Jun 11, 2019 in Management

The Efficacy of the Process of Job Analysis in a Company

Introduction

Over the years, US corporations have faced the challenge of mounting competition for talent. This problem has necessitated the adoption and implementation of far reaching changes to the procedures of job analysis, with the intent of making the company highly competitive, and in so doing minimizing employee turnover and controlling costs. According to Gatewood, Field, and Barrick, job analysis lays the foundation of the efficacy of any HR selection system (50). In cases where the job analysis is deficient, erroneous, or simply disregarded, the company’s section and compensation policy may qualify as nothing more than game of chance in which all stakeholders (employer and employee) lose. The paper explores the effectiveness of job analysis in directing other HR functions. The process of job analysis acts a precursor to other HR functions such as job description, evaluation, and compensation programs and, ultimately, wage and salary administration. 

Definition of the Topic

Job analysis represents an in-depth study of a job and represents the first step during writing or rewriting job descriptions. Job analysis details the organized collection, evaluation, documentation, and reporting of job-centered data, with a view of making judgments and highlighting the key skills and knowledge needed for the job. 

Background of the topic

The construct of job analysis and compensatory practices within the wider HR components has grown in both scope and applications. The two components have been crucial to be applied in one form or another since ancient times. Both concepts have featured in the managerial literature since the early 20th century. In 1911, Frederick Taylor mentioned job analysis as the first of the four principles of scientific management. Taylor’s job analysis systems examined the efficiency gains derived from staffing, motivation, and instruction of employees. The process of job analysis typically comprises four elements: (a) job identification; (b) delineation of the roles, work environment, and responsibilities; (c) demarcation of the academic qualifications; and (d) development of job descriptions and specifications. Job analysis shapes other HR functions including job description and specification as well as performance standards (DeCenzo, Robbins, and Verhulst 252). 

Application of the Topic

The core objectives of conducting a job analysis process center on utilizing the resultant information to generate the proper fit between job and employee as well as appraising the performance of an employee. The process of job analysis helps in HR planning, informs criteria for making staffing decisions, highlights the need for training, and shapes the basis for performance appraisal (Hitt, Duane, and Hoskisson 310; Larcker and Tayan 12). 

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Case Study on Google and Walmart’s Job Analysis Procedures

Google

Google places a lot of value in the process of job analysis. The job analysis procedures at Google have largely shaped the strategic direction of the companies. The companies employ a hybrid of employee-centered job analysis methods and work-based job analysis. The HR managers place a lot of emphasis on employee-related attributes such as ability to lead, creativity and curiosity, extent to which the employee fits culturally to the company, and ability of the employee to perform the job effectively. Hence, in a significant way, Google’s organizational design fosters and optimizes HRM activities, especially in the process of job analysis and design. Some of the approaches employed by Google in the process of job analysis include observation, diary, interview, questionnaire, critical incident, and checklist. Job analysis procedures have been pivotal in strengthening the company’s bottom line by ensuring the right fit for employees. 

Google has revolutionized how the management teams attract, recruit, develop, and reward employees. Google recognizes the significance of transparency, regular performance reviews, goal setting, and a limited hierarchical work structure in empowering employees to perform to their best (Geier). Google employs research, data, and analytical insights to structure its HR processes. The information gathered from the analysis is utilized in streamlining, company-oriented approaches sound enough to be employed to create valid job content requirements (Geier). 

Walmart

Over the years, Walmart has grown to gain a foothold in the US retain sector partly owing to the company’s low-price, high-volume business model. These gains have been achieved through aggressive implementation of the supply chain efficiencies, as well as competitive compensation practices. Walmart’s HRM has been crucial in shaping the success of the company. The retain service company has successfully offered goods in an efficient and convenient way for shoppers. Walmart’s HR policies have been pivotal in determining the company’s business output, as well as maximizing employee performance, which correlates with maximization of capacity for sales (Thompson). Walmart uses job analysis to model job descriptions and specifications. The sound job analysis process directs how Walmart preserves employee engagement and maintains over 2 million customer base through the provision of adequate services to an ever-growing customer base. 

Job design and analysis are effectively implemented in Walmart’s HRM via the company’s organizational structure that adopts a hierarchical functional structure. Similarly, Walmart has implemented highly specific definitions for various positions, which eliminates uncertainty in the job analysis (Thompson). Some of the approaches employed in the job analysis include work-based and employee-based job analysis. The objective of this approach is to give information on tasks and outcomes. Interviews are carried out to appraise the jobs, which helps Walmart’s management to determine job outcomes. In addition, the employee-based job analysis gives information on interpersonal, perceptual, and cognitive capabilities of the employees, which helps the company to fill managerial positions. The work Profiling System plays a significant role in establishing the capabilities of employees (Thompson). 

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Job Analysis

Job analysis holds great potential in the delivery of organizational strategic goals, reinforcing organizational norms, and motivating performance. Job analysis is central to the provision of first-hand job-based information, which is critical to the creation of the right job-employee fit. The process of job analysis can provide “front end analysis” to respond to the problem of most efficiently organizing jobs, which in turn reinforces the process of performance appraisal. In addition, job analysis forms the basis of enhancing inefficient processes, as well as planning training required to instruct new employees in existing processes or existing employees in enhanced processes (Gatewood, Field, and Barrick 50). Job analysis also forms the basis of developing realistic criteria to appraise employees’ performance and guarantee suitable and equitable compensation.

Some of the weaknesses of the process of job analysis include the fact that it is time consuming and may invite personal prejudices, Furthermore, the source of data informing the analysis may be extremely small, which demands a lot of effort to accomplish the task effectively. Lastly, job analysis may not adequately cover all of employee’s capabilities such as mental abilities, which cannot be observed directly. 

Regulations, Ethics and Social Responsibility

The process of job analysis involve an in-depth study of what employees do on the job, what competencies are required to perform the job, what resources are utilized in the job performance, and the conditions under which the job is performed. Job analysis sits at the heart of all human resource practices since it helps to establish the proper fit between job and employee.

Coverage of the Process of Job Analysis by the US Regulations

The US Federal regulations demand that every employment practice be grounded in job analysis in order to highlight the core duties and responsibilities, the skills, abilities, and knowledge required to perform the job, and the factors pertinent to the appraisal of the candidates. Job analysis acts as a legal safeguard since it can be employed to defend against legal actions challenging how an entity selects and evaluated employees, especially on matters relating to discrimination,   equal pay, and treatment of people with disabilities. In doing so, managers must demonstrate that their selection criteria are job-based flowing from job analysis information (Ferguson and Reio 471). 

The bulk of the legal issues enveloping job analysis relate to the use of systematic approaches in the development and implementation of a selection program. Court cases relating to employment discrimination during the selection process have underscored the importance of job analysis. Indeed, job analysis has been critical to the adoption of the uniform guidelines underpinning employee selection procedures, as well as litigation detailing discrimination during selection (Gatewood, Field, and Barrick 51).  Antidiscrimination laws such The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have impacted on the process of job analysis by making it incumbent upon employers to separate essential job functions from marginal job functions. 

Ethical and Social Responsibility Aspects linked to Job analysis

Job analysis also plays a fundamental role in the recruitment, determination of salary structure, creation of employee’s job objectives and goals, as well as undertaking of performance reviews. Hence, the process of job analysis should be fair, equitable, and above board to ensure that no employee is victimized or denied legitimate opportunities such as promotion and career growth. The ethics related issues that arise when conducting job analysis relate to concerns on objectivity vis a vis subjectivity of the process, especially the effect of human judgment on the process. Job analysis plays a fundamental role in the setting of the salary structure. As such, it is pertinent to possess indiscriminative, written job descriptions that accurately capture and mirror the employee’s present job responsibilities and roles. 

Corporate culture should remain a core driver of the process of job analysis. Since it makes sense to link job analysis and other HR functions such as compensation to the financial performance of their companies, it is equally important to appraise HR functions in comparison to other corporate performance factors such as environmental and social performance. Job analysis should make a difference in the delivery of sustainable growth for the company, which is a gain for all stakeholders. 

Findings and Recommendations to Management

The process of job analysis helps in HR planning, informs criteria for making staffing decisions, highlights the need for training, and shapes the basis for performance appraisal. 

Company managers are occasionally faced by the problem of determining the number and type of employees needed in the enterprise. The challenge relates to securing and holding the proper type and number of manpower for every job in diverse departments of the organization. Managers are expected to fulfill efficiently and effectively the company’s requirements tied to attraction, selection, performance, commitment, and retention of employees. The significance of job analysis is closely connected to the potential of filling a position with the most qualified candidate. 

Managers should regularly audit the job descriptions, accompanied by compensation study, so as to ensure that the positions align with company’s objectives. Job analysis helps managers to preserve the right quality of employees, appraise their performance or practical standards, appraise their training and development needs and enhance the employee productivity.

The legal standards highlighted in the regulations detail that job analysis is compulsory and ought to be for the job for which the selection procedures are employed. Furthermore, the regulations stipulate that the job analysis must be in writing and those analyzing the jobs must elucidate, in detail, the procedures employed in the job analysis. The job analysts are expected to collect data from topical sources and the sample size of the people serving as subject matter experts ought to be representative and large. The most pertinent tasks ought to be presented within the selection procedures and specification should be offered for competency levels of work performance.  

Steps that Managers must take to create Effective Job Analysis Process and Ensure that the Goals and Desired Results are achieved

Company managers must critically review their job analysis procedures to ensure that they adapt to the shifting market environment (Mathis and Jackson 418). Managers can implement several steps when undertaking job analysis. Managers must first establish the desired role of the job analysis, and select the position or job to be analyzed. In addition, managers must gather the job-based information, and validate the accuracy of the information. Lastly, managers must document the job analysis by writing down a job description. Since job analysis can be employed for diverse purposes such as performance appraisal or determination of the training needs, it is pertinent to establish the desired uses of the process. For instance, if the job analysis is meant for highlighting the training needs, the information gathered will dwell on skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to perform a job (Catano 144).  

Managers should recognize that jobs differ in their obsolescence and stability of their content. As such, it is necessary that managers undertake a job analysis frequently so as to cater for the swift changes observed in the job. Furthermore, managers should make the attempt to gather the desired information only within the company’s budget constraints. As such, managers should employ only the most suitable techniques in the job analysis. The job analysis should be both robust and agile in the sense that managers should make attempts to request incumbents or line managers to highlight how accurately the job-based information mirror the job under review. Ultimately, managers should document the job analysis information within a job description, which sums up the pertinent duties and responsibilities involved in a job coupled with the essential skills, abilities, and knowledge. 

What Managers should not do

The success or failure of the job analysis depends on the frequency and content of the process premised on the notion that all jobs must be appraised to establish the extent to which employees fit in their jobs. Managers should not fall into the trap of defining employee roles and responsibilities too narrowly (Wright and McMahan 93). The efficacy of job analysis lies on the proper selection, supervision, and training of job analysts. As such, managers should exercise oversight over job analysis to ensure that the process is not delegated to be a mere game of chance. Most importantly, managers should not adopt a process that fails to align with the company’s long-term interests. 

Results of Recommendations

The process of job analysis will provide an organization with the tools to pursue its competitive strategy and deliver its objectives. Most importantly, job analysis enhances the capacity of a company to generate and maintain competitive advantage and confront the problems, opportunities, and threats stemming from diverse social, technological, political, and environmental changes. The process of job analysis is pivotal in shaping knowledge about the job content (Hitt, Duane, and Hoskisson 308). In a broader sense, job analysis should lead to an improvement of productivity by focusing employees on the most appropriate positions. 

Job analysis data has given companies a legal defensibility in the appraisal and selection of employee (Mathis and Jackson 417). Increasingly, managers are pursuing ways to take advantage of the strategic value heralded by job analysis (Lengnick-Hall, Beck, and Lengnick-Hall 243). Since job analysis functions as a precursor to other human resource management (HRM) practices, companies should adherence to job analysis so as to place the right employees in the right positions and the most appropriate time and the least possible cost (Hitt, Duane, and Hoskisson 308). Any failure during the undertaking of job analysis occasioned by incomplete or inaccurate job analysis may yield to a flawed job description and specification. 

Conclusion

The process of job analysis established the duties and responsibilities: the skills, knowledge, abilities, and experience needed for the job performance. Job analysis plays a central role in improving organizational performance by establishing the proper fit between an employee’s skills, knowledge, and abilities and the job requirements. Job analysis should incorporate diverse information collection approaches to guarantee that the analysis is carried out with a high degree of efficiency. Job analysis forms the basis of developing and documenting the competencies needed to perform the job effectively. The information derived from job analysis informs job requirements, and provide the basis for setting of grade levels and training needs. Similarly, job analysis plays a fundamental role during legal defending of employee evaluation and selection procedures. 

Job analysis can be considered as the foundation of all evaluation and selection decisions. Hence, US corporations must persistently track, appraise, and convey their job analysis procedures to guarantee that the programs deliver best results. Companies should implement a hybrid of employee-centered and work-based job analysis procedures in the light of the present environment where job requirements shift with relative frequency. Managers should perceive job analysis as an opportunity to effect a meaningful culture change. Managers must have a frank, honest dialogue with their employees on the shortfalls, accomplishments, and competency gaps that manifest during the process of job analysis. Managers should conduct regular job analysis to capture the shifts registered in work processes, HR practices, and marketplace. During the implementation of job analysis, managers must take into account aspects such as organizational needs, and the resources needed in terms of money, time and effort. To some extent, computer-based systems can help manager navigate some of the pitfalls associated with job analysis by quickening the process and rendering the activity cost effective. 

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