What is Job Analysis
By People Excellence Team
28 August 2018
Job Analysis is the process of understanding a job and presenting this information in a format which will enable others to understand the job. Job Analysis normally comprises the following stages:
Principles of Job Analysis
There are four key principles for effective Job Analysis:
Analysis NOT Lists
In drafting a Job Description it is important to analyze the job. This means separating the job into its important constituent parts, examining them, and reassembling them in a way which facilitates understanding. Without analysis, the Job Description is likely to become a wearying check-list of small and unrelated tasks.
Jobs NOT People
Analysis is not concerned with performance, style, character, career history or anything else about the jobholder. It is concerned with the job, and the present jobholder is only involved because he/she usually knows most about it.
Facts NOT Judgement
It is not the role of the facilitator to make judgement about the job, rather the task is to communicate factual information as clearly as possible. It is for the eventual users of the Job Description to form whatever kinds of judgement are necessary for their purpose, on the evidence presented.
The Job as It Is Now
The aim is to capture the job as it is at a particular point in time. The Job Description should not be clouded by references to historic roles or future aspirations, although information on such aspects may well be gathered during the course of discussions about the job. Only developments which are likely to be realized in 2-3 years at most should be considered.
Exhibit 1: Job Analysis Process
In order to have a thorough understanding of a job it is necessary to know about the context in which the job operates. Many facilitators pay insufficient attention to gathering this contextual information, and during job analysis interviews immediately "plunge" into accountabilities.
At the beginning of any job analysis, the facilitator should initially seek to understand the context in which the job operates. This information may come from the jobholder, manager or from additional research. This contextual information will depend on the nature and level of the jobs in question and may include:
It is useful to understand from the outset where the particular job fits into the overall organization structure. The facilitator should ask for, or obtain an up-to-date organization chart or, if this is not available, ask the jobholder or manager to draw one.
Unless the facilitator is familiar with the company, division or department within which the job works, it will be necessary to find out what this part of the organization delivers and to whom.
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Although the Job Description does not include tasks, it is important in terms of job understanding to find out what the main activities of the job are, and what takes most of the time?
The facilitator should find out which jobs report into the jobholder and their purpose.
Framework & Boundaries
This is information about the freedoms available to the job and conversely the constraints in which it operates. It is necessary to find out:
This is information about the key contacts of the job:
The facilitator may also derive benefit from asking about the type of person that would be expected to undertake this job in terms of qualifications, experience, skills, etc. It is important that the facilitator understands what the job requires, as opposed to what an existing job holder may have, and for this reason, it is often useful to ask for a typical recruitment specification. If you were recruiting outside for this job, what sort of person would you be looking for?