HR Guide to the Internet:
Job Analysis: Tips and FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Job Analysis? Job Analysis is a process to identify and determine in detail the particular job duties and requirements and the relative importance of these duties for a given job. Job Analysis is a process where judgements are made about data collected on a job.

Why is Job Analysis performed? What is the purpose of Job Analysis? Job Analysis is used to show the relatedness of employment procedures used by the employer. The procedures supported by job analysis include:

Who conducts Job Analysis? Job Analysis may be conducted by the employer's Human Resources department or by a trained Job Analyst/Consultant.

How do I conduct a Job Analysis? The steps to conduct a Job Analysis are outlined below:

  • Identify the Job(s) to be analyzed.
  • Determine the procedures to be used (methods) in collecting job data.
  • Implement the job analysis methods.
  • Review the data collected through Job Analysis.
  • Summarize and document the data collected.

How are jobs analyzed?

Who is involved in a Job Analysis? The Job Analysis may be conducted by a member of the employer's Human Resources department. This analysis may be in conjunction with the job incumbent (if the position is not vacant), the incumbent's supervisor, and possibly subject matter experts (SMEs).

Do I need a consultant for Job Analysis? When is a consultant needed for Job Analysis? A consultant is not necessary for Job Analysis. However, consultants may provide a more independent (unbiased) analysis of the job. Their analysis may not be affected by the internal politics of the organization. Also, a consultant may be needed for situations in which a large number of jobs will be analyzed in a relatively short period of time. A consultant in this situation may be better able to concentrate on the job analysis task as their main function whereas internal employees probably still have their regular jobs to perform.

What are the products of a Job Analysis? A job description is the main product of a job analysis.

Can an employer be sued over inadequate or missing Job Analysis?

Are there Federal guidelines for Job Analysis? The Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures states that a thorough job analysis is needed for supporting a selection procedure (see: 60-3.9 - No assumption of validity. Section B.)

The Americans with Disabilities Act specifically states:
No covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability because of the disability of such individual in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

The Act defines "qualified individual with a disability" as someone with a disability who:
"with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires." (see ADA Section 101. Definitions (8)).

Essential functions may be determined through a Job Analysis.

Is there software to perform Job Analysis? HR-Guide offers an on-line form for creating Position Description Questionnaires. You may use this application to create the form that will be useful in collecting the job information.

What are sources of information for conducting a Job Analysis? Before a Job Analysis is conducted, the job analyst should review external sources if job information including:

What methods are used for Job Analysis? The main methods of job analysis are:

What is Functional Job Analysis? Functional Job Analysis (FJA) was used by U.S. Employment Service job analysts to classify jobs for the DOT (Fine & Wiley, 1971). The most recent version of FJA uses seven scales to describe what workers do in jobs: (1) Things, (2) Data, (3) People, (4) Worker Instructions, (5) Reasoning, (6) Math, and (7) Language.

What is the Position Analysis Questionnaire? This questionnaire, developed by McCormick, Jeanneret, and Mecham (1972), is a standardized job analysis instrument. It consists of 187 job elements that describe generic human work behaviors. This questionnaire was designed to be used for a wide variety of jobs.

What is the Critical Incident Technique? This method of Job Analysis focuses on identifying the critical incidents that distinguish satisfactory workers from unsatisfactory workers. This is based on the theory that certain tasks are crucial to satisfactory job performance, while others are not. In this method, the job analyst interviews incumbents and/or supervisors to identify a list of critical incidents. The identification of required Knowledges, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) is made by examining the incidents--their causes and solutions. This technique is useful for developing work sample tests.

What is the Job Element Method? This method of Job Analysis, developed by Ernest Primoff, is a worker oriented method and is used primarily with lesser skilled workers and industrial occupations. This method, like the Critical Incident Technique, focuses on satisfactory workers. This method attempts to identify the characteristics of satisfactory workers (job elements). Once identified, these elements are used to develop appropriate selection tests. The steps to perform a Job Element job analysis are: