What is Job Analysis?

Definition: Job analysis is a process of comprehensive examination of duties, responsibilities and tasks intrinsically associated to a job position. The term refers to the identification of activities to be performed in certain positions and the competences and skills required for that.

What Does Job Analysis Mean?

Job analysis allows an organization to know whether or not the division of labor is correctly allocated among the existing positions and where the main gaps are between an ideal design and the current situation.

The analysis process should consider key responsibilities and primary roles to be performed by each position. It mainly answers the question of why every job exists within the company’s overall mission and business model.

Moreover, it should always include the indispensable and desired group of capabilities that the candidate or employee must have in order to successfully accomplish the expected tasks. Job analysis allows knowing if some activities that should be done are not really assigned in the organization or if there are some tasks that are incorrectly duplicated. It also helps achieving a more logical and coherent grouping of responsibilities. The process usually results with job design and redesign and finally with job descriptions where design outcomes are documented.

Example

Honeycook Foods is a mid-sized company that produces and markets sweet bakeries available at supermarket networks. The Executive Director complained that most employees seemed to be confused about their responsibilities and that relevant objectives were never met. In order to solve this situation he hired a consultant. This expert identified many areas of improvement through reassignment. For example, no one in the organization had the function of production planning.

A sales assistant was doing some purchases of raw materials although there was a purchasing department under the Operations Department. Inventory control was performed by two different departments. The person in charge of marketing did not have the technical skills to perform that task. As a result of the analysis several jobs were redesigned and job descriptions were written for all positions. The Director then implemented changes with the purpose of adjusting jobs and occupants to the resulting descriptions.