Job analysis is a technique that is employed by human resource personnel in the recruiting process and in awarding employees through promotion and salary increments. It is usually a process that goes on throughout the life of a company. There are various methods that are employed by the human resource department to ascertain the quality of work that employees are capable of providing. For recruits that are seeking a job in the organization, the human resource department will mainly conduct interviews. Their resumes are usually checked to find out if they fit the kind of description that was advertised. Depending on the nature of the job, the applicant may also be required to take other kinds of tests to ascertain their physical health as well as fitness. This is usually done for the purpose of understanding the kind of manpower that is being employed and thus avoiding any inconveniences that may arise (Franklin, 2005). The human resource will also keep assessing the incumbents to ensure that they are performing according to the standards that they are expected to.
There are various methods that are used in the process of job analysis. The methods may be preferred by organizations according to the needs of the organization. Some of such methods involve a substantial amount of money which some organizations may not want to go into. This may also depend on the size of the organization and what it is basically involved in. A single method of job analysis may not be adequate to access the manpower required for the job. This is due to a number of things about the candidate that may not be known to the human resource personnel. Using multiple job analysis techniques, the organization is able to know almost everything about the candidate and thus recruiting them with clear information about them. It is wise for an organization to first find out what they exactly need from a candidate and thus looking out for such qualities (Prien, 2009). This does not mean that they will rule out a candidate that does not possess such skills or qualities. It will basically help them to know the kind of adjustments to make and the areas that they will help the candidate to perfect.
Job description and job specifications
Job analysis is composed of the job description and job specification. When a human resource person ell is therefore looking for an appropriate candidate for the job, they have to put such factors into consideration. In the job description, they generally look at the nature of the job with the aim of finding an appropriate candidate that will be suitable for such kind of job. They come up with the skills, qualifications, and experiences that a certain candidate needs to fulfill before they are granted the job. Such a description is usually put on paper and placed on the company notice board or other media so that the appropriate candidates make their applications. As they place the advertisements, they expect that the candidates with the specifications outlined to make their applications which will have to be ascertained to ensure that they qualify. This is a stage when the applications are scrutinized and the candidates that have been found to fulfill the descriptions are summoned for interviews. Many candidates may be summoned for the interviews but only a required number may qualify after further interrogations.
Specification that would relate to Job Analysis
There are a number of specifications that may be required when analyzing candidates for a certain job. This may include skills that define the ability of a person to perform a given task. In looking at such, they consider previous assignments and responsibilities. The human resource will look at their experiences to know if they are related to what the candidate is about to do. The other specification is physical health and fitness. According to the job, it may be required for a candidate to be physically healthy so that his or her condition is not worsened by their condition. It is also important to know this so that the company knows whether the candidate will need any support in the course of performing their duties (Bohlander, 2009). Candidates’ qualifications define the academic level that they have attained which will help the human resource personnel to know if they are intellectually capable of handling the job. The final specification that is considered is usually the past and present experience that the candidate has. This assists the human resource personnel to understand the areas that the candidate will need to be trained on and how effective they will be when they are granted the job.
The importance of Job Analysis to HR
Job analysis is important to human resource personnel as it gives them a clear description of a candidate before they are posted to their work. It is always an opportunity to interact with the applicants and employees and getting to know their capabilities and characters. Job analysis also involves job training where employees and new applicants are exposed to the different job categories of the company to find out where they can perform better. This is a fair process where HR can know and thus placing the right candidate in the right place. During the initial interview, it may be difficult to know the kind of candidate that is appropriate for a certain post. Some of them may have the qualifications, but it is never enough to understand how valid they are unless they are put on the task and their performance is seen. Through job analysis, it ensures that the HR is not basically relying on what is written on paper but that they go to the level of finding out the practical capability of an individual. Most organizations that have relied on the papers that the candidates produce without having to test them have come out disappointed when they realized that the candidate is not what they presumed him or her to be. Through job analysis, such inconveniences can be avoided.
Methods of Job Analysis
There are a number of methods that are employed by the human resource personnel to carry out job analysis, this may include interviews that are carried out by incumbents and the supervisors, using open-ended, structured, or both methods in questionnaires, observing the employees during their duties at work, investigating the candidates critically during certain kind of incidents and finally by using the information that is obtained from their backgrounds. Incumbents are basically employees that are currently working for the organization. They are usually an important asset to the organization, especially during job analysis. They usually have clear information about their colleagues more than their managers and the human resources due to the fact that they have a close association with them (Franklin, 2005). One of them may hence be approached to provide information concerning their colleagues. This is usually done by HR in good faith to know whether the employee is working as per the company’s norms and standards.
Supervisors are also able to observe and interrogate employees to find out if they understand what they are doing. They pose questions to them about the company and the kind o work that they are doing. This is done especially to incumbents to know whether they are acquainted with the objectives of the company and working towards fulfilling them. Some of the incidences that may happen in the company may also be a good way of knowing and understanding the real characters of their employees. This is the reason why most companies organize some other events such as retreats and recreational moments which are usually different from the normal company routine. It is through such moments that they get to understand the other hidden sides of their employees. The events act as an eye-opener to the managers and the human resource personnel to know that their employees are capable of doing some things. Events such as strokes that are followed by protests help HR to also know how their workers can behave when they are exposed to such extreme pressure.
Advantages of Job Analysis methods
There are various advantages that can be related to job analysis that makes it an important process in the life of a company. It may not be easy for a company to operate without having clear information about the people that they are dealing with. This is basically because the company goes through various faces that require it to be surrounded by people that it can depend on and rely on. As the company conducts a job analysis on its candidates they are able to know the employees that they can adequately bank on due to their good performance (Prien, 2009). For those that are not performing according to the expectations of the company, the company may decide to impart more skills on them through training or replace them with other competent ones. A job analysis will also assist the employer to know the employees to reward through promotions due to the consistency in their performance. There are also periods when the company realizes that they have more than enough workers. Records obtained from job analysis will assist them in knowing the right people to layoff and thus retaining competent staff.
Disadvantages of Job Analysis methods
Despite the various positive impacts that job analysis may have on the company, it may not necessarily be the best method to access candidates and employees. There are a number of errors that may be realized during this process which may be disastrous to both the company and the concerned employee. Some of the methods that are employed may be unfair as some innocent candidates have had to suffer their consequences. A work environment is a society of different kinds of people who may have differences (Brannick, 2002). They may decide to use such moments to retaliate against the people that may have wronged them. There is some human resource personnel that may present a wrong report of a certain employee simply because of some personal differences. The management may not have time to prove some of the allegations that HR presents to them and act accordingly. The employee affected may be one of the best performings in the company but is forced to terminate his services. The report that may be presented to them may make it hard for them to be placed somewhere else and thus ruining their career life. Job analysis may also use a certain discriminative process to rule out candidates that may be suitable for the job. Some applicants are ruled out during the initial stages of the interview without finding out their capabilities. This may hence make the company miss out on the very capable persons that they would have needed.
Considering the various issues that may surround the process of job analysis, it will only be fair for the company to use a number of procedures to access their employees. Using a single procedure may not be adequate enough to make the company understand who the best candidate is. The company also needs to involve more than one group of people to assess the workers to minimize the level of discrimination that may be employed. False accusations can easily be gotten rid of if the company monitors its employees further. Any information that may be received concerning a certain employee has to be proved before the management takes any action on them. This is a confirmation that needs a considerable period of time where various investigations will be done to prove it right or wrong. There are incidences where promotions and demotions go to the wrong people. By the time the management realizes this, a lot of harm may have already happened to the company. It may serve to be a great loss to the organization as well as unfair treatment to the employee especially if it was a false accusation.
Job analysis is a process that can not be avoided by the organization despite some of its negative outcomes. It is a procedure that was put forth for positive impacts, only that it has been misused by certain individuals. The company can however ensure that it brings out the best out of the company by avoiding some of its methods that may be discriminatory. The company can always confirm every step that is taken by the HR on the employees by carrying out investigations (Bohlander, 2009). A single method should however not be used to conclude the capability of an employee. It is mostly used to eliminate applicants at the initial stages which may make the company to miss out o some potential individuals. All in all, there may be no accurate process of finding out the best employee. This is usually realized as the company gets to learn the weaknesses and strengths that are in their employees. This is the reason why most organization keeps training their employees to ensure that they are well equipped to handle the various changes happening in the organization. It is however the best method that cab be used to ensure that both the employees and the human resource personnel account for what they are involved. It makes them more responsible and thus producing quality work.
Bohlander, G. (2009). Managing human resources. New York: Cengage Learning.
Brannick, M. (2002). Job analysis: methods, research and applications for human resource management in the new millennium. New Jersey: Sage Publications.
Franklin, M. (2005). A guide to job analysis. New York: American Society for Training and Development.
Mathis, R. (2007). Human resource management. New York: Cengage Learning.
Prien, E. (2009). A practical guide to job analysis. California: John Wiley and Sons.