Job Analysis definition
A purposeful, systematic process for collecting information on the important work-related aspects of a job.
Possible aspects of work-related information to be collected might include:
- 1. Work activites - what a worker does; how, why, and when these activities are conducted.
- 2. Tools and equipment used inperforming work activities.
- 3. Context of the work environment, such as work schedule or physical working conditions.
- 4. Requirements of personnel performing the job, such as knowledge, skills, abilities (KSAs), or other personal characteristics (physical characteristics or personality).
job analysis information found to serve a wide variety of purposes:
- HR areas:
- Performance appraisal
- HR selection
HR selection job analysis data frequently used to:
- 1. Identify employee specifications (KSAs) necessary for success on a job.
- 2. Select or develop selection procedures that assess important KSAs and can be administered to job applicants and used to forecast those employees who are likely to be successful on the job.
- 3. Develop criteria or standards of performance that employees must meet in order to be considered successful on a job.
when predictors and criteria are developed based on the results of a job analysis, a selection system that is job-related can be developed. By using a job-related selection system we are in a much better position to predict who can and who cannot adequately perform a job. With job-related selection system, we are far more likely to have an employment system that will be viewed by job applicants as well as the courts as being "fair".
Most often, information on the critical job tasks, duties, or work behaviours performed on the job will be identified initially. Identification of these critical job tasks is needed to produce two important products
- (a) criterion measures such as performance appraisals or productivity assessments
- (b) selection procedures or predictors such as tests, application forms, or employment interviews.
- Often, criterion measures are developed or identified directly from job task information. However, the development of predictors typically requires some intermediate steps, e.g. employee specifications needed to perform the critical job tasks are specified from job task information.
- Once employee specifications have been identified, it is possible to develop measures of these employee requirements; these measure will serve as job applicant screening tools.
Job Analysis Method
Work related info>translates>HumanAttributes (EMPLOYEE SPECIFICATIONSS e.g. KSAOs)>Translates> Selection Procedure(PREDICTORS)
Employee Performance Measures (performance apprasials + Productivity Assessments)
_ Valid? Feeds into
Assuming that predictor and job performance measures are derived from a job analysis, it is expected that job applicants' performance on the predictors will be related to their performance on the job (as represented by the criterion measures). As we learned earlier, a validation study tests this hypothesized relationship. Important here is the recognition that it is the job analysis process that is the foundation of the effectiveness of any HR selection system. Where job analysis is incomplete, inaccurate, or simply not conducted, a selection system may be nothing more than a game of chance - a game that employer, employee, and job applicants alike may lose.
Growth in job analysis
Job analysis has received more interest from employers for the following reasons:
- 1. Jobs are not static entities; the nature of jobs may change for any number of reasoons, such as technological advancements, seasonal variations, or the initiatives of incumbents. Managers have recognized the importance of job information in HR decision making, and accompanying recognition of the need for up-to-date information on the jobs themselves.
- 2. In addition to the need for current, accurate job data, two other factors have influenced the role of job analysis in selection. Professional standards have emphasized the important role of job analysis in human resources selection programs. They advocate that job analyses be performed as part of the development, application and validation of selection procedures. Each of these documents elevate the legal as well as the practical importance of job analysis.
- 3. Court cases involving employment discrimination in selection have underlined the significance of job analysis. Generally speaking, rulings in various cases have held that job analysis MUST play an integral role in any research that attempts to show a correlation between job performance and a selection measure.
Legal Issues in Job analysis:
Job aalysis has become a focal point in the legal context of HR selection.
- It is illegal for an organization to refuse to select an individual or to discriminate against a person with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of the person's race, sed, colour, religion, or national origin.
- Because of may cases that have concerned the role of discrimination in selection for employment, job analysis has emerged as critical to the prosecution or defense of a discrimination case.
- Therefore, job analysis and its associated methododlogies have become intertwined with the law. Within this legal vein, two developments have amplified the importance of job analysis in selection research:
- 1. the adoption of the uniform guidelines on employee selection procedures by the us federal govnt.
- 2. Lititgation involving discrimination in selection , arising under title VII as well as the the 5th nd 14th amendments to us constitution.
Court cases involving job analysis:
Thompson and Thompson reviewed 26 selected federal court cases to determine the criteria the coursts used in assessing job analyses conducted in the development and validation the courts used in assessing job analyses conducted in the development and validation of tests.
The legal standards are:
- 1. Job analysis must be performed and must be for the job for which the selection instrument is to be utilized.
- 2. Analysis of the job should be in writing.
- 3. The job analysts should describe in detail the job analysis procedures used.
- 4. Job data should be collected from a variety of current sources by knowledgeable job analysts.
- 5. Sample size of individuals serving as subject matter experts should be large and representative of the jobs for which the device will be used.
- 6. Tasks, duties, and activities should be included in the analysis.
- 7. The most important tasks should be represented in the selection device.
- 8. Competency levels of job performance for entry-level jobs should be specified.
- 9. KSAs should be specified, particularly if a content validation model is followed.
Because most of the methods involve some degree of human judgment, cases have been appearing in the courst in which technical aspects of job analysis implementation are involved. In many instances, the issue has been to determine whether the inferences made from job analysis data based largely on human judgments have discriminatory impact on protected classes of job applicants.
- Judgments may be used a four points in the use of job analysis information in personnel selection. These judgments are referred to as "inferential leaps". e.g. The KSAs and other personal characteristics are inferred from the job tasks performed on a job. Because humans are involved in the process of inferring hum attributes from work-related information, there is the possibility of error. The greater the role of human judgement, the larger the inferential leap, and therefore the greater the opportunity for discriminatory impact.
- The extent of inferential leaps to be made in any one job analysis application will depend of the particular situation. Factors such as the validation strategy being used, the type of job, the job analysis method, and the personal attribute assessed, affect the degree of inferential leaps being made.
- It is impossible to specify one clear suitable standar means for meeting all the technical and legal considerations of a job analysis. Situations, problems, and technical issues are so varied that proper conduct of a job analysis is a complex, resource-consuming process. No one way is standard.
Collecting Job Information:
One principal role of job analysis in HR selection is to assess job content so that KSAs and other requisite employee specifications can be identified. It is these employee specifications that we want to translate into selection measures such as tests, interviews, and the like. Assuming our selection measures are valid, they, in turn, may be used for selection decision-making purposes. The process of developing valid selection measures of procedures that assess employe specifications requires that judgment or inferences be made a several points.
- At the first inference point, data collected from a job analysis are used to infer KSAs and other relevant employee specifications.
- A second inference point is then reached concerning the content of selection measure that reflect these identified specifications. An important goal is to minimize the chance of error at each inference point. Our resulting specifications will be useful only to the extent that our inferences are accurate and complete. If our inferences are wrong, our selection measures will be useless for predicting successful job performance.
- The process depends on the data derived initially from the job analysis. If these data are incompelet, inaccurate, or otherwise faulth, subsequent judgments based on these data will be incorrect. In the end we will likely have an inappropriate, invalid, perhaps illegal selection procedure. Thus we must be very careful in our choice and implementation of methods for collecting job information.
- Writers in the area of validity generalization tend to support more holistic methods of job analysis. Their argument is that task-oriented job analysis is not of much value for selection when measures of employee ability and aptitudes are concerned. However, when noncognitive attributes of applicants are being assessed or content validation strategies are being used with job knowledge or work sample tests, task-oriented job analysis is needed.
A survey of job analysis methods:
Divided into 2 parts:
- First Part covers following job analysis methods:
- 1. Job analysis interviews
- 2. Job analysis questionnaires (including task analysis inventories)
- 3. Critical Incidents Technique
- 4. Subject matter expert (SME) or job expert workshops.
- one method is not recommended above another. These are the most popular methods used in HR selection practive.
Points of inference in the job analysis>Employee Specifications>selection Measure Development Process
- Job Analysis: Job Analysis Results: Tasks, work behaviours, functions, equipment, conditions under which job is performed
- >Inference point 1>
- Employee Specifications: Identification of Employee Specifications: Knowledge, Skills, abilities and other employee characteristics.
- >Inference point 2>
- Selection Procedure Development: Content of Selection Procedures: Test items, employment interview questions, application form questions, or contents of any other selection measure.
Job Analysis Interviews:
The interview is one of the most frequently used methods of job analysis, capable of meeting a wide array of purposes. Essentially, a job anlaysis interview consists of a trained analyst asking questions about the duties and responsibilities, KSAs require, and equipment and/or conditions of employment for a job or class of jobs.
Job analysis data collected through interviews are typically obtained through group or individual interviews with incumbents or supervisors. A key assumption of the method is that participants are thoroughly familiar with the job being studied. Large groups (10-20) of incumbents may be used when it is certain that all incumbets are performing the same major activities. Supervisors are sometimes employed to verify incumbent information and to provide information unavailable to employees in the job.
In other cases, supervisors are used because they may feel less threatened than incumbents in discussing and incumbents job activities with a stranger, or they may be better able to comment on the necessary employee characteristics required to perform these activities successfully.
A job analysis interview may be structured or unstructured. For selection purposes, a structured interview in which specific questions are asked an means are available for recording answers to these questions (such as rating scales or interview answer forms) is essential.
An unstructured interview consists of a job analyst collecting information about a job without a specific list of questions developed prior to the interview. Because of the technical and legal issues involved in job analysis, a structured interview is much more likely than an unstructured one to provide the kind of job analysis data that can be used effectively in selection applications. When we speak of a job analysis interview we are referring to one that is structured. In the context of HR selection, a job analysis interview is typically performed for one of more of the following reasons:
- 1. To collect job information - e.g., information on job tasks - that will serve as a basis for developing other job analysis measures, such as job analysis questionnaire.
- 2. To serve as a means for clarifying or verifying information collected previously through other job analysis methods.
- 3. To serve as a method, perhaps as one of several used, for collecting relevant job data for developing a selection system.
Considerations on Applicability:
The inteveiw can be applied to a variety of jobs, from those with activities that are basically physical in nature, such as a laborer's, to those with activities that are primarily mental, such as a manager's. When used with knowledgeable respondents, the interview makes it possible to identify activities that may go unabserved or occur over long time periods.
An important step toward effective application of an interview is to plan the interview itself. Plans should be formulated so that objectives of the interview are clear (e.g. the identification and rating of job tasks), individuals to be interviewed are known (e.g. incumbents with six or more months of job experience), questions and means for recording answers are clearly specified (e.g. an interview schedule listing the questions and forms for recording responses), and those who will conduct the interview will be identified (e.g. consultants or staff members).
- The key initial step in characterizing a job with this interview procedure is the identification of critical job tasks. Once identified, each task is described in terms of factors such as KSAs required for task performance and environmental conditions surrounding task performance. Because of the task's importance to the interview method, it may be helpful to review how job tasks are analyzed and structured witht hsi method. Task statements are written so that each shows the following:
- 1. What the worker does, by using a specific action verb that introduces the task statement.
- 2. To whom or what he or she does it, by stating the object of the verb.
- 3. What is produced, by expressing the expected output of the action.
- 4. What materials, tools, procedures, or equipment are used.
Classification of Interview Content for the Purpose of Developing a Task Statement
- Performs what Action (verb): Asks questions, listens, records answers
- To Whom or What? (Object of Verb): To/of applicant on eligibility form
- To Produce What? (Expected output): In order to determine eligibility
- Using What Tools, Equipment, Work Aids, Processes?: Eligilibity form; eligibility criteria in manual; interviewing techniques.
The success of the interview as a job analysis technique depends, to a large extent on the skill of the interviewer. A successful interviewer must possess several important skills - the ability to listen, put individuals at ease, probe and prompt for answers from reluctant interviewess, and control the direction of an interview - all vital to a successful job analysis. With such skills, an interviewer may be able to tease out job information that goes undetected by other forms of analysis.
- Limitations of the job analysis interview:
- The interview often suffers from a lack of standardization and has limited possibilities for covering large numbers of respondents, particularly if they are spread over a wide geographical area. If thorough documentation is not collected as the interview is conducted, important legal requirements of job analysis information will likely go unmet. The skills and procedures used by the individual analyst principally determine the utility of the interview.
- The job analysis interview has other limitations. Unless group interviews can be conducted, the technique requires a great deal of time and may not be cost efficient if may jobs need to be studied. Depending on the interviewee and the type of job being reviewed, and interviewer may literally be required to track through the entire job in specific detail. Such a process is not only expensive, but may require a highly skilled interviewer to identify the needed content.
- Another major probloem is that the technique may be plagued with a distrotion of information.
- Interviewing may be plagued with distortion of information. If interviewees believe conveying certain information may be beneficial for them (elg. a wage increase), they may exaggerate their activities and responsibilities to reflect a more complex job. It can be difficult to identify distorted job information. Verification from the supervisor or other incumbents can be used as a check. However, comparisons among subjective data are difficult and expensive to make.
- In general, a job analysis interview should not be relied on as the sole method when the analysis is being conducted for selection purposes. When employed as a supplementary source, however, interview data can be helpful. E.g. interviewsw can be used to identify content for other job analysis methods, such as the development of task analysis inventories or the clarification of responses to other methods.
Guidelines for conducting a job Analysis Interview:
- Opening the interview:
- 1. Put the worker at ease by learning his or her name in advance, introducing yourself, and discussing general and pleasant topics long enough to establish rapport. Be at ease.
- 2. Make the purpose of the interview clear by explaining why the interview was scheduled, what is expected to be accomplished, and how the worker's cooperation will help in the production of tools for use in personnel selection.
- 3. Encourage the worker to take by always being courteous and showing a sincere interest in what he or she says.
- Steering the Interview:
- 1. Help the worker to think and talk according to the logical sequence of the duties performed. If duties are not performed in a regular order, ask the worker to describe the functional aspects of the duties by taking the most important activity first, the second-most important next, and so forth. Request the worker to describe the infrequent duties of his or her job - duties that are not part of the worker's regular activities, such as the occasional setup of a machine, occasional repairs, or infrequent reports.
- 2. Allow the worker sufficient time to answer each question and to formulate an answer.
- 3. Phrase questions carefully, so that the answers wil be more than "yes" or "no".
- 4. Avoid the use of leading questions.
- 5. Conduct the interview in plain, easily understood languaged.
- 6. Control the interview with respect to the economic use of time and adherence to subject matter. For example, when the interviewee strays from the subject, a good technique for bringing him or her back to the point is to summarize the data collected up to that point.
- Closing the Interview:
- 1. Summarize the information obtained from the worker, indicating the major duties performed and the details concerning each of the duties.
- 2. Close the interview on a friendly note.
- Miscellaneous Dos and Don'ts for Interviews:
- 1. do not take issue with the worker's statements.
- 2. Do not show any partiality to grievances of conflicts concerning the employer-employee relations.
- 3. Do not show any interest in the wage classification of the job.
- 4. Do not talk down to the worker.
- 5. Do not permit yourself t be influenced by your personal likes and dislikes.
- 6. Be impersonal. Do not be critical or attempt to suggest any changes or improvements in the organization or methods of work.
- 7. Talk to the worker only with permission of her or his supervisor.
- 8. Verify completed job analysis interview with and appropriate individual-such as a supervisor.
Job Analysis Questionnaires/Survey:
Is one way to handle some of the problems of the job analysis interview. This method consists of a questionnaire distributed to respondents through various means- in person by a job analyst or via email sent to participants including a link to the questionnaire. The questionnaire lists job information such as activities or tasks, tools and equipment used to perform the job, working conditions in which the job is performed, and KSAs or other characteristics incumbents need to perform the job successfully. Participants are asked to make some form of judgment about job information presented on the questionnaire. Respondents often use some form of rating scale to indicate the degree to which various aspects of job information listed on the questionnaire apply to their jobs.
- Numerous forms of job analysis questionnaires can be used, but most fall into one of two classes:
- 1. Tailored questionnaires developed for a specific purpose or a specific job
- 2. Prefabricated or existing questionnaires. Tailored job analysis questionnaires are typically prepared by an organization (or its consultants) for application to a specific job. Like prefabricated instruments, these questionnaires also include tasks or other aspects of jobs (e.g. skills and abilities) to be rated by a respondent.
- Because the focus of tailored questionnaires is usually on one job, the aspects of the job listed on the questionnaire are more specific than those given on an existing measure.
- Prefabricated questionnares are usually generic measures developed for use with a variety of jobs. These inventories usually consist of a preestablished set of items describing aspects of a job that respondents (incumbents, supervisors, or observers) judge using a rating scale. These tests designed to be "off the shelf".
The Task Analysis Inventory: The task analysis inventroy is a questionnaire or survey that includes a listing of tasks (100 or more is not unusual) for which respondents make some form of judgment. Usually these judgments are ratings given by respondents using a task rating scale, such as frequency of tak performance.
Becuase many different tasks exist in any job, this type of job analysis questionnaire is typically directed toward only one job or a class of very similar jobs. Most often, the inventory is intended for use by incumbents. Nevertheless, supervisors and observers can complete it - assuming they are knowledgeable about the job being studied.
Historically, the method has been widely used in military settings, in particular by the US Airforce. Although the origin of task inventories may be traced to the military, their use for selection purposes by both public and private employers has grown substantially. One important reason for the increasing use of these inventories is that many employers have adopted a content validation strategy for selection measures for which the inventories are particularly helpful.
The nature of Task Inventories:
3 major categoreis of information:
1. Background information on respondents
2. A listing of the job tasks with associating rating scales
3. other miscellaneous information.
- Information on respondents such as name, gender, ethnicity, tenure on the job being rated, tenure with the employing organization, job location, and title of the job being rated should be included on the task inventory.
- Identifying information is useful should the need arise to contact respondents, and demographic information is valuable for performing analyses - such as comparison of how different types of respondents view the job being rated.
Most task invetories are similar and have two important analyzing characteristics
- 1. the phrasing of tasks to be rated a
- 2. The use of rating scales for judging the tasks.
From our interview procedure, we find that the two sets of tasks differ. From our comparison, we see that the task statements developed previously appear to be more complex.
Tasks that were identified under the interview procedure described what the tasks consisted of as well as the results of those tasks. Work aids, materials, methods and other requirements of a job incumbent were noted. In contrast, in our taks inventory ex