Your time is valuable. Isn’t a formal job analysis just busywork? Actually, I’ll tell you why it’s not…
What is a job analysis and what does it entail? Well, a job analysis is a systematic study of a job or job family. The information gathered summarizes the primary tasks and duties of a job, as well as the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform those tasks. It can also include information about the context in which the work is performed, such as work equipment, materials and working relationships with others.
Put simply, a job analysis is the process of defining the requirements and duties of a job. As you may already know what every position in your company entails, you may be wondering why a formal job analysis should be done. After all, isn’t it evident what a sales representative or accountant needs to do?
Well, it might not be evident to job applicants. After you post an opening, they may be under the impression they are qualified for the job, when in reality, they may not be. Or, you may miss out on someone who is perfect for the position but was scared off by an erroneous job description. Job-seekers (and recruiters, if you use them) have only the information you provide to act upon.
Also, just as you expect any job applicant to be fully prepared when they come in for an interview, so too should you. That means you’ll have your interview questions created ahead of time based on the job competencies. And standardization of the interview process will create consistency and help eliminate any confusion about an applicant’s suitability for the position.
The benefits of job analyses are not limited to the hiring process. Current employees can be held accountable to their job duties because the expectations for those duties are clearly documented. It also makes a nice checklist when it comes time for performance reviews. And there should be a clearly defined place for the position on the organization chart. No more bickering over who reports to whom.
It’s important to note that a wide range of legal entities, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the U.S. Supreme Court have acknowledged the importance of a job analysis, regardless of what selection procedures an employer is using.
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