Job analysis is critical to the HR department’s performance, as it defines its goals and the activities in which it engages. Per Robbins et al. (2016), it serves to formulate the job description, which then informs the “recruiting, training, setting performance standards, evaluating performance, and compensation” (p. 113). Without a job analysis, it will be unclear which person is the best fit for the job or whether the employees currently holding the position are performing adequately. As such, the company will struggle to find improvement opportunities, whether through performance corrections or the incentivization of overperforming workers.
From an individual’s perspective, job analysis helps them secure raises and promotions based on merit while avoiding overwork. With clearly defined target competencies and performance goals, the employee can focus on fulfilling them without getting distracted by extraneous tasks, which will be given to a position suitable for them. As a result, workers will perform better, which will improve the performance of the organization as a whole. This growth, combined with increased clarity in the company’s human resources needs and goals, makes it easier to plan and execute the corporate strategy, benefiting all members of the business as a result.
The need for the review is due to technological changes at the plant that took place without corresponding alterations in worker responsibilities. As a result, the company’s owner is concerned that there may be a mismatch between various positions and the employees that occupy them in terms of competencies. This expectation is likely to manifest as inadequate performance on the part of the people who are not suited to the roles that they occupy. With that said, there is no objective standard to compare to their results, and subjective reviews are associated with concerns over bias and politicization, which makes it challenging to apply either of these tools.
This report recommends the application of behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS) to resolve the issue. Per Prien et al. (2009), the tool employs using the aid of a number of highly experienced workers to develop a list of behaviors that facilitate success or failure. These practices are then organized and arranged in dimensions, which are used to define the position and evaluate each employee’s performance. This tool was chosen because it helps define the vital competencies of each role from the perspective of the staff, creating a superior understanding of each position’s factual duties. As such, the position definitions in which it results can be accepted by workers more easily, and they can also address misconceptions about the development of various roles on the part of the management.
For purposes of job analysis and formulating position descriptions, it is essential to consider both internal and external conditions. Mader-Clark (2013) recommends considering the current economy, hiring market, and competition when creating job descriptions that suit current needs. The first two will help produce an understanding of what people are available for hire and under what conditions, while the third provides information on what competencies are in demand by comparable businesses. As such, it will become more clear which skills are lacking at the company and whether they should be brought in from the outside or developed internally.
The specific descriptors that can be obtained from external data are indicators such as the salary that a position is worth. To attract the people the company needs, it has to offer the relevant jobs at the market rate or above it. For the competition, the company can analyze its job descriptions in vacancy adverts and evaluate the skills that are considered necessary. It can then assess whether it has employees with these abilities already and whether they are essential for its operations. Using this information, the business can formulate its hiring needs and develop competitive position advertisements, filling the current staffing gaps.
The most prominent current issue at the workplace is that of the introduction of new technology, which the employees may not be utilizing to the fullest extent. As such, of the data categories listed by Morgeson et al. (2019), responsibilities, professional standards, machines, tools, and equipment, worker and work activities, and future changes should be prioritized. These sections encompass the changes that have taken place since the last instance of job analysis that took place at the company. As such, by reviewing them, the HR department can understand the new roles and needs of different positions.
Having obtained and analyzed this information, the company can adjust its job design and performance evaluation practices. The former can accommodate the new responsibilities of the position, phasing out ones that are no longer relevant and potentially moving some tasks to other jobs to reduce the pressure on the workers. The performance evaluation can also focus on items that are directly associated with improved work results. As a result, it will reward and discourage behaviors more accurately, benefiting the business in the long term.
A job description consists of a number of components, all of which need to be considered in detail. Picardi (2019) names these items as the job title, overview, department or function, reporting structure, FLSA status, pay grade, working conditions, educational, experience, and KSAO requirements, and, finally, essential duties and responsibilities. The title needs to be considered carefully for purposes of consistency and FLSA compliance. The overview helps the candidate understand what the job will entail.
The department or functional area’s name help advance this understanding while also maintaining internal consistency for information systems. The reporting structure reflects the supervisory structure of the organization, which is particularly important for large and complex enterprises but still relevant to medium-sized businesses, as well. The job’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) category distinguishes whether the position is salaried or hourly and whether it is eligible for overtime pay.
The pay grade helps the HR department estimate each position’s worth and the approximate compensation that an employee should be paid. The working conditions incorporate essential information about the worker’s schedule, travel requirements, the need to be available, and other noteworthy traits. The educational requirements help define eligibility for the position based on formal diplomas and training certificates, and experience requirements perform the same role with regard to the eponymous quality.
Knowledge, skills, abilities, and other requirements (KSAO) incorporate less clearly-defined traits that are nevertheless essential to the person’s success in their job, such as the soft skills mentioned by Doyle (2020). Finally, the essential tasks and responsibilities are produced during the job analysis and are necessary for understanding and evaluating one’s performance. Combined, all of these sections form the fundamental structure of the job description that provides enough information for the business’s needs.
The company has to comply with a number of laws that deal with their employees, such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) law, and Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) regulations. To comply with OSHA, the job description needs to list the category to which each position belongs based on their degrees of hazard exposure. Workers who perform dangerous tasks need to receive appropriate training and be supplied with the protective equipment they require.
For the ADA, it is necessary to differentiate each position’s duties into essential and non-essential (Mitchell & Gamlem, 2017). Non-essential functions cannot be used to bar a person who cannot perform them from the position, unlike essential ones. The codification of the difference in the job description avoids discrimination, whether intentional or otherwise.
EEO law and BFOQ rules should be described alongside each other, as they cover the same range of potential issues. Their purpose is to prevent discrimination based on factors such as ethnicity, race, religion, gender, and other immutable characteristics. Under EEO regulations, these characteristics cannot be used in the job description legally or employed to screen candidates for the same position.
With that said, BFOQ serves as an exception, providing conditions under which religion, sex, and other normally inapplicable qualities can be used as qualifications for the position. The first applies to some jobs at religious organizations, such as Catholic theology lecturers, and the second is to occupations requiring a specific gender (such as a restroom attendant). With that said, BFOQs are generally uncommon and only applicable to a narrow range of positions as valid EEO defenses. The provision is unlikely to apply to the company discussed in this report, as it satisfies few to none of the requirements.
The job description design chosen is suitable for the organization because it incorporates all of the necessary factors. It complies with legal requirements and ensures that the company cannot be sued for damages. Moreover, it permits the HR department and managers to shape their expectations of each worker based on their position. Knowing what exactly the worker should be doing and what needs they have that the company has to respect and fulfill can help leaders avoid misunderstandings and treat every employee fairly.
Compensation, promotions, hiring, and other HR activities will also be streamlined substantially after the knowledge required for these activities is gathered and organized in the job description. Overall, the job description format presented in this report will help the company improve its operations, provided the knowledge is updated to reflect the current situation.
The job description will also help workers understand their positions and responsibilities better. Vandenabeele (2016) highlights the importance of this awareness and the knowledge of how the employee’s work impacts the company to the HR department and its mission. With standardized and detailed job descriptions, the workers’ duties can be explained to them with minimal misunderstandings and discrepancies.
They can understand the selection criteria for the position and the performance that is expected of them as well as the boundaries of their role. From that information, they can infer their impact on the company using their personal understanding of the work they do and the potential effects of successes or failures. Having an accurate understanding of their role at the company and the actions that they have to take to achieve their goals, the employees will then likely be motivated and perform better.
A performance appraisal is meant to differentiate the employees who accomplish their tasks well from those that struggle with their work. The former are incentivized, and the latter is notified of their problems and helped with addressing them. If the company has to consider raises, promotions, or, conversely, actions such as layoffs, it will prioritize high-performing workers for the benefits and those who fulfill their duties poorly for the negative effects.
Per Falcone and Tan (2013), the purpose of this process is to ensure that merit is promoted at the company, which will, in turn, improve performance. Having specific examples of what results in the company values and what practices it disapproves of helps workers adapt to its needs. They can then improve their performance, benefiting the company and securing positive evaluations and the associated benefits, in turn, combining personal interest and that of the business.
The portion of the job description that will be measured in the performance appraisal is the one that lists essential duties and responsibilities. During the initial job analysis, the HR department will have obtained the metrics through which the performance of these duties is measured. It will also have conducted an evaluation of what actions are considered excellent and which ones are seen as inadequate. Using this information, it is possible to evaluate each employee’s performance and determine whether particular aspects of it are desirable or otherwise. Depending on the nature of the specific performance category, the measurements can be objective or subjective, and both should be incorporated into the appraisal. While numeric results are easier to interpret, they tend not to convey the entire picture and be open to potential exploitation.
Traditionally, performance appraisals have taken place at regular intervals, typically annually, and in a formal context. However, as Trost (2019) notes, this approach has undergone substantial criticism lately, applying itself poorly in the increasingly agile context of modern business. This report recommends using a more informal and non-scheduled system where the HR department members will meet with workers to provide and receive feedback.
They will discuss recent successes and failures, attempting to produce methods of supplementing the former and avoiding the latter. In doing so, the department will be able to connect with employees and improve their morale while also achieving improved performance results due to reducing the burden of change on the workers. However, to achieve this goal, it is necessary to analyze and discuss performance that is relevant to the position and the individual’s performance.
To conduct the appraisal, the HR department will use both objective data sourced from the company’s data-gathering efforts and subjective information obtained from workers’ supervisors. The former will be used to get the objectively measurable metrics of performance and compare them to those produced as a result of the job analysis. For the outcomes more closely associated with behavior and similar non-measurable factors, the supervisors will provide their opinions of the worker, preferably with mentions of specific incidents. The results that are generated will then be compared to the targets set by the company’s managers and discussed with the employees. Alongside recommendations for improvement, the workers will be given the opportunity to respond to the evaluation and provide their feedback. If it is reasonable, the goals may be adjusted to some degree to improve workers’ morale and motivate them to apply themselves.
Performance appraisal is associated with numerous opportunities for improvement in the company’s operations. As mentioned above, it will prioritize merit in employees’ work, meaning actions that improve the company’s performance. Additionally, it will help differentiate the high performers from the worse ones and provide them with incentives such as pay raises and promotions to positions where they can benefit the company more. The method of performance management that this report suggests also has the potential to improve the relations between leadership and the employees by allowing the two to understand each other better. Workers will become better aware of the company’s strategic goals and vision, and they will also be able to communicate their feedback and ensure that the implementation of this strategy considers practical reality.
With that said, performance appraisals are also associated with numerous problems and challenges that require substantial care and oversight to be exercised by the HR department. Hanscom et al. (2018) list potential issues such as contextual factors, conflicting performance appraisal purposes, and motivation to distort appraisals on the part of the rater. Depending on the broader situation, the standards used during the evaluation may not match reality, and cultural differences can influence what aspects of performance a manager emphasizes.
Hanscom et al. (2018) discuss the incompatibility of using the same appraisals for reward administration and feedback collection because these purposes come in conflict. Different evaluative measures have to be used for these items to ensure that neither skews the other. Lastly, managerial desire to distort evaluation results for reasons such as avoiding lowering employee morale has to be considered and addressed.
Overall, a substantial overhaul of the company’s current HR framework is required, which will consist of three consecutive parts. First, it is necessary to conduct a job analysis for every position at the company to identify the practices that improve or harm performance. The tasks that each worker is responsible for have changed over the years, and now there is substantial confusion regarding who is responsible for what duties. Following this procedure, the new job descriptions for each position can be formulated and put into practice.
They will help resolve the confusion regarding tasks and tools that should be used by each worker, delineating responsibilities and introducing clarity. Every worker will know what is expected of them and be able to acquire and employ the competencies they need for their position.
Following the creation of the job descriptions, the performance appraisal process can begin. It is an ongoing practice that takes place throughout the company’s existence, aiming to ensure that each worker satisfies specific goals set by management. The appraisal will incorporate both objective information taken from the company’s records and the subjective impressions of the worker’s supervisor.
This data will be compared to the factors listed in the job description and deemed satisfactory or problematic. The results will then be conveyed to the worker, which will take place frequently and informally in the form of discussions between HR workers and the employee, where both aim to correct deficiencies that are found and provide feedback. Through this procedure, the company should be able to avoid biases while connecting with workers better and guaranteeing that its strategy comes to fruition.
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