1. Interview – Job holders discuss their positions with a job analyst who then prepares a draft description for the agreement and approval of the job holder and that person’s supervisor.

  2. Observation – The job analyst watches the individual performing the job and takes notes describing the duties performed. The method is most appropriate for lower-level, repetitive cycle duties.

  3. Questionnaires and Worksheets – The most frequently used method of collecting job analysis information. These can be ambiguous and difficult for a typical employee to complete. Employees may be unwilling or unable to provide accurate responses.

(The Position Analysis Questionnaire was developed by Purdue University researchers. To complete the questionnaire, the job analyst must rank 194 items in terms of the extent to which they are used by the job holder in performing the requirements of the job. The items are arranged in six categories: information input, mental processes, and work output, relationships with others, job context, and other job characteristics. The ratings can be used to compare jobs in terms of their demands for decision making, skills use, and physical activity, operating equipment and processing informal information.)

  1. Secondary Data – The use of survey data on similar jobs or benchmarked positions at comparable institutions.

The Dictionary of Occupational Titles offers 20,000+ standardized description, analysis and classification of jobs. This approach allows each facet of a job to be examined and rated, and for those ratings to be used in making comparisons of the same or similar jobs in different organizations, or of different jobs in a single organization, as well as preparing a job description. This is no longer being published but can be found in a newer version on the Internet in the Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network or O*NET.


  1. Production of job descriptions and job specifications for use in recruitment and selection

  2. Definition of job responsibilities and work criteria for use in individual performance planning and reviews

  3. Organization and management of training and development programs to meet performance related skills and knowledge needs

  4. Assessment of organizational and individual needs, abilities and potential for use in human resources planning

  5. Provision of factual data as a basis for job evaluation and remuneration management

  6. Analysis of work and structural relationships for use in job design and organizational reviews

  7. Health and safety planning – identifies hazardous jobs

  8. Employment relations – Job descriptions and job specifications can reduce conflict over job content decisions.


  1. Task inventoriesa job-oriented approach which looks at how work actually is performed. The inventory consists of a list of the different tasks making up the job and corresponding ratings of each task, carried out by the person doing the job. Each task may be further subdivided into sub categories. Each task is described using action words and direct objects.

  2. Functional job analysisa task oriented approach and is the most common non- questionnaire approach.

  3. Critical incident techniquea worker- oriented approach which produces a set of KSA’s. Basically a critical incident is an example of job success or failure. The supervisor supplies lists of actions which typify a good or bad employee.

  4. Position analysis questionnaire – a worker-oriented technique used to analyze and describe jobs in quantitative terms.


  1. Simple – Simple language and clear statements are more likely to be understood by those who are to use the description.

  2. Not overstated – do not include minor tasks or use of inflated wording.

  3. Not be confused with position specifications

  4. Produced jointly and agreed upon by analyst, supervisor, and job holder


  1. Job identificationthe title should describe the job role and indicate its level in the organization.

  2. Purpose of the job – A single sentence is usually sufficient to describe why the job exists and is an essential introduction to any job description.

  3. Reporting relationships – designates the position’s location in the organization.

  4. Authorities – The job description may set out the job holder’s authorities to act in areas such as the approval of expenditure, or the recruitment or dismissal of staff.

  5. Duties and tasks – Outline of major areas of responsibility and tasks. Also who does the job holder report to? Which positions report directly to the job holder? What other staff does the job holder have management responsibility for? Are there any significant functional relationships?

  6. Working conditions and other significant information -Significant features of the job such as heat, cold, night work etc.


  1. Position identificationprovides basic information including the job title, classification, and the administrative unit and subunit in which it is placed.

  2. Broad purpose – generally stated in one or two sentences, which defines the broad purpose to be served by having this position, and gives an overview of what the job does and what is expected to be achieved.

  3. Reporting/working relationships – indicates the position to which this one reports, and positions reporting to the one being described. Significant working relationships within the organization are also identified here.

  4. Key outcomes and associated activities – is used to identify expected outcomes, as well as the means for achieving them.


  1. Fill in the position criteria form

    1. Human Resources posts and advertises job openings based on information supervisors provide

    2. Define the job including

      1. Job title

      2. Key responsibilities

      3. Knowledge and experience factors

      4. Intellectual factors

      5. Motivational factors

      6. Personality factors

  2. Prioritize the desired skills and experience

    1. They may be desired, preferred, or helpful. (differentiate between “musts” and “wants”)

  3. Job specs only on jobs tasks and responsibilities

    1. Avoid anything that is arbitrary, artificial, or unnecessary

    2. Standards unrelated to job performance may illegally discriminate against candidates because of their sex, age, race, religion or disability

    3. Extraneous qualifications could expose you and your employer to lawsuits

    4. They could discourage the best-qualified applicants


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