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Job descriptions are used for a variety of reasons. They are 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 very important to have written job descriptions that accurately reflect the employees’ current job duties and responsibilities.
Employers should audit their job descriptions every few years, usually in conjunction with a compensation study and whenever the organization’s purpose, mission or structure changes. One way to audit or create job descriptions is to conduct a job analysis. Job analysis is the process of gathering, examining and interpreting data about the 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 must work closely with while performing his or her job duties.
The following steps will help provide the best analysis of a particular job:
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.
Sample job analysis forms may be found at:
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