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Job Analysis Methods

Job Analysis Methods

Want to learn about the different job analysis methods that human resource professionals use in order to define jobs and profile them? Here is a quick overview of them.
Workspirited Staff
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2018
Before learning about the different methods, it is important to understand the concept of job analysis. It refers to the systematic study of different jobs to understand the work activities, tasks, and responsibilities that need to be undertaken by employees for the same.
It also defines the qualities and characteristics needed in order to ensure that the work performance of the employees reaches optimum levels.
These methods help ensure that the right candidate is hired for a job. In plain and simple terms, it is a systematic technique to gather information, and identify those qualities that are needed in order to perform a job.
When such different techniques are employed, the analysis is done on the basis of the demand of the job at that time and not as per its demand if it were in another organization or as it was in the past. This is not a subjective study of just one person who is doing the job, nor does it analyze thought processes or traits of a person.
So, what are the different advantages? The data that is made available to the organization after this analysis helps in the decision-making process. It also serves as a way to help different organizations cope with the changes that occur as a result of the changes in technology and needs of the world.
They need reliable information that can help them design profiles for various jobs. Not receiving complete information about a job can result in its incorrect evaluation that, in turn, can result in unfair pay scales.
Besides setting the pay scale of the organization, information obtained as a result of this process is useful in recruiting, planning of organizational hierarchy, designing jobs, training, settling grievances, and other such programs. It is also helpful in ensuring job satisfaction in employees.
Common Methods
There are several of them that are employed to analyze the demand of the job. These include interviews, questionnaires, observation, investigations, etc. It is generally common for most professionals in human resources management to use a group of methods for this purpose.
Such a professional may actually observe employees for the analysis and then, interview them to understand what they believe that the job needs. This means that the person conducting the analysis uses both observation and interviews for this purpose.
He may actually back these techniques with employee surveys and meetings with psychologists, in order to detail out the profile obtained as a result of job analysis. The different commonly used methods are described here:
Observation
One of the most commonly used techniques, a person trained for the job will observe the employee and make records of all the tasks he performs and the methods he employs to perform them.
If the professional observing employs the method of continuous observation, then he will observe the employee for a long period of time, which is specified and if he employs a technique that is commonly called sampling, then he will observe different employees, performing the same jobs across periods.
Interview
As the name suggests, in this method, the professional conducting the analysis interviews an employee, trying to understand the different skills that the employee needs to use in order to perform his tasks. It is, generally, advisable to interview more than one person to get a reliable pool of data, as the answers to the questions asked will be subjective.
You can also conduct group interviews, where every employee contributes towards building the profile. This is one of the common methods for police officers and other security and defense forces job profiling.
Questionnaire
This is another commonly used technique, where the analyst frames a questionnaire with standard, structured questions that help identify the tasks related to the job and also, the time they spend on performing it.
In this type of questionnaire, the employee sticks to answering the questions in the list. An open-ended questionnaire will have the employee describing his job and tasks involved in his own words.
Other techniques that are commonly used are critical incidents, wherein the analyst defines a job on the basis of the behavior needed to perform it. Maintaining a diary is also a common method, where employees are asked to record activities and tasks that they perform as part of their job.
Often, experts are hired to provide information about the job profile and the characteristics needed in an employee performing it. These are just some of the most commonly used techniques. There are other more specialized methods that enable professionals to define the job better.