Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Briefly describe various methods of job Analysis.

Briefly describe various methods of job Analysis. Evaluate and identify the method applied in an organisation known to you or you are familiar with. Critically analyze the role and importance of job Analysis on Work Flow in an organisational setup.

Ans. Job Analysis is very vital step in human resources planning process. A Job is a bundle of related tasks; A synonym of job is work. Work is understood as physical and mental activity that is carried out at a particular place and time, according to instructions, in return for money. Monetary consideration is necessary in determining whether an activity is really a work. Housewife does not do work as she is not doing it for money. Where as a servant’s job becomes work as with work job also carries monetary consideration. The job incumbent attends to all the allied tasks for wages or salaries.
The nature of work and how mangers organize work is a critical element affecting human resources activities. Before discussing design and organization of work it is desirable that we know “Job analysis” the tool of collecting job related data.
JOB ANALYSIS refers to the process of collecting information about a job. The process of job analysis results in two sets of data (i) job description and (ii) Job specification. Job description describes what a job involves- tasks and responsibilities tagged on to a job, Job title, duties, machines tools and equipment, working conditions and hazards from part of job description.
The capabilities that job holder should posses from part of job specification. Education training experience, judgment skills, communication skills and the like are a part of job specification.

Now what is very important is that there should be fit between job demands (job description) and abilities required to discharge the tasks (job-specification) any mismatch is likely to result in job dissatisfaction that carries dis- functional consequences like how productivity, absenteeism and turnover.


The process of analyising a job is essentially one of data collection various approaches can be utilized for this purpose. They are:
(a) Observation Method
(b) Interview
(c) Questionnaire
(d) Check list
(e) Technical conferences
(f) Diary


Here job analyst carefully observes the job holder at work and records what he or she does, how he or she does, and how much time is needed to complete a given task. This method is simple. Data collected is accurate because of direct observation. But this is time consuming method and in applicable in jobs which involve high properties of unobservable mental activities. The analyst needs to be trained to carefully observe and record the competence of the job incumbent and training means additional cost. For better results the method should be used along with other methods of job analysis.

In this method the analyst interviews the job holder and his supervisor to elicit information about the job. This method is usually structural one. It is time consuming method. The time problem will be compounded if the interviewer talks with 2 or more employees doing the same job. Further more managerial and professional jobs are more complicated to analyse and require a longer interview. There is also a problem of bias. Bias may cloud the accuracy and objectivity of the data obtained. But face to face contact makes it more meaningful and effective method.

Job holders fill in the given structural questionnaire, which are then approved by the supervisors. Questionnaires whether standard or prepared one must contain the following data.

(i) Job title of the jobholder.
(ii) Job title of the job holders supervisor
(iii) Job titles and numbers of the staff reporting to the job holder.
(iv) A brief description of the overall role or purpose of the job.
(v) A list of the main tasks or duties that the job holder has to perform as specified these should specify the resources controlled, the equipment used, the contracts made and the frequency with which the tasks are carried out.
In this method information of a large number of jobs can be collected in a relatively short period of time. Further more, all the job holders participate in the method unlike in an interview where one or two workers only would participate.
But the accuracy of the information obtained through the questionnaire leaves much to be desired. Job analysis work requires specialized knowledge and training. An average employee although know what his/her duties are, he/she is not trained to identify the essential aspects of his/her work and often cannot express the information in a meaningful and clear fashion. To depend exclusively upon questionnaire as the source of job information is bound and creates some errors in the programme.

Check list is similar to a questionnaire, but the response sheet contains fewer subjective judgments and tends to be either ‘yes-or-no’ variety. Preparation of a check list is a challenging job. The job holder is asked to check all the listed task in check list that he performs and indicate the amount of time spent on each task as well as the training and experiences required to be proficient in each task. Check list method is useful in large firms that have a large number of people assigned to one particular job. Also this technique is amendable to tabulation and recording on electronic data processing equipment. The technique however is costly and not suitable to small firm.

In this method, services of supervisors who possess extensive knowledge about a job are used. The analyst initiates discussion which provides details of data collection, this method lacks accuracy as the actual job holders are not involved in collecting information.

This method requires the job holders to record in detail their activities each day. If done accurately, this method is accurate and eliminates errors caused by memory lapse the job holder makes while answering questionnaires and checklist. But it is time consuming as recording has to be done for a number of days. It also engages considerable time of a production worker.

Method Applied in Heavy Vehicle Factory for the job analysis is not a single one. But it was observed that the observation and interview methods of collecting data or job information hold the greatest promise of completeness accuracy and better utilisation of time. Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) Chennai is premier organization responsible for producing heavy vehicle for defence organization. Job analysis in the firm has its impact on all the functions of HRM. Job analysis has helped the firm enhance the effectiveness of all HR activities.
Job analysis has helped the organization in the following ways:

(i) Laying the foundation for human resources planning.
(ii) Laying the foundation for employee hiring
(iii) Laying the foundation for training and development
(iv) Laying the foundation for performance appraisal
(v) Laying the foundation for salary and wages fixation
(vi) Laying the foundation for safety and health

If the particular job is simple and repetitive, observation is followed by the management. In most cases however interviews coupled with observation constitute the preferred approach.

Job analysis is useful for overall management of all personnel activities. Job related data obtained from a job analysis programme are useful in HRP, employee hiring, training, job evaluation compensation etc.
Job analysis also play vital role in performance appraisal, computerized personnel information system and safely and health.
As for HRP the number and type of personnel are determined by the jobs which are to be staffed. The objective of employee hiring is to match the right people with the right jobs, which can be achieved only with adequate job information. For establishing wage and salary differentials job evaluation is done which is based on job description and job specification.

Hazardous conditions and unhealthy environments are identified with the help of job analysis and corrective measures are taken to improve them.

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