Analyzing Jobs and Writing Job Descriptions


Adverse Impact – when the selection rate for any protected group is less that 80% (4/5) of the selection rate for the majority group or less than 80% of the group’s representation in the relevant labor market, discrimination exits.

Job analysis – a systematic way to gather and analyze information about the content and human requirement of jobs, and the context in which jobs are performed. Without an accurate profile of each job, what skills, experience and qualities are necessary to do the job then human resource planning is difficult, training and development cannot be carried out meaningfully and performance management and recruitment and selection will be carried out in an information vacuum.

Job content – concerned wit the responsibilities and tasks an employee performs

Job description – indicates the tasks, duties, and responsibilities of a job. It identifies what is done, why it is done, where it is done, and how it is done. It sets out the nature of the relationships between a specific position and other positions within and outside the organization and outlines the areas of the position’s expected contribution to the achievement of divisional or overall organizational goals.

Job specifications – a listing of knowledge, skills, and abilities, (SKA’s) an individual needs to perform a job satisfactorily. A job specification is a formal outline describing the place of the position within the organization, the positions function and purpose, and the collection of duties, responsibilities. (See competencies)

Job evaluation – provides a systematic basis for determining the relative worth of jobs within the organziation

Job responsibilities – (work behaviors) obligations to perform certain tasks or duties

Competencies – basic characteristics that can be linked to enhanced performance by individuals or team of individuals (see job specifications). These are used in compensation, hiring decision, orientation and training programs, and information provided to employees who want to upgrade their qualifications for promotion.

Competency model – a validated decision took, correlated to job activities that describe key knowledge, skills, and abilities for performing a specific job.

Subject matter expert – experienced job incumbents and supervisors who provide advice on work, content, worker requirements, and performance standards to job analysts and test developers

Class specification – a description of a group of jobs that are similar in duties and responsibilities, have the same entrance requirements, and receive the same rate of pay

Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) – targeted private industry initially setting a minimum wage for workers and requiring overtime for hours worked over 40 per week, time keeping records and reporting. This Act is administered by the Department of Labor. In 1985 the U. S. Supreme Court brought all functions of local government under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) – This Act protects people with disabilities from job discrimination. An employer may not make any pre-employment inquiries about whether an applicant has a disability either on application forms, in job interviews, or in background or reference checks. In the hiring process, employers are expected to describe the essential functions for the job and then ask the applicants if they can perform them. If an otherwise qualified person needs an accommodation, it is that person’s responsibility to request it and the employer’s responsibility to decides whether it is reasonable. This Act is administered by the EEOC. The ADA has had a major impact on job analysis and job descriptions.

This federal law prohibits employment discrimination by public and private employers in all personnel decisions because of a mental or physical disability. The individual’s impairment must meet the definition of a disability. An individual with a disability is a person who: 1) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; 2) has a record of such an impairment; or 3) is regarded as having such an impairment.

The employer is required to make a reasonable workplace accommodation that does not constitute an undue hardship for the employer. A reasonable workplace accommodation allows the individual with the disability to perform at the same level of effectiveness and efficiency as any qualified non-disabled employee.

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