Jobs are dynamic and subject to change. Before assigning work to people, managers must examine jobs scientifically and describe the task needs clearly. Managers must also design jobs, keeping organisational needs and employee expectations in mind. It requires comprehensive job analysis as well as designing jobs to meet organisational and individual needs is also very important.
Concept of Job Analysis
In a labour surplus and capital hungry country like India, jobs are very important to individuals. They help determine standards of living, places of residence, status and even one’s sense of self-worth. Jobs are important to organisations also because they are the means of accomplishing organisational objectives. Traditionally, organisations used to define jobs in a rigid way. The popular view about a job was that what it requires does not change; it is designed to be immutable and unchanging, irrespective of the various incumbents who perform them. In reality, however jobs are not static. They are subject to change. Technological advances and competitive pressures may often force an organisation to put more emphasis on characteristics of successful performance rather than on standard job duties, tasks etc. To understand the dynamic nature of jobs, managers gather information about jobs from time to time.
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 task is an identifiable work activity carried out for a specific purpose, for example, typing a letter. 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, for example, pick up, sort out and deliver incoming mail. Job responsibilities are obligations to perform certain tasks and duties.
Job analysis is an important personnel activity because it identifies what people do in their jobs and what they require in order to do the job satisfactorily. The information about a job is usually collected through a structured questionnaire.
Uses of Job Analysis
Good human resource management demands of both the employee and the employer a clear understanding of the duties and responsibilities to be performed on a job. Job analysis helps in this understanding by drawing attention to a unit of work and its linkage with other units of work. More specifically, the uses of job analysis may be summarized thus:
1. Human resource planning:
Job analysis helps in forecasting human resource requirements in terms of knowledge and skills. By showing lateral and vertical relationships between jobs. It also helps in determining quality of human resources needed in an organisation.
Job analysis is used to find out 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.
Without a proper understanding of what is to be done on a job, it is not possible to select the right person.
4. 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, we have to clearly define the job.
Whether or not a current or potential job holder requires additional training can be determined only after the specific needs of the jobs have been identified through a job analysis.
Managers can properly counsel employees about their careers when they understand the different jobs in the organisation.
7. Employee safety:
A thorough job analysis reveals unsafe conditions associated with a job. By studying how the various operations are taken up in a job, managers can find unsafe practices.
8. Performance appraisal:
By comparing what an employee is supposed to be doing (based on job analysis) to what the individual has actually done, the worth of that person can be assessed. To achieve this, it is necessary to compare what individuals should do (as per performance standards) with what they have actually done (as per job analysis).
9. Job evaluation:
Job analysis helps in finding the relative worth of a job, based on criteria such as degree of difficulty, type of work done, skills and knowledge needed, etc.
Process of Job Analysis
The major steps involved in job analysis are as follows:
1. Organisational analysis:
First of all, an overall picture of various jobs in the organisation has to be obtained. This is required to find the linkages between jobs and organisational objectives, interrelationships between jobs and contribution of various jobs to the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation.
2. Selection of representative positions to be analysed:
It is not possible to analyse all the jobs. A representative sample of jobs to be analysed is decided keeping the cost and time constraints in mind.
3. Collection of job analysis data:
This step involves the collection of data on the characteristics of the job, the required behaviour and personal qualifications needed to carry out the job effectively.
4. Preparation of job description:
This step involves describing the contents of the job in terms of functions, duties, responsibilities, operations, etc.
5. 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.