Job Analysis Methods

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Job Analysis Methods 4.5

Let’s take a look at job analysis methods. Five commonly used methods of job analysis include the use of questionnaires, interviews, diaries, observation, and subject matter expert panels. Valid and reliable questionnaires are available for use in the job analysis process. A questionnaire can be given to many different people in order to analyze the job in question.

Another available method is the job analysis interview, in which questions are usually asked of the incumbent and the answers are compiled into a profile of the job. For the interview method, we need a trained interviewer who knows how to interpret answers and ask follow-up questions if needed. The interviewer asks job-related questions, and the incumbent describes the job based on the questions asked.

Here the worker maintains a work log, or diary, in which the employee writes down the tasks accomplished while going about the job. This log becomes the document from which we build the description of the job. Diaries are more valuable than some of the other methods when it is difficult to observe what is done in a job.

We can also use observation of the person at work, in which an observer shadows the worker and logs tasks that the worker performs over a period of time. If observers are trained, they will usually identify tasks that workers don’t even think about doing and therefore wouldn’t have noted in a log or diary.

These methods are certainly not the only methods of job analysis, and they may not even be the best options for any particular situation. There are many other options, including work sampling, videotaping of jobs, and others. However, these types of analysis demonstrate the basic process of job analysis. We also need to understand that in many cases, we may want to use more than one method to analyze a particular job, if one method won’t provide a good analysis by itself. But remember that the more methods we use to analyze a single job, the more it costs to do the analysis. So sometimes we have to make a trade-off between a better analysis and a less expensive one.

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