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Undertaking a Job Analysis

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Job analysis is an important aspect of human resource planning. Job analysis is the process of determining the duties and tasks of a particular position occupied by an individual in the firm and the characteristics of the individual who should be hired. The analysis provides information on the requirements for performing the job, which information is then used for developing job descriptions and job specifications. Job descriptions detail what the job entails while job specifications list the characteristics, competencies and attributes of the individuals who will be recruited, selected, and hired for the job.

For the small firm, conducting a job analysis requires you to refer to your organizational structure. The structure flows from your business and operating strategies. Job analysis is a fairly straightforward and simple HR activity. However, it is a tedious process and entails a lot of work. In analyzing jobs, you will identify the positions to be analyzed, collect job analysis data, review information derived from the analysis, and develop the corresponding job descriptions and job specifications for the selected positions.

Some of the information that should be gathered for analyzing jobs include the work activities performed on the job which provide the rationale for the job; the human behaviors that will allow the individual holding the job to perform the job effectively; the machines, tools and other equipment to be used while on the job; the standards of performance with which performance will be compared; the physical environment in which the job will be performed including working conditions; and the job related skills and personal attributes to perform the job effectively.

Job analysis will allow you to generate information on the tasks the holder of the job is expected to perform, and the skills the individual has to possess to perform the job effectively. Analyzing jobs is about identifying the task and personality factors relevant to performance on the job.

Job analysis is useful in almost all human resource management activities, particularly in recruitment and selection, performance appraisals, training and development, health and safety programs and compensation and benefits decisions.

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