Employee Evaluation and Selection

Job analysis

Job analysis can be defined as the determination of the essential characteristics of a job in order to produce a job specification. A job specification is a written statement of the essential characteristics of a job including necessary qualifications, duties, responsibilities and degree of authority of the job holder.

The purposes for which a job analysis is required can be

  • to establish criteria for selection and performance appraisal,
  • to establish training and development programs,
  • for job evaluation
  • remuneration purposes,
  • to assist in job design, and
  • for organizational restructuring purposes.

Job analysis also has important implications for fair employment practices.

In order to demonstrate job relatedness in employee selection, the criteria utilized should be directly related to, or embody constructs associated with job performance.

Therefore the purpose of the job analysis will determine which information is considered important, and which HR specialist skills (e.g., training, selection, job evaluation) would be most relevant.

The nature of the information elicited from job analysis incorporates the following:

  • The nature of the work activities, including work procedures or processes, human behavior, physical job demands, personal responsibility and accountability.
  • The machinery and equipment used.
  • The nature of the work inputs and outputs, e.g. raw materials and finished goods.
  • Work performance, including productivity standards and product quality specifications.
  • Job context, incorporating the work the organizational environment, societal context, compensation and motivational factors.
  • Personal requirements of incumbents, including requisite knowledge and skills, aptitudes, physical and psychological characteristics.

Thus, in analyzing a job, an attempt is made to measure various aspects of that job. As mentioned previously, effective measurement requires reliable and valid measures. To ensure this, more than one rater or rating technique should be used, eliciting both qualitative and quantitative data. Methods of collecting this data include.

  • Job interviews and / or observing employees at their work place, using structured or unstructured approaches.
  • Interviewing individual workers away from their work place.
  • Interviewing groups of workers.
  • Interviewing supervisors and technical specialists.
  • Utilizing structured or open ended questionnaires.
  • Requiring workers to complete self report diaries.

Focus on the job

A factor that should be emphasized is that job analysis typically focuses on the job itself, rather than on the incumbent. However, the incumbent cannot be ignored. A total focus on the work itself would imply that following a job analysis, a job would be designed to ensure optimal productivity, and that the incumbent would merely be required to perform the job.

However, this rather mechanistic approach ignores two factors.

  • First, the ideal incumbent might not exist or be available for placement.
  • A second, individual difference between people necessitates some adjustment of the job to accommodate the individual needs of the incumbent.

Application of job analysis

Job analysis is used for three important purposes in the employment process.

  • First, it provides information for compiling job descriptions. Job descriptions typically contain a brief summary of the nature of the job, and lists the duties and responsibilities thereof.
  • Second, job analysis assists in the compiling of job specifications. Job specifications set out the traits and characteristics considered to be essential for successful job performance. These include, education level, relevant experience, skill level or physical characteristics. Job descriptions and specifications are generally used in combination for recruitment purposes. They enable accurate information dissemination, which, in turn, maximizes the number of appropriate applicants.
  • The third purpose, for which job analysis is used, is in the development of selection criteria, criterion measures and predictors.

In doing job analysis, the tasks are extracted from the job description, if available, and listed in a column. The line manager together with the personnel specialist and the immediate supervisor of the person to be recruited then complete the skills and knowledge column. (N.B. In the PDF version of this article, sample pro forma are given.)

In this manner a very clear picture emerges of the total job. Based on this information both HR and line management are in a better position to structure a job interview that could lead to an effective selection decision; a one where the most appropriate person is hired.

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