Job analyses are conducted to identify the duties and requirements of a given job role, and the relative importance of these duties and requirements. This information is vital for writing job specifications when hiring.
To carry out a job analysis information is gathered on the level of skill and knowledge needed for a job, the duties and tasks involved, the tools used, the work environment, and the working relationships needed. Accurate job analyses require a methodical procedure of information gathering and data collection.
Here are the 5 steps for a simple and reliable job analysis. For the procedure you will need the current employee filling the role, their supervisor, and yourself or a third party HR professional to act as the analyst.
1. Start with the employee filling out a questionnaire which aims to identify:
- What they are responsible for and the training and experience needed to do their job.
- Everyday tasks and duties including information about task effort, duration, frequency, complexity, and standards.
- The working environment, whether employees need to be of a certain level of physical fitness or aware of potential job risks.
- The tools and equipment used, which may require previous skill, knowledge or fitness.
- Work relationships, including level of contact with supervisors, clients, and external networks.
2. Conduct an interview with the employee to gain a deeper insight into the job role.
Use the interview as an opportunity to validate and elaborate on answers from the questionnaire. The questionnaire is necessary to help guide the interview, but verbal clarification is needed where interpretation of questions and answers is unclear.
3. Draw up a draft of the job specification.
The next step is to draw up a draft of the job specification based on the conclusions from the interview and to review this with their supervisor. This step is important to improve accuracy in case the employee has elaborated or omitted tasks. On the other hand relying entirely on the supervisor for a job analysis can be inaccurate – managers are not always aware of the detail behind what it takes for an employee to get a task done.
4. Look at other job specifications.
When drafting up job descriptions look to a universal job classification systems, job specification samples, and profiles on LinkedIn to gain understanding of the common language used to describe different roles. The most important thing to remember when writing job specifications is to be clear and functional. As well as focusing on tasks be clear on expected outcomes.
5. Review how tasks are distributed amongst the team.
Lastly, a job analysis is the ideal opportunity for a review of any illogical responsibility and tasks not currently being accomplished.