How to Conduct a Job Analysis
Job analysis is the foundation for all assessment and selection decisions. Without it, a company runs the risk of hiring the wrong people, conducting ineffective performance appraisals, designing inaccurate job descriptions, and misalignment between its salary scale and industry benchmarks.
Simply put, job analysis is the process of identifying and determining the particular job duties, requirements, and relative importance of these duties for a given job. Job analysis is also useful for determining the knowledge, skills, and abilities (competencies) needed to perform a given job at the level required to achieve the company’s goals and objectives.
To conduct a job analysis, follow the below procedure:
- Align with management: The biggest mistake an HR professional can make is by starting the job analysis without discussing the process with top management. For job analysis to yield the desired results, it must be aligned with the company’s goals and objectives. Conducting a job analysis in vacuum doesn’t give HR any context for analyzing results.
- Job analysis questionnaire: Questionnaires are the most basic form of job analysis and are mainly used when there is a large number of positions to analyze, when analysis is being conducted remotely, or as an initial data gathering tool before moving on to another technique. It is important that the questionnaire is structured in a way to provide information on the job duties the position involves and the skills needed to perform them. Also, questionnaires are a good way to ask about which duties do not add value to the position and which areas of the job can be improved. For positions that are routine in scope, HR consultants sometimes substitute questionnaires with job shadowing (or desk audits), which is simply observing employees while doing their jobs and taking notes of what they see in terms of duties, required skills, and percentage of time allocated to each type of task.
- Job analysis interviews: Once the questionnaire data has been analyzed, the HR consultant or manager will usually have some questions. Issues such as overlapping tasks between positions and unclear reporting lines are examples. In addition, interviews are also used with mid-level and senior positions to learn more about the managerial and leadership competencies required to fulfill the respective jobs.
- Competency-based job descriptions: The job analysis data allows HR consultants and professionals to write job descriptions that match the duties performed in each job. By highlighting the competencies needed for each position, HR and line managers are now able to hire and assess performance more effectively.
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