Job analysis -  Definitions of Job Analysis - Importance of Job Analysis 

Job analysis is a systematic process of collecting the information on nature of a job, qualities and qualifications required to a job, physical and mental capabilities to required to a job, duties and responsibilities, physical and mental effort required to perform a job, necessary skills required to perform a job, working conditions and environment  for a job, in order to describe job description and job specification, for recruitment and  selection of employee, improve job satisfaction, employee safety and to build up employee  motivation etc.

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What is a Job?

A group of homogeneous tasks related by similarity of functions. When performed by an employee in an exchange for pay, a job consists of duties, responsibilities, and tasks (performance elements) that are 

(1) defined and specific, and 

(2) can be accomplished, quantified, measured, and rated. From a wider perspective, a job is synonymous with a role and includes the physical and social aspects of a work environment. Often, individuals identify themselves with their job or role (foreman, supervisor, engineer, etc.) and derive motivation from its uniqueness or usefulness.

Job Analysis

Job analysis, contains a simple term called "analysis", which means detailed study or examination of something (job) in order to understand more about it (job). therefore job analysis is  to understand more about a specific job in order to optimise it. Job analysis is a systematic process of collecting complete information pertaining to a job. Job analysis is done by job analyst who is an officer have been trained for it.

Job analysis is a procedure through which you determine the duties and responsibilities, nature of the jobs and finally to decide qualifications, skills and knowledge to be required for an employee to perform particular job. Job analysis helps to understand what tasks are important and how they are carried on. Job analysis forms basis for later HR activities such as developing effective training program, selection of employees, setting up of performance standards and assessment of employees ( performance appraisal)and employee remuneration system or compensation plan.

One of the first industrial-organizational psychologists to introduce job analysis was Morris Viteles. In 1922, he used job analysis in order to select employees for a trolley car company. Refernce:

The intention behind job analysis is to answer questions such as:

Job analysis is a detailed examination of

(1) tasks  that make up a job (employee role),

(2) conditions under which an employee performing his/her job, and

(3) what exactly a job requires in terms of aptitudes (potential for achievement), attitudes (behavior characteristics), knowledge, skills, educational qualifications and the physical working condition of the employee.

Its objectives include 

(a) to determine most effective methods for performing a job.

(b) to increase employee job satisfaction.

(c) to identify core areas for giving training to employees and to find out best methods of training.

(d) development of performance measurement systems, and

(e) to match job-specifications with  employee specifications while selection of an employee.

Definitions of Job Analysis

Some important definitions of job-analysis are as under :

Harry L. Wylie. "Job analysis deals with the anatomy of the job.....This is the complete study of the job embodying every known and determinable factor, including the duties and responsibilities involved in its performance; the conditions under which performance is carried on; the nature of the task; the qualifications required in the worker; and the conditions of employment such as pay, hours, opportunities and privileges"

In the words of Dale Yoder. "A Job is a collection of duties, tasks and responsibilities which are assigned to an individual and which is different from other assignment"

According to Michael J. Jucius, "Job analysis refers to the process of studying the operations, duties and organisational aspects of jobs in order to derive specification or, as they are called by some job description"

In the words of Edwin B. Flippo, "Job analysis is the process of studying and collecting information relating to the operations and responsibilities of a specific job"

According to Blum, "A job analysis is an accurate study of the various components of a job. It is concerned not only with an analysis of the duties and conditions of work, but also with the individual qualifications of the worker."

According to John A Shubin "Job analysis is the methodical compilation and study of work data in order to define and characterise each occupation in such a manner as to distinguish it from all others."

In the words of Scott, Clothier and Spriegel, "Job analysis is the process of critically evaluating the operations, duties and relationship of the job."

In simple words Job analysis is a formal programme which examines the tasks, duties and responsibilities contained in an individual unit of work.

Job Descriptions and Job Specifications >>

Facts [+]

The U.S. Department of Labor publishes The Occupational Outlook Handbook every two years. The handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information for hundreds of various jobs. Information subjects include required job training and education, earnings, expected job prospects, what workers do on the job, and working conditions.

Procedure for job analysis

There are two approaches for doing job analysis out of which  one is work oriented approach and second one is employee oriented approach

1. work oriented approach

This approach focus on the actual task involved in a Job. this approach mainly concentrate on duties, functions and responsibilities involved in a job.


Job of court manager in Courts (judiciary), task oriented approach of job analysis statement include

2. Employee oriented approach

this approach focus on examining of human attributes needed to perform the job perfectly. human attributes have been classified into knowledge, skills, attitude and other characteristics. 

Knowledge is the information people need in order to perform the job. Skills are the proficiencies needed to perform each task. 

Abilities are the attributes that are relatively stable over time. 

Other characteristics are all other attributes, usually personality factors.


Importance of Job Analysis

Job analysis helps in analyzing the resources and establishing the strategies to accomplish the business goals and strategic objectives. Effectively developed, employee job descriptions are communication tools that are significant in an organization's success.

The main purpose of conducting job analysis is to prepare job description and job specification which would help to hire skilled workforce. Job description is a statement of information about duties and responsibilities of a particular job. whereas job specifications is a statement of information about qualifications, special qualities, skills and knowledge required for an employee to fit for a job. Therefore job analysis enables recruiter/employer to have a deep insight of a job, with that, recruiter can easily track candidates who have required qualifications and qualities to perform a job.

Job Analysis can be used to identify areas where an employee needs training, since job analysis make it clear  to understand about core duties and responsibilities of a job. Besides, it provides information to develop  suitable training material for a job to be performed by an employee after completion of his training.

Compensation management/salary administration is one of core  HR functions. salary for a job is decided on  skill level required, duties and responsibilities, qualification and experience level/seniority, altogether, called as compensable factors, which could be known by job analysis only. But there is a separate method to determine value of job that is called as job evaluation which is part of job analysis.  

Job evaluation is process of valuing or determining how much is to be paid for a job. Job evaluation is mainly used when a specific job or a single job is to be evaluated or when there are different jobs in same Cadre, or when there jobs based on projects or piecework. However job analysis has its own  importance in concluding compensation/remuneration/ salary of an employee.

No organisation exists without goals and objectives to achieve, performance standards to be maintained by every employee and reviewing performance of employees. These could be cross checked with outcome of job analysis of a job, whether outcome of job analysis of a job is in tune with goals and objectives of an organisation or not, performance standards are being maintained or not and reviewing employee performance based on performance standards or not.

Job Analysis can be used in performance review to identify or develop goals and objectives, performance standards, evaluation criteria, length of probationary periods, and duties to be evaluated

An ideal job analysis should include

below listed are areas where job analyst should focus to bring out facts about a job.

Duties and Tasks:

The basic unit of a job is the performance of specific tasks and duties. This segment should include frequency, duration, effort, skill, complexity, equipment, standards, etc.


This segment identifies the working environment of a particular job. This may have a significant impact on the physical requirements to be able to perform a job.

Tools and Equipment:

Some duties and tasks are performed using specific equipment and tools. These items need to be specified in a Job Analysis.


The hierarchy of the organization must be clearly laid out. The employees should know who is under them and who they have to report to.


The knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job should be clearly listed.

There are several ways to conduct a job analysis, including: interviews with incumbents and supervisors, questionnaires (structured, open-ended, or both), observation, critical incident investigations, and gathering background information such as duty statements or classification specifications.

The following are the benefits of job analysis. 

Organizational structure and design :-

Job analysis helps the organization to make suitable changes in the organizational structure, so that it matches the needs and requirements of the organization. Duties are either added or deleted from the job.

Recruitment and selection :-

Job analysis provides information about what the job entails and what human characteristics are required to perform these activities. This information, in the form of job descriptions and specifications, helps management decide what sort of people to recruit and hire.

Performance appraisal and training/development :-

Based on the job requirements identified in the job analysis, the company decides a training program. Training is given in those areas which will help to improve the performance on the job. Similarly when appraisal is conducted we check whether the employee is able to work in a manner in which we require him to do the job.

Job evaluation :-

Job evaluation refers to studying in detail the job performance by all individual. The difficulty levels, skills required and on that basis the salary is fixed. Information regarding qualities required, skilled levels, difficulty levels are obtained from job analysis.

Promotions and transfer :-

When we give a promotion to an employee we need to promote him on the basis of the skill and talent required for the future job. Similarly when we transfer an employee to another branch the job must be very similar to what he has done before. To take these decisions we collect information from job analysis.

Career path planning :-

Many companies have not taken up career planning for their employees. This is done to prevent the employee from leaving the company. When we plan the future career of the employee, information will be collected from job analysis. Hence job analysis becomes important or advantageous.

Labour relations :-

When companies plan to add extra duties or delete certain duties from a job, they require the help of job analysis, when this activity is systematically done using job analysis the number of problems with union members reduce and labour relations will improve.

Health and safety :-

Most companies prepare their own health and safety, plans and programs based on job analysis. From the job analysis company identifies the risk factor on the job and based on the risk factor safety equipments are provided.

Acceptance of job offer :-

When a person is given an offer/appointment letter the duties to be performed by him are clearly mentioned in it, this information is collected from job analysis, which is why job analysis becomes important.