Job shadowing is a career development and growth opportunity program for an employee of the company to learn about the job in other teams or departments. The idea of the job shadowing is that an employee that requested shadowing has a chance to work with an employee who conducts a shadowing for one day. This program allows employees to learn more about the job in other departments, broaden their existing knowledge about other teams and acquire new skills (Buzzeo J. and Cifci M., 2017). Many companies provide job shadowing opportunities in their organisations to encourage employees to learn about other teams and broaden their knowledge about the company.
In order to get a job shadowing employee has to agree on the details with his line manager and share his interest with the manager of the team, where a shadowing will be conducted. This allows the team, which will be hosting a shadowing session to better prepare for the session and allocate people for this activity. It is also common, that more than 1 person can be the host of job shadowing program. Once the host team is ready, the employee, who requested a job shadowing is invited to the team on an agreed day. It is worth mentioning that an employee who is going on a shadowing does not have to perform his or her job duties while one is not at the desk.
On the job shadowing, a person (or a team), who is conducting the session provides an overview of the tasks and responsibilities of the team. Depending on the objectives of the employee, the shadowing might focus on different aspects of the job. For instance, an employee might select a senior manager for a shadowing session to get mentorship and to learn more about management. The positive side of such shadowing is that employee has the freedom to ask for advice or questions (Rony Z. T., Lubis M. F. and Rizkyta A., 2019).
Another way of shadowing is called "observation" shadowing, where an employee is simply observing the host. This kind of shadowing experience might better fit employees that have recently joined and who have little idea about the work of other teams. Furthermore, this kind of shadowing might be used prior to employment to get the first reaction from the candidate (Morell B. L., 2016). The positive sides of such shadowing are that the candidate will better understand if the job suits him or her and the employer might use shadowing as a marketing tool to interest the candidate.
At the same time, for the host job shadowing can become an opportunity to confirm his or her competence and expertise. This can lead to job promotions in the future, as the managers and HR can use job shadowing activities to compare candidates for promotion. As a result of job shadowing, a development path for the host can be proposed on where one should concentrate to grow (Rony Z. T., Lubis M. F. and Rizkyta A., 2019).
It is also very common that universities cooperate with the corporation and organise job shadowing programs to give students a better understanding of what is needed to become a specialist in that firm. This can also help students to understand what kind of job they will be searching for in the future (Alexander E. C., Mader D. R. D. and Mader F. H., 2017).
Job shadowing is a very powerful program that is used by many companies to develop the skills and expertise of their employees. This program can help employees to see the bigger picture of the organisation as well as to learn new skills.
Benefits of job shadowing
Below you can find the benefits from job shadowing:
- Job shadowing can help potential employees and students to understand the requirements for the role and what knowledge is needed for the job (Alexander E. C., Mader D. R. D. and Mader F. H., 2017).
- Job shadowing can be used to teach a new joiner on the job tasks and activities one will be performing.
- Job shadowing program is a powerful tool to learn from others by observing how they are doing their job.
- Job shadowing can broaden the knowledge of an employee about organisation and business.
- The bigger picture that can be seen on the job shadowing can help employees to see where they can create more impact in their organisation.
- Job shadowing can be used by managers and HR to assess the knowledge and expertise of the program host.
- Alexander E. C., Mader D. R. D. and Mader F. H. (2017), Job Shadowing Experiences as a Teaching Tool: A New Twist on a Tried and True Technique. Atlantic Marketing Journal, volume 5, number 3.
- Buzzeo J. and Cifci M. (2017), Work experience, job shadowing and workplace visits. What works?.The Careers & Enterprise Company. London.
- Morell B. L. (2016), Bringing clarity to job shadowing. Nursing Management, Springhouse, volume 47, issue 4.
- Rony Z. T., Lubis M. F. and Rizkyta A. (2019), Job Shadowing as One of the Effective Activities in the Promotion Process Creates Quality Managers. International Journal of Recent Technology and Engineering, volume 8, issue 2S.
Author: Nikita Shtemenko