How to conduct a job analysis for a vacant position

In my last blog post How To Conduct A Job Analysis I discussed 5 steps for conducting a job analysis when there is currently an employee filling the role. The current employee can provide valuable data on breadth of tasks, complexity, timings and standards needed to do the job well. 

Accurate job analyses are important for writing up accurate job descriptions when advertising positions. So how do you conduct an accurate job analysis when the position is open, and there is no one to model the job description on?

Below are a few tips for working out what to put in the job specification:

1. Identify the role and responsibilities.

Sit down with the relevant team and identify the role and the responsibilities you want the new hire to take on i.e. administration and office support, digital marketing, team leadership, etc.

2. Gather job specifications, competency models, and evaluation forms.

Gather job specifications, competency models, and evaluation forms for tasks and roles which might be relevant to the job. These are likely to provide information on the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to be successful. Job specifications will provide a breakdown of the skills, experience and competencies other companies are asking for from candidates. Competency models and evaluation forms provide valuable information on knowledge, skills and ability that someone has measured to be necessary to do well in that task or company.

3. Administer surveys to people in similar roles.

Administer surveys to employees carrying out the same role in a different department, or a different role within the same team. This can still provide valuable insight into the working environment, culture, tools, equipment, etc. It is important to remember when making observations in a different role or environment that not all data will be transferable.

4. Observe employees.

Observation of employees in the work environment will also provide information about working environment, tools and equipment. Information about timings and difficulties of tasks may also be observable.

5. Interview experienced people.

Arrange an interview with the supervisor, someone who does well in the industry, or someone who has done well in the position previously. They will be able to elaborate on specific aspects of the job such as what it takes to succeed in the industry and the difficulties that may arise within the role.

6. Hire a consultant.

Consider whether you need a consultant. Employing a consultant is not always necessary but they are good for providing unbiased analyses of job positions, with the benefit of having had previous experience with the knowledge, skills and tasks involved in different roles.

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