The purpose of a job analysis in human resources is to collect information about a job by analyzing the duties, responsibilities, tasks and activities of the job. A job analysis should identify the types of technologies and equipment that are to be used on the job and point out the types of education and experience that are required for the job to be done successfully. This information is used to prepare a job description, which states the specific duties and responsibilities of a person in the job. Human resource managers also use the job analysis data to conduct other human resources activities, such as recruitment and selection, performance evaluation, and the design of training and career development programs. To successfully plan for the future, organizations working on a strategic plan need to conduct a job analysis for their current positions and possible future positions. This will help them to determine whether the needed abilities and qualifications can be found in their current employees, whether it would be beneficial to undertake extensive training for current employees, or whether hiring new people is the best solution.
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The interest of job analysis stems from the foundations of human resources. To be successful in the profession the understanding of job analysis is paramount to the industry. The ultimate purpose is to improve the performance of individuals in the organization. As bohlander says, the ultimate purpose of job analysis is to improve organizational performance and productivity  . By conducting a job analysis it will improve the organization and address challenges in a way that improves organizational effectiveness. 
History of Job Analysis
Job analysis emerged as a management tool around 1900’s. It was used by managers to understand and direct companies. Analyzing Frederick W. Taylor theories and studies, his major focus was to study ways to improving the efficiency of work, made studying the job one of his principles of scientific management. From his ideas emerged time and motion study of jobs. Early organization theorists were interested in how jobs fit into organizations; they focused on the purpose of the job. But this early interest in job analysis disappeared as the human relations movement focused on other issues. It was not until the 1960s that psychologists and other behavioral scientists rediscovered jobs as a focus of study in organizations. 
Definition of Job Analysis
A job analysis is a process to identify and determine in detail the particular job duties and requirements and the relative importance of these duties for a given job. Job Analysis is a process where judgments are made about data collected on a job. 
Job analysis importance and purpose
Executing a job analysis is very important, because it allows companies to access their jobs and meet compliance with the legal framework. It will provide employees with a legal validation of employment decisions. Define duties and tasks (job description), identify reporting relationships, it is used to determine relative worth for jobs and identifies redundancy. 
Analysis of jobs in an organization is a primary task for setting a baseline that enables human resources professionals to effectively manage job-related activities. Job analysis consists of two components: job description and job specification.
Job Description states job related details such as duties and responsibilities, salary and incentives, working conditions and facilities
Job Specification gives the related details like qualifications and qualities required by job holders, experience and training required
Job Analysis is an efficient way to gather useful information about a job, and its cost-effectiveness makes it affordable for organizations
Any attempt to apply HR resources and talent to the organization jobs will be more effective if those jobs are clearly specified in terms of their variables. An effective training program for a particular job cannot be developed unless information about what the job entails is elucidated, for example. Details about the job content, systems, standards, and demands can be used to choose or develop a training program that specifically meets the needs of the employees a job analysis is useful for many reasons. It can facilitate employee performance evaluations and promotions by identifying the level of work the employee has been
The purpose of Job Analysis is to establish and document the accomplishing well and specifying the level of work required for the new job. 
Why Perform a Job Analysis? ‘job relatedness’ of employment procedures such as training, selection/recruitment, compensation, and performance appraisal.
Determining Training Needs will allow HR to execute needs assessment by identifying training content, skills and training needed to perform the job effectively. Provide assessment tests to measure effectiveness of training granting validity and reliability. It also provides HR a framework of criteria to choose the right tools to deliver the training
Job Analysis can be used in compensation to establish the value of a job before dollar value can be place on it. Identify the skills levels and compensable job factors, required level of education and allow organizations to implement employment equity by adjusting pay rates and providing rate scales to establish pay.  It also plays an important role in selection/ recruitment procedures, by providing a detailed description of the job duties that should be included in job ads to fill job positions, the appropriate salary level for the vacant position to help determine the compensation package to be offered to a candidate. The jobs analysis provides a framework in terms of education and experience level .Incorporating screening criteria as interview questions, selection tests and applicant appraisal. For the other side, it provides new hires orientation materials, due to the clear criteria and clear vision of their responsibilities and duties. Although, job analysis is used to set the job description and specification it is also use to set performance standards, it sets out the guideline for a Performance Review by establishing goals and objectives and evaluation criteria. 
When is a Job Analysis Performed?
Job analysis is used by human resources to establish job specifications, descriptions and standards. But their horizon isn’t limited to that; its information is used in other contexts such as personnel selection, recruiting by providing realistic job data. For legal compliance, it allows organizations to implement employment equity programs, ESA compliance. It is used to set a guide for performance appraisals. It allows HR to identify job similarity to ease transfers. And a common result of a job analysis is to improve employee’s motivation and job satisfaction by executing job re designing and re engineering. 
What Aspects of a Job Are Analyzed?
Duties and Tasks The basic unit of a job is the performance of specific tasks and duties. Information to be collected about these items may include: frequency, duration, effort, skill, complexity, equipment, standards, etc.
Environment This may have a significant impact on the physical requirements to be able to perform a job. The work environment may include unpleasant conditions such as offensive odors and temperature extremes. There may also be definite risks to the incumbent such as noxious fumes, radioactive substances, hostile and aggressive people, and dangerous explosives.
Tools and Equipment Some duties and tasks are performed using specific equipment and tools. Equipment may include protective clothing. These items need to be specified in a Job Analysis.
Relationships Supervision given and received. Relationships with internal or external people.
Requirements The knowledges, skills, and abilities (KSA’s) required performing the job. While an incumbent may have higher KSA’s than those required for the job, a Job Analysis typically only states the minimum requirements to perform the job. 
Components of job analysis:
Job analysis: The process of describing and recording many aspects or elements of the job. The outcome of job analysis has two components
Job description: A written summary of task requirements. This is the physical and environmental characteristics of the work to be done.
Job specification: A written summary of work requirements (knowledge, skills, aptitudes, attitudes)  .
Job analysis is performed by HR professionals trough a series of methods, this are chosen in order to agree with the objectives or goals of the job analysis. One method might work for a job and another is more efficient for another. Methods can take the following form; task inventory, observation, interviews, diaries, technical conference and/or participant observation. 
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Is Job Analysis critical?
Understanding and being able to perform good job analysis is an essential human resource function forming the basis of selection, promotion, training, and etc. It is the best way to establish what exists, is good and should be changed. Without a job analysis or needs assessment human resources is a stab in the dark, at best, and probably a waste of time and money. 
Job analysis is required in the field of staffing since any predictor used to select a person must be job-relevant. Determining job relevance requires having knowledge of what is happening in the job, usually through job analysis. Likewise, in compensation, the requirements of the Equal Pay Act require jobs that are substantially similar to be paid the same. The determination that two jobs are substantially similar is done through job analysis.
Argument against: problems with job analysis
A job is a collection of tasks and responsibilities that an employee is responsible to conduct. Jobs have titles. A task is a typically defined as a unit of work, that is, a set of activities needed to produce some result, e.g., vacuuming a carpet, writing a memo, sorting the mail, etc. Complex positions in the organization may include a large number of tasks, which are sometimes referred to as functions. Job descriptions are lists of the general tasks, or functions, and responsibilities of a position. Typically, they also include to whom the position reports, specifications such as the qualifications needed by the person in the job, salary range for the position, etc. Job descriptions are usually developed by conducting a job analysis, which includes examining the tasks and sequences of tasks necessary to perform the job. The analysis looks at the areas of knowledge and skills needed by the job. Note that a role is the set of responsibilities or expected results associated with a job. A job usually includes several roles. 
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