What is job analysis? Have you ever heard such term, do you know what do you have to do to analyze the position of an employee? If you don’t know about the job analysis – it is a pretty good time to catch up – read the article and find out more about job analysis definition and the most known techniques used for job assessment.

What is job analysis? – table of content:

  1. What is job analysis?
  2. Job post analysis
  3. Techniques of job analysis
  4. Skill analysis
  5. Analysis of competencies
  6. Summary

What is job analysis?

Job analysis is a process of assessment encompassing the role and competences needed for specific job. It is one of the most important methods of human resources management in any organization. The aim of the analysis has several aspects and goals: description of the job position, career development path planning, workplace organization, selection and recruitment, evaluation of job positions and preparation of pay structure in the company.

Job analysis involves systematic collection of information related to the given job post, with the focus on advantages that are coming from having such position in the company. Additionally, job analysis concentrates on necessary skills and knowledge needed by the person that work on this job position.

Job post analysis

Analysis if job position should provide information in relation to the detailed questions such as:

  • What is job position for?
  • What is the scope of duties?
  • What is the employee responsible for?
  • What is the level of effectiveness of ongoing activities?
  • What is the structure of reporting lines?
  • What are the motivational factors?
  • What are the working conditions, workplace equipment and ergonomics?

Job post analysis is a practice that aims to gather specific information. The very first step of the analysis requires to use documentation of the company to find out more about the business, its goals, procedures and organizational structure.

In the next step job position, duties, ongoing activities and general aim of the position goes under scrutiny. At this stage it is helpful to have a conversation with the manager of the department or section and the employees. It is beneficial to ask the employees to keep a journal of ongoing activities for a week or two. Observation of the workplace comes in handy, as well as work shadowing during the day.

Techniques of job analysis

There are many techniques of job analysis that help to collect data quickly and effectively.

  • Conversation – usually hold with employees. All collected data have to be verified with the manager or team leader. The most important matters are: the level of independence, typical problems, level of difficulty, qualification needed, skills needed.Advantages: flexibility, simplicity. Disadvantages: time consuming, laborious analysis of information.

  • Questionnaires – filled by the employees, verified by the manager or team leader. Here crucial is the wording of the questionnaire, that needs to contain simple, transparent, understandable questions. Advantages: useful for analysis of many job positions, save much time. Disadvantages: questionnaire preparation is time consuming, the accuracy of the results depends on the questionnaire quality and interpretative skill of respondents.

  • Checklist – in this method the specific type of the questionnaire is used. The questionnaire is heavily structured and contains only such questions that require a respondent to mark either “yes” or “no”. The respondents can only check or rate the feature of the job. Checklist can be based on the long list of questions-tasks the employees have to mark only those, which are related to their job. Advantages: simplicity, good for many different job positions. Disadvantages: checklist preparation is time consuming, not suitable for small groups of participants

  • Observation – require constant presence during work, when the full information about the job is being gathered: duration of tasks, methods, procedures – all this can be monitored during observation. Advantages: useful for key positions, objectivity. Disadvantages: very time consuming, not suitable for all positions that involve mental activities that are not observable.

  • Self-description – written description of the job position and all tasks made by the employee. Advantages: no preparation stage, extensive comparative material. Disadvantages: difficulties during writing of the description, subjectivity, need to provide a training or provide guidelines before the task.

  • Diaries and reports – kept on a daily basis, describing typical day, hour by hour. Such diaries may be prepared after each working day. Diaries are particularly useful for managerial positions. Advantages: no preparation stage, extensive comparative material. Disadvantages: difficulties during writing of the description, subjectivity, need to provide a training or provide guidelines before the task.

  • Hierarchical analysis of tasks – divides duties into hierarchical sets of tasks and sub-tasks. This method shows all the tasks in a clear and transparent way, describes standards of operation and working conditions. It is being used usually for blue-collar positions. Advantages: detailed analysis of goals with clear path of achieving them. Disadvantages: time consuming, requires high competencies of the analyst.

what is job analysis

Skill analysis

The next stage of job analysis is the examination of skills needed for given job position. The main aim of such investigation is the information about the skills that are needed to achieve certain level of effectiveness. The position is being analyzed mainly with regard to skills and abilities that are required for the position. Skill analysis is being utilized mainly for office and manual work with the use of techniques such as:

  • Distribution of work – position analysis made by dividing all the tasks, processes and duties.
  • Analysis of manual skill – observation of experienced workers during their work, detailed description of movements and body positions.
  • Task analysis – the aim of the analysis is to find possible difficulties and devise related training techniques.
  • Mistakes analysis – analysis of typical mistakes that occur in relation to given position, especially such that result in financial implications.
  • Analysis of learning abilities – assessment of learning abilities that help bring satisfying results.
what is job analysis

Analysis of competencies

The analysis of competencies is related to the behavioral and functional abilities of the employee. The analysis tends to focus on competencies necessary for given job position. There are several techniques used for analysis of competencies:

  • Advice from an expert – very broad and not very effective technique that involves searching for advice from experienced individual, who is asked to make a list of competencies.
  • Structured conversation – the conversation held with many employees is based on list of competencies and allows detailed estimation of the positive and negative indicator of behavior that influences the effectiveness of work.
  • Workshop – workshops are run by individuals that have professional knowledge and work experience. Key competencies of the organization are assessed with this technique.
  • Functional analysis – is a description of the main goal of the position with the definition of its strategic function.
  • Critical event analysis – analysis of competencies based on real, occurring critical events.

Summary

Effective human resources management in the organization requires regular execution of job analysis. The results of the analysis are the starting point for realization of many aims. Analyses enable preparation of job position descriptions, evaluation of job positions and setting of pay structure in the company. Job analysis is the priceless as a tool for motivation, assessment and rewarding of employees. The obtained results may indicate the direction of future development and show the possible ways of effective use of human resources. The management team may use such information to achieve the goals of the organization.

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Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.