Job Analysis


Literature Review

Job Analysis

Organizations consist of jobs that have to be staffed. Job analysis is the procedure through which you determine the duties of these position and the characteristics of the people to hire for them. Job analysis produces information used for writing job description ( a list of what the job entails) and job specifications ( what kind of people to hire for the job). ( James Clifford, summer 1994). Job analysis also plays a big role in EEO(Equal Employment Opportunity) compliance. U.S. Federal Agencies' uniform Guidelines on Employees Selection Stipulate that job analysis is a crucial step in validating all major human resources activities. For example, to comply with the American with Disabilities Act, employers should know each job's essential job function- which in turn requires a job analysis ( James Clifford, spring 1996).

In some firms, job analysis is still a time consuming process. It might take several days to interview 5 or 6 sample employees and their managers, and to try to explain to them the process and the reason for the analysis. Increasingly, however, the same process might take just three or four hours. The step might include: great participants, and conduct very brief introductions; briefly explain the job analysis process and the participants' roles in this process ;spend about 15 minutes determining the scope of the job you're about to analyze, by getting agreement on the job's basic summary; identify tasks within each duty area, using a flip chart or collaboration software; and finally print the task list and get the group to sign off on it ( Darin and Hartley, September 2004).

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There are several methods for collecting job analysis information. The interview is probably the most widely used method for identifying a job's duties and responsibilities, and its wide use reflects its advantages. It's a simple and quick way to collect information, including information that might never appear on a written form. The interview also provides an opportunity to explain the need for and functions of the job analysis. But, distortion of information is the main problem- whether due to outright falsification or honest misunderstanding (Wayne Cascio, 1998). Job analysis is often a prelude to changing a job's pay rate. Employees therefore may legitimately view the interview as some sort of "efficiency evaluation" that may affect their pay. They may then tend to exaggerate certain responsibilities while minimizing others (Richard Henderson, 1994). In one study researchers listed possible job duties either as simple task statement, or as ability statements. Respondents were much more likely to include the ability based versions of the statement than they were to include the simple task statement. There may be tendency for people to inflate their job's importance when abilities are involved, so as to impress the perception of others (Frederick Morgeson, 2004).

There are several advantages of the position analysis questionnaire. The advantages of the position questionnaire is that it provides a quantitative score or profile of any job in term of how that job rates on five basic activities: having decision making/communication/ social responsibilities, performing skilled activities, being physically active, operating equipment and processing information. In other words, it let you assign a quantitative score to each job based on its decision making, skilled activity, physical activity, equipment operation and information-processing characteristics( Edwin Cornelius III, Theodore, and Marianne Collins, 1979). Most of these job analysis methods suffer from one or more of several problems. Face- to- face interview and observations can be slow and time consuming. The information is difficult to update quickly. Collecting the information from internationally dispersed employees is challenging (Roni Reiter-Palmon, 2006).

Some firms use a single approach, like having the job analyst do interviews with current job incumbents. Yet one study suggest that using just one source is not wise. The problem is that any single approach has potential drawbacks (Frederick P. Morgeson and Micheal A. Campion, 1997). The employer almost always uses the job analysis to produce a job description. A job description is a written statement of what the worker actually does, how he or she does it and what the job's working conditions are.(Henderson,1999). Responsibilities and duties is the heart of the job description. It should present a list of the job's significant responsibilities and duties ( Milton Hakel, 2006).

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Some job descriptions contain a standard of performance section. This lists the standards the employee is expected to achieve under each of the job description's main duties and responsibilities. Setting standards is never an easy matter. However, most managers soon learn that just telling subordinates to do their best doesn't provide enough guidance (Louisa Wah, 1987). Nowadays, most employers probably still write their own job descriptions, but more are turning to the Internet. The process sis simple. Search by alphabetical title, keyword, category, or industry to find the desired job title.This leads you to a generic job description for that title (Craig,T, 2008).

The U.S. Department of Labor's occupational information network, called O NET is an increasingly popular Web tool. It allows users to see the most important characteristics of occupations, as well as the experience, education, and knowledge required to do each job well. Both the Standard Occupational Classification and O NET include the specific tasks associated with many occupations. O NET also provides skills, including basic skills such as reading and writing , process skills such as critical thinking, and transferable skills such as persuasion and negotiation. An O NET listing also include information on worker requirement, occupation requirement and experience requirement ( Matthew evered,2006).

The job specification takes the job description and answers the question, "What human traits and experience are required to do this job well?" It shows what kind of person to recruit and for what qualities that person should be tested. The job specification may be a section of the job description, or a separate document entirely (Ernest J. Mc Cormick, 1974). Writing a job specifications for trained employees is relatively straightforward. For example like these, your job specifications might focus mostly on traits like length of previous service, quality of relevant training., and previous job performance. Thus, it's usually not too difficult to determine the human requirement for placing already trained people on a job (Ghada El-Kot,&Mike Leat , 2008). The problems are more complex when you're filling jobs with untrained people. Here you must specify qualities such as physical traits, personality, interests, or sensory skills that imply some potential for performing of for being trained to do the job (WATSON, JOHN G.,&ROWE, CLAIR D., April 1976).

Most job specifications come from the educated guesses of people like supervisors and human resource managers. There are several ways to get educated guesses or judgment. You could simply review the job's duties, and deduce from those what human traits and skills the job requires. You can also choose them from the competencies listed in Web- based job description (Stetz,T., 2008) In any case use common sense when compiling a list of the job's human requirements. Certainly, job-specific human traits like those unearthed through job analysis- manual dexterity, say, or educational level are important. However, don't ignore the fact that some work behaviour may apply to almost any job (Beaubien,J,2008). The point, says the researcher, is that in developing the job description and job specification, make sure you really understand the reason for the job and the job and therefore the skills a person actually needs to be competent at it (Porr,W.,2009).

Basing the job specifications on the statistical analysis is the more defensible approach but it's also more difficult . the aim here is to determine statistically the relationship between some predictor or human trait, such as height, intelligence, or finger dexterity; and some indicator or criterion of jib effectiveness, such as performance as rated by the supervisor (&Lyons,B., 2008). This method is more defensible than the judgmental approach because equal rights legislation forbids using traits that you can't prove distinguish between high and low job performers. For example, hiring standards that discriminate based on sex, race, religion, national origin, or age may have to be shown to predict job performance. Ideally, this is done with a statistical validation study, as in the five step approach . In practice, most employers probably rely more on judgmental approaches. Many managers and employers will turn to the web for a practical approach for creating job description and specification (Sue-Ellen Kjeldal., 2006).

Not coincidently, many employers and job analysis expert say traditional job analysis procedures can't go on playing a central role in HR management. Their basic concern is this: that in high performance work environments in which employers need workers to seamlessly move from job to job and exercise self- control, job descriptions based on lists of job-specific duties may actually inhibit the flexible behaviour companies need. Employers are therefore shifting toward newer approaches for describing jobs( Jeffrey Shippmann, 2000).

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Competency- based job analysis basically means writing job descriptions based on competencies rather than job duties. It emphasizes what the employee must be capable of doing , rather than on a list of the duties he or she must perform. We can simply define competencies as demonstrable characteristics of the person that enable performance. Job competencies are always observable and measureable behaviours comprising part of a job (Mark R Raymond, 2005)

We can say formally that competency- based job analysis means describing the job in terms of the measurable, observable, behavioural competencies ( knowledge, skills, and behaviours) that an employee doing that job must exhibit to do the job well. This contrast with the traditional way of describing the job in ters of the duties and responsibilities (Micheal Hammer,1993). Traditional job analysis focuses on " what" is accomplished- on duties and responsibilities. Competency analysis focuses more on "how" the worker meets the job's objectives or actually accomplishes the work (James Champy, 1993).

Three reasons to use competency analysis to describe jobs in terms of competencies rather than duties. First reason is the traditional job descriptions may actually backfire if a high- performance work system is your goal. Second, describing the job in terms of the skills, knowledge, and competencies the worker needs is more strategic. And lastly, measurable skills, knowledge and competencies supports the employer's performance management process (Micheal Esposito, 1992).