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How to Conduct Job Analysis Effectively

How to Conduct Job Analysis Effectively

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How to Conduct Job Analysis Effectively
How to Conduct Job Analysis Effectively

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Published by: Khawaja Naveed Haider on Apr 15, 2010
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How to Conduct Job AnalysisEffectively
 by I - Wei Chang and Brian H. Kleiner 
How to Conduct Job Analysis
JobAnalysisisasystematicprocessofobtainingvalidjobinformationtoaidmanagement in decision-making. Each component of this definition is criti-cal; for example “systematic process” means the job analysis is carefully planned to meet specific objectives. Systematic process is implemented insuch a manner that it ensures employee co-operation, and utilises job analy-sis methods that are acceptable within the human resource managementfield. The word “valid” indicates the method by which the information wasobtainedforjobanalysisisaccuratelyfollowed.Sometimeswhenjobanaly-sisisinadequatelyconducted,itresultsinincompleteorinaccurateinforma-tion. “Valid” also means the information obtained meets the purpose for which the job analysis was conducted. Finally, job analysis provides criti-callyimportantinformationthatwillguidemanagementindecision-making.In this article, the result of job analysis will be used in job evaluation anddecision-making of compensation.The purpose of job analysis is to elicit information pertaining to varioustypes of jobs. H. E. Roff and T.W. Watson (1961) of Management SelectionServices Ltd suggests two stages: “(1) to collect and record evidence of thenatureofthejob;(2)tosiftthisrecordeddatatodiscoverthoseaspectsofthe jobwhichareimportantinrelationtotheproblemswhichhavepromptedtheundertakingofthejobanalysis”.Mostimportantly,theneedtogainthetrust,confidence, and co-operation of those whose jobs are being placed under scrutiny. The job analyst is naturally perceived by others with suspicionsince his/her investigations are going to be used as the basis for job evalua-tion.Itwouldbeeasyforhim/hertoberegardedasanenemybecausehis/her reports could lead to an undermining of an individual’s status, relative pay;and organisational position. Good communication is essential. Peopleshould be elucidated as to the purpose of the exercise, the reasons why it isnecessary, what it is hoped will be achieved, ways in which information ob-tained will be collated and processed, and how decisions affecting their jobswill be arrived at. It is better for them to be invited either directly or throughrepresentativestocontributetotheformationofthatpolicyanditsexecution.Sifting the important from the trivial aspects of a job during and after analysis is really what the whole exercise is about. Attention finally should bedirectedatthesignificantdifferencesbetweenjobs,havingfirstcollectedalltherelevantinformationnecessarytoformacompletepictureofanypar-ticular unit of work. There are no hard and fast rules that can be applied; at
Volume 25 Number 3 2002 73
How to ConductJob AnalysisEffectively
 
root it is a matter of judgement. A common danger is to collect too much in-formation,makingitdifficulttoseethewoodforthetrees.Onthewhole,thisisamorecommonpitfallthanmakingjustacursoryexaminationandendingup with a sketchy, incomplete picture. In making the analysis, if a fact is un-important, it should immediately be discarded. To provide a framework onwhichtostructureboththeanalysisandtheinformationobtained,itisusefultolookatthejobfromtwopointsofview:first,thedutiesandresponsibilitiesentailed;second,theskillsandpersonalattributesnecessaryforthesuccess-ful execution of that job. What an individual does and what personal attrib-utes he needs to bring to the job provide us with the dimensions critical for making evaluative decisions between the relative worth of one job and an-other.The main steps in the process of job analysis can be set out as follows:*
Identify and isolate the component tasks in a job
Some jobs may consist of a large number of tasks and sub-tasks, and it may be convenient to group some of these into task ‘taxonomies’ where there issufficientincommonbetweenthem,toreducethecomplexityoftheanalysisto manageable proportions.*
Examine how tasks are performed 
For example, the skills required; order in which they have to be exercised;whether tasks are done in isolation or as part of a team effort, etc.*
Identify the main areas of responsibility
Identify the main duties involved, both regular and occasional. Scale themaindutiesaccordingtotheirdifficulty,frequencyandimportancetothejobas a whole.*
Note the prevailing working conditions in respect of the physical, social and financial aspects of the job.
Physical environment involves the temperature, noise, dirt, danger, or com-fortable office facilities. Social environment is regard to whether in teams,shifts,isolatedwork,etc.Financialconditionsshouldconcernaboutifapay-ment system is already in existence, the basic wage rate or salary currentlyobtaining, and any bonus, incentive schemes, fringe benefits, etc., whichmay apply.*
Identifythepersonaldemandswhichajobmakesonanindividualincum-bent 
Demands can be categorised into five criteria. First, physical demands, likemuscular energy, sedentary work, travel, hours of work, appearance, bear-ing, speech, any basic medical requirements, etc. Second, intellectual de-
74 Management Research News
How to ConductJob AnalysisEffectively
 
mands,suchasverbalornumericalability.Anotherdemandisskills,suchasany particular psycho-motor, social or diplomatic skills called for. Fourth,experience is a necessary criteria. Some jobs call for considerable occupa-tionalexperience,know-howorpreviouslyheldlevelsofresponsibility,con-trolordecisionmaking.Thelastdemandispersonalityfactors.Forinstance,suchthingscalledforinthejobastheabilitytoworkthroughotherpeople,to provideleadership,toinitiate,toworkwithoutclosesupervision,topossessadegreeofextraversion,orthekindoftemperamenttocopewithdull,androu-tine procedures.There are, of course, many different ways in which job analysis can betackled.Somecovertheinformationwhichwouldnormallygointoajobde-scription,andsomecoverthemainpointsofajobspecification.Thesugges-tion here is that a comprehensive job information sheet should be compiledfor each job. It does not matter whether it is called a job description or jobspecification, provided all relevant information about the job is recordedclearly, accurately, and so far as is possible, with brevity. There are variouswaysinwhichinformationcanbeobtained.Themainmethodsareinterview,observation, questionnaires, critical incidents, and diaries.Interview is the most flexible and productive approach for the job analystto conduct a personal interview with the job holder. Properly structured, theinterviewcanelicitinformationaboutallaspectsofthejob,thenatureandse-quence of the various component tasks. Much of the job activity is obvious,andnottoomuchishiddenintheformofmentalprocessesorintheexerciseofindividualdiscretion.Itisunlikelythatsimpleobservationwillproduceallthe answers, but it can always be backed up with interview and discussion.Withalargenumberofsimilarjobsofaroutineclericalnature,itmaywellbeexpeditious and time-saving to structure a questionnaire to be circulated toall employees in those jobs. The questionnaire must be tailor-made to elicitthe right sort of responses and useful information. The replies can then besorted,andanyfurtherdetails,misunderstanding,gapsordisagreementscan be investigated during the interview.The critical incident technique (Flanagan, 1954) is an attempt to identifythe more important, or ‘noteworthy’, aspects of job behaviour. Originally itwas developed as a check-list rating procedure for performance appraisal, but its merits lend itself to other investigatory activities such as job analysisforthepurposeofjobevaluation.Inthislattercontext,theideaistohighlightthecriticalaspectsofajobwhicharecrucialtoitssuccessfulperformance.Itcan usefully be applied to multi-task jobs as a means for establishing priori-ties between job elements. The diary method is a self-reporting analysis of theactivitiesengagedinoveraperiodandtheamountoftimespentonallof them, recorded in the form of a diary. It can become tedious and onerous for the job incumbent, and is probably the method most open to abuse and fak-ing.
Volume 25 Number 3 2002 75
How to ConductJob AnalysisEffectively

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