Job analysis

From CEOpedia | Management online

Job analysis (or work analysis) - personnel activities aimed at identifying the goals, components and objectives of work, as well as the conditions for its effective execution[1]. The information obtained during the analysis is used for preparation of a job description and personal specifications. The content of the work contains the characteristics of the employee (such as knowledge, tolerances, practical skills, abilities etc.) and described through the specific functions and procedures required for its proper execution[2].

There are three approaches to this process[3]:

  • job-oriented,
  • work-oriented,
  • hybrid.

Characteristics that are relating with the content of the work (job-oriented) are mainly related to the technological aspects of the execution (responsibilities, duties, methods of work, etc.). However, the characteristics of the employee (work-oriented) are related to the human behavior required for the successful completion of assigned tasks. Hybrid approach it's a combination of a job - and work-oriented approaches.

Job analysis gives for HR manager or line manager the following opportunities[4]:

  • set or fix existent performance standards for each workplace,
  • build work plan and productivity assessment,
  • determine selection criteria,
  • build a system of incentives and benefits,
  • gives the informantion regarding job context, machines, tools, human behaviours, equipment, activities etc.

From the very beginning, it's necessary to determine for what will be used the information gathered during the analysis: for the evaluation of work for recruitment or to identify training needs. Before starting the job analysis, it is necessary to describe the relationship of work, determine the exact boundaries of the tasks and the number of autonomous works, responsibilities and duties that are part of each work. The results of the job analysis serve as a basis, which in future will help to plan the required professional characteristics, number of personnel, as well as select appropriate methods for evaluating activities and directions for further development[5].


The job analysis can be divided into three main stages[6]:

  1. Collection of the data.
  2. Processing and analysis of the information received.
  3. Job description and the development of documentation.

Ad. 1. The first stage consists of using such methods of collecting information as: observation, interviewing, questioning.

Ad. 2. The second stage consists from the processing and analysis of the information received. At this stage, the line manager and the HR manager discuss all the information received and analyze it. When processing the data, it is advisable to use statistical methods. In large companies, computer sociological programs are usually used to simplify the processing of large volumes of information.

Ad. 3. The third stage consists from the job description. A job description is a document that contains information about what kind of work the employee actually does, how he does it, and under what conditions the work is done. The analysis and job description are used in determining the need for hiring specialists, as well as determining the criteria (mandatory and desirable) for selecting candidates for a vacant position. This is a very laborious work, but such database will help in finding professionals and correctly build a training plan with a fair benefit system.

As a rule, the analysis process ends with the creation of a document - "job description"[7]. Accurate and clear job description is used when solving any issues regarding personnel management, such as: promotion, selection, disciplinary measures, training, etc.

Methods of job analysis

Usually it's recommended to use a combination of several different methods. The following methods are usually used in the analysis of works[8]:

Employee questionnaires are best suited for obtaining basic information. Questionnaires vary in form and purpose. In a narrative questionnaire containing open paragraphs, you need to write from one to several paragraphs, indicating different characteristics of the work. This type of questionnaire allows employees to express their own opinions, but they often lack clarity and clarity of expressions. Standardized questionnaires require the respondent to note the relevant features of the work and related responsibilities. These forms, due to the lower freedom of choice, give a more strict and clear description of the position. For a number of jobs usually performed in the public service, ready-made standardized questionnaires already exist, which saves time in analyzing and interpreting the results[9].

Individual interviews and job evaluation are made directly on the spot. Usually, both the employee and the employer are interviewed. Obtaining information from different sources is very necessary. An alternative to an individual interview can be a group interview - a method particularly useful when analyzing a large number of jobs in the same profession. However, it should be considered that a group survey is more complicated and often requires the simultaneous work of two specialists[10].

Along with individual and group surveys, additional methods are often used in the analysis. This can be a collection of employee records. The application of this method is advisable in situations where the work is not monotonous and regularly requires the use of various skills, abilities and knowledge. Usually, before starting such a written survey, the specialist conducts a conversation with the employees, and at the end - makes a review[11]. Analysts are those who are directly familiar with the work, but are neither an employee of the organization, nor a leader. They should have an idea which skills, abilities and knowledge are required for ideal conditions, regardless of who actually occupies the position, and they may be asked to formulate, clarify or confirm tasks performed by employees. Based on the extensive information obtained as a result of careful and systematic analysis, the analyst can prepare a description of the main functions and responsibilities for each position, as well as the necessary skills of the employee[12].

Examples of Job analysis

  • Job analysis is used to identify the qualifications and skills required for a particular job. For example, a job analysis might be conducted to determine the necessary qualifications for a job in an IT department, such as knowledge of computer languages, abilities with hardware and software, and familiarity with networks and cloud computing.
  • Job analysis is also used to determine the duties, tasks, and responsibilities associated with a job. For example, a job analysis might be conducted to determine the duties of a retail store manager, such as overseeing customer service, handling employee scheduling, and creating promotions and marketing.
  • Another example of job analysis is when it is used to determine the working conditions associated with a job. For example, a job analysis might be conducted to determine the physical requirements of a job in a warehouse, such as the ability to lift heavy objects or stand for long periods of time.
  • Job analysis is also used to assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) of a job. For example, a job analysis might be conducted to determine the KSA required of a nurse, such as knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology, as well as the ability to recognize medical symptoms and provide medical care.

Advantages of Job analysis

Job analysis is a useful tool for personnel activities aimed at identifying the goals, components and objectives of a job, as well as the conditions for its effective execution. It has a number of advantages, including:

  • Improved job performance and job satisfaction. Job analysis can help to identify the skills and knowledge necessary to perform a job effectively and to determine the tasks that need to be done. With this information, employees can be better trained and motivated, leading to improved job performance and job satisfaction.
  • Improved communication. Job analysis can help to develop clear job descriptions, which can then be used to communicate job requirements to employees. This can lead to improved communication and understanding between employees and management.
  • Increased efficiency. By understanding the tasks and responsibilities of a job, job analysis can help to identify inefficiencies and redundancies, leading to improved efficiency and cost savings.
  • Improved recruitment and selection. Job analysis can provide a better understanding of the skills, qualifications and experience required for a job, which can then be used to inform the recruitment and selection process.

Limitations of Job analysis

Job analysis is an important tool for employers in understanding the necessary requirements for a job and in establishing job descriptions. However, it is not without its limitations. The following are some of the limitations of job analysis:

  • It can be time consuming and tedious, as it requires a detailed analysis of the job tasks and may require interviews with employees who have held the position.
  • It may be difficult to accurately assess the skills and qualities an employee must possess in order to be successful in the role.
  • It can be difficult to effectively assess the changing needs of a job over time.
  • It may be difficult to accurately capture the changing needs of the job market.
  • It can be expensive to carry out, as it may require expert advice and specialist knowledge.
  • It can be difficult to ensure that the job analysis is unbiased and accurate.

Other approaches related to Job analysis

Job analysis can be approached in many different ways, and there are a variety of techniques and methods which can be used to complete the analysis. These can include:

  • Task identification: This involves breaking down a job into its constituent tasks and duties, and looking at the skills and knowledge needed to complete them.
  • Performance appraisal: This involves looking at the performance of an individual in a given job, so that future performance can be improved.
  • Job description: This involves creating a complete and comprehensive description of the job and its requirements, which can be used to help with recruitment and selection.
  • Competency mapping: This involves mapping out the skills and competencies required for a job, so that training and development can be tailored to the individual.
  • Job evaluation: This involves assessing the monetary worth of a job, so that salary structures can be set and reviewed.

In summary, there are a variety of approaches which can be used to complete a job analysis, each of which has a different purpose and can provide different insights into the job.


  1. Caldwell C. (2018) p. 2-3
  2. Amos, T., Ristow, A. & Ristow, L. (2004), p. 136
  3. Foster G., Gaddis B., Hogan J. (2009), p. 3
  4. Randhawa G. (2007), p. 41-42
  5. Dessler G. (2003), p. 131
  6. Goyal N. (2010) p. 136
  7. Palmer Royer K. (2009), p. 3
  8. Dessler G. (2003), p. 110
  9. Dessler G. (2003), p. 113-114
  10. Dessler G. (2003), p. 110-113
  11. Dessler G. (2003), p. 114
  12. Foster G., Gaddis B., Hogan J. (2009), p. 3

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Author: Andrii Didukh