A job may be defined as a ‘collection of aggregation of tasks, duties and responsibilities which are regarded as a regular assignment to individual employees. When the total work to be done is divided and grouped into packages, it is called a ‘job’. A job may include many positions, for a position is a job performed by, related to an employee.
Job and Position should not be confused with each other. A position is a collection of tasks and responsibilities, assigned to one person whereas job can be a collection of positions. A job is impersonal whereas the position is personal.
By Traditional view, Job Analysis – the process of obtaining information about jobs- is an important human resource activity for a variety of resources. Traditionally, jobs are defined in a rigid way— along prescribed lines. The job incumbents are expected to carry out work by strictly adhering to a set of rules and regulations. The job is designed to be static and unchanging irrespective of the various incumbents who carry out work at different points of time. In traditional view, thus, there is a straightforward assumption that jobs exist, and they need to be scrupulously looked after to obtain results.
Modern View about Job Analysis talks about Job extinction view which argues that jobs no longer exist in modern organisations due to the dynamic nature of work in rapidly changing business environments. Tom Peters, Author of Thriving on Chaos, mentioned that the entire concept of job is somewhat obsolete. In a fast-changing environment, jobs are nothing but rigid solutions to an elastic problem. An organization is not a structure of unchanging jobs. It is in fact, made up of constantly changing activities and projects and therefore, jobs are not static.
Job Analysis is an essential and pervasive human resource technique and the technique and the starting point for other human resource activities. Job analysis is a formal and detailed examination of jobs. It is a systematic investigation of the tasks, duties and responsibilities necessary to do a job.
A job consists of a group tasks that must be performed for an organization to achieve its goals. A task is an identifiable work activity carried out on a specific purpose .A duty is a larger work segment consisting of several tasks (which are related by some sequence of events) that are performed by an individual, pick up, sort out and deliver incoming mail.
Job responsibilities are obligations to perform certain tasks and duties. Job analysis identifies what people do in their jobs and what they require to order to do the job satisfactorily. This information is usually collected using a structured questionnaire.
AREA OF APPLICATION -JOB ANALYSIS
USES of JOB ANALYSIS:
- Human Resource Planning:
- JA helps in forecasting human resource requirement in terms of knowledge and skills.
- The process establishes lateral and vertical relationships between jobs, it facilitates the formulation of a systematic promotion and transfer policy.
- It helps in determining quality of human resources needed in an organization.
Job Analysis is used to find how and when to hire people for future job openings. An understanding of the skills needed and the positions that are vacant in future helps managers to plan and hire people in a systematic way.
- Selection : JA helps to understand what is to be done on a job, so that an appropriate job can be selected for the job.
- Placement and Orientation: Effective job orientation cannot be achieved without a proper understanding of the needs of each job. To teach a new employee how to handle a job, the job must be clearly defined. Job Analysis explains the job very well.
- Training: Proper training can not be initiated if there are confusions in understanding of job. A proper job Analysis of the job determines the specific needs of the job which would lead to initiation of requirement of the training for the current or potential job holder.
- Counselling: Using JA, managers can easily counsel employees about their careers when they understand different jobs in the organization as they can point out the areas that an employee might need to develop further a career.
- Employee safety: Job Analysis reveals the unsafe conditions associated with a job. Using the process to understand operations to do a job, the improvement of things can be done easily.
- Performance Appraisal: Appraisal is based on comparison of what an employee is supposed to be doing to what the individual has done. It can be done using Job Analysis. To achieve this, it is necessary to compare what individuals should do with what they have done (as per job analysis).
- Job design and Redesign: Once the jobs are understood properly, it becomes easy to locate weak spots and undertake remedial steps. Job Analysis helps in redesign jobs to match the mental make-up of employee.
- Job Evaluation: Job Analysis helps in finding the comparative worth of a job, based on criteria such as degree of difficulty, type of work done, skills and knowledge needed etc. This later assists in designing proper wage policies, with internal pay equity between jobs.
OCCASSIONS TO DO JOB ANALYSIS
- When the organization is established, and a job analysis program is taken up for the first time.
- When jobs are created
- When jobs undergo radical transformation due to changes in new technologies, methods, procedures, or systems.
Which Jobs are to be analysed?
- Jobs that are critical to the success of an organization.
- Jobs that are difficult to learn and perform, so that training needs can be analysed.
- Jobs where new hires are recruited regularly demand close attention.
- Jobs that need to be carried out differently due to emergence of technology etc.
- When completely new jobs are added, then they require attention.
- When some jobs are eliminated, and their duties are distributed to other jobs within a firm.
Process of Job Analysis:
Major steps involved in Job Analysis are as follows:
- Organizational Analysis: An overall picture of various jobs in the organization must be obtained. This is required to find the linkages between jobs and organizational objectives, interrelationships between jobs and contribution of various jobs to the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. The required background information for this purpose is obtained through organisation charts and workflow charts.
- Selection of representative positions to be analysed: In bigger organizations, it is difficult to analyze all jobs. A representative of sample of jobs to be analysed is decided keeping the cost and time constraints in mind.
- Collection of job analysis data: This step involves the collection of data on the characteristics of the job required behavior and personal qualifications needed to carry out the job effectively. Data can be collected using several reliable and acceptable techniques.
- Preparation of job description: This step involves describing the contents of the job in terms of functions, duties, responsibilities, operations, etc. The job holder is required to discharge the duties and responsibilities and perform the operations listed in job description.
- Preparation of job specification: This step involves conversion of the job description statements into a job specification. Job specifications is a written statement of personal attributes in terms of traits, skills, training ,experience needed to carry out the job.
Competency Approach to Job Analysis
Competencies are nothing but observable and measurable behaviours of a person that help him carry out the job effectively.
Competency based analysis means describing a job in terms of measurable, observable, behavioural competencies that an employee doing the job must exhibit to do well (for example requiring a software engineer to design a complex software programme.
The Competency Approach to Job Analysis focuses on linking business strategies to individual performance efforts. This approach encourages employees to develop role-based competencies (knowledge, skills and abilities needed to play multifarious roles) that may be used in diverse work situations, instead of being boxed into a job. These competencies would, in the final analysis, be in line with organization’s culture and strategy.
Need of Competency Analysis
Traditional Job Analysis is always job focused- on KSA (Knowledge, Skill, Abilities) required to perform specific jobs and examines the linkages among those jobs. Its oriented toward what needs to be done in terms of duties and responsibilities and thus it may not produce results when the organisation actually demands high performance from employees whereas Competency Analysis is worker focused- what an employee must possess in terms of core competencies and specific competencies to complete the task.
Core competencies here refer to characteristics that every member of the organisation regardless of the position, function, or level of responsibility within the organisation is expected to possess.
Specific competencies are characteristics shared by different positions within an organisation.
Competency models focus more on how the worker can meet the job’s objectives and accomplishes the work. They talk about personality and value orientations into the mix of what is needed to fit in and succeed in the culture of a organisation.
Criticism of Competency Analysis:
- Competency approaches are very broad and not so well defined in nature, therefore, cannot be to understand the average conditions to understand the average condition used as guidance while performing job duties.
- Competency models focus on behaviours than on results, therefore, achievements cannot be demonstrated.
- Managers and workers have difference in opinions/perceptions with respect to ‘workplace autonomy’ and ‘level of required skills’ and thus, there is no fixed discussion on expected behaviour. What is required of a successful performance is also open to doubt and remains unexplained.
WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS METHODS TO COLLECT DATA FOR JOB ANALYSIS ?
The various methods of collecting data for job analysis are as follows:
- Job performance: A good job analyst receives a first-hand experience while doing the job ; about physical hazards, social demands, emotional pressures and mental requirements of that particular job. This method is very much useful for the jobs which can be easily learned.
- Personal Observation: The workers are being observed by the analyst while doing the job in the period in which the task performed; the pace at which the work is done; the working conditions far observed during a complete work cycle. The key considerations for the analyst would be to understand the average condition for the work done, the specific job needs of the workers and not the behaviours specific to workers. The analyst must make sure that there is a proper sample for this generalisation.This method allows a deep understanding of job duties and is appropriate for manual and short period jobs, but it doesn’t take care of the mental aspects after job of the job.
- Critical Incidents: The CIT, critical incident technique is a qualitative approach do job analysis; it allows behavioural aspects add descriptions of work and activities.The process of this technique is as follows:
- The job holders are asked to describe various incidents based on their past experiences.
- The incidents so collected are analysed and classified according to the job areas they describe. Once, the job analysts differentiate between the effective and ineffective behaviours of workers on the job, the job requirements become clear.
- The critical incidents are the recorded repetitive and non-repetitive/ routine and non-routine, all-ready occurred events. This process can be a lengthy process, as the incidents can be different/dissimilar for every employee, the process of classifying data into usable job description can be difficult.
- The analyst overseeing the work must have analytical skills and ability to translate the content of descriptions into meaningful statements.
- INTERVIEW: The interview method consists of asking questions to both incumbents and supervisors in either an individual group setting. This process is being used to obtain the observations of the job holder. Workers know the specific duties of the job and supervisors are aware of the job’s relationship to the rest of the organisation. This method provides opportunities to elicit information sometimes not available through other methods.Limitations for this method are:
- Time consuming and costly
- The importance of data is dependent on the skills of interviewer and if ambiguous or non-quality questions are included, the data can be flawed.
- Interviewees, if suspicious about the motives related to the process, then, they might distort the information, might be to exaggerate their position, put more weightage to their position and job duties in order to increase their salary, wages etc.
- PANEL OF EXPERTS: This method utilises the opinions and experiences of senior officials with extensive knowledge of job. The group of experts are interviewed, and analyst can acquire and accumulate the knowledge from them which can not be achieved from individual interviews.
- DIARY METHODS: The officials write their logs in a diary- daily job activities- record the time spent on each activity. The activities are analysed for a limited period and essential characteristics of the job are identified. Disadvantages of this method include high cost and more time consuming.
- QUESTIONNAIRE METHOD: It is a widely used method of analysing jobs and work. The job holders are given a properly designed questionnaire aimed at eliciting relevant- job related information. The completed questionnaires are handed over to their supervisors. Supervisors can go ahead with clarifications, if required. After everything is finalised, the data is given to the job analyst. Proper care should be made while preparing questionnaire. The questionnaire should be structured –should cover all the job-related tasks and behaviours. Language should be simple and thus, could not be misinterpreted by the respondents and can be filled at their leisure.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF QUESTIONNNAIRE
- The Position Analysis Questionnaire: The PAQ is a standard questionnaire developed at Purdue university to quantitively sample work-oriented job elements. It focuses on general worker behaviours instead of tasks. It contains 194 items divided in major 6 divisions. It allows to group jobs both scientifically and quantitively with respect to interrelated job elements and into job dimensions. This type of quantitative questionnaire allows many different jobs to be compared with each other.
The six dimensions are:
- Information input: From where and when does the employee can get the information required to get the job done. (e.g.: Training material, handbook, Near-visual differentiation)
- Mental Processes: What reasoning, decision-making, planning and information-processing activities are involved in performing the job? (Coding/Decoding, market analysis, sales data)
- Physical Activities: What physical activities does the employee perform and what tools or devices does he/she use? (assembling/disassembling , use of keyboard devices)
- Relationships with other people: What relationships with other people are required in performing the job. (Instructing, Contacts with public, customers)
- Job context: In what physical and social context is the work performed. (High temperature, Interpersonal conflict solutions)
- Other Job characteristics: What activities. conditions or characteristics other than those described above are the relevant to the job? (Amount of job structure, Specified work pace)
- Management Position Description Questionnaire (MPDQ): MPDQ is a standardised instrument designed specifically for use in analysing managerial jobs. There are 274 items in the questionnaire which takes approximately 2 and half hours to solve. Usually, respondents are asked to state how important each item is to the position.The various description factors for the Management position are:
- Product, marketing, and financial strategy planning
- Coordination of other organisational units and personnel
- Internal business control
- Products and services responsibility
- Public and customer relations
- Advanced consulting
- Autonomy of actions
- Approval of financial commitments
- Staff service
- Complexity and stress
- Advanced financial responsibility
- Broad personnel responsibility
- Functional Job Analysis (FJA): FJA worker-oriented job analysis approach that attempts to describe the whole person on the job, to examine the essential elements of “data, people and things”. It is frequently used for government jobs. The quantitative score of each job function are helpful in fixing in wage rates and developing employee succession plans but it takes a lot of time. Training in its use may require significant investment of money.There are five steps to be followed:
- Identification of organisation’s goals for the FJA analysis. This analysis describes what should be, as well as, what is.
- Identification and description of tasks, wherein tasks are defined as actions. The task actions may be physical (operating a computer), mental (analysing data) or interpersonal (consulting another person). The task statements developed in FJA must conform to a specific written format.
- Analysis of tasks, Each task is analysed using 7 scales which include three worker function scales, a worker instruction scale (degree of supervision imposed) and three scales of reasoning, mathematics and language.
- The analyst develops performance standards to assess the results of a worker’s tasks.
- Development of training content needed by the job holder.
IMPACT OF BEHAVIOURAL FACTORS ON JOB ANALYSIS
Various reasons behind the negative responses from the employees who are not liking a strong look at their jobs:
- Exaggerate the facts: Employees and managers many exaggerate the importance and significance of their jobs during interviews. Because job analysis information is used for compensation purposes, both managers and employees hope that ‘puffing up’ their jobs will result in higher pay levels. (puffed up- inflate, amplify, expand, blow up)
- Employee anxieties: Most employees fear that job analysis efforts may put them in a ‘Straitjacket’ (preventing original thinking), curbing their initiative and latitude to perform. Employees sometime feel that a searching examination might lead to uncovering of employee faults.
- Resistance to change: With changing times, there is a change in technology, job description and job specification, to sustain in the market which might lead the employees to undergo changes too. Employees resist the change because they have a perception that if the jobs are redefined, they might need to learn new tasks and understand new responsibilities. To protect against such pressures, managers must involve employees in the revision process clearly stating the reasons for incorporating the latest changes.
- Overemphasis on current efforts: Job analysis should not be emphasizing on what the employees are currently doing at the job as its not the employees who are being analysed but the job is. Therefore, the job description and its specifications should not be merely a description of what the person currently filling the job does.
- Management Straitjacket: Job Analysis efforts may put managers in a ‘straitjacket’, limiting their freedom to adapt to changing needs from time to time. To avoid this, they may even refuse to appropriately describe what an employee is supposed to do in the company, creating confusion in employee’s mind. Managerial straitjacket is a possible behavioural problem at job analysis that limits management flexibility to assign new duties to an employee because employees may reject to perform duties which are not mentioned in the job description.
Job description is a written statement – about –
- What the job holder does? (functional information)
- How the job is done?
- Throwing light on job content, environment, and conditions of employment. (organisational information)
Nature of Job description – descriptive
- Defines the purpose and scope of a job
Main Purpose – To differentiate the job from other jobs and state its outer limits.
Job Description describes job and not job holders.
Content of the Job Description:
- Job title: Job title, code number, department. Job title approximately represents the nature of the work content and will distinguish the job from others.
- Job summary: A brief report about what the job is all about.
- Job activities: A explanation of the tasks done, facilities used, extent of supervisory help etc.
- Working conditions: The physical environment of job in terms of heat, light, noise, and other hazards.
- Social environment: Size of work group and interpersonal interactions required to do the job.
Challenges with Job Descriptions
- Difficult to bring down all the essential components of a job in the form of a clear and precise components.
- JDs are not updated as per updated job duties.
- JDs can limit the scope of activities of job holder, reducing organisational flexibility.
Guidelines to Write clear and specific Job Description:
- JD should indicate the nature and scope of the job.
- Must include factual and precise. JD must explain all the duties and responsibilities of the job.
- Specific words to be shown to explain the kind of work, the degree of complexity, the degree of skill required, the extent to which problems and standardised and the degree and type of accountability.
- Extent of supervision and reporting relationships also should be cleared and clearly stated.
Methodology to write Mode of writing:
- Questionnaire should be filled in by the immediate supervisor of the employee.
- Analyst must observe the actual work done by the employee and complete the job description.
- Both employee and supervisor must be involved while finalising the JD.
- JD should be updated with changing conditions and incorporating the relevant ones as and when needed.
- Logical outgrowth of a job description.
- Summarises the human characteristics needed for satisfactory job completion.
- The specifications relate to:
- Physical characteristics: includes health, strength, age-range, poise, eye, hand-foot coordination, colour description etc.
- Psychological characteristics or traits of temperament: personal appearance; good and pleasing manners; emotional stability, aggressiveness.
- Responsibilities: which include supervision of others, responsibility of production, process, and equipment; responsibility for safety of others; responsibility for preventing monetary loss.
- Other features of a demographic nature: age, sex, gender, education, experience, and language ability.
- The personal attributes that are described through a job specification ay be classified into three categories:
- Essential attributes: skills, knowledge, and abilities (SKAs) a person must possess.
- Desirable attributes: qualifications a person ought to possess.
- Contra- indicators: attributes that will become handicap to successful job performance.
- Job specification is useful in selection process because it offers a clear set of qualifications for an individual to be hired for a specific job. It can be developed with the help of current job holders about the attributes required to do the job.
Role is a set of expectations people have about the behaviour of person in a position.
Three types of roles a position holder has:
- Expected role: What other people expect from a person. Receptionist is expected to be on the desk all the time to answer the phone. Peon of the office is expected to open the doors and maintain the cleanliness in the office premises.
- Perceived role: How the individual thinks he should behave to fulfil the expected role. The labour believes he can make more quantity of pieces of an item in the given time duration so he might feel to increase the number of pieces manufacturing so that ore money can be earned.
- Enacted or Actual role: The way which a person behaves in an organisation. The college teacher, giving shape to his thoughts, might visit campus only once a week to handle his classes.
An employee when working as both tea member or leader (multiple roles), role conflicts occur because of conflicting role expectations.
Steps in Role Analysis:
- The objectives of the department and its functions must be identified.
- The role incumbent is asked to state his key performance areas and his understanding of the roles to be played by them.
- Other role partners (boss, subordinate, peer, etc.) are asked to state their expectations from the role incumbent.
- The incumbent’s role is clarified and expressed in black and white (called role description) after integrating the diverse viewpoints expressed by various role partners.
Techniques in redefining jobs:
- Flatter Organisation: Progressive organisations have opted for ‘trimming the flab’ at the top to reduce the traditional pyramid-shaped structures to barely three or four levels. The relationship between managers and subordinates become less supervised as the number of subordinates for every manager are increased.
- Work Teams: The teams of individuals will be formed with respect to projects and not with respect to departments. Work is organised around teams and processes rather than specialised functions. This gives the individuals to do different work with different individuals.
- The Boundaryless Organisations: Cross functional teams are created and used widely. The different departments and hierarchy levels are reduced and are made more penetrable. Employees are encouraged to avoid “It’s not my job attitude” and focus is on defining the job in a flexible manner with respect to interest of the organisation.
- Reengineering: Reengineering is the process which brings a radical, quantum change in an organisation. The decision-makers need to rethink about the process of what work is to be done and how to best implement those decisions.
The several ways to achieve Re-engineering are:
- Specialized jobs are combined and enlarged.
- Employees are empowered with minimum supervision but with more challenges.
- Teamwork is encouraged with employees responsible for each other work rather just themselves.
- The primary focus is on the customer and building an organisation structure that is production friendly. Workers are empowered to use more decision-making authority while carrying out work in small teams.