The Importance of Job Analysis (And How To Perform One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 17, 2021

Published January 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

As companies grow and roles change, HR professionals might need to review roles and job expectations by performing a job analysis. In this job analysis, employees can discuss skill sets or tasks needed to perform the role. A job analysis can help revise roles, improve current practices and might even adjust pay in some cases. In this article, we explore what a job analysis is and how to perform a job analysis.

What is a job analysis?

A job analysis is the process of studying a role or position, learning what activities it performs and what skills are necessary for the job. A job analysis can also assess under which conditions the employee performs the job and discover how that role might affect other roles in the company.

A job analysis examines the role or position itself and not the employee or their performance. It is a thorough study of the role, used to gain a new understanding and perspective of the position to create process improvements. Job analysis involves collecting data on every aspect of a role and then examining it, creating a new set of standards for that role.

In most cases, human resources representatives perform job analyses and report the data to HR and department managers, who then make the necessary adjustments. Since HR reps don't work in the same department as the job they're evaluating, they can usually make a more objective analysis.

Related: How To Conduct Employee Evaluations (With FAQ)

Importance of a job analysis

A job analysis can help a company update important processes and information, for example, the salary information based on the responsibilities. A job analysis can also help management understand the duties of each position reporting to them. As roles and technologies develop, additional duties might have been added to a position that might not have existed in the company previously. A job analysis can help fairly distribute duties among departments or adjust salaries if needed.

How to complete a job analysis

If you're curious about the job analysis process, you can usually follow these steps:

1. Plan out your timing and process

Planning out your process can ensure your analysis is efficient and thorough. Try making a list of steps you'd like to take, other co-workers or people in the field to talk to and resources you might need during the project. You can also plan out a time frame to complete the project to keep the analysis on task.

2. Gather information on qualifications and the role

Once you have planned your process, you can start gathering information on the role for your analysis. This can include qualifications or skills needed to perform the role and existing duties. You might be able to find some of this information in past job postings or employee training manuals. Employee training manuals can tell you about tasks and how they might be performed. They might also have testing material for tasks that can add to your data.

You can also talk to employees currently in the role to gather information on their position. They can tell you what duties they perform and offer a history of any previous duties. Their duties might have changed over the course of the role, so it important to note if the role has evolved in your analysis.

3. Speak to leaders in the company

Managers, supervisors or fellow human resource professionals can also be excellent sources of information during this step. Other human resource professionals might have past job postings or evaluations on the role. Past job postings could have a listing of older job duties or previous titles. Evaluations on the role could also include a past job analysis, which could add to your data.

Managers and supervisors also might be able to advise on employees who held the role previously. Supervisors could give guidance on past performers who excelled in the role and duties they took on. They also could tell you about other employees in the role and skill sets that no longer relate to this position. Ask the manager or supervisor how the role fits into the team, department and company to see the contributions it makes.

Related: How To Write an Analysis (With Examples and Tips)

4. Evaluate the skill set

Once you have a list of the current set of qualifications and skills needed to perform the role, you can evaluate the skill set. Some skills might be part of an entry-level skill set, but others might be rated as specialized knowledge. You might sort out skills needed for the role from tasks or duties performed. Evaluating your list can help you find what the company might need for a new set of standards.

Related: 17 Core Competencies To Include on Your Resume

5. Compare against industry roles

You can also look to other similar roles or positions in the industry and compare standards. This can help ensure that your analysis has similar results to roles close to it. If your analysis is different than other roles in the industry, you might be able to adjust the role by creating a new set of standards or an entirely new title.

6. Create a list of new standards

Once you have all your data, you can create a list of standards for your role. This list could be similar to the previous list or it could be a new listing of job duties, depending on the results of your analysis. Your new list of standards can create a new role entirely, if applicable, or simply change an existing role slightly.

For example, during your analysis of an administrative assistant role, you noticed they perform many payroll duties not included in the original job description. Since they're not a main part of the role, you add them to the new list of responsibilities instead of creating a new payroll job.

Use your new analysis information to create a job description to keep on file. If your company needs to hire for the role again, you can use the data for your job posting, which can attract more qualified candidates.

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