What is the process of job analysis and design?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Job analysis and design is a field of study that determines the level of need, the worth, and the capacities needed when a new type of work needs to be performed and a description of the tasks must be made available for purposes of hiring. It also occurs when changes to working conditions come up, when resources change, or when said job descriptions chide away from the original definition. In these cases, trained professionals called "job analysts" would be employed to analyze all the variables that make up a job, and define in its entirety. Ultimately, this is beneficial to the business organization in that it shows transparency in the process of developing jobs. It also helps avoid lawsuits and other misunderstandings comprising duties and responsibilities. Another benefit is that it measures the potential hazards of a job, provides sensible options, and curbs excesses and deficiencies in terms of performance to a degree.

This is the process how it is done:

  • Job is selected for analysis
  • Job analyst decides what data to collect (human resources job description, company workforce documents, guild/union guidelines, best practices, strategic planning)  

Once the data is processed and analyzed, the job itself will be compared and contrasted to what the information provided by the corporation states, and by the new needs if applicable. Hence, things to consider include:

  • exact duties (what is the employee's role within the company)
  • tasks (what jobs is the employee expected to fulfill)
  • resources (what is needed for the job to be completed: people, money, time)
  • hazards and dangers of the job (risks involving completion of the task or the process of completing them)
  • connection to other tasks within the same company: how is this job related to similar jobs (horizontal comparison), and with jobs that are below and above (vertical)

These are the variables that make up the part of the JOB DESCRIPTION.

The job specification is more sophisticated and detailed. This is the "in between the lines" that all potential employees must analyze prior to applying for any job. Here is where the contracts are drawn out if someone does not comply with the specific tasks that they signed up to fulfill. This is because job specifications involve:

  • employee traits/characteristics needed for the job (although it is illegal to say "strong man needed", it is imperative to state in the definition of the job how much physicality is needed to do it.
  • education/experience/skills - whether specific training, certification, or background is necessary
  • aptitudes, attitudes- companies are allowed to ask for specific personality traits such as: ability to problem solve, willingness to work with irate customers, excellent communication skills, etc.

Not only is this process of delineating tasks and descriptions helpful for companies, but also for both employers and employees. For employers, it helps filter out potential candidates, especially when they all reunite similar, basic qualities. It also helps for performance evaluation, to determine bonuses based on performance, to figure out if there is an area lacking in terms of tasks for which additional training is needed, and for scheduling and work environment disciplinary purposes.