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Job Analysis: Have you done one?

Job Task Analysis is defined as the investigation and collection of information surrounding work tasks for the purpose of making a step-by-step comparison between the demands of the task and the capabilities of the worker.”  —Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia

Suppose you are a golf club manager asked to help open a new club. One of your first priorities will be to determine how many staff members you need if your goal is to have just the right number of appropriately trained people to effectively perform all of the tasks required in the amount of time available?

The perfect situation is to have jobs duties and requirements that well qualified people can reasonably accomplish in a given number of hours in a week. You don’t want to pay people for 35 hours if they only work 20; nor do you want people to have to work 60 hours when the work week is only 35. The Goldilocks formula is what you seek: just the right number of people to do the necessary work in the prescribed amount of time available. Easy to say, not so easy to do. This is where job analysis can help.


We’ve all experienced or heard about job overload where people in the workplace seem to have too much work to do in too little time; employee exhaustion is the likely outcome. Or, perhaps you’ve seen situations in which job duties evolved or changed over time to the point where responsibilities seemed disconnected. Net result in these instances is usually inefficiency and frustration.

As a manager, you can ignore these performance and morale damaging situations, or you can address them intelligently. One way to move toward effective solutions is to undertake formal job analyses. A job analysis is an efficient, cost-effective way to gather useful information about jobs. Once this information has been collected and analyzed, and if kept current, it can be used repeatedly for many human resource management purposes.

  • determining how many staff members are needed in an organization
  • as step one in creating job descriptions: identify major job functions and duties
  • common interactions between different people and departments
  • necessary skills, competencies, and workplace knowledge
  • education requirements
  • critical situations faced by job holders
  • to determine training needs
  • comparisons with other jobs
  • appropriate compensation levels
  • appropriate performance standards
  • physical demands
  • work environment factors
  • decision making authority
  • typical-day descriptions

By carefully analyzing the essential elements of every position in an organization, managers gain a much clearer and more accurate perspective on how to best manage their entire human resource.

NOTE: It’s about the job, not the person. An important concept of job analysis is that the analysis is conducted of the Job, not the person. While job analysis data may be collected from incumbents through interviews or questionnaires, the product of the analysis is a description or specifications of the job, not a description of the person.



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