Job Analysis in Human Resources Management

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.

Definitions of job analysis by eminent scholars as;

  • Edwin B. Flippo defined Job Analysis as the process of studying and collecting information relating to the operations and responsibilities of a specific job.
  • According to Michael J. Jucius, “Job Analysis refers to the process of studying the operations, duties and organisational aspects of jobs in order to derive specification or job description “.
  • According to Blum, “A job Analysis is an accurate study of the various job components. It is concerned not only with an analysis of the duties and conditions of work, but also with the individual qualifications of the worker.”
  • As defined by John A Shubin “Job Analysis is the methodical compilation and study of work data in order to define and characterize each occupation in such a manner so as to distinguish it from all others.”
  • In the words of Scott, Clothier and Spriegel, “Job Analysis is the process of critically evaluating the operations, duties and relationship of the job.”

Job Analysis in Human Resources Management

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:

  • 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.
  • Task: A task is particular work activity which is carried out for different purpose.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Occupation: Occupation is a kind of group of similar jobs found within the organization. Clerk, accountant, engineer are some examples of different occupation.
  • 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.

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 methods: In this method an interview is conducted of the employees who are performing the job or the supervisor or both. There are group of experts to conduct the interview. They ask questions about the job, skill levels required, and difficulty levels associated with the job. They put questions and cross questions and collect information and based on this information job Analysis is prepared. This technique may be time consuming, and the danger exists that employees may exaggerate the importance of their jobs. In addition, certain important elements of the job may be missed both by the interviewer and persons interviewed because of its infrequent occurrence. For example an assembly line worker may also be required to do inventory supplies on a monthly basis. Although this responsibility may be extremely important, it may be overlooked during the interview since it occurs on an infrequent basis.
  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: Most probably questionnaires method is the least costly method of collecting Job Analysis data. Well designed questionnaires have been claimed to be the most efficient way to collect a wide array of job data and information in a short time. In this method a questionnaire is provided to the employees and they are asked to put their remark. The questions may be multiple choice questions or open ended questions. The questions decide how exactly the job Analysis will be done. However, there is the danger that many of the respondents may not complete the questionnaire, may complete it inaccurately, or take an excessively long time to return it. Although questionnaire is less expensive than interviewing, sometimes questionnaires contain the same problem of providing incomplete information and inaccurate in describing the actual tasks performed. However, it is considered as an effective method because of the simple logic that people would think twice before putting anything in writing.
  5. The Position analysis questionnaire (PAQ): Quantification of the process of job Analysis has gained momentum in recent years. One such technique utilising a structured questionnaire is the position analysis questionnaire (PAQ). It was developed in the early 1970s through the efforts of McCormick and others. It consists of 194 job elements of a work-oriented nature which are divided into six major categories. The job elements are normally rated by the analyst on a scale of 0 to 5. Major drawbacks of the use of the PAQ involve its length and the high level vocabulary and complicated scoring requirements.
  6. 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.
  7. Dairy or log method: Companies can ask employees to maintain log records or daily diary mentioning their daily activities along with those activities performed at infrequent intervals and Job Analysis can be done on the basis of information collected from the record. A log record is a book in which an employee records and writes all the activities performed by him while performing the job. The records are extensive and provide a fair idea about the duties and responsibilities associated with any job.
  8. HRD record: Records of every employee are maintained by HR department. The records contain details about educational qualification, job title, years of experience, duties handled, any mistakes committed in the past and if any actions taken. It also includes number of promotions received by employees, their area of work and as well as their core competency etc. Based on these records job analysis is done.
  9. Managerial Job Analysis: Because managerial jobs are different in nature from jobs with clearly observable routines and procedures, some specialized methods have evolved for their analysis. One of the most well known and widely used methods was developed at Control Data Corporation and is labelled as the Management Position Description Questionnaire (MPDQ). This is composed of a listing of over 200 job statements. The MPDQ examines a variety of managerial dimensions, including decision making and supervising.
  10. Computerized Job Analysis: With the growth of the information communication technology, researchers have developed computerized job Analysis systems. An important feature of computerized job Analysis is the specificity of data. All of this specific data is compiled into a Job Analysis database. A computerized job Analysis system often can reduce the time and effort involved in writing job descriptions. These systems have banks of job duty statements that relate to each of the task and specify scope statements of the questionnaires. Computer technology with job Analysis methodology allows firms to develop more accurate and comprehensive job descriptions, linked to compensation programs, and performance appraisal systems. These processes can also provide better data for legal defensibility.
  11. Actual performance of the job: In this method the observer who is in charge of preparing the job Analysis actually does the work himself. This gives him a clear idea of the required skills, the difficulty level of the job, the efforts required and so on and so forth.
  12. Critical incident method: In this method the employees are asked to write one or more critical incidents they have encountered while performing the job. These incidents give ideas about the problem, level of difficulty, how to handle it, qualities required to deal with the incidents and so on and so forth. Critical incident method gives an idea about the job and its importance.
  13. Combination Methods: There are indeed a number of different ways to obtain and analyze information about a job. Each of the methods has its own strength and weaknesses. Therefore, generally, a combination of methods is preferred over one method alone.

All these thirteen methods of Job Analysis 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.

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.

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.

Purposes of Job Analysis

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Benefits of Job Analysis

  • Organizational structure and design: Job Analysis data helps in preparing the organization chart and the organizational structure. Classification of the jobs, relation of each job with one another and various positions and hierarchy of the positions is determined in order to avoid overlapping of authority- responsibility relationship and to avoid distortion in chain of command.
  • Man power planning: Job Analysis data provides the qualitative aspects of the jobs in an organisation. It determines the demands of job in terms of duties to be performed, qualification and personal skills required in the employees. It is a tool which is used for matching job with men.
  • Recruitment and Selection: Job Analysis helps in hiring future human resources of an organisation. Job Description and job Specification provides necessary information that helps to recruit and select the right kind of people for the available jobs.
  • Training and Development: Based on the job requirements identification of the training needs of the persons can be done easily. Training can be provided in those specific areas which will help to improve the job performance.
  • Job Evaluation: Job evaluation refers to studying in detail the job performance by all individual. Information regarding the level of difficulty, skills level, qualities required to perform the job are obtained from job analysis to establish relative worth of different jobs.
  • Promotions and Transfer: Promotion is given to an employee on the basis of the skill and talent required for the future job. Similarly when an employee gets transfer to another branch the job must be very similar to that of his previous job. To take these decisions the information is collected from job Analysis.
  • Performance Appraisal: By comparing actual performance of the employees to the standard set by organisation, the personnel activities like promotion, increments, incentives or corrective actions to enhance job performance is decided. These standards are established using information provided by job Analysis.
  • Career path planning and Employee counselling: Many companies have not taken up career planning for their employees. Employee counselling is done to prevent the employee from leaving the company. Employees are informed about the limitations of jobs in terms of development and are guided to take required steps for their future development. Job Analysis provides such information regarding the areas in which a person requires modification for better career options.
  • Health and safety: Job Analysis points out the risk factor associated with a particular job and thus the action required for the safety of the employees can be taken. Unsafe operations can be eliminated or can be replaced by safe one or the safety equipment’s can be installed.
  • Labor relations: When companies plan to add extra duties or remove certain duties from a job, they require the help of job Analysis, when this activity is systematically done using job Analysis, it does not affect adversely to the union members and do not hamper labor relations.
  • Acceptance of job offer: Appointment letter issued by an organisation always mention the duties to be performed by him. This information is collected from job Analysis, which is why job Analysis becomes important.
  • Discovering Unassigned Duties: Job Analysis can help to reveal unassigned duties if any. However, the end result of job Analysis is effectiveness and efficiency i.e. doing the right thing and doing it rightly and respectively. The underlying motive at the long run is increase in company’s profitability, productivity and sustainability.