How to conduct a job analysis
Before we get into the how, what, who, and why of the job analysis process, let’s kick off with a few of the basics.
What is a job analysis?
In plain terms, it’s a deep-dive into every part of the job. It includes all the data relating to what it takes to do the job, how the job is performed, the benefits, tasks, and its relation to other posts and roles within the company and the industry.
The importance of job analysis in a structured business soon becomes apparent when you understand what it provides. It defines vital data throughout key areas:
- Knowledge, skills, and abilities required to carry out the job
- Activities, duties, responsibilities, and critical tasks
- Working conditions
- Interactions and communication with other departments, offices, partners, and clients
- How the role relates to the organization structure
- Performance standards
- Machinery and equipment utilized
- Supervision—delivered and received
- Training and development
- Promotions and in-house appointment
- Recruitment and selection
- Expected outcomes
- Compensation administration
- Risk management, security, and health and safety
Who should conduct a job analysis?
Typically, HR carries out most job analysis roles, but there are occasions where a specialist consultant is employed to carry out the work.
The benefit of hiring a consultant is their ability to focus on a specific task.
Your HR team, or an employee currently in the role, will already have their typical workload to carry out. Squeezing in another task may mean they deliver less than their full attention to the matter at hand, providing a much weaker end-product.
If there are several jobs to analyze, hiring a consultant provides uniformity throughout each of the roles and promotes greater efficiency in the process.
What is the purpose of job analysis?
These deep-dive documents show how the roles within an organization connect to deliver its objectives. They also create an all-in instruction guide for the HR department and anyone else in need of the same documentation.
Here are some of the prime job analysis benefits:
Not only will an accurate analysis help deliver the most inclusive job description, but it also aids team managers and analysts to improve roles and specifics. This helps to boost performance within each department, as well as the overall operation of the company.
Recruitment and selection
The analysis creates a clear understanding of the type of person required to do the job. It highlights the education, qualifications, experience, and skills required from ideal candidates. It also defines rewards, salary, conditions, prospects, daily process, and role expectations.
Combining both of these data satisfies the information required for clear design and presentation of advertising and marketing to fill those posts.
Training and development
Understanding the role’s current operation’s strengths and weaknesses indicate areas where training or further development is required.
A well-defined compensation policy makes delivering essential information to candidates far simpler and creating enticing marketing materials. Elements including pay scales, bonuses, incentives, promotions, and restructuring opportunities—all of which add to the attractiveness of a position.
These elements don’t only help attract new talent but also to retain and motivate existing employees.
Optimizing performance reviews
This works in both directions. Developing each job analysis highlights the objectives and the performance of current employees.
Periodic performance reviews consider the elements that make up your job analysis, showing whether your team meets goals and hopeful outcomes, whether they’re realistic, or whether they need updating and redesigning.
The key job analysis methods
These are the primary tools for job analysis. Each method has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Hopefully, by combining the data from each element, patterns you can trust should emerge, and the data gathered provides an accurate outline to create the ideal analysis.
Job analysis interviews
Interviews need to be carried out with the team members who understand the role better than anyone else. This includes the employees currently carrying out those tasks and their managers.
More often than not, the HR team and company executives don’t have the same idea of what’s involved in the job on a daily basis, nor the typical problems and issues requiring regular attention on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
When interviewing your key players, it’s vital to maintain a structured, systematic approach, to retain accuracy, continuity, and clean data.
- Ask all interviewees the same questions in the same order.
- Record all of your answers to compare and evaluate against existing or expected data.
- Implement a standard interview structure for any different interviewers to adhere to.
A poor structure allows conversations to go off-topic, making data harder to recognize and compare. Each question must be designed to uncover specific data. Without sticking to a rigid structure, it can be almost impossible to spot the necessary patterns required to identify the factors that will define your analysis.
Job analysis observation
Observation creates an opportunity to reveal factors an interview may fail to uncover. It gives the analyst first-hand information into the existing operation.
It’s a great way to identify elements that employees may try to hide or are embarrassed or unsure of whether to mention.
While it offers the analyst a more hands-on understanding of the role, there are some disadvantages.
- Employees may work more efficiently or differently under observation, affecting the accuracy of the data.
- Not all of the typical duties will happen during a specifically allocated timeframe.
- Executive and managerial roles are often far more challenging to monitor and observe.
Job analysis questionnaires
Questionnaires help to fill the gaps between interviews and observations. They’re also applicable to a range of staff throughout the company: employees, supervisors, managers, and more.
A questionnaire creates a simple, time-friendly, and economical method to gather information throughout various departments.
Your questionnaires’ design can include checklists, multiple-choice, and open-ended questions, whichever methods are easiest for those filling out the answers, and offers the easiest ways to compile their data.
It also creates an option for employees to deliver more honest information without having to face an interviewer. On the other hand, written responses can be confusing and open to misinterpretation.
What to include in a job analysis questionnaire & interview:
Review the responsibilities of your current employees
Finding out precisely what duties your employees currently carry out is imperative to see if they match what’s expected, previously documented, or if they’ve drifted away from target actions and goals.
Although HR and management deliver hopeful outputs and expectations, they might not know what the role involves daily.
Creating a detailed analysis means understanding the job on every level. Each action needs to be detailed accurately to provide the best instructions to new applicants, to understand precisely what’s expected of them.
Carrying out research into other businesses and organizations with the same or similar job roles
It’s not entirely unacceptable to refer to an example of a job analysis provided by competitors or another organization within the same industry.
It’s vital to create a bespoke analysis for your operation, yet, looking into how others produce theirs often introduces areas you may not have considered.
Copying somebody else’s work is lazy and not at all a good way to achieve your best results, but using them as a guide or as a reference, can provide additional inspiration.
Analyzing daily duties, tasks, and responsibilities of the role.
As you look into each job and duty, you may find areas where overlapping roles create inefficiencies or move functions to different departments better equipped for the purpose.
Are there tasks and responsibilities allocated to more appropriate employees or departments to ease pressures and upgrade efficiency?
Combining industry information from other data points
There are plenty of statistics and data available for the most popular and accepted industries. Utilizing them can guide where you’re pitched regarding salaries, benefits, conditions, and alternate roles. Not only will they guide you into areas of improvement, but they can also help you prevent staff from leaving for more advantageous opportunities.
Determine the critical outcomes and contributions required for and by the role
Sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees. When putting together a job analysis, analysts can become so involved in the process that they miss the true point or become sidetracked from what they’re trying to achieve.
Creating a clear, concise document—fit for purpose—is a necessity. Test your documents with those who do and don’t understand the role.
You can ask those directly connected to the job if it’s clear and if any vital areas or points are missing.
And then, ask team members who aren’t experienced with the role if the document creates a complete and clear interpretation of what’s involved and about any areas they feel are missing or aren’t easy to understand.
A great job analysis takes plenty of planning, structure, and organization.
The rewards, however, are many. They’re vital for all departments, and newcomers, to understand the complete company strategy and its model. They also create huge potential in attracting fresh talent and the very best players in your business.
Having the right tools for the job, understanding what data you need, and how to go about getting it is imperative in creating the most coherent, streamlined, and systemized job analysis documents available—for everyone.