Features of Job Analysis

Job Analysis Meaning, Feature, Purpose and Process

Table of Contents:

  • Meaning of Job Analysis
  • What is Job Analysis?
  • Definition of Job Analysis
  • Features of Job Analysis
  • Purpose of Job Analysis
  • Comprehensive Aspects of Job Analysis
  • Use of Job Analysis
  • Methods for Collecting Job Analysis Information

Meaning of Job Analysis

Job Analysis Meaning – Job Analysis (JA) refers to a complete and organised study of jobs to understand the characteristics of people to be hired for vacant positions in an organisation. It is a process of gathering essential job-related information and its analysis. It gives the basis to determine the information to be extracted from the applicant, past employers, and various other sources. Job Analysis is crucial in every organization’s primary element of human resource practices. It helps the organization transform the functional goals into some specific human activity.

What is Job Analysis?

Job analysis is a systematic and comprehensive examination of a job, representing a scientific and systematic study to gather all pertinent information about the job. It is challenging to precisely understand the requirements of an employee’s role before selection or training and before evaluating employee performance. Regular analysis is essential to ensure that employment information remains current.

In essence, it is the process of determining a job’s duties, responsibilities, and skill requirements and identifying the category of employee suitable for it.

Job analysis can be explained as a process through which information about a job is collected, typically manifested in the form of job description and job specification.

Definition of Job Analysis

According to Edwin B. Flippo, “Job analysis is the process of studying and collecting information relating to the operations and responsibilities of a specific job.”

Mondy and Noe (1996) states that, “job analysis is the systematic process of determining the duties, skills, and knowledge required to perform a job in an organization. It is an essential and pervasive human resource technique”.

According to Donald, “Job analysis is a method of scientifically dissecting a job to determine the component elements and their influence upon the length of learning period of the worker, production and labour turnover.”

Brannick, Levine, and Morgeson (2007) define “job analysis as a systematic method of dissecting the purpose of a job into smaller units, producing one or more written products to elucidate job accomplishments or the skills needed for effective job performance”.

According to Dale Yoder, “Job analysis is the procedure by which the facts concerning each job are systematical, discovered and noted. It is sometimes called a job study suggesting the care with which tasks, processes, responsibilities and personnel requirements are investigated”.

Dessler (2013, page 105) explained job analysis as “the procedure through which one determines the duties of the positions and the characteristics of the people to be hired for them.”

Features of Job Analysis

It has the following features:

1) Organised Way of Collecting and Analysing Information about a Job

The fundamental element of human resource management is job analysis, an organised manner of collecting and analysing information about job content, context, etc.

2) Job Creation

It aims to create jobs aligned with the organisation’s workflow that must be completed. Job analysis focuses on using a proper system to collect information about people’s job performance. This information is used for creating job descriptions and job specifications.

3) Linked to HR Activities

There are a variety of methods and sources of data that can be utilised in executing job analysis. The actual assessment of job analysis begins with the gathering of information in the job description and job specifications for the use of HR activities. Proper information regarding the job requirement is necessary to validate HR actions for the job. To be effective, in human resource planning, recruitment and selection, everything must be aligned with the job requirements and the ability of every individual.

Other aspects of HR like compensation, training, and employee performance appraisal must be based on the requirements of the job. It can be used to identify various job factors and duties that contribute to health and safety issues at work. Therefore, JA is a critical factor that affects Labour-management relations.

4) Re-Designs Jobs

It gathers information on those specific features of the job that make it unique. Re-designing jobs is another function that can be performed with the help of the information gathered through job analysis. However, the basic objective of JA is to know the tasks that are needed to be performed on the job and the individual capabilities that are required.

Features of Job Analysis

Purpose of Job Analysis

The purpose of job analysis is as follows:

1) Human Resource Planning

It is used for determining knowledgeable and skilful human resource requirements in an organisation. It helps in making systematic promotion and transfer policies by displaying lateral and vertical links between different jobs.

2) Recruitment

It helps in identifying the right method and the right time to recruit people for future vacancies in the organisation. It is necessary to recognise the skills and positions required for future vacancies to allow managers to plan for recruiting manpower in an organised way. For example, an organisation that recruits MBA students for equity research realises with the help of job analysis that these vacant positions can be filled by graduates who have an aptitude for analysis. This information can be used by organisations in recruiting graduates who are available in large numbers as equity analysts and offer them a comparatively lower salary.

3) Selection

It is very difficult to choose a suitable person without having a definite idea about what is supposed to be done in a job. For example, if a Mega bazaar manager has not identified distinctly the job responsibilities of a clerk, then it is not easy to find whether the person who has been selected can place store items, maintain a cash register, or keep up-to-date accounts.

4) Placement and Orientation

When selection is complete, the fresh recruits have to be placed in a job that best suits their interest, behaviour and actions. When we are not assured about the job duties, it is impossible to analyse the most suitable candidate for the job. In addition, without an appropriate understanding of job requirements, effective job orientation is not easy to achieve. Fresh recruits should be given clear training about the job tasks and duties.

5) Training

Appropriate training cannot be imparted until we do not clearly state what the job is and what is required to do on the job. A current recruit or potential candidate may not require extra training, but one can be sure about the job when he is aware of the job requirements identified by the job analysis.

6) Counselling

Managers offer good career guidance to employees when they have a better understanding of the types of jobs existing in the company. Similarly, by identifying job requirements, employees become easily aware of their career options. Job analysis also helps employees know the areas that they need to develop to move forward in their careers.

7) Employee Safety

It helps managers in analysing hazardous conditions after studying various operations to be performed in a job. It helps in creating a healthy and safe working environment by easily improving work situations.

8) Performance Appraisal

Job analysis information is essential for the establishment of performance standards. The value of employees can be evaluated by a thorough understanding of what the employee is meant to do and what is his or her actual performance. Therefore, based on an employee’s performance, the organisation should pay him fair remuneration.

9) Job Design and Re-Design

The process of integrating different tasks to make a complete job is called job design. Once the jobs are thoroughly studied, it is easier to take corrective measures by analysing their weak points. Thorough and continuous monitoring can be done to remove unnecessary movements, simplify some steps and improve existing ones. Thus, jobs can be re-designed to test the intellectual standards of employees.

10) Job Evaluation

Job analysis helps in identifying the value of a job based on the level of difficulty, type of work done, knowledge, skill and abilities required. Thus, it helps in the effective designing of an equitable level of wage and salary structure for the jobs.

11) Discipline

Job analysis identifies the reason behind the inability of the workers to meet necessary performance standards. Remedial actions may be taken in due time to averse the difficult situations. In this manner, it helps in maintaining discipline in the organisation.

12) Industrial Relations

Industrial relations among managers, employees and unions can be improvised by proper job analysis and thus disputes and grievance associated with tasks and responsibilities can be settled easily.

13) Compensation and Benefits

In compensation, it is profitable to determine the relative worth of a job to the organisation before valuing the job in terms of salary. According to internal context, the worth of a job increases as the tasks and responsibilities become important. A job with a higher KSA (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) adds higher worth to the company.

14) Support the Legality of Employment Practices

To support the legality of employment practices, a well-arranged job analysis is necessary. The importance of job analysis is noted in employee selection method guidelines. Several times decisions of demotions, transfer and promotion are safeguarded by job analysis information. For example, job analysis forms a base for combining the functional areas and infrastructure in developing a good human resource programme.

Comprehensive Aspects of Job Analysis

Job analysis involves collecting information about work-related activities, human behaviors, machinery, tools, equipment, etc., necessary for the job. It encompasses standards of performance, job context, and human requirements:

Work-Related Activities

These refer to the specific tasks that must be performed, such as marketing a product or counseling employees.

Human Behaviors

This category includes the behaviors required for job performance, like communication and negotiation skills.

Machinery, Tools, Equipment, etc.

Information about the tools and equipment used in the job provides insights into its nature.

Performance Standards

This involves setting benchmarks for the quality and quantity of job activities.

Human Requirements

Focused on the skills, expertise, knowledge, experience, and training necessary for the job.

Context of the Job

Working conditions, schedules, incentives, and more fall under this category.

Job analysis requires a comprehensive investigation to accomplish the production or service goals. It helps identify departmental needs and the qualifications future employees must possess. Beyond determining job specifics like description, position, tasks, and working conditions, it identifies the professional or technical qualifications needed, such as education, experience, training, leadership skills, physical abilities, communication skills, accountability, emotional and social intelligence, and sensory demands. These qualifications vary based on the job’s type, seniority level, industry, and associated risks.

Job analysis is not limited to gathering data but extends to identifying the professional or technical qualifications required to perform the job. The collected information is essential for developing job details (listing what the job entails) and job specifications (specifying the type of employee needed).

Critical information collected during job analysis includes:

Job Context: Physical working conditions, hazards, risks, job schedules, rotation, organizational and social background, and associations with other individuals.

Human Requirements: Information on work-related expertise or skills (education, training, experience) and personal characteristics (aptitudes, attitudes, physical traits, personality, interests, emotional and intelligence quotient).

Human Behavior: Insights into behaviors required for job performance, such as communication, problem-solving, and decision-making.

Job Action: Details about the actual work, duties, and activities, including counseling, guidance, training, teaching, and writing.

Equipment, Machines, Tools, and Working Aids: Information on methods, technical or professional skills, and services provided.

Performance Criteria: Data on performance levels in terms of quality and quantity, used for employee reviews by the Human Resource Manager (HRM).

Use of Job Analysis

The uses of job analysis are explained as follows:

Training and Development

Job analysis proves valuable for human resource managers as it enables employees to comprehend the essential requirements of a given job in terms of experience, aptitude, and skills. Based on these job requirements, capacity-building programs and skill-upgradation strategies can be devised. Job analysis reports further support the selection of participants and the development of skill-enhancement content.

Employee Selection

It is easier to predict an employee’s selection by clearly comprehending the required duties, responsibilities, and essential skills. To facilitate this process, it is crucial to define detailed criteria and formulate assessment methods or interview questions to determine whether a candidate possesses the vital expertise and skills to fulfill the job requirements. For instance, measures such as height and good physical fitness are necessary for roles in the Indian Army, while physical attractiveness may be a requirement for the frontline sales team.

Job Classification

Job analysis empowers a human resource manager to categorize jobs into groups, subgroups, and teams based on similarities in duties and responsibilities. It proves beneficial in determining salary structures, incentives, and benefits, as well as guiding decisions related to transfers and promotions.

Job Description

A concise summary of duties and responsibilities outlined in the job description represents one of the written outcomes of job analysis. Job analysis is the method for determining duties and job descriptions, with the resulting report serving as a written record. Job analysis is the foundation for various human resources planning practices, encompassing employee selection, capacity building, job design, and performance appraisal.

Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal involves comparing each employee’s performance with their performance criteria. Human resource managers utilize job analysis reports to address job duties and performance criteria.

Job Evaluation

Information derived from a job analysis can be utilized to assess the value of a job. It also aids the human resource manager in establishing salaries for positions that hold similar value to the company, ensuring equitable compensation for tasks performed well.

Organizational Analysis

While performing their duties, job analysts often become aware of uncertain problems within the organization. For instance, during a job analysis discussion and interview process, sales team members may express that they need to be made aware of how they are being evaluated and to whom they should address daily issues faced in the market. Identifying such gaps in internal communication can be used to manage and rectify communication issues, contributing to the smooth functioning of the company.

Discovering Unassigned Duties and Responsibilities

Job analysis can aid in uncovering unassigned duties and responsibilities. For example, your organizational head may have assigned numerous tasks, such as collecting raw materials, monitoring the production process, and recruiting new staff members. Through further discussion, none of the production managers is responsible for the recruitment drive.

Human Resource Planning

Job analysis is the foundation for human resource planning and the appropriate selection and recruitment of employees. It unveils the personality traits and skills required for a given job.

Working Conditions

Job analysis provides information about unhealthy, risky, and hazardous working environmental conditions in various jobs.

Job Design

The information obtained from a job analysis can be utilized to determine the most effective way to structure a job. Job design involves allocating tasks to an employee in an organization, specifying what the employee does, how they do it, and why.

Methods for Collecting Job Analysis Information

The method used to collect job details differs significantly regarding comprehensiveness and systematic rigour. The following discussion attempts to clarify some of the ways used more frequently, such as observation, interviews, and questionnaires, which have historically been the most common methods. Emphasis is placed on each method’s advantages, disadvantages, or drawbacks.


In this method, a job analyst observes employees directly, through video, or by reviewing employee performance reports. The statement provides firsthand information, with the observer taking extensive notes on the activities and duties during the observational process. To conduct detailed observations, the job analyst must clearly understand what to look for.

In using the observation method, it is crucial to select times for observation that accurately reflect the employee’s routine, especially if the job involves engaging in different tasks during various hours, days, weeks, or seasons. For example, a medical sales representative might focus on sales and doctor visits on Fridays, spend most of Saturday updating medicine stock figures and weekly reports, and be occupied with finding new stockists for new products.

This method has both positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, the primary data collected are accurate due to direct observation. On the other hand, observer bias can sometimes be a concern, and cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and thinking skills cannot be directly observed. Additionally, this method requires the entire range of activities to be observable, which may only be feasible for some jobs, such as managerial roles.


Another form of job analysis involves interviews, which can be open-ended, such as asking the employee to describe their job, or they can use structured or standardized questions. Recognizing that any single source of information can be biased, the job analyst may seek multiple perspectives by interviewing the employee, their immediate supervisor, and subordinates. Additionally, the job analyst might interview several employees within a section, unit, or organization to gather more comprehensive information about the job and determine if individuals with the same job title perform similar tasks.

The advantages of this method include the ability for the job analyst to ask follow-up questions or seek clarifications, flexibility, and applicability to all job titles. However, a drawback of interviews is that job analysts may miss information, especially when a task becomes automatic, and it becomes challenging to consolidate all information.


This job analysis method typically involves administering a paper-and-pencil questionnaire that the employee completes and returns to the job analyst. These questionnaires consist of lists of job tasks or other factors, such as working conditions. The survey includes open-ended questions like “What technical skills are required to operate this automatic machine?” and closed-ended questions like “Which of the following job titles suits you?

i) Workshop Manager

ii) Machine operator

iii) Workshop supervisor

iv) Administrative assistant.”

The survey method offers three advantages over the interview method:

1) Allows for an extensive collection of data

2) Cost-effective

3) Time-saving

However, one drawback of this method is that the questions on the questionnaire or schedule limit the information collected.

Job Diaries

Another method for job analysis involves having employees record their daily activities in a diary, known as the process of self-recording. An advantage of the job diary is that it provides a detailed minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, and day-to-day account of an employee’s work. It is particularly beneficial when jobs are challenging to observe, such as that of a Loco pilot (Train Driver). However, there are difficulties associated with using job diaries:

i) Extra time required to write the diary
ii) Clarity of information/data provided
iii) Varying literacy levels of employees
iv) Analyzing a large amount of information/data


In this method, a job analyst may choose to actively engage in a specific job or activity to understand better how the job is performed. The advantage of this method is gaining hands-on knowledge of the job and understanding how different tasks or operations relate. However, the disadvantage of this method is that it may not be suitable for jobs that demand a high degree of proficiency or involve professional and technical skills.

Existing Data

Typically, large, well-established organizations or startup companies have existing data, reports, and records that can be utilized in the job analysis. This may include previous job analysis reports, employee performance records, and task sheets for specific positions or studies. Sometimes, data can also be sourced from other organizations, startup companies, government databases, or human resource consultancy firms that have conducted analyses for similar positions. It is crucial to review existing data to ensure its alignment with the actual execution of the job and to assess whether it accommodates the introduction of new technologies or processes into the position.

Other Job Analysis Methods

The most common method for collecting job analysis information was discussed in the previous section. In addition to these methods for performing job analysis, there are several unique standardized analysis techniques. These techniques have not only been widely used but have also provided a substantial amount of research on their effectiveness. We will explore four specific techniques:

  • The job element
  • The critical incident technique
  • The Position Analysis Questionnaire
  • Functional job analysis

Job Element Method

The Job Element Method (Primoff & Eyde, 1988) primarily focuses on industrial or unskilled jobs. This method employs a job analysis approach that analyzes positions regarding the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) required to perform the job. It is “person-oriented” or personality-based, as it concentrates on the features of the individual acting the career (Foster, Gaddis & Hogon, 2012).

Critical Incident Technique (CIT)

The critical incident concept, developed by Flanagan (1954), involves the recall and analysis of specific instances of employee behaviour on the job, whether positive or negative. The method entails gathering factual stories about job behaviours crucial for effective performance (Zemke & Karmlinger, 1982). Flanagan presents three pieces of information needed from each critical incident:

  • The context of behaviour and details of the lead-up to the exhibited behaviour.
  • The employee’s behaviour.
  • The consequences of the behaviour.

This tool is powerful because it provides a multi-dimensional view of activities, including acts that have taken place, interactions with other staff members, and verbal and non-verbal behaviour.

Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ)

The Position Analysis Questionnaire (McCormick, Jenneret & Mecham, 1972) is an employee-based questionnaire that measures job characteristics and relates them to employee behaviour. The questionnaire includes 194 job elements grouped into six main areas:

  • Information input: Considers how the employee obtains relevant job information.
  • Mental processes: Involves the thinking and decision-making required in the job.
  • Physical activities: Encompasses the tasks the employee must perform and the equipment they will use.
  • Relationship with other persons: Includes reporting lines and interactions with colleagues.
  • Job context: Encompasses physical or social contexts, such as working in noisy environments.
  • Other characteristics: Involves additional activities required as part of the job.

This method’s advantage lies in its applicability to a limited number of employees. Since the questionnaire is structured, it is affordable and straightforward, allowing easy quantification. However, disadvantages include the potential for individuals to need to be more accurate with their jobs and the time required to administer the questionnaire.

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