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Essay: The Importance of Conducting a Thorough Job Analysis for Human Resource Management

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The job analysis objective is to analyze the duties, skills required, and functions of a job position. The goal of a job analysis to secure the necessary job data for human resource management, specifically job descriptions (Economic Research Institute, 2012). It is vital that job positions be analyzed every few years as jobs roles tend to shift with technological and work environment changes. When they are not well designed or evaluated, organizational productivity suffers, profits decrease, and the organization is less able to meet stakeholder demands (p. 1).

The case presents an employee grievance due to the employees feeling of injustice of the current position. Because this has been expressed to management, it must be addressed by thoroughly analyzing and comparing Senior HR Specialist position to the new position of Deputy VP of HR. A job analysis must be conducted as unattended grievances result in low productivity, loss of morale, absenteeism and more (p.1). To ensure the dissatisfaction does not yield from personal issues, it is vital to conduct the job analysis with its proper steps.

It is important that the job analysis be implemented with its three phases. The three steps to a job analysis are preparation, collection of job information and use of job information to improve organization effectiveness (McGraw Hill Job Analysis and Design, n.d). Using these steps formalizes the analysis and serves as an outline for better preparation in its implementation. Thus, to implement an effective analysis, preparation is key.

The person conducting the analysis should have knowledge or an awareness of the company's objectives. This includes knowing its culture, structure, strategies and more. In this case, the job analyst might find it effective to study the industry by acquiring government reports of the jobs. This allows the analyst to gather relevant information and make an accurate analysis. In addition, it is a critical piece to the next step of the analysis, collection of job information.

Additional information is necessary to justify the grievance claim. Through the collection of job information, the job analyst must address the employee's responsibilities and duties for justification. By analyzing and comparing the job description of both Senior HR Specialist and Deputy VP of HR, the analyst may address the performance standards and work rules that apply (Brannen, 2016). However, other sources should be utilized to strengthen the justification.

To determine if the employee is justified this this claim, human and non-human sources of job data must be utilized. Examples of effective human sources of job data include information gathered directly from supervisors, job incumbents, job experts, or work colleagues. The material gathered from these individuals can be assessed through questionnaires, checklists, observations and/or interviews. In this case, a combination approach would be necessary.

The Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ) is a worker-oriented method that focuses on the behaviors that are involved in the job activities (Morgeson, 2017). This method can be used across any type of job and utilized to examine the differences and similarities among more than one job (p.3). The PAQ is a questionnaire containing 187 items to assess worker activities. Part of the questionnaires purpose is to analyze job characteristics of future potential jobs and the relatedness to senior level positions (Guion, & Highhouse, 2006). As a result, this questionnaire would allow the analyst to compare the similarities and differences among the Deputy VP and Senior HR Specialist job positons, allowing a more accurate analyzation of the duties and KSA's.

In comparison to other methods such as observation, the questionnaires would provide a more time and cost-efficient approach. For example, through computer analysis, the method can be compared with various other positions (Barwa, n.d).  Furthermore, because the managerial job entails several duties, observation would have to take place over the matter of several weeks. The PAQ offers a thorough, structured, and organized procedure to collect the data.

Non-human sources to utilize include organizational charts and reporting relationships. Utilizing company records provide clues on the job outcomes and the duties and responsibilities among jobs (McGraw Hill Job Analysis and Design, n.d). For example, an organizational chart would provide important information of the relations between the people of the organization and how the work is distributed. It allows the job analyst to determine whether or not a position is necessary or needs to be restructured.

Another relevant and useful source is O*NET, a program with occupational information used by HR for designing, evaluating and reconfiguring jobs (LaPolice, 2008). O*NET data provides useful information for job redesign efforts, primarily in deciding whether jobs are similar enough to be treated the same (Tippins & Hilton, 2010). Conversely, O*NET information may support the decision to split the jobs into two or more with different skill sets and requirements. Therefore, the analyst can search O*NET for current job descriptions of the applicable jobs and use the data found to compare the current job descriptions. The information gathered from this source would serve as accurate and significant data.  

The way the data is utilized is the most significant step in the job analysis process. During this step, the data collected is analyzed and put into useable forms such as job descriptions, job standards and job specifications. In this case, the job analyst should prepare a draft for a new job description of the Senior HR Specialist and begin making corrections where needed. The job description should have the proper format with all of the key components; job identity, job summary, job duties and working conditions.

An important part of a job description includes the job summary.  It tells what the job exactly is, how and why it is done. (McGraw Hill, 2019). This section should include all of the jobs primary duties. Furthermore, this section is important to HR as it helps define clearly the responsibilities associated with the job and what it requires. However, its effectiveness depends on how its described, communicated and understood (p. 73). It is important to write clearly, concisely and clarify as needed.

Followed by the job summary is the job description itself which includes detailed responsibilities, duties, knowledge and skills required (Dobins & Ehmke, n.d). In this process, it is important that the job analyst prepares the job description without manager or employee as this can interfere and alter the format and consistency of it, all of which are important for legal reasons. Furthermore, it could bring in ethical issues that can develop during the job analysis process.

Ethical issues exist in the possible lack of management support. One of the largest issues arise when the job analyst does not get the proper and needed support from management. Proper support is needed as management is the one who communicates the job to employees. If this is not done effectively, the organization cannot enhance output and increase productivity (Brannick & Levine, 2002). It is vital that the right information is communicated.

To prevent this, it is important to sit down with management and communicate the details of the job analysis process before and after it is completed. It is vital that management understand why it is going to be conducted, and the expected out comes. In addition, management must know the importance of the its requirements and how to communicate it efficiently. By meeting with management before and after, both the analyst and management get the opportunity to cover any information that needs clarification and understanding.  

Another ethical issue is created when the job analyst has a biased and unbalanced approach. Many analysts can be arbitrary into the data collected and the job analysis process. It is possible to form an emotion to the case and develop a preconceived perception (Anderson et.al, n.d).  It is essential to carry out the job analysis fairly and with good influence as this is vital to gain genuine and real data. To avoid such biases, it is necessary to gather detailed information of any changes in the work environment (ex.metrics and policies) and the politics of the organization.  They are important to understand in the job analysis process as they may affect the decision making.

The process for the entire job analysis should take no more than four weeks from the time of the referral to the time the report goes out. Any prolonged processes may produce a decline in productivity and unwanted additional costs. If the analysis determines the position should be combined into one, then the additional salaries of the unneeded position is an added cost. If the analysis determines there is a need for both but with restructure, then the training and other introductory methods must begin to start the jobs efficiency.

The recommended process serves as a systematic and formal procedure to attain precise data and make an accurate and effective job description. A job analysis is an integral part of the job description and is especially effective when working to restructure or create a job position.  It is vital to take the time to study the organization, gather reliable and accurate data, and implement it into a strong job description. Moreover, the final output should be communicated clearly to all management for they are the ones who make the employees aware of the job requirements and needs. Overall, the job analysis is a fundamental component of HR and necessary to the success of the job positions placement and output.

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