Job Analysis: Definition, Process & Methods

Job Analysis

Job Analysis in layman’s language means the procedure of gathering information about a job. This process involves two sets of information.

  • Job Description
  • Job Specification

Before going into these two sets let us talk about a few definitions of Job Analysis.

Job Analysis is a method of collecting and studying about the information related to a particular job. It includes the operations and tasks of a specific job.

Another meaning of Job analysis is a complete examination of activities in a job. It can be considered a technical procedure that can be used to classify the duties and responsibilities of a job.

It can also be defined as a group of tasks which can be performed by a lone employee towards the production of some services or products of an organization.

If we take it in a specific manner, Job Analysis involves the below steps.

  • Recording and collecting the information related to a job.
  • To check the accuracy of the job information.
  • Note down the Job Description as per the data gathered.
  • Use the data to determine the skills and knowledge that is required for a particular job.
  • Updating the gathered information from time to time.

As mentioned earlier Job Analysis is classified into two parts, Let us now discuss these two important parts.

#1.  Job Description

This is a very vital document which is usually explanatory in nature. It consists of both organizational as well as functional information. It provides information as to the scope of activities, position of the job and the responsibilities.

It gives the employees a very clear picture of what is required of him to meet the goals of his job. A good Job Description must consist of the following.

  • It should include the nature and scope of the job along with accountability.
  • A good Job Description should be lucid about the position, responsibilities and duties.
  • The complexity of the job.
  • The amount of skills required for that particular job.
  • How far are the problems consistent?
  • The level of responsibility the worker has for each stage of work.

Contents of Job Description

#1.  Job classification

This includes title of the job, alternate title if any, job code, division or department etc. The title of the job designates the job properly and division or department indicates which department and location does the employee work.

#2. Job Summary

It serves two purposes here; one is that when the Job Title is not sufficient it gives additional information on the job. Secondly it gives more descriptive information about the particular job.

#3. Duties and Responsibilities

This lists out the entire duties and responsibilities of a particular job. Sometimes duties and responsibilities are also listed for particular skills and their incidence of occurrence.

#4. Relation to other jobs

This gives the employees a fair amount of picture as to the hierarchy of the position. Like to whom they are reporting: senior, junior, etc.

#2. Job Specification

Job Specification converts the job description to qualifications that are required for, in performing the job. This is usually a statement which consists of qualification, characteristics, traits etc, for an employee to possess to perform his duties.

The first thing here is to prepare a directory of all jobs and then the next step is to make a write up of each and every job.

Contents of Job Specification

Usually the Job Description consists of the following.

#1. Physical Qualifications

These qualifications or specifications vary from job to job. Physical Qualifications are nothing but the capabilities of employees. These include height, weight, hearing, vision, capacity to handle machines etc.

#2. Mental Qualifications

This includes the ability to interpret data, calculations, planning, general knowledge, judgement, memory etc.

#3. Social and Emotional specifications

This is vital for the role of Managers and Supervisors. It includes emotional constancy and elasticity. It also includes the way they dress, personality and relationship.

#4. Behavioral Qualifications

This qualification is very important in selecting employees for higher levels of management. This specification asks to depict the acts of the managers rather than traits which cause those acts. This includes creativity, research, maturity level, dominance etc.

Methods of Job Analysis

The most general Job Analysis methods are discussed below.

#1. Observation Method

In this method the job analyst observes the employees work and records all the tasks that are performed and also those that are not performed.

This may seem to be an easy method of job analysis, but it is the most difficult one. The main reason being that every person has a different way of observing things, which might involve personal bias, likes and dislikes which will not give the desired results.

#2. Interview Method

In this method the manpower is interviewed. The employee under this method comes up with different ideas towards their working style, problems faced by them and uncertainties or insecurities faced by them.

It helps the organization in knowing exactly what the employees are thinking about their jobs. This helps in minimizing errors as not only one employee is interviewed, but everyone in the organization is interviewed.

#3. Questionnaire Method

This is another common method of Job Analysis, which uses a questionnaire to be filled by the employees. Care should be taken while framing questions for this, because this method also suffers from bias by the superiors.

It is always better if the staff is communicated in a better way to make them understand that the data collected is for their own good. Here different types of questionnaires are prepared for different grades which is also time consuming.

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