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While Job Description is a list of jobs duties, responsibilities, reporting relationships, working conditions, and

supervisory responsibilities, Job Specification is a list of jobs human requirements, that is, the requisite education,
skills, personality, and so on (Dessler and Varkkey, 2011).

A Jobless World
Joblessness is a dreaded scenario, not just for the political or governing class but also for people who are in the
service sector. Over the last one decade, many countries both developed such as the US and the UK and the
developing ones like India have witnessed growth without a similar growth in the number of jobs. One can attribute
this to two main factors increasing automation in jobs that are manual in nature and; the trend towards outsourcing
and off-shoring.
According to Thomas Frey of The Futurist Magazine, the increasing use of machines to replace human effort is
likely to cause 2 billion jobs to vanish by the year 2030.
With technologies like driverless cars, robotic assembly lines, and teacherless schools on the horizon, the
handwriting is on the wall says Frey who blames the complacency of the academic institutions and the myopia of
the business leaders for the future jobless scenario that he has predicted.
And although Freys predictions may sound too apocalyptical to be true, one cannot ignore the fact that automation is
replacing muscle power with electric power. Only time will tell whether they would be able to completely replace
human beings or not.
However, the more contentious and politically controversial issue right now is not automation but outsourcing and offshoring.
While outsourcing is sourcing of a job or a set of jobs to some external agency, off-shoring involves outsourcing to an
external agency which is located beyond the geographical and political boundaries of the country where the job is
originally created. Outsourcing has been a prevalent practice for quite some time now but with breakthrough
innovations in the field of Information Technology, it has become possible to source work to people located thousands
of miles away. In developing countries, any company, especially the one in service sector that aims to meet the cost
challenge of its rivals cannot afford to ignore outsourcing and even off-shoring.
This creates a scenario where the jobs which would otherwise been performed by domestic employees being
performed by foreign workers at a fraction of the cost. Moreover, it also possesses challenges for the HR managers in
terms of job analysis. These challenges are discussed in the section below.

Challenges of Automation, Outsourcing and Off-shoring to Job Analysis


During the early years of industrial revolution, machines were viewed by workers are their biggest enemies because
of their ability to perform tasks much quicker and at lower cost per unit. Those years witnessed numerous riots where

workers stormed factories to destroy machines. However, as hoped by those workers, their actions did not lead to the
business owners reverting back to the use of manual workers to perform tasks that were repetitive in nature. Instead,
the use of machines opened newer and better opportunities for the workers as a result of which people in the West
has been able to achieve high standard of living.
This trend which started at the dawn of the industrial revolution is continuing till date, albeit at a higher pace which
brings us to the problem faced by HR managers during job analysis. As already discussed, Job Analysis which
consists of Job Description and Job Specification involves determining the duties and skill requirements of a job and
the kind of person who should be hired for it.
With unskilled jobs gone to the unthinking machines, HR managers now have to analyze jobs that are suitable for
the thinking human beings. Moreover, the increased emphasis of the respective governments to enhance the
education and skill of its people means that the jobs now created should be rewarding not just in terms of money but
also in terms of job satisfaction.
As far as Outsourcing and Off-shoring are concerned, the challenges are of two types 1. Regarding the types of
jobs that should be outsourced by the outsourcer company and, 2. The job description of the outsourced job to be
performed by the service provider.
The Remedies:
Conventionally job is more or less is unchanging specific set of duties that one carries out for pay. However the
concept is changing rapidly. This has prompted managers to re-think how they conduct job analysis. Since the duties
that entails a job today may be very different tomorrow.
From specialized to enriched jobs:
Job enlargement: assigning workers additional same level activities, thus increasing the number of activities they
perform.
Job enrichment: redesigning jobs in a way that increases the opportunities for the worker to experience feelings of
responsibility, achievement, growth, and recognition.
Job rotation: moving the person from department to department to broaden his or her experience and identify strong
and weak points to prepare the person for an enhanced role with the company. Thereby systematically moving
workers from one job to another, to enhance performance.
Competency- based job analysis:
Describing a job in terms of the measurable, observable, behavioral competencies (knowledge, skills, and/or
behaviors) an employee must exhibit to do a job. As traditional job descriptions with the list of specific duties which
may actually backfire if a high performance work system is the goal describing the job in terms of knowledge skill and
competency the worker need is more strategic and helps maintain a strategic focus. The measurable skills,
knowledge and competencies are the heart of any companies performance management system.