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How to Conduct a Job Analysis for Your Business

A Job Description lists the duties and functions of a job title. A Job Analysis comes first and answers different questions. Job Analysis is the process of collecting the information and input used to build the Job Description. 

Why need job descriptions? 

No matter how small your business, job descriptions are critical for your management.  

  1. Descriptions help recruit qualified and capable applicants. 
  2. The job description forms the basis for the interview dialogue. 
  3. Once on board, the employee has a picture of his/her duties.
  4. Once signed, the job description is a tacit agreement that the employee understands and commits to meet the job requirements. 
  5. Descriptions provide a standard to rate performance as employees are scored or disciplined on each performance task.

Why need job analyses? 

You cannot write the job description without the job analysis, and this is an important key. A job description is of no value if it is just an arbitrary list of job functions, without prioritization or relevance. Such a list is scatter-shot without shape or purpose. But, getting to where you want to be takes analysis of the work.   

What does it do? 

    1. Identifies the skills, education, and abilities needed to perform well on the job. 
    2. Classifies positions according to their relative value against the value of other jobs for compensation and equity purposes.
    3. Creates objective standards of performance 
    4. Draws plans for job development and career paths.
    5. Assists in organizing and delineating training plans for the individual and the employee group.

How do you do it? 
Job analysis is a challenging but necessary opportunity for any business. It takes education and skill on the part of the Human Resources professional responsible for and empowered to do the job. 

1. Review

Analyses may be required to future audits by compliance authorities or workers' compensation investigations. So, all the related documents are part of the process: earlier job descriptions, newspaper ads, brochures, evaluation forms. Study their history, comprehensiveness, and relevance. 

2. Research

Examine the descriptions used at other companies or those templates in research sources for key phrases and keywords. 

3. Interview

Interview the employee(s) currently in the job or those who recently served there. Seek their input on what their real experience would add or delete from a list of minimum requirements and duties. Pay particular attention to their input on physical and emotional requirements. 

4. Minimum

Ask the employees to revisit their input with an emphasis on the minimal requirements. For example, master's degree in corporate finance is more specific than accounting degree. If the master's degree is not the minimal need, you must defer to the minimal requirement.

5. Review and revise

You have enough to draft a job description, but you need to edit for duplication and redundancy. You need to simplify without dumbing down or dismissing employee input. Review this draft with the supervisors to confirm or revise.

6. Evaluate 

Return this draft to the employees in position for their review. Respect their input and encourage them to add their notes in a team project.

7.  Presentation

Present the job analysis with notes to the Human Resources decision-maker for approval. You should now know and understand:

  • Methods and equipment used(the methods and equipment to be used)
  • Job goals and their relationship to the business goals
  • Training, knowledge, skills and personality traits needed to do the job
  • Physical tasks including lifting, carrying, climbing, and so on (and the weights involved)
  • Mental tasks from planning and analysis to managing and directing

Human Resources professionals learn the terminology and purpose in college, but they will need to develop this strength on the job. 

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