Job Analysis – Meaning, Roles, Purposes and Types

Human resources management has to plan their activity to reach maximum level of organizational objective. Human resources personnel must have knowledge regarding skills required to perform various organizational jobs. Job analysis is done to get information regarding the requirement of skill, knowledge, experience, ability and other work related requirement.

A job analysis is a systematic exploration of the activities within a job. Basically it is a technical process, which is used to define the duties, responsibilities, and accountabilities of a particular job. This analysis involves describing detail description about the task one has to perform during work, exploring the relationship with job to technology and determining knowledge, qualifications or the standards of employment, accountability of the person. There is an accuracy in recording activity is involved.

The record consist information regarding following matter:

  1. Element: A job element is considered as the smallest element in which job is being divided. Job element shows every part of the process during a job is done.
  2. Task: A task is particular work activity which is carried out for different purpose.
  3. Duty: Duty involves number of tasks. For example counseling of a candidate is a duty, where several tasks take place for counseling process. A supervisor of a manufacturing unit duty is to keep track of employees work and to make sure that they will do their job perfectly, but for that duty manager has to do many tasks like checking daily record, comparing them, inform employees if they are not performing and give them better solution if there is any problem.
  4. Position: The term position is referred to one or more duties performed by one person of the organization. In any organization there are as many positions as there are employees in the organization. And vacancies may design more positions than employees in the organization.
  5. Job: A job is a kind of position within the organization. There many position in the organization, while for every position there is one job.
  6. Job family: Job family is a group of two or more jobs that either required similar worker characteristic or contain parallel work tasks as determined by job analysis. For example in an insurance company, service clerks and policy correspondents represent two jobs that are placed in a common job family because they have so many similar work characteristics.
  7. Occupation: Occupation is a kind of group of similar jobs found within the organization. Clerk, accountant, engineer are some examples of different occupation.
  8. Career: Career includes sequences of positions, jobs or occupations, which a person has over his/her working life.

Terms that are defined above are mainly considered while doing job analysis.

Read More: Job Analysis in HRM

Job Analysis Methods

There are some methods which a manager use to determine job elements, knowledge, skills and abilities are required to perform certain job. These various methods of job analysis are as follows:

  1. Observation method: In this method, job analyst use to watch employees directly or review their films on the job. This method gives primary information of the job. It provides firsthand information. In several cases, workers would not be able to perform or function most efficiently while they are being directly watched at their work. Therefore job analyst may find some distortion in this method. In some jobs it is possible to watch an employee on their job but in certain jobs it is not possible to watch e.g. in most of managerial jobs it is hard to watch entire activity.
  2. Individual interview method: In this method, the person who is responsible for the jobs are selected and extensively interviewed by the job analyst. In results, these interviews are combined for a single job. This method gives high an effective way for assessing what a job entails or what a job requires. But this method is very time consuming. It takes so much to interview individuals and gather information which is needed for the job.
  3. Group interview method: This method is also similar as individual interview method the only difference is the number of incumbent are two or more than two. It is also an effective method to collect information regarding a particular job. In this method accuracy is increased in assessing jobs, but group dynamics may hinder its effectiveness.
  4. Structured questionnaire method: In this kind of method, job analyst send a structured questionnaire to the worker, in which they check or rate items they perform on their job from a long list of possible task items. Questions which are send seems to be a kind of checklist information that is presented in front of the workers and have to response from the questions that are mentions in the questionnaire. This method gives job analyst a technique which is found as an excellent source of gathering information about jobs. It has been also discover that exception to a job may be overlooked and feedback is often lacking.
  5. Technical conference method: In this method, supervisors with extensive knowledge are gathered. This method utilizes supervisors with high knowledge. This method is used to get specific characteristics of a job are obtain from the experts. Person who are consider as experts are being invite in this method. It is a good way of gathering data. It is found that this technique often overlooks the incumbent workers’ perception and their thinking regarding what they are doing in their job.
  6. Dairy or log method: In this method, job incumbents are being asked to record their daily activities. It provides a lot of information but it is rarely applicable to job activities. This method is one of the forcing ways to get information. It requires lots of work to be done from the incumbent and that’s why it needs more time. If the job analyst want to capture information in the entire range of work activities, this method have to continue from a long period of time.

All these six methods are not meant to be viewed as mutually exclusive. Many organizations have different kind of positions; it may vary from skilled to non skilled employees’ positions. The analysis may use different methods of data collection for different positions. Here job analyst may make a combination of all method or some of the selective method. Some times worker find it difficult to complete an open ended written questionnaire and this may not gives the information which analyst requires. As an alternative interviews and observation might be more appropriate data collection technique.

Role of Job analysis in Human Resources Management Activities

  • Recruitment and selection: Job analysis is one of the good source to identify, the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics required for the positions in the organization. It helps to identifies minimum education, certification, and licensing requirements for a particular position. Being a essential part of job, to identify tasks and responsibility is also done by job analyst. These skills are helpful for the human resources management while they have to recruit or hire a person for a position in the organization. For selection, some pre employment tests are also taken by human resources management department and to identify these tests job analysis is one of the important way.
  • Developing compensation systems: Compensation is typically related to the requirement of the job, such as education, skills and experience needed to perform the job, employees working conditions. Here job analysis provides a standard way to distinguish process to determine pay and other benefits to the workers across the organization. It provides compensation to the employees on the basis of common understanding of the values of job and requirement of the job to perform it.
  • Human resources planning, career development and training: With the help of job analysis, employer can identify the need to training and development for every individual position in the organization. Organization has their standards and different technical and non technical ways for the routine jobs. Some time they need to provides additional skill and knowledge to their workers to perform task in better way and that can be done by training the employees.
  • Performance evaluation: Performance standards come from actual work which worker does in their jobs. Job analysis gives information about tasks and responsibility which an employee has to perform during their jobs. Areas of accountability can be identified and evaluation standards can be developed with the help of job analysis.
  • Risk management: Job analysis can identify risk at workplace. There are many hazardous jobs in organization and employees have to draw their attention while performing those jobs. Job analysis provides information about those hazardous jobs from the information gathered by the incumbent workers or by the expert workers. Organization can use this information to give training to their workers during orientation period or training period. Job analysis can reduce the risk or danger at work if the information is properly used by the human resources management department and given to the department head where ever is needed.
  • Job design: Job analysis provides an entire range of information to perform a job. It gives a view for designing a job. Jobs are designed with the set of work activities to carry out the mission of the organization. There are some internal and external changes which forces organization to restructure and rearrange activities in work. Job analysis provides certain information of the changes in workplace, which an organization has to, identifies and has to accommodate that change.

Read More: Role of Job Analysis

Purposes of Job Analysis

  1. Job descriptions: Job description is a form of written statement which describes jobholder’s activities and the manner in which it should be done. It is accurately portrait with the job content, environment and conditions for the employment. In general there is a common format of job description which includes the job title, duties which one has to perform during the period of employment, some distinguishing characteristic of the job, and the powers and responsibilities of the job holder. Job description proves to be an important resource for recruitment, selection and appraisal. During recruitment, job description describes job to the potential candidate. When an organization hires a person, job description helps to make employee understand what organization expect him/her to do. It can helps to compare performance of the employee with the expected standards during appraisal.
  2. Job specifications: Job specification indicates minimum acceptable qualification that a potential candidate must have to perform a job. Information which is acquired from job analysis, job specification identifies the skills, knowledge and abilities required to do a job. It plays an important role during selection process. It help selector to determine skills, knowledge and abilities of the potential candidate and can be able to take decision that whether candidate is qualified to perform job or not. Candidate who is having personal characteristic in job specification will perform better than the candidate who is lacking these characteristics.
  3. Job evaluations: Job analysis is also providing data for the comparison between current performance in job and expected job. Job evaluation is an important part of compensation administration. It distinguishes and gives information to make comparison between two or more same kind of jobs. Job analysis provides basic information about the job. Then job evaluation compares the performance of the employees in the same kind of job. If someone would not be able to reach the level of expectation which had been design to do a job, will be paid less than who would be able to reach the expectation of the organization.

Read More: Importance of Job Analysis

Factors Affecting Job Analysis Program

To design a job analysis program, job analyst has to consider the factor influencing it. The analyst has to work with the representatives of the organization to determine the most effective methods and procedures for collecting information. It is important for the job analyst to understand who organization operates. Job analyst has to find out best time to obtain information from the incumbent and supervisors. Jobs are not done with the same intensity of the work. Following are some of the factors influencing job analysis program.

  1. Location and number of incumbent: One of the factors which job analyst has to consider while doing job analysis is location of incumbent and number of incumbents. Many organizations have several different units and that units are located in different areas. If a job analyst wants to meet incumbents to get information about their work and that unit where incumbents’ works is for away from main branch of organization, than it is difficult for job analyst to do it on time job analyst have to plan if earlier. It is also time consuming. Some time it takes too many times to reach incumbent just to get few information on the job. Many times there are many incumbents have to be interviewed. They all are not easily available on the same time so to meet them job analysis have to spend lots of time to collect data for the relevant sources. Location and number of incumbents are one of the most influencing factors which a job analyst has to consider for job analysis process. Location of the organization is closer from the place where analyst is, then it is most convenient to reach incumbents and finish analysis in planned time, but it is far away, than it will became time consuming and cost effective. Some thing with the number of incumbents, if there is large number of incumbents to be interviewed than analyst has to figure out how to reach them at a time and when they all are not available on time than it will became difficult but if all of them are available in same time then it became easier for the job analyst to interview them and collection data and information.
  2. Work condition/ environment: This is another factor which job analyst has to consider while doing job analysis. In many situation job analyst have to approach those incumbents who are working in very hazardous condition, Incumbents are operating some heavy machinery, that take long time to shutdown and take long time to start, work condition is on influencing factor which job analyst has to consider while doing job analysts. There are many organization where employees have to wear mask to protect themselves against hazardous chemical coming out from the production. In such situation analyst has to wait till the process is order and incumbent is free to talk has to wait till the process is over and incumbent is free to talk with analyst. Here analyst may has to spent time more than what it was planned. If incumbent is working in very noisy condition and can’t answer the questions of analyst, then again it is wastage of time for analyst. Analyst has to consider that in what kind of working condition incumbent is working, so that analyst can plan his/ her meeting with incumbent and save the time of job analysis process.
  3. Knowledge, technology, and personal factors: There is one more factor which is influencing job analysis program and if is knowledge of incumbent, technology which is being used at working area and technology which organization wants to implement, and personal attitude, behavior belief regarding the job which incumbent is doing, sometimes incumbent has a sound knowledge about what analyst is looking for, but when incumbent does not have much knowledge about the job and analyst has to interview him/his at this time analyst will not get relevant answers or data which can be useful for job analysis. If affect job analysis process. technology is one and when analyst has to approach incumbent who is working with old technology.

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