Job analysis has traditionally been and continues to be an important aspect of the human resource value chain that helps HR practitioners properly delineate what a particular job role entails and how it differs from other roles. It is a systematic approach to collecting pieces of information about a job, such as the ability to perform certain tasks, responsibilities, and skills required for a specific role. It can also be defined as a process to identify and determine in detail the particular job’s duties, requirements, and the relative importance of these duties. From this definition, it is clear that job analysis involves some identified procedures accepted in HR practices to analyze a particular job properly.
THE IMPORTANCE OF JOB ANALYSIS AS AN HR FUNCTION
- It aids the process wherein judgment is made about data collected on a job.
- Job analysis differentiates one job within an organization from another based on observation and study.
- It also helps the process of reviewing or classifying different sets of jobs.
- It provides the essential foundation for many of the HR activities such as informing compensation and other incentives.
USES OF JOB ANALYSIS
Job analysis assists HR in determining:
*Necessity of the Job: The necessity or otherwise of a particular job role can only be ascertained if HR practitioners subject it to a proper job analysis. By so doing, it becomes easy to identify roles that are overlapping in nature and ones that can exist as a stand-alone role.
*Equipment Needed: The equipment needed to execute a particular job can be quantified and specified after analyzing what the job entails.
*Skills Required: Through job analysis, the level of expertise and skills required becomes clearer.
*Supervision: Some jobs can be performed with minimum supervision, while others demand high-level supervision. Job analysis seeks to unravel all of these for proper planning.
*Working Conditions: Issues bordering on the working conditions of certain personnel in an institution goes to the heart of human resource activities, as it is when workers are satisfied with their working conditions that they give their best at work. Job analysis helps HR in evaluating the working conditions of a particular job role and ascertaining if they need to either enhance it or change it altogether.
*Management/Employee Relationships: Job analysis helps in determining the rapport that exists between employees and managers alike, then proffers the needed solution for the situation at hand.
*Recruiting: Recruitment needs are discovered through the analysis of available vacancies and the suitable hands to fill those slots.
*Selection: During the selection of suitable candidates for a job offer, the analysis of what the job entails can also guide HR practitioners to make the right choice for the role.
*Appraisals: Performance appraisals carried out for personnel would largely be informed by the analysis of a particular job.
*Salaries and Incentives: A major factor in determining the level of compensation for assigned duties would largely depend on a thorough analysis of what goes into that job.
*Training and Development: The training needs of a particular job role also depends on what the job entails.
METHODS OF CONDUCTING JOB ANALYSIS
There are a number of applicable methods for conducting job analysis. A short explanation of each method is included below.
This method entails the direct observation of an employee as they carry out their work. In the ensuing process, it typically becomes obvious to HR practitioners what that job entails, as this method gives the observer firsthand information on the duties assigned to an employee. This is mostly applicable in short-cycle jobs or contract jobs as well as other jobs like machine operator, construction worker, police patrol, and flight attendant.
This involves a discussion between the job analyst and the job occupant or expert. The data gleaned from this interview is often confirmed with the supervisor in the unit where the analysis is being carried out.
This method requires the job holder to record in detail their activities performed on a daily basis. This acts as a tracker for the sampling and analysis of the details of a particular job.
TECHNICAL CONFERENCE METHOD
In this method, the service of the supervisors who possess extensive knowledge about a job is used with the help of a conference of the supervisors. The analyst then initiates the discussion, which gives details about the job. This forum is mostly a convergence of all available expert knowledge on a particular job, so HR analysts at such a meeting benefit from the knowledge transfer that thereby helps in analyzing the job.
FUNCTIONAL JOB ANALYSIS (FJA)
FJA is a method that uses precise terminology and a structured job analysis schedule to record information regarding the job content. It is mostly applicable for recruiting and selection functions.
A questionnaire can be filled out by the employees on an individual or job-specific basis and returned to the analysts for a group of employees.
JOB INVENTORY OR CHECKLIST
These are structured questionnaires that require a respondent to check or rate the behavior or character necessary for a particular job or occasion. It can take the form of a job/task-oriented document or one that is qualification/worker-oriented.
JOB PERFORMANCE METHOD
This method entails job analysts literally performing the Job in question themselves, giving them a firsthand experience of contextual factors on the job, including physical hazards, social demands, emotional pressures, and the mental requirements.
In summary, job analysis can be one critical factor in the HR value chain that permeates all aspects of the organization’s operation. It therefore requires prompt attention to details and the best possible method to get accurate outcomes. All the methods discussed above are not applicable to all manner of jobs; hence, there is a need for discrimination in choosing the applicable methods based on the job specifications.
Phidelia Johnson is a global Human Resources Practitioner with eighteen years of leadership success. With a focus on streamlining Human Resources administration, she’s well-equipped to find the right solution to a myriad of concerns. Her experience as a commercial business leader gives her a unique ability to advocate for both the employer and the employee.
In her down time, Phidelia is a master of her kitchen, creating wonderful dishes filled with passion and flavor. If she’s not cooking delicious food, she’s stretched out with a good book. She hopes to use her experience to help others, guide company leaders to best practices, and help build better professionals and stronger organizations.