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Job Analysis Meaning And Significance Of Assignment


Before we proceed to explain the concept of job analysis, let us first understand the meaning of the term ‘job’ itself


In simple words, a job may be understood as a division of total work into packages/positions. According to Dale Yoder ‘, “A job is a collection or aggregation of tasks, duties and responsi­bilities which as a whole, is regarded as a regular assignment to individual employees and which is different from other assignments”. Thus, a job may be defined as a group of positions involving some duties, responsibilities, knowledge and skills.

Each job has a definite title based on standard trade specialisations within a job. Each job is different from other jobs like peon, clerk, supervisor, and accoun­tant, manager, etc. A job may include many positions. A position is a particular set of duties and responsibilities regularly assigned to an individual.

Job Analysis:

Job analysis refers to the process of collecting information about a job. In other words, it refers to the anatomy of the job. Job analysis is performed upon ongoing jobs only. It contains job contents. For example, what are the duties of a supervisor, grade II, what minimal knowledge, skills and abilities are necessary to be able to adequately perform this job? How do the requirements for a supervisor, grade II, compare with those for a supervisor, grade I? These are the questions that job analysis answers.

Let us consider a few important definitions of job analysis.

According to Jones and Decothis “Job analysis is the process of getting information about jobs: specially, what the worker does; how he gets it done; why he does it; skill, education and training required; relationship to other jobs, physical demands; environmental conditions”.

Edwin B. Flippo has defined job analysis as the process of studying and collecting information relating to the operations and responsibilities of a specific job. The immediate products of this analysis are job descriptions and job specifications”.

In the opinion of Herbert G. Hereman III, et. al., “A job is a collection of tasks that can be performed by a single employee to contribute to the production of some product or service provided by the organisation. Each job has certain ability requirements (as well as certain rewards) associated with it. Job analysis is the process used to identify these requirements”. Now, job analysis can be defined as an assessment that describes jobs and the behaviours necessary to perform them.

There are two major aspects of job analysis:

These are:

1. Job Description

2. Job Specification

A brief description of these follows:

Job Description:

Job description is prepared on the basis of data collected through job analysis. Job description is a functional description of the contents what the job entails. It is a narration of the contents of a job. It is a description of the activities and duties to be performed in a job, the relationship of the job with other jobs, the equipment and tools involved, the nature of supervision, working conditions and hazards of the job and so on.

All major categories of jobs need to be spelled out in clear and compre­hensive manner to determine the qualifications and skills required to perform a job. Thus, job descrip­tion differentiates one job from the other. In sum, job description is a written statement of what a job holder does, how it is done, and why it is done.

Purposes of Job Description:

Job description is done for fulfilling the following purposes:

1. Grading and classification of jobs

2. Placement and Orientation of new employees

3. Promotions and transfers

4. Outlining for career path

5. Developing work standards

6. Counselling of employees

7. Delimitation of authority

The contents of a job description are given in Table 5.1.

Job Specification:

While job description focuses on the job, job specification focuses on the person i.e, the job holder. Job specification is a statement of the minimum levels of qualifications, skills, physical and other abilities, experience, judgment and attributes required for performing job effectively. In other words, it is a statement of the minimum acceptable qualifications that an incumbent must possess to perform a given job. It sets forth the knowledge, skills and abilities required to do the job effectively.

Job specification specifies the physical, psychological, personal, social and behavioural charac­teristics of the job holders. These contents of the job specification are contained in Table 5.1.

Usages of Job Specification: The usages of job specification include:

1. Personnel planning

2. Performance appraisal

3. Hiring

4. Training and development

5. Job evaluation and compensation

6. Health and safety

7. Employee discipline

8. Work scheduling

9. Career planning

Contents of Job Description and Job Specification:

The contents of job description and job specification are presented in the following Table 5.1.

Job Evaluation:

Job evaluation is a comparative process of establishing the value of different jobs in a hierarchical order. It allows one to compare jobs by using common criteria to define the relationship of one job to another. This serves as basis for grading different jobs and developing a suitable pay structure for them.

It is important to mention that job evaluation cannot be the sole determining factor for deciding pay structures because job evaluation is about relationships, and not absolutes. The techniques used for job evaluation include ranking, job classification, points rating, etc.

Why job analysis? (Uses):

Job analysis is useful for overall management of all personnel activities.

The same is specified as follows:

1. Human Resource Planning:

The estimates the quantity and quality of people will be required in future. How many and what type of people will be required depends on the jobs to be staffed. Job-related information available through job analysis is, therefore, necessary for human resource planning.

2. Recruitment and Selection:

Recruitment succeeds job analysis. Basically, the goal of the human resource planning is to match the right people with the right job. This is possible only after having adequate information about the jobs that need to be staffed. It is job analysis that provides job information. Thus, job analysis serves as basis for recruitment and selection of employees in the organisation.

3. Training and Development:

Job analysis by providing information about what a job entails i.e., knowledge and skills required to perform a job, enables the management to design the training and development programmes to acquire these job requirements. Employee development programmes like job enlargement, job enrichment, job rotation, etc.

4. Placement and Orientation:

As job analysis provides information about what skills and qualities are required to do a job, the management can gear orientation programmes towards helping the employees learn the required skills and qualities. It, thus, helps management place an employee on the job best suited to him/her.

5. Job Evaluation:

The job evaluation refers to determination of relative worth of different jobs. It, thus, helps in developing appropriate wage and salary structures. Relative worth is determined mainly on the basis of information provided by job analysis.

6. Performance Appraisal:

Performance appraisal involves comparing the actual performance of an employee with the standard one, i.e., what is expected of him/her. Such appraisal or assessment serves as basis for awarding promotions, effecting transfers, or assessing training needs. Job analysis helps in establishing job standards which may be compared with the actual performance/contribution of each employee.

7. Personnel Information:

Increasing number of organisations maintain computerised informa­tion about their employees. This is popularly known as Human Resource Information System (HRIS). HRIS is useful as it helps improve administrative efficiency and provides decision support^ Information relating to human resources working in the organisation is provided by job analysis only.

8. Health and Safety:

Job analysis helps in identifying and uncovering hazardous conditions and unhealthy environmental factors such as heat, noise, fumes, dust, etc. and, thus, facilitates management to take corrective measures to minimise and avoid the possibility of accidents causing human injury

Process of job analysis:

Job analysis is as useful is not so easy to make. In fact, it involves a process.

Though there is no fool-proof process of making job analysis, following are the main steps involved in job analysis:

1. Organisational Job Analysis:

Job analysis begins with obtaining pertinent information about a job’. This, according to Terry is required to know the makeup of a job, its relation to other jobs, and its contribution to performance of the organisation.

Such information can be had by dividing back­ground information in various forms such as organisation charts i.e., how the particular job is related to other jobs; class specifications i.e., the general requirement of the job family; job description i.e., starting point to build the revised job description, and flow charts i.e., flow of activities involved in a particular job.

2. Selecting Representative Jobs for Analysis:

Analysing all jobs of an organisation is both costly and time consuming. Therefore, only a representative sample of jobs is selected for the purpose of detailed analysis.

3. Collection of Data for Job Analysis:

In this step, job data features of the job and required qualifications of the employee are collected. Data can be collected either through questionnaire, observation or interviews. However, due care should be taken to select and use the method of data collection that is the most reliable in the given situation of the job.

4. Preparing Job Description:

The job information collected in the above ways is now used to prepare a job description. Job description is a written statement that describes the tasks, duties and responsibilities that need to be discharged for effective job performance.

5. Preparing Job Specification:

The last step involved in job analysis is to prepare job specifi­cation on the basis of collected information. This is a written statement that specifies the personal qualities, traits, skills, qualification, aptitude etc. required to effectively perform a job. The job analysis process discussed above is now delineated in Figure 5.1.

Job analysis helps in analyzing the resources and establishing the strategies to accomplish the business goals and strategic objectives. Effectively developed, employee job descriptions are communication tools that are significant in an organization's success.

The main purpose of conducting job analysis is to prepare job description and job specification which would help to hire skilled workforce. Job description is a statement of information about duties and responsibilities of a particular job. whereas job specifications is a statement of information about qualifications, special qualities, skills and knowledge required for an employee to fit for a job. Therefore job analysis enables recruiter/employer to have a deep insight of a job, with that, recruiter can easily track candidates who have required qualifications and qualities to perform a job.

Job Analysis can be used to identify areas where an employee needs training, since job analysis make it clear  to understand about core duties and responsibilities of a job. Besides, it provides information to develop  suitable training material for a job to be performed by an employee after completion of his training.

Job Analysis can be used in performance review to identify or develop goals and objectives, performance standards, evaluation criteria, length of probationary periods, and duties to be evaluated

An ideal job analysis should include

below listed are areas where job analyst should focus to bring out facts about a job.

Duties and Tasks: The basic unit of a job is the performance of specific tasks and duties. This segment should include frequency, duration, effort, skill, complexity, equipment, standards, etc.

Environment: This segment identifies the working environment of a particular job. This may have a significant impact on the physical requirements to be able to perform a job.

Tools and Equipment: Some duties and tasks are performed using specific equipment and tools. These items need to be specified in a Job Analysis.

Relationships: The hierarchy of the organization must be clearly laid out. The employees should know who is under them and who they have to report to.

Requirements: The knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job should be clearly listed.

There are several ways to conduct a job analysis, including: interviews with incumbents and supervisors, questionnaires (structured, open-ended, or both), observation, critical incident investigations, and gathering background information such as duty statements or classification specifications.

The following are the benefits of job analysis. 

  1. Organizational structure and design :- Job analysis helps the organization to make suitable changes in the organizational structure, so that it matches the needs and requirements of the organization. Duties are either added or deleted from the job.
  2. Recruitment and selection :-Job analysis provides information about what the job entails and what human characteristics are required to perform these activities. This information, in the form of job descriptions and specifications, helps management decide what sort of people to recruit and hire.
  3. Performance appraisal and training/development :-Based on the job requirements identified in the job analysis, the company decides a training program. Training is given in those areas which will help to improve the performance on the job. Similarly when appraisal is conducted we check whether the employee is able to work in a manner in which we require him to do the job.
  4. Job evaluation :-Job evaluation refers to studying in detail the job performance by all individual. The difficulty level
  5. s, skills required and on that basis the salary is fixed. Information regarding qualities required, skilled levels, difficulty levels are obtained from job analysis.
  6. Promotions and transfer :- When we give a promotion to an employee we need to promote him on the basis of the skill and talent required for the future job. Similarly when we transfer an employee to another branch the job must be very similar to what he has done before. To take these decisions we collect information from job analysis.
  7. Career path planning :- Many companies have not taken up career planning for their employees. This is done to prevent the employee from leaving the company. When we plan the future career of the employee, information will be collected from job analysis. Hence job analysis becomes important or advantageous.
  8. Labour relations :- When companies plan to add extra duties or delete certain duties from a job, they require the help of job analysis, when this activity is systematically done using job analysis the number of problems with union members reduce and labour relations will improve.
  9. Health and safety :- Most companies prepare their own health and safety, plans and programs based on job analysis. From the job analysis company identifies the risk factor on the job and based on the risk factor safety equipments are provided.
  10. Acceptance of job offer :- When a person is given an offer/appointment letter the duties to be performed by him are clearly mentioned in it, this information is collected from job analysis, which is why job analysis becomes important.

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