the Role of Job Analysis and Job Descriptions in Recruitment

JOB ANALYSIS AND DESCRIPTION

Introduction

            Job analysis and descriptions form the basis of the subsequent relationship within an employment set up.[1] These tasks are very important for human resources management, particularly during the recruitment process. Their usefulness depends on several factors: How they are planned, who plans them and the manner of their application.[2] Job analysis enhances determination of details of a particular job; duties and job requirements and the particular significance of these duties for a specific job.[3] Job analysis is carried out first and it focuses on various aspects of the job such as the skills and abilities, information required and the job equipment. Job description is a result of the job analysis and it represents the findings of the job analysis; it is a documentation of the job analysis. This essay critically analyzes the role played by these two human resource management tools in the process of recruitment and selection of the human capital. Emphasize will be made on the purpose, methodology and the importance for these tools in recruitment selection.[4] In order to satisfactorily develop these concepts the essay will seek to justify the following statement: ‘Human resource management decisions on human capital are dictated by the results of the job analysis and job description throughout the recruitment process and the entire life of the employee in that organization’.

Role of Job Analysis and Descriptions in Recruitment selection

Results or data obtained from job analysis can be used for various purposes in a company. As mentioned earlier, job analysis investigates into all the tasks involved in a particular job such as the relevant skills, equipment among others. This information enables the human resource management to determine whether there is new training required for the manpower in that job. A decision can categorically be made whether there is hiring required and whether the new hire need to be trained for that job.[5]

Job analysis results can be used by the human resource management to design the compensation for different kinds of job. This is based on the level of skills established for the particular job, the responsibilities, the working environment and the compensable factors of the job. The hazards associated with the job are assessed and the appropriate compensation can be determined.

Job analysis aims at establishment of the process of selection for particular job. The information obtained in job analysis can be used to develop: the tasks or duties to be described in the advertisement, the applicant’s minimum qualifications in terms of education and experience, the satisfactorily salary for the specific job, the interview questions and the relevant tests to the candidates by the selection panel, the appraisal forms and materials required for the orientation of the new employees.[6] Therefore the decisions during the selection process are depended on the job analysis and description.

Performance review is another purpose of carrying out a job analysis. In this subject the information obtained can be used to develop several performance factors. The standards of performance required for a specific job which will guide the input and effort of the new hire throughout the life in the organization. The HR professionals are also able to determine the goals for a particular job in the corporation; these act as the guiding principles of the employee throughout the working life. Evaluation criteria or gauge for performance can be developed based on the job analysis results.[7]

After job analysis, the findings are described in a document through writing. The description includes: job identification (position title, scale, title of the supervisor), Supervisory responsibilities, and summary about the position (less than five sentence description of the job), functions of the position, specifications (education qualifications and experience) and the job description approval by the HR manager.[8] These results are used by the management to develop an advertisement for a vacant position. The contents of job description, per se, are the prior indication to the applicant on the expectations at the place of work. It is these descriptions which define the working boundaries of the employee and the management can only question the employee within these boundaries.[9]

There are several methods of carrying out job analysis which can be classified into four broad categories: [10]Interviews, Observation, survey or questionnaires and focus group. Observation method enables the analyst to acquire firsthand information by cautiously observing the performer at the vicinity of job. However, this methodology can not provide the full information about the job, in fact only one aspect of analysis is possible; task. Focus group involves brainstorming in which a group of employees in a particular group assemble to ‘focus’ on the tasks and duties of the job in order to develop a list of the tasks involved in that job. This method is efficient as it saves the analyst a considerable amount of time. Interview involves designing structured questions to enable the job analyst obtain information from the persons in that job. The best form of this method is face to face although it is dependent on the memory of the person. Finally, questionnaires are written questions directed to the personnel in the job in which they are expected to answer in writing just like a normal examination exercise.

The process of job analysis has several challenges like any other management process. Determination of the appropriate methodology to adopt for a particular job is a great challenge to analysts. Although there are several studies on HR development, very little on this subject has been done. There is no established guide on the determination of the method of job analysis; it is just empirical. Information obtained by the analyst mutually depends on the personnel in that job. A challenge arises when some of them fail to cooperate for accurate and unbiased information delivery. Other barriers may include insufficient skills of the analyst, frail support by the senior management, difficulties posed by larger units of jobs and poor planning of the process.[11]

Job description is a useful tool to the HR for both selection and recruitment processes. It is the information of the job description which makes the content of advertisement. Advertisement is one of the processes of recruitment which act as an offer to the ideal candidates for the position. The applicants make their decisions based on the information presented by the advert. Secondly, accurate job descriptions enable the HR to receive the applications from the most qualified persons from which they are able to recruit the best hence improving the efficiency of the process. Finally, accurate job descriptions reduce the probation cost to the HR in the recruitment process. This is because clear description of the job provides the applicant with prior information about the company and particular details of the job. The hired person will therefore take shorter time and minimum resources in training.

In order to enjoy the advantages of these tools in the recruitment process, job analysis should be carried out by qualified persons with extensive know how of the particular job.[12] The personnel of the job should be allowed to criticize the results of the analysis. Job descriptions should be accurately done to ensure the up to date information about the tasks involved is included.[13] The person writing the description should have an exemplary writing knowledge to ensure the intention of the description is conveyed without any alterations.[14]The efficiency of the analysis and job description in the recruitment and selection process can be evaluated based on the above factors; as long as the process of analysis and job description is kept to standard, the selection process can be said to be effective.[15]

Conclusion

            The content of the job description is what triggers the ideal candidate to apply for the job. The employee-management post recruitment relationship is entirely governed by this information. It is therefore justified that ‘Human resource management decisions on human capital are dictated by the results of the job analysis and job description throughout the recruitment process and the entire life of the employee in that organization’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bogardus, Anne. PHR/SPHR Professional in Human Resources Certification Study Guide.            Wiley Publishers, 2009.

Finkelman, Jay. “The need for consistency to avoid the perception of Impropriety in Recruitment”,          The Psychological Journal of Management13, no. 2 (2010): 111-134.

Franklin, Maren. A guide to Job Analysis: Measurement & Evaluation.  ASTD Publishers   LTD, 2005.

HR Guide to the Internet: “Job Analysis: Overview”, http://www.job-analysis.net/G000.htm

Maeve, Q. “Job evaluation as institutional myth”, Journal of Management Studies 30, no.2            (1993):225-245.

Michael, Esposito. “There is more Writing Job Descriptions than Complying with the ADA”,        Employment Relations Today 19, no. 3 (1992): 267-276.

Pavur, Edward Jr. “Use Job Descriptions to Support Leadership”, The Psychological Journal        of Management 12, no. 2 (2010): 119-147.

Smith, Elizabeth. The Productivity Manual: Methods and Activities for Involving Employees           in Productivity Improvement. Gulf Professional Publishing Company, 1995.

 



[1] Anne Bogardus, PHR/SPHR Professional in Human Resources Certification Study Guide (Wiley Publishers, 2009), 58.

[2] Elizabeth A. Smith, The Productivity Manual: Methods and Activities for Involving Employees in Productivity Improvement (Gulf Professional Publishing Company, 1995), 67.

[3] HR Guide to the Internet: ‘Job Analysis: Overview’, http://www.job-analysis.net/G000.htm

[4] Edward J Pavur Jr. “Use Job Descriptions to Support Leadership”, The Psychological Journal of Management 12, no. 2 (2010): 119.

[5] Maren Franklin, A guide to Job Analysis (ASTD Publishers LTD, 2005), 1.

[6] HR Guide to the Internet: ‘Job Analysis: Overview’, http://www.job-analysis.net/G000.htm (accessed February 16, 2011)

[7] Elizabeth A. Smith, The Productivity Manual: Methods and Activities for Involving Employees in Productivity Improvement (Gulf Professional Publishing Company, 1995), 68

[8] Anne Bogardus, PHR/SPHR Professional in Human Resources Certification Study Guide (Wiley Publishers, 2009), 63.

[9] Esposito Michael, “There is more Writing Job Descriptions than Complying with the ADA”, Employment Relations Today 19, no. 3 (1992): 271.

[10] Maren Franklin, A guide to Job Analysis (ASTD Publishers LTD, 2005), 2.

[11] HR Guide to the Internet: ‘Job Analysis: Overview’, http://www.job-analysis.net/G000.htm (accessed February 16, 2011)

[12] Elizabeth A. Smith, The Productivity Manual: Methods and Activities for Involving Employees in Productivity Improvement (Gulf Professional Publishing Company, 1995), 68, 69.

[13] Esposito Michael, “There is more Writing Job Descriptions than Complying with the ADA”, Employment Relations Today 19, no. 3 (1992): 273.

[14] Q  Maeve, “Job evaluation as institutional myth”, Journal of Management Studies 30, no.2 (1993):245.

[15]Jay Finkelman, “The need for consistency to avoid the perception of Impropriety in Recruitment”, The Psychological Journal of Management 13, no. 2 (2010): 132.

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