CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROCESS
OF JOB ANALYSIS
TUTOR: BEV SUTHERST
SUBMISSION DATE: 03/10/2011
This report aims to briefly explain the principles and purposes of job analysis and the reasoning behind it. I will describe 3 of the most common methods used in job analysis and explore the advantages and disadvantages of the methods. I will also give details of a basic job analysis plan and how it was carried out.
THE PURPOSES, PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF JOB ANALYSIS
Job analysis is the process used to collect as much data as possible about the duties, responsibilities, necessary skills, outcomes, and work environment of a particular job
A typical outcome of job analysis would be a specific job description and person specification for a particular post. Additional outcomes could include improvements in recruiting strategies, position postings and advertisements, workforce planning, staffing levels and workforce training needs. Job analysis aims to answer questions such as: 1. Why does the job exist? 2. What physical and mental activities does the worker undertake? 3. When is the job to be performed? 4. Where is the job to be performed? 5. How does the worker do the job? 6. What qualifications are needed to perform the job? 7. What are the working conditions (such as levels of temperature, noise, offensive fumes, light) 8. What machinery or equipment is used in the job? 9. What constitutes successful performance? There are several ways to conduct a job analysis, including: interviews with employees and supervisors, questionnaires (structured, open-ended, or both), observation, and gathering background information such as work diaries, statements or classification specifications. In job analysis conducted by HR professionals, it is common to use more than one of these methods.
Methods of Job Analysis
Observation of work activities and worker behaviours is a method of job analysis which can be used independently or in combination with other methods of job analysis.
Using direct observation, a person conducting the analysis simply observes employees in the performance of their duties, recording observations as they are made. The observer either takes general notes or works from a form which has structured categories for comment. Everything is observed: what the worker accomplishes, what equipment is used, what the work environment is like, and any other factors relevant to the job. Direct observation methods have certain natural limitations for job analysis purposes. First, they cannot capture the mental aspects of jobs, such as decision making or planning, since mental processes are not observable. Thus, observation methods are best used for manual tasks. Secondly, observation itself can alter the behaviour of the worker being observed so the results can be distorted.
Interview the job holder and/or supervisor
The reason behind the use of this method is that jobholders are most familiar with the job and workers know the specific duties of the job and supervisors are aware of the job’s relationship to the rest of the organization. It is the most commonly used method as it is very adaptable. Interviews can be conducted with post holders, technical experts and supervisors and is simple, quick, and can be comprehensive because the interviewer can unearth activities that may never appear in written form. A skilled interviewer can ask probing questions to unearth facets of the job that may not be written down or officially recognised.
However, the results can be heavily dependent on interviewing ability. The value of data is dependent on the interviewer’s skills and may be faulty if they put vague questions to workers. Also, workers may exaggerate their job duties to add greater weight to their positions. Interviews may take a lot of time and may not be cost efficient if there are a...
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