by | May 30, 2013

Job analysis

When it comes to employing new people within your team, knowing what you need them to do and how that work is aligned to your overall business goals is essential.

One method for doing this is through the method of job analysis.

When undertaking job analysis, you need to identify the job tasks that need to be done to perform the role successfully.  At the same time, you will need to identify the resources required to perform each task.  Think about whether training is needed for the job holder to use the resources; and if you don’t have the necessary resources, how will that impact on the job holder’s ability to perform any given task.

Job analysis will help you focus on the experience, skills, qualifications and abilities that you would want the ‘right’ person to have when recruiting.

Steps to effective job analysis

Step 1: Ask yourself what you expect your new employee to do on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis to achieve the desired outcomes (i.e. products/services) and meet your expectations; and focus on whether the identified tasks will bring you closer to achieving your strategic business goals.

Step 2:  Once you think you know what your new employee will need to do, you then need to consider the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) necessary to successfully complete the tasks and responsibilities of the position.

• Knowledge – information attained through education and experience
• Skills – techniques learned and practiced to ensure competency when completing specific tasks
• Abilities – inherent characteristics that an individual displays through their behaviours

Step 3: Get feedback from ‘subject matter experts’ these are people who hold similar/same jobs or perhaps line managers. Ask them if there is anything in terms of functions, experience or skills that they would expect the ideal job holder to do or possess?

Step 4:  Think about the requirements of the role now as well as what the requirements might be for the same job in the future. If you’re going to be implementing new procedures, new software, new products, etc., you may want your new employee to possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to be able to perform tasks related to those too.
At the end of these steps you should be in a position to create a job description and person specification for the ideal job holder.  Don’t forget though, this is your ‘ideal’ – don’t expect to necessarily find an employee that is an exact match to the requirements that you are seeking.

Thorough job analysis will prove beneficial when creating a targeted job advert – helping to increase your chances of attracting applicants that would be suited to your role. Focusing on the job analysis details when screening candidates also helps you to manage the CVs and draw up a shortlist. Developing a shortlist based on your job analysis will help ensure that you are only interviewing candidates that could ‘on paper’ do the role.

When interviewing, the experience, knowledge, skills and abilities will form the foundation of your interview questions; again it is your job analysis process that will have helped you determine what these are.  By asking all the candidates the same interview questions, you can be confident that you are comparing “apples with apples” when you make your hiring decision. Once the hiring decision is made, share the job description you’ve made with your new employee, and then regularly refer to it when doing performance reviews.  This ensures your employee knows exactly what you expect of them.

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