be used to carry out job analysis. The real value of job analysis begins as soon as the information is compiled into job descriptions and job specifications for use in virtually all HR activities. To justify HR actions as job related there is a need of accurate details on job requirements.

To be effective, HR planning, recruiting and selection all must be based on job requirements and the capabilities of individuals. Besides, compensation, training and employee performance appraisals all should be based on the specific requirements of the job.

Job analysis also assists in identifying job factors and duties that may contribute to workplace health and safety issues. As such, job analysis plays a key role in employee/labour relations issues.

4. Redesigns Jobs:

Job analysis involves collecting information on the characteristics of a job that differentiates it from other jobs. The information which is generated by job analysis may be useful in redesigning jobs. However, its primary purpose is to capture a clear understanding of what is done on a job and what capabilities are needed to do it as designed.


Job Analysis – Information Provided for Analysing Jobs are: Job Identification, Significant Characteristics of the Job, Required Personnel Attributes and a Few Others

Job analysis is the process of discovering and identifying the pertinent information relating to the nature of a specific job. It is the determination of the tasks which comprise the job and of the skills, knowledge, abilities and responsibilities required of the worker for successful performance of the job.

Job analysis is a systematic collection and compilation of data about each job in the organisation to redesign each job in such a manner so as to distinguish it from the other jobs.

The process of job analysis is essentially one of data collection and then analysing that data. It provides the analyst with basic data pertaining to specific jobs in terms of duties, responsibilities, skills, knowledge, etc.

Job analysis provides the following information:

(i) Job identification- Its title, including its code number;

(ii) Significant characteristics of the job- Its location, physical setting, supervision, union jurisdiction, hazards and discomforts;

(iii) What the typical worker does- Specific operation and tasks that make up an assignment, their relative timing and importance, their simplicity, routine or complexity, the responsibility or safety of others for property, funds, confidence and trust;

(iv) Which materials and equipment a worker uses- Metals, plastics, grains, yarns, milling machines, punch presses and micrometres;

(v) How a job is performed- Nature of operation—lifting, handling, cleaning, washing, feeding, removing, drilling, driving, setting up and many others;

(vi) Required personnel attributes- Experience, training, apprenticeship, physical strength, co-ordination or dexterity, physical demands, mental capabilities, attitudes, social skills;

(vii) Job relationships- Experience required opportunities for advancement, patterns of promotions, essential co-operation, direction, or leadership from and for a job.

Some of the above information relates to the job while the rest is concerned with the person doing the job, i.e., the job-holder. The requirements of a job are known as Job Description and the qualities demanded from the job holder as Job Specification. Thus, job description and job specification are the immediate by products of job analysis.

The emphasis in job analysis is upon determining the principal duties of a job, the nature and level of skills and aptitudes required to perform these activities, the relation of job to others in the organisation, responsibilities involved and working conditions. Its purpose is to describe and define the distinctions among various jobs.

Considering emphasis is placed upon accurate detailing of the human characteristics, physical and mental skills, personality traits and so on needed to adequately perform the job.

It is pertinent to distinguish ‘job analysis’ from ‘job design’. The latter involves the consideration of specialisation and simplification, job rotation, enlargement of scope and depth in relation to the types of jobs in the organisation, the personal desires and motivations of the employees; the type of organisation, and many other situational factors.

Job design is crucial and requires perspective understanding and analysis of employees and organisational work. But job analysis examines the tasks, duties and responsibilities contained in an individual unit of work or job.

Job analysis is generally conducted when:

(i) An organisation is newly established and jobs are to be designed.

(ii) A new job is created in an established organisation.

(iii) A job is changed significantly due to changes in technology, methods, procedures, or systems.

(iv) The organisation is thinking of introducing a new wage and salary structure.

(v) The employees or managers feel that there exist certain inequities between job demands and the remuneration it carries.


Job Analysis – Importance

According to George R. Terry job analysis is required to know the makeup of a job, its relation to other jobs, and its contribution to performance of the organization. Job analysis helps in determining the method of performing the job in most efficient manner and helps to find ways of improving the performance.

1. Designing Organisational Structure:

Job analysis helps in designing organisation structure. The nature of different jobs, relationships between the jobs, the role and functions of personnel involved with the jobs helps in designing organisational hierarchy and structure.

2. Human Resource Planning:

Job analysis helps in estimating the quantity and quality of people to be required in future by different jobs. Job analysis provides a detail of how many and what type of people will be required by the jobs.

3. Recruitment and Selection:

Job analysis provides detailed and adequate information about what the job demands and what human qualities are required to perform these activities. This information, in the form of job descriptions and specifications, helps management decide what sort of people to be recruited and hired. Job analysis helps to match the right people with the right job.

4. Training and Development:

Job analysis provides information about knowledge and skills required to perform a job. This enables the management to design the training and development programmes to enable employees to acquire the job requirements.

5. Performance Appraisal:

Performance appraisal is a process of comparing the actual performance of an employee with the target set. Such appraisal or assessment serves as basis for awarding promotions, effecting transfers, or assessing training needs. Job analysis helps in establishing job standards and defines the performance that is expected of the employee, which may be compared with the actual performance/contribution of each employee.

6. Job Evaluation:

The job evaluation is a process of determining the relative worth of different jobs. It helps in developing appropriate wage and salary structures. Relative worth is determined mainly on the basis of information provided by job analysis.

7. Promotions and Transfer:

Promotion and transfer polices of the organisation are framed on the basis of job analysis. The organisation collects information about the job from job analysis and tries to fill up the vacant posts internally through transfer and promotion of the existing employees possessing the skill and talent required for the job.

8. Health and Safety:

Job analysis provides information regarding work hazards and risk factor, and unhealthy environmental factors such as – heat, noise, fumes, dust, etc., involved with the job. The organizations prepare their health and safety, plans and programs based on job analysis. This helps the organization to take corrective measures to minimise and avoid the possibility of accidents causing human injury.


Job Analysis – Top 6 Steps Involved: Collection of Background Information, Determining the Purpose, Selection, Collection, Preparation of Job Description & Job Specification

The steps involved in job analysis process are as under:

Step 1 – Collection of Background Information:

In this step, the information relates to how each job fits into the total organisation through organisational structure and process charts. Because before a job analysis exercise is undertaken, it is necessary to understand the organisation structure, i.e., the placement of people within the organisation and the reporting relationships.

It is also important to understand the different business processes like manufacturing, marketing, finance, and relationship between these functions. This information provides an overall view of the organisation, the positions, and the relative importance of each job.

Step 2 – Determining the Purpose of Job Analysis:

Job analysis data is used for a variety of purposes.

Job analysis may be necessary if:

(i) Jobs are not clearly defined;

(ii) Jobs are not logically grouped together;

(iii) Reporting relationships are not clear;

(iv) There is an overlap in responsibilities; and

(v) Jobs with same or similar responsibilities are not placed in the same grade or salary scale.

Therefore, before undertaking job analysis, it is necessary to clearly define the purpose of analysis.

Step 3 – Selection of Job to be Analysed:

All the jobs are not equally critical. However, some of them may not be appropriately graded or scaled. Only those jobs which are critical or important for the functioning of the organisation and those jobs which require corrections should be taken up for the analysis or study.

Step 4 – Collection of Job Analysis Data:

Job data on the features of the job require employee qualifications and requirements should be collected either from the employees who actually perform the jobs or from other employees (such as supervisors) who watch the workers doing the job and thereby, acquire knowledge about it; or from outside persons known as trade job analysts who are appointed to watch employees performing the job.

Therefore, a standardised questionnaire can be prepared to collect data on all the aspects of the job and its requirements. Similarly, the educational qualifications, experience, training, skills, abilities required for the job may also be listed.

Step 5 – Preparation of Job Description:

The information collected is to be developed in the form of a job description. This is the written statement of the main features which the job incumbents must possess.

Step 6 – Preparation of Job Specification:

The last step is to convert the job description statements into job specification, i.e., to specifically mention what personnel qualities, traits, skills and background is necessary for getting the job done.


Job Analysis – 11 Important Methods: Job Performance, Observation, Interview, Critical Incident Technique, Questionnaire, Ability Requirement Scale and a Few Others

According to Patrick Wright and Kenneth Wexley in “How to choose the kind of Job Analysis you really need”, job analysis methods can be placed into a typology depending upon the kind of information they yield. Job analysis methods can focus on job descriptions or job specifications on one dimension or on degree of uniformity i.e., from more standardized to less standardized.

Standardized job analysis methods mean that the information obtained is uniform and there is a standard against which jobs can be compared. The position specific methods, yield information pertaining to a specific a job within a particular organization. Another dimension to compare job analysis methods is worker vs. job oriented methods.

Worker oriented job analysis methods pertain to information regarding worker’s activities on the job whereas, the job oriented methods comprise of information about the actual task.

Let us examine some of the popularly used methods of job analysis used by the human resource departments in organizations:

Method # 1. Job Performance:

The jobs where not very high level of skills as are required, are easier to learn and can be performed without much training can be analyzed by this method. The method says that the job analyst should actually perform the job under real work conditions, so that the job demands are understood in the right physical, environmental and social capacities.

The application of this method, however, is limited to jobs with short repetitive cycles. Motion study and time study are both frequently used job performance measures to analyze the motions, movements and time required to perform the job elements effectively.

Method # 2. Observation:

Observation is one of the simplest techniques in job analysis that can be used independently or to substantiate the data gathered by other techniques. The method involves watching directly or reviewing the performance of the worker on job through films. This enables one to procure first hand data about short cycle jobs without actually interfering in the process. However, one must keep in mind that the method proves inappropriate for most of the white collar jobs involving mental processes.

Method # 3. Interview:

The method of interview is resorted to by a job analyst to gather data about job and seeking clarification when any other method of job analysis is also used. A structured or unstructured interview may be conducted at job site itself. By using a standard format one can ensure that all job related aspects are covered in the process.

Also it makes easier to compare the information gathered through other sources. Interviews may be individual or group also. Individual interview method entails extensive interviewing of selected incumbents individually to gather effective and accurate information about the job, however, it proves to be very time consuming.

Group interview methods are similar to individual interview technique except that a number of job incumbents are interviewed simultaneously. One major problem with interviews is that they result in one sided information about the job.

Method # 4. Critical Incident Technique:

Job incumbents or other job experts are asked to describe and distinguish between effective and ineffective behaviours of workers on the job. By narrating job related “critical incidents” employees supply a pool of information that can be processed for different categories and related areas pertaining to a particular job.

The method, however, demands high levels of skills and time on the part of the analyst.

Two slight variants of critical incident techniques are:-

i. Job Element Technique – The procedure yields worker oriented information rather than job oriented information.

ii. Technical Conference Method – Specific characteristic of job are obtained from experts. Both the methods do not go into the process of the job as perceived by the employee.

Method # 5. Questionnaire:

When the information is to be obtained from a large number of employees in a short span of time and in organized categories, the data of which can be duplicated also, questionnaires prove to be major help to job analysts. Each task or behaviour is described in terms of characteristics such as – frequency, significance, difficulty and relationship to overall performance.

The questionnaires are administered to relevant employees and job ratings obtained to form a profile of actual job dimensions. The wide usage of the method has led to developments of a number of popular job analysis questionnaires.

The Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ):

The Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ) contains 194 job elements, the human resource manager or job analysts rates the specific job on 194 descriptors by judging the degree to which an element is present. These elements are grouped into six general categories.

PAQ has been thoroughly researched and enables a statistical comparison of the dimensions of jobs in an organization. PAQ is an extremely practical job analysis method which enables one to compare a specific job with other job classification.

Management Position Description Questionnaire (MPDQ):

It is a highly structured questionnaire designed with 208 items instrumental in describing, comparing, classifying and evaluating executive white collar jobs.

The latest version of MPDQ is classified into 13 parts as following:

i. Product, Marketing, and Financial Strategy Planning:

This factor indicates long-range thinking and planning. The concerns of the incumbent are broad and oriented toward the future of the company. They may include such areas as long-range business potential, objectives of the organization, solvency of the company, what business activities the company should engage in, and the evaluation of new ideas.

ii. Co-Ordination of Other Organization Units and Personnel:

The incumbent coordinates the efforts of others over whom he or she exercises no direct control, handles conflicts or disagreements when necessary, and works in an environment where he or she must cut across existing organizational boundaries.

iii. Internal Business Control:

The incumbent exercises business controls; that is, reviews and controls the allocation of manpower and other resources. Activities and concerns are in the areas of assignments of supervisory responsibility, expense control, and cost reduction, setting performance goals, preparation and review of budgets, protection of the company’s money and properties, and employee relations practices.

iv. Products and Services Responsibility:

Activities and concerns of the incumbent in technical areas related to products, services, and their marketability. Specifically included are the planning, scheduling, and monitoring of products and services delivery along with keeping track of their quality and costs. The incumbent is concerned with promises of delivery that are difficult to meet, anticipates new or changed demands for the products and services and closely maintains the progress of specific projects.

v. Public and Customer Relations:

A general responsibility for the reputation of the company’s products and services. The incumbent is concerned with promoting the company’s products and services, the goodwill of the company in the community, and general public relations. The position involves first-hand contact with the customer, frequent contact and negotiation with representatives from other organizations, and understanding the needs of customers.

vi. Advanced Consulting:

The incumbent is asked to apply technical expertise to special problems, issues, questions, or policies. The incumbent should have an understanding of advanced principles, theories, and concepts in more than one required field. He or she is often asked to apply highly advanced techniques and methods to address issues and questions, which very few people in the company can do.

vii. Autonomy of Action:

The incumbent has a considerable amount of discretion in the handling of a job; engages in activities that are not closely supervised or controlled, and makes decisions that are often not subject to review. The incumbent may have to handle unique problems, know how to ask key questions even on subject matters with which he or she is not intimately familiar, and engage in free-wheeling or unstructured thinking to deal with problems that are themselves abstract or unstructured.

viii. Approval of Financial Commitments:

The incumbent has the authority to approve large financial commitments and obligate the company. The incumbent may make final and, for the most part, irreversible decisions, negotiate with representatives from other organizations, and make many important decisions on almost a daily basis.

ix. Staff Service:

The incumbent renders various staff service to supervisors. Such activities can include fact gathering, data acquisition and compilation, and record keeping.

x. Super Vision:

The incumbent plans, organizes, and controls the work of others. The activities are such that they require face-to-face contact with subordinates on almost a daily basis. The concerns covered by this factor revolve around getting work done efficiently through the effective utilization of people.

xi. Complexity and Stress:

The incumbent has to operate under pressure. This may include activities of handling information under time pressure to meet deadlines, frequently taking risks, and interfering with personal or family life.

xii. Advanced Financial Responsibility:

Activities and responsibilities concerned with the preservation of assets, making investment decisions, and other large-scale financial decisions that affect the company’s performance.

xiii. Broad Personnel Responsibility:

The incumbent has broad responsibility for the management of human resources and the policies affecting them.

Method # 6. Ability Requirement Scale:

ARS focus on worker characteristics rather than job characteristics. Tasks are described, contrasted and compared in terms of the abilities that a given task requires of the performer. The abilities are relatively enduring traits of the employee performing the task. Abilities are listed under perceptual-motor, physical performance and cognitive domains. Behaviourally anchored scales define the abilities to be rated. The scales attempt to measure how much each of the 37 listed abilities is needed to perform the job.

Method # 7. Task Inventory:

CODAP is computer program as a structured job analysis questionnaire consisting of a list of tasks relevant to some occupational areas. This method uses “experts” to create a list of tasks guaranteeing position specific information about a job.

The questionnaire method of job analysis comes with its handicaps also – The development of standardized questionnaires is a time consuming and expensive procedure. The method involves objective and skilled analysis of the data obtained.

Method # 8. Functional Job Analysis:

FJA is a method developed by the U.S. Training and Employment Services (USTES) of the Department of labour. The functions of a job can be examined in relation to three classifications – data, people and things. For each class there are degrees or levels with corresponding numbers.

The lower the number more the job is involved with that particular function. These numbers and levels can also be compared to the job elements reported in “Dictionary of Occupational Titles” (DOT). The method yields position – specific information about the job and the standardized information about the worker and the job.

Method # 9. Domain Sampling Approach:

Requires experts to make up a list of tasks constituting each job. For each task, they decide on the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA) necessary for effective performance. Knowledge is defined as the degree to which a job holder is required to know specific technical material.

Skill is defined as adequate performance on tasks requiring the use of tools, equipment and machinery. Finally, abilities refer to the physical and mental capacities needed to perform tasks not requiring the use of tools, equipment or machinery. Each of the KSAs is rated for importance and time spent using it while performing the job.

Method # 10. Dictionary of Occupational Titles:

DOT is a standardized data source describing wide range of jobs. Managers can adopt the standardized job descriptions from the DOT to the specific jobs within this firm. The DOT is particularly useful when a large number of jobs need to be analysed. Rather than “starting from scratch” managers can use DOT as a guide,

Method # 11. Diary:

This method requires job incumbent to record their daily activities. This method is the most intrusive of the job analysis method requiring much work on the part of the incumbent and accordingly requiring much time. To capture the entire range of work activities the method may have to continue for long periods of time.

Besides these methods a numerous more conventional and modern techniques of job analysis are available like – technical conference method, work participation, training material, threshold trait analysis etc. Unfortunately only a few researchers have discussed job analysis as an activity that can enhance the strategy of an organization.

Methods are chosen simply because the human resource manager is familiar with them and not because of strategic future human resource activities.

Human Resource manager while conducting job analysis in an organization may come to face certain potential problems in the process. The nature of the problem may stem from human behavior or the method adopted for job analysis.

The most frequently encountered problems are:

i. Management support is missing – in terms of confused communication to its employees thus, resulting in biased reporting.

ii. Technique used may be used in isolation, absence of any other method leads to unsubstantial data that is not supported by other method.

iii. Isolated- working of human resource manager without support and consultation of supervisor or job holder may also affect the quality of data gathered.

iv. Time constraints if imposed on the analyst or the employee may ultimately lead to distortions and inefficiency in the process.

v. Most of the times the critique of the job is not done to determine whether job analysis is being done correctly or whether improvements can be made.


Job Analysis Approaches: Functional Job Analysis, Position Analysis Questionnaire System, Critical Incident Method, Task Inventory Analysis & Fleishman Job Analysis System

Details on job content are the base for many HR practices. Various job analysis approaches are available to gather data, each with some merits and demerits.

1. Functional Job Analysis:

This method, developed by the US training and employment service, utilizes an inventory of the various types of functions or work activities of a job. This approach assumes that each job involves three broad worker functions viz., data, people and things.

2. Position Analysis Questionnaire System:

It is a quantifiable data collection method covering 194 different worker-oriented tasks. With a five-point scale, the PAQ seeks to determine the degree, if any, to which the different tasks or job elements, are involved in performing a particular job.

The results obtained with the PAQ are quantitative and can be subjected to statistical analysis. It also permits dimensions of behavior to be compared across a no. of jobs and permits jobs to be grouped on the basis of common characteristics.

3. The Critical Incident Method:

Under this method, important job tasks are identified for job success. The object of this method is to identify critical job tasks. Critical job tasks are those important duties and responsibilities performed by the job holder that lead to job success.

(i) Information about critical job tasks can be collected through interviews with employees or managers or through self-report statements written by employees.

(ii) After data collection, the analyst writes separate task statements -that represent important job activities.

(iii) Generally the job analyst writes 5-10 important task statements that are clear, complete, and easily understood by those who are not familiar with the job.

(iv) This method teaches the analyst to focus on employee behaviours critical to job success.

4. Task Inventory Analysis:

Pioneered by the U.S. Air force to analyze jobs held by Air Force specialists, this is an organization-specific list of tasks and their descriptions used as a basis to identify components of jobs.

(i) While PAQ uses a standardized form to analyze jobs in different organizations, TIA can be tailor-made to a specific organization.

(ii) The technique is developed by identifying a list of tasks and their descriptions that are components of different jobs.

(iii) The objective is to produce a comprehensive list of task statements that are applicable to all jobs.

(iv) The task statements are listed on a task inventory survey form to be completed by the person analyzing the job under review.

(v) The job analysis also notes the importance and frequency of use of the task to the successful completion of the job.

5. Fleishman Job Analysis System:

The system is based on taxonomy of abilities that adequately represent all the dimensions relevant to work. It includes 52 cognitive, psychomotor, physical and sensory abilities.

It consists of descriptions of the ability followed by behavioural benchmark examples of different levels of ability on a 7-point scale. The ratings provide an accurate picture of the ability requirements of the job.


Job Analysis – Utility

The utility of job analysis are discussed below:

1. Human Resource Planning – In forecasting human resource requirements in terms of knowledge and skills.

2. Recruitment – Job analysis it assists served as a search engine to find out how and when to hire people for future job openings.

3. Selection – Job analysis assists in understanding property of what is to be done on a job, as without it selecting a right person would not possible.

4. Placement and Orientation – Job analysis makes into be sure about what is required to be done on a job, without its understanding is not possible to identify the right person suited for the job. In the same way effective job orientation cannot be achieved without a proper understanding of the needs of each job.

5. Training – In case there is any -confusion about what the job is and what is supposed to be done, proper training efforts cannot be initiated.

6. Counselling – Proper counselling can be done by managers’ employees about their careers when they understand the different jobs in the organisation.

7. Employee Safety – A thorough job analysis shows the unsafe conditions that are associated with a job. By studying how the various operations are taken up in a job, managers can detect unsafe practices avoid them or rectify them if they have crept in.

8. Performance Appraisal – On the basis of job analysis a comparison can be made between what an employee is supposed to be doing to what the individual has actually done, the worth of that person can be assessed.

Every organisation has to pay a fair remuneration to people based on their performance. To achieve this, it is important to make comparison between what individuals should do (as per performance standards) and what they have actually done (as per job analysis).

9. Job Design and Redesign – Once the jobs are understood properly, they can be redesigned to mark the mental abilities of employees.

10. Job Analysis for Teams – Historically, companies have established permanent jobs and filled these jobs with people who best fit the job description. The jobs then continued in effect for years to come.

11. Discipline – Job analysis examines the failure of the workers to meet the required standard of performance. On the basis of this study, the responsible reasons are extracted and corrective measures may be taken in time to avoid the further deterioration. In this way, it helps in maintaining discipline in the organisation.

12. Labour Relations – Job analysis proves too helpful in improving labour management relations. It can also be used to resolve disputes and grievances relating to work load, work procedures, etc.

13. Compensation and Benefits – As regards compensation, job analysis is helpful to evaluate the relative value of a particular job to the company before a dollar value is placed on it. From an internal perspective, the more significant its duties and responsibilities, the more the job is worth. Jobs that require greater knowledge, skills, and abilities should be worth more to the firm in comparison to the other ones.

14. Legal Considerations – A well prepared job analysis is particularly important for supporting the legality of employment practices.

15. Job Evaluation – Job analysis helps in finding out the relative worth of a job, based on criteria such as degree of difficulty, type of work done, skills and knowledge required etc. And in turn it, gives assistance in designing proper wage policies; with internal pay equity between jobs.


Job Analysis – Issues

In dynamic and turbulent business situations, job analysis exercises are often viewed with suspicion by the employees. This is particularly true in organisations undergoing frequent or continuous delivering and downsizing. In some organisations, job analysis is used by the management for downsizing or for re-evaluating jobs for wage administration.

To be successful, job analysis needs the support and involvement of various sections of the organisation like the employees, the management, the unions, and of course, the HR department. Hence, it is important to allay employees’ fears by communicating all the details of the exercise in a simple and transparent manner. The purpose of the exercise, and its direct benefits to employees may also be explained to make them feel secure and comfortable.

The second problem associated with job analysis is the need to update the information gathered. Job descriptions and specifications might change as changes take place in the organisation. For example, a new job might have come up due to changes in organisational structure or processes. Thus, updating the information becomes essential.

Two methods can be used to deal with this issue. One method is to ask the supervisors to make an annual review of the changes that have occurred and incorporate these in the job analysis information. The second method is to have managers convey the proposed changes in jobs or reclassification and this is particularly important when reclassification results in change in pay.

In the second method, the management conveys the proposed changes in jobs or their classification, to the employees. This communication to the employees is very important as it may result in change in their pay as well. Once the changes are made with relation to any job, these may be updated in the job analysis information.

All the jobs affected by the changes in the original job need to be reviewed and updated too. The second method is less time-consuming and more effective as changes are incorporated immediately and not at the end of the year.

In instances where a job is held by just one or two employees, job analysis often tends to become subjective and biased. In such cases, the job holder’s perceptions and performance greatly influences the analysis. It is the responsibility of the analyst to maintain his focus and not get caught in this web of individual influence.

It is not advisable to have a very detailed and elaborate job description. The employees tend to draw boundaries and fix their responsibilities. In case there is some extra work to be done or responsibility to be handled, they might try to evade it by quoting the job description. Hence, it is important to have a broad-based and flexible job description, especially in a dynamic organisational environment.


Job Analysis – 6 Main Advantages: Provides First Hand Job-Related Information, Helps in Creating Right Job-Employee Fit, Establishing Effective Hiring Practices & a Few Others

Advantage # 1. Provides First Hand Job-Related Information:

The job analysis process provides with valuable job-related data that helps managers and job analyst the duties and responsibilities of a particular job, risks and hazards involved in it, skills and abilities required to perform the job and other related information.

Advantage # 2. Helps in Creating Right Job-Employee Fit:

This is one of the most crucial management activities. Filling the right person in a right job vacancy is a test of skills, understanding and competencies of HR managers. Job Analysis helps them understand what type of employee will be suitable to deliver a specific job successfully.

Advantage # 3. Helps in Establishing Effective Hiring Practices:

Who is to be filled where and when? Who to target and how for a specific job opening? Job analysis process gives answers to all these questions and helps managers in creating, establishing and maintaining effective hiring practices.

Advantage # 4. Guides through Performance Evaluation and Appraisal Processes:

Job Analysis helps managers evaluating the performance of employees by comparing the standard or desired output with delivered or actual output. On this basis, they appraise their performances. The process helps in deciding whom to promote and when. It also guides managers in understanding the skill gaps so that right person can be fit at that particular place in order to get desired output.

Advantage # 5. Helps in Analysing Training and Development Needs:

The process of job analysis help to select the person and need of training required to accomplish the specific task.

Advantage # 6. Helps in Deciding Compensation Package for a Specific Job:

A genuine and unbiased process of job analysis helps managers in determining the appropriate compensation package and benefits and allowances for a particular job. This is done on the basis of responsibilities and hazards involved in a job.


Job Analysis – 5 Major Disadvantages: Time Consuming, Involves Personal Biases, Source of Data is Extremely Small and a Few Others

Disadvantage # 1. Time Consuming:

It is very time consuming. It is a major limitation especially when jobs change frequently.

Disadvantage # 2. Involves Personal Biases:

If the observer or job analyst is an employee of the same organization, the process may involve his or her personal likes and dislikes. This is a major hindrance in collecting genuine and accurate data.

Disadvantage # 3. Source of Data is Extremely Small:

Because of small sample size, the source of collecting data is extremely small. Therefore, information collected from few individuals needs to be standardized.

Disadvantage # 4. Involves Lots of Human Efforts:

The process involves lots of human efforts. As every job carries different information and there is no set pattern, customized information is to be collected for different jobs. The process needs to be conducted separately for collecting and recording job- related data.

Disadvantage # 5. Job Analyst May Not Possess Appropriate Skills:

If job analyst is not aware of the objective of job analysis process or does not possess appropriate skills to conduct the process, it is a sheer wastage of company’s resources. He or she needs to be trained in order to get authentic data.


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