Job Analysis Is The Most Fundamental Management Essay

This essay will discuss about job analysis as a basic and vital activity of HRM. The importance and utilization of Job analysis has been explain from HRM point of view, and in support of this statement , u different references and two figure has been used to understand the job analysis process and its utilization as well as outlining the most common methods of job analysis. Few common issues regarding the job analysis has been also discussed in the essay.

The origin of job analysis lies in the study of ‘time and motion ‘method by Frederick Winslow Taylor which provided full description of assembly line workers , later on in 1930s US Department of Labour developed the method of ‘occupational Analysis'(Clifton P. Campbell, 1989).In this contemporary world it is very important to have compatibility between work and employees. Any organization is at great economic risk who does not succeed to have right people in the right place in the right job at the right time (Sinclair.2003:5) It plays a vital role in human resource management activities through this process the responsibilities and task of employees can be allocated and employee’s training qualification, performance and capabilities can also be checked. Job analysis mainly deals with job position not with individuals. C.M.Siddique defined job analysis as “… the ‘backbone’ or ‘cornerstone’ of nearly all HR resource activities… a rich source of information about jobs and jobholders that HR professionals use to develop such important documents as ‘job description’, ‘job specification’ and ‘performance standards’… HR practices requires that jobs must be clearly understood by both the jobholders and the organization. The practice of job analysis provides this understanding” (Siddique, 2004: 220). ). Job analysis can enhance management efficiency by gathering information about employee and related work, it’s a technique used to collect important data and complete job information (Doron and Marco ,1999). The main objective of job analysis is to define that why this job is been created, and under what conditions this job will be performed by who and when and what are desired abilities to fulfill the job in question and by using job analysis methods HRM can determine the criteria for required post. According to Yehuda Baruch and Ronnie Lessem ,( 1995) “Job analysis is frequently used in human resource management. It has proved to be a useful tool for working with rank and ¬le personnel.” (Yehuda Baruch and Ronnie Lessem , 1995, pp. 3-9) Job analysis gives knowledge about three main parts of job which are, job contents means duties and responsibilities regarding work, job requirements for performing the job like knowledge, skills, abilities and characteristics and job context is other supporting information about work.In last few decades a lot of research work have been done to know and analyze that what is relationship between firm’s performance and HR activities .( Anastasios D. Diamantidis and Prodromos D. Chatzoglou, 2011). The people are human capitals and they loan their selves to companies to enhance its performance and productivity (Mayo, 2001, p.31). Mostly organizations makes mistakes regarding job analysis process as most of them think that job analysis, job specification and work flow are organization’s routine work, and cannot be change with the business development. It is very important for the mangers to be aware of organizational changes and they should value this human capital and they need to enhance their potential worker’s performance by using job analysis tools properly and they can avoid the mistakes by developing a proper work design in organizations to improve the HR system which actually gives a competitive advantage to the business, as stated by pfeffer (1994) that the organizations knew the potential of the workers to become a competitive advantage for organization. Employees can become a great strategic “asset” for the organizations through which organization can increase its competitive advantage (becker, 2001) [i] and Wright, Gardner and Moynihan(2003)also agreed that firms can increase in competitive advantage by employees required HR practices, that can use these “assets”(,2003). Job analysis, being a fundamental HR activity, helps mangers in restructuring the staff and reducing the waste of human resources and it is a great tool for middle managers while evaluating workers performance and it also increase the organization’s performance. Job analysis provides information for setting salaries, benefits and other facilities according to job ranks and helps HR department to work on the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work ‘(Clifton P. Campbell, 1989). It also make easier for the managers or HR department to help in making decisions about employees inductions and training to fill up the job skill gap “From a managerial perspective, based on the ¬rm’s strategic and HR planning, managers should take into account that job analysis is indeed a signi¬cant HR practice that affects ¬rm performance.( Anastasios D. Diamantidis and Prodromos D. Chatzoglou,2011). Gary dessler (2002,p.61) showed in below figure-1 that how Information gathered from Job analysis provides basis for many interrelated HR management activities.

Uses of Job Analysis Information (Gary Dessler,2002, pp.61)

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Job analysis have two main parts, Job description and Job specification. According to Yehuda Baruch and Ronnie Lessem, “Job analysis (JA) is the process of examining a job. The product of JA can be a job description, a job speci¬cation, and further analysis” (1995, pp. 3-9). Job description and job specification are usually being taken as same thing, but Job description is an initial point of hiring procedure and helps in understanding job requirement, it is usually consist of job title, responsible to, responsible for, main purpose of job, job responsibilities and additional information about job (Alison Jago, 1997). According to MarieGan and Brian H.Kleiner (2005) job description is more like a blue print of the job, as it gives information about duties and responsibilities of the job expected from employees. They further explained that Job description is a basic tool in hiring employees as it gives details about expertise, knowledge and individual’s physical requirement and characteristics needed for that position. It also provide the organizational structure, job’s power position and control span and also help in the performance appraisal process.

Job specification describes the personal characteristics, skills and qualifications of employee to perform better job responsibilities, it should be aligned with job description. There are many terms used for ideal candidate like person specification, person description or personnel description (? Nigel van Zwanenberg and Larry J. Wilkinson, 2005). The selector’s job to choose a suitable candidate has become very difficult now a days because it not only effect the cost of organization but also that a good employee can be more productive than a poor employee. (Wilkinson and Nigel van Zwanenberg, 1994) so it is very important for mangers to make correct decision while choose the right person to avoid later on problems. The job specification helps HR Manager in selecting right kind of person to select and identifies what characteristics to assess the candidate on. As R. J. Kendal (1976) mentioned in his paper the Seven Point Plan developed at National Institute of Industrial Psychology for useful guidance for making job specification to make choice of candidate better. It is consist of 1) physical attributes like age, sex, or disable person could do that job. 2) Attainments like education, skill, experience 3) General intelligence, average or above 4) Special aptitude like mechanical, computer skills or language abilities 5) someone with some specific interest 6) Disposition, what job suits what kind of person, need a leader or a follower 7) circumstances, like unsocial -hour needed or bad circumstances or highly travelling job. Job description and Job specification should be aligned and must be reviewed to ensure that the personal requirements met with the job requirements, this alignment increases employee’s interest and trust in job analysis process.

The process of job analysis is usually consist of these steps no matter what method for job analysis is going to be used.

1) – Planning and identifying the objectives of the job analysis is the first and foremost important step in the job analysis process. There should be a specific reason for job analysis and should not just for a good exercise (Ronel Kleynhans,, pp.57), and then organization will focus on the purpose or specific objective of the job or part of job need to do analysis, it will make organization to decide about nature and type of data needed from this job analysis and what methods should be used to collect required information (Durai, Durai Pravin,2010, p.74).

2) – After identifying the objective of job analysis, second step is to gather information and review available facts about the job need to analyze. Organization and process charts and job description can provide information about job back ground that how and where job is going to fit in and who is best person to get information about job (Gary Dessler, 2002,p. 62). It is very important for every organization to provide back ground information about the job, and job analyst should concentrate on the important things related to this job (Durai, Durai Pravin,2010, pp.74).

3).sometimes there are many similar jobs in organization ,so need to select representative job like if 300 people are working in some call center or assembly workers then sample of 10 jobs will do fine ( Gary Dessler,2002,pp. 62)and otherwise, it will be very expensive time consuming job for organization to analyze all the positions. (Durai, Durai Pravin,2010, pp.75).

4) – The next step of job analysis is to analyze the job by using different methods and techniques of job analysis like interviews ,questionnaire ,observation or sometime by using multiple methods , according to requirement of job analysis. This information like duties, responsibilities, employees behavior can also be gathered from present and ex-employees of the organization (Durai, Durai Pravin,2010, pp.76).

5) – After carefully collecting all data from job analysis, a report is being prepared about the job being analyzed. The job holders and their managers are also participate in this type of job analysis process and they verify that to which level job analysis is successful and report is completed (Durai, Durai Pravin, 2010, pp.76).

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6)- This is last and final stage of the job anlysis process provides Job Description and Job Specification, two most important and compulsory documents of the organization made on the basis of job analysis report (Durai, Durai pravin ,2010, pp.76)

Steps in the job analysis process:

Figure- 2, (Durai, Durai pravin ,2010, pp.75)

The purpose of job analysis is to gather the information used by HRM for job description, job specification, job design, HR planning, performance appraisals, selection, job orientations and trainings There are two main approaches to job analysis, first is job-oriented approach it is about tasks, responsibilities and duties of job, and second approach is worker- oriented and it is about the employee’s performance, attitude and human behavior towards job (Ronel Kleynhans,, 2006,pp. 52).For collecting this information, job analysis is conduct by different techniques and each technique has its own advantages, disadvantages, cost effects and quality and quantity of gathered information, and that not every technique can be used in all circumstances(Clifton P. Campbel, 1989). Although, there are many techniques for job analysis like questionnaire and checklist, observation, self -report: diaries and logs, participation, hierarchal task analysis, Interviews, Critical incident techniques, repertory grid techniques, position and analysis questionnaire, and work profiling systems. But some more common and major job analysis techniques stated by Clifton P. Campbel, (1989) are:

1) – Observation of job holder while busy in the job. This technique can be used directly by observing the employee or indirectly by using movie camera, or both can be used at a time to get better results. But it is an expensive techniques and involved more time to observe the candidate or employee, and sometimes it create stress or anxiety for incumbent.

2) – Interviews of position holders and their managers, it can be in-person or telephonic. In-person interviews are more common and popular way of job analysis, especially for those jobs where mental application and personal judgment is required. Telephonic interviews are comparatively less expensive, especially when hiring someone abroad and using telephonic interview as a starting point to judge the candidate is a better way. But it is important that person who is taking interview should be trained, understandable and in case of telephonic interview, person should have good telephonic manners and a positive attitude towards his job.

3) – Questionnaire Survey, is used mostly where quantify data is required in short time. It is more convenient way for people to provide information by completing it whenever they have time. Through surveys those questions can also be asked which or embarrassing or supposed to be biased in routine interviews. This technique requires very hard work, time and complete information about questions and should be fully formatted with written instructions for user or the person filling up this questionnaire.

(4) A Jury or panel of job incumbents and supervisors, in this technique only few people are involved and information can be shared among member of panel which can be used as a stimulus to other members for sharing additional information. This technique is usually used when personal judgment and intellectual task are involved, but a person with good record and training is required for this technique who should have inter-personal skills and are able and willing to work as a group and have best communication skills to co-op with other group members.

The Job analysis have some pros and cons, if we see on positive side of job analysis process it provides data using different methods and techniques of job analysis which help HRM to choose right person for right job, It helps mangers in hiring process by using different methods like interviewing candidates or observing them. The mangers can evaluate the performance of employees by using survey methods and guide them in understanding the skill gaps, and help in analyzing training and development needs of employees. But negative side of this process is that its very time consuming like in questionnaire method sometimes it takes very long to get back the responses or in observation method need long observing hours to observe the employees attitude( Darin E. Harley,1999, pp.24)and sometimes observer and employee or job analyst and incumbent are from same company or background ,in that case personal liking and disliking also effect job analysis process, or sometimes job analyst can be biased to some person or race or gender, which can influence his decision as a job analyst. Stereotypes can affect due to race, age, gender, color and can be bias in evaluating the applicant (Herman, 1994).

There are few problems arising from job analysis process, like if top management is not interested in job analysis process then lower staff is also not in keen to take part in the process as they feel it is of no benefit. Usually for job analysis organizations rely on only one method which is not enough, if they use multiple methods of collecting data they can get better and accurate results (Ronel Kleynhans,, 2006,pp. 58), he further stated that if the supervisor and employee are not part of job designing ,they feel distrusted and show lack of cooperation which can lead to a non-accurate analysis. Sometimes mangers do not realize the importance of job analysis and think it is waste of time but when they need it then they rush for it and it results in collecting not enough or inaccurate data which create problems in decision making process. Mostly job analyst do not bother to investigate about the data they collected weather job is being done correctly or not, and the reason is job analyst have very short time to complete the process and the other reason can be lack of communication between job analyst and employees.

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After looking different aspects of job analysis it can be conclude that there is no doubt that job analysis is most vital and basic human resource activity and “Effective management requires reliable and valid tools with which to operate. In the area of HRM, JA was considered as such” (Yehuda Baruch and Ronnie Lessem, 1995). Although there are some issues regarding job analysis like time consuming, bias attitudes or lack of knowledge and skills as any other procedure but its effectiveness is much more important than these issues, and they can be resolved if proper measurements should be taken before and during the job analysis process to make it more useful and reliable to make it play a vital and fundamental role in HRM activities and decision making processes.


Job Analysis for Industrial Training by Clifton P. Campbell, journal of European Industrial Training vol 13, issue 3, 1989.

Class PPT

Human resource involvement, job-related factors, and their relation with ¬rm performance: experiences from Greece

Anastasios D. Diamantidis and Prodromos D. Chatzoglou* The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 22, No. 7, April 2011, 1531-1553

(Class ppt)C.M .Siddique

Yehuda Baruch and Ronnie Lessem, 1995, Job analysis: can it still be applied? Indications for various organizational levels

The International Journal of Career Management Volume 7 • Number 6 • 1995 • pp. 3-9 © MCB University Press • ISSN 0955-6214

Anastasios D. Diamantidis and Prodromos D. Chatzoglou ,2011, Human resource involvement, job-related factors, and their relation with ¬rm performance: experiences from Greece, * The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 22, No. 7, April 2011, 1531-1553 ,

Job analysis: can it still be applied? Indications for various organizational levels

Yehuda Baruch and Ronnie Lessem The International Journal of Career Management Volume 7 • Number 6 • 1995 • pp. 3-9 © MCB University Press • ISSN 0955-6214

Selecting your team: how to find the right people Alison Jago Instant Library Recruitment, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK, Asian Libraries, Vol. 6 No. 1/2, 1997, pp. 14-19. © MCB University Press, 1017-6748.

8)Job Analysis for Industrial Training by Clifton P. Campbell, journal of European Industrial Training vol 13, issue 3, 1989.

9)- The Person Specification – A Problem Masquerading as a Solution? Nigel van Zwanenberg and Larry J. Wilkinson University of Northumbria at Newcastle, UK. Personnel Review, Vol. 22 No. 7, 1993, pp. 54-65. © MCB University Press, 0048-3486

9) How to Write Job Descriptions Effectively ,by MarieGan and Brian H. Kleiner, Management Research News Volume 28 Number 8 2005

10) Development of a Person Specification System for Managerial Jobs Larry J. Wilkinson and Nigel van Zwanenberg University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Personnel Review, Vol. 23 No. 1, 1994, pp. 25-36. © MCBUniversity Press, 0048-3486

11) Selecting the right people

R. J. Kendal Manpower Development Adviser, Wiggins Teape Ltd

Paper presented at the 50th Aslib Annual Conference, University of Exeter, 20th-23rd September 1976

12) Human Resource Management By Ronel Kleynhans, chapter 3, pp. 52

12) Job Analysis for Industrial Training by Clifton P. Campbell, journal of European Industrial Training vol 13, issue 3, 1989.

13)- Job Analysis at the Speed of Reality By Darin E. Harley, pp.24,chapter 10,1999.

Publisher, HRD press,INC.

14)-(Herman ,1994) .cited in, How To Hire Employees Effectively by Bennie L. Garcia and Brian H. Kleiner, management research news, Volume 24 Number 6/7 2001

15)- Human Resource Management By Ronel Kleynhans, chapter 3, pp. 58, publisher. David Langha.n, 2006.

16)- Gary Dessler, :Part 2 Recruitment and Placement(2002) chapter 3 ,pp. 61 , Tenth edition,

17)- Durai, Durai Pravi, (2010), Human Resource Management, Ch. 4, pp. 75, published by Dorling Kindersley PVt limited.

figure 1: Gary Dessler, :Part 2 Recruitment and Placement(2002) chapter 3 ,pp. 61 , Tenth edition,

Figure 2: Durai, Durai Pravi, (2010), Human Resource Management, Ch. 4, pp. 75, published by Dorling Kindersley PVt limited.

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