Job analysis is the process of gathering all the necessary information about the requirements for a particular job post. The gathered information includes skills required, roles and responsibilities, etc., which are used to create a valid job description. Thus, job analysis provides an accurate and comprehensive overview of the personality required for a particular role. These will become inputs for creating the job description. The output of the analysis usually is two documents - Job Role requirement analysis and Job Description.
The Need For Job Analysis
Organisations always aim to have the right person for the job to ensure work is done efficiently and effectively. But, what about understanding what jobs are required in the organisation so that their business goals are achieved consistently? This is where the job analysis helps. Sometimes, it is also done to understand if there are any gaps in the job roles that the organisation already has. Here are some more benefits of a proper job analysis:
Recruitment - the outcome of the analysis is useful for creating job postings, interviewing candidates and the selection as all the information required for the role is available.
Performance - Employees can be continuously evaluated against the job role requirements that are gathered.
Training - Any finding regarding the gaps in skills for employees or new hires can be addressed via training and development activity.
Job Roles Alignment - a clear and comprehensive list of job roles, tasks that need to be performed and associated skills will provide a great platform for the leaders to re-adjust existing ones or create new roles.
Succession Strategy - As the role landscape and appropriate capabilities are evident from the analysis, leaders can work with HR managers to create a workable strategy to provide succession planning in the organisation.
Job Analysis Techniques
This process could involve many methods and techniques. The goal of the exercise is to uncover the tasks which need to be performed, and what skills and qualifications are required by the holder of the job role to meaningfully contribute. The following methods can be employed for job analysis:
Interview - the job analyst performs a series of interviews with the people currently doing the job. Notes down all the answers to specific questions. The answers are collated and analysed. This has the benefit of providing practical feedback. It can also be a slow process as it takes time to set up the meetings and collate the responses. The quality depends on both the interviews and interview techniques.
Questionnaire - It is similar to the one above. However, the questions are emailed to the target employees for them to respond within a stipulated period. This method is faster. The downside is the dependency on responders' time and their accurate interpretations of the questions when they respond. A variation in this method could be to gather all respondents in a room to complete this exercise as a focused activity. This method lacks the interactive nature of the interview and some details may be missed.
Observation - the analyst tags along the job performer for a week or so to capture all tasks that are performed on the job. This is done with the consent of the employer and without disturbing their work. This has a very practical benefit as the observer usually notices more tasks being performed. This could also be a bit tedious and may miss out on some periodic tasks like monthly or quarterly ones during the period of observation.
Day-in-life - while this is similar to the one above, it is the job performer who creates a log of all tasks/activities done during the day. This exercise can also be done for a week to get as much information about the job as possible. This benefits from a comprehensive list of tasks to analyse later. Again, the quality of the output depends entirely on the individual who is logging all the day's work.
Functional Job Analysis - the job needs to be split into functional parts which can be independently verified as applicable to the job role. This gives a great insight into the job. However, this type of analysis takes an expert who is completely familiar with the job to do the analysis.
HR managers should clearly design the process to go about the job analysis in the organisation. This can help in choosing the appropriate analysis technique. Like any well-designed process, the below steps help implement it smoothly to benefit the organisation:
Goal - it is important to clearly state the purpose and goal of the process. This will drive the decision to choose the method of analysis.
Technique - select the right technique or method appropriate for each job type.
Data - collect, classify, tabulate and clean up the data obtained from the collection exercise to turn it into usable information.
Analysis - perform a thorough analysis of the information that is obtained to catalogue job roles and associated skills and capabilities associated.
Job Descriptions - using all the information obtained, create job descriptions that mention job roles, responsibilities, skills and capabilities.
Communication - the success of any process execution depends on clear and timely communication at every stage to all the stakeholders.
Companies benefit from job analysis when the purpose is clearly known, appropriate methods are used and the process is executed flawlessly.