How do I conduct a job analysis to ensure the job description matches the duties performed by the employee in the job?

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Job  analysis is the process of gathering, examining and interpreting data about a job's tasks and responsibilities. It generally includes tracking an employee's duties and the duration of each task, observing the employee performing his or her job, interviewing the employee, managers and others who interact with the employee, and comparing the job to other jobs in the same department and job grade or job family. An important concept in job analysis is that it is an evaluation of the job, not the person doing the job. The final product from a job analysis includes a thorough understanding of the essential functions of the job, a list of all duties and responsibilities, a percentage of time spent for each group of tasks, the job's relative importance in comparison with other jobs, the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) needed to perform the job, and the conditions under which the work is completed.

There are many ways to perform a job analysis, but all require the cooperation of the employee in the position, his or her manager(s) and others the employee works closely with while performing his or her job duties.  

The following steps will help provide the best analysis of a particular job:

  • Have employees complete a job analysis questionnaire.
  • Interview employees, asking them specific questions about their job duties and responsibilities.
  • Obtain log sheets from employees with information about each of their tasks and the time spent on each task for at least one full work week.
  • Complete desk audits where you observe employees doing their jobs at different times of the day and days of the week and track what they do and for how long.
  • Interview supervisors and managers, and other employees, clients and customers the employee may interact with while performing the job.
  • Compare the job to other jobs in the department as well as the job grade or job family to show where it falls on the pay scale.

If there is more than one person doing the same job, make sure to observe and obtain feedback and information from more than one person. You will want to review your findings with the employees who do the job as well as their supervisors and managers to tweak your findings until you have an accurate reflection of the job duties and responsibilities. 

Once an accurate overview of a position is developed, employers should update the job description to match the results of the job analysis.

Job descriptions can be used as a tool for recruiting, determining salary ranges and levels or grades, establishing job titles, creating employee's job goals and objectives, and conducting performance reviews. They can also be used for career planning, creating reasonable accommodations and meeting legal requirements for compliance purposes. Because of this, it is important to have written job descriptions that accurately reflect the employees' current job duties and responsibilities.

 

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