A purposeful, systematic process for collecting information on the important work-related aspects of a job

Gatewood

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Job Analysis in Human Resource Selection

Chapter 3

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Job Analysis: A Definition and Role in HR Selection

A purposeful, systematic process for collecting information on the important work-related aspects of a job

Some aspects include:

1. Work activities – what a worker does, how, why & when these activities are conducted

2. Tools and equipment used in performing work activities

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Job Analysis: A Definition and Role in HR Selection (2)

Some aspects include: (cont.)

3. Context of the work environment, such as work schedule or physical working conditions

4. Requirements of personnel performing the job, such as knowledge, skills, abilities, personality characteristics, or other specifications (we refer to these various requirements as WRCs)

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Job Analysis: A Definition and Role in HR Selection (3)

Job analysis data help to:

1. Identify employee specifications or WRCs necessary for success on a job

2. Select or develop selectin procedures that assess these important applicant WRCs to forecast those job candidates likely to succeed

3. Develop criteria or standards of job performance that represent employee job success

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Figure 3.1 – Role of Job Analysis in Human Resource Selection

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Job Analysis… – Growth in Job Analysis

In past four decades, employers have given considerable attention to job analysis, because:

Jobs are not static entities; the nature of the job changes with technology, seasons, etc.

Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures have had a significant effect

Professional standards have also emphasized the important role of job analysis in HR Selection Programs

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Job Analysis… – Legal Issues in Job Analysis

Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment because of race, sex, color, religion or national origin

Key Court Cases re Job Analysis:

Griggs v. Duke Power Co., U.S. Supreme Court

Selection standards used without meaningful study of their relationship to job-performance ability

Albermarle Paper Co. v. Moody, U.S. Supreme Ct

Court criticized the lack of a job analysis in a validation study

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Job Analysis… – Legal Issues in Job Analysis (2)

Thompson review of court cases found:

1. Job analysis is mandatory and must be for the job for which selection procedures are used

2. Analysis of the job should be in writing

3. Job Analysts should describe in detail the job analysis procedures used

4. Knowledgeable job analysts should collect job data from a variety of current sources

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Job Analysis… – Legal Issues in Job Analysis (3)

Thompson review of court cases found:

5. Sample size of individuals serving as subject matter experts (SMEs) should be large and representative of the jobs for which the selection procedures are used.

6. Tasks, duties and activities should be included

7. The most important tasks should be represented in the selection procedures

8. Competency levels of work performance for entry-level jobs should be specified

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Job Analysis… – Legal Issues in Job Analysis (4)

Thompson review of court cases found:

9. WRCs including knowledge, skills, and abilities should be specified, particularly if a content validation strategy is used

Federal Guidelines on Employee Selection

Uniform Guidelines agreed to by EEOC, Dept. of Justice , Dept. of Labor, Civil Service Comm.

Many recent cases alleging discriminatory impact because of inferences made during human judgment of job analysis data

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Job Analysis… – Collecting Job Information

The role of job analysis in HR selection is to identify the requisite WRCs, and translate them into tests, interviews, etc.

The process requires judgments of inferences at several points, as shown in Figure 3.2

1. data used to infer employee specifications

2. content of selection procedures that reflect identified specifications

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Figure 3.2 – Points of Inference in the Job Analysis…

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A Survey of Job Analysis Methods

Some methods in frequent use now:

A) Job analysis interviews

B) Job analysis questionnaires (including task analysis inventories)

C) Critical Incidents Technique

D) SME or job expert workshops

Many others

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Job Analysis Interviews

Description

Interview frequently used method of job analysis, meeting many purposes

Consists of trained analyst asking questions about duties and responsibilities, WRCs required, and conditions of employment

Typically involves group or individual interviews with incumbents and supervisors (SMEs – subject matter experts – because of their familiarity with the jobs)

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Job Analysis Interviews (2)

A job analysis interview typically performed for one of these reasons:

1. To collect job information that will serve as the basis for developing other measures, such as a questionnaire

2. To clarify or verify information collected previously through other methods

3. To provide a method, preferably as one of several used, for collecting relevant job data for developing a selection system

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Job Analysis Interviews – Considerations on Applicability

The interview is applicable to a variety of jobs, including those primarily physical or primarily mental

An effective interview requires that it be planned in detail

State the objectives of the interview

Individuals to be interviewed

Questions and means for recording answers

Who will conduct interviews

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Figure 3.3 – Example… Job Analysis Interview Schedule… (1)

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Figure 3.3 – Example… Job Analysis Interview Schedule… (2)

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Job Analysis Interviews – An Example

Interview to identify critical job tasks:

1. What the worker does, by using a specific action verb that introduces the task statement

2. To whom or what he or she does it, by stating the object of the verb

3. What is produced, by expressing the expected output of the action

4. What materials, tools, procedures, or equipment are used

Use description to write task statements

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Table 3.1 – …Interview Content to Develop Task Statement

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Job Analysis Interviews – Limitations…

A lack of standardization

Limited possibilities to interview large numbers of respondents

Time & labor intensive; not cost efficient

Legal requirements may be unmet

Interviewer may have to track through entire job in specific detail; requires skill

Information may be distorted

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Figure 3.5 – Guidelines for …a Job Analysis Interview

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Job Analysis Questionnaires

Description

Questionnaire is distributed to respondents in person, by mail or email, or link to a website

It lists activities or tasks, tools and equipment used to perform the job, working conditions and WRCs incumbents must possess

Participants make some form of judgment about that information, often with a rating

Questionnaires may be tailored or prefabricated

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Job Analysis Questionnaires – The Task Analysis Inventory

A survey that lists tasks on which respondents make some form of judgment

Ratings may include a task rating scale, such as frequency of task performance

Usually concerns only one job

Completed by job incumbents

Supervisors may do so if they have current knowledge about the job

Historically, widely used in military settings

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Job Analysis Questionnaires – The Nature of Task Inventories

A task inventory often contains 3 major types of information:

Background information on respondents

Demographic information helpful for legal questions

Listing of job tasks with rating scales

Other or miscellaneous information

Information on respondents and the employing organization

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Figure 3.6 – A Condensed Example of a Task Analysis Inventory

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Table 3.2 – Summary of Steps…for Developing Task Analysis Inventory

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Figure 3.7 – Example … Identifying Important Job Tasks

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Job Analysis Questionnaires – Advantages & Disadvantages…

Advantages:

Task inventories are an efficient means of collecting data from large numbers, even if geographically dispersed

Lead to quantifying job analysis data, most valuable in determining core requirements

Disadvantages:

Costly, time-consuming; motivation may lag

Respondents must be representative of workforce, or cannot generalize

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Critical Incident Technique

Description

Requires development of behavioral statements developed by supervisors and other SMEs

Based on direct observation or memory, describing incidents of good and poor work behaviors

Statements describe behaviors that distinguish successful from unsuccessful work performance

These components of the job are a basis for developing descriptive information about a job

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Critical Incident Technique – Application of Critical Incidents

The technique serves a variety of selection purposes;

Implementing the method requires:

1. Selecting the method for critical incidents collection

2. Selecting panel of job experts

3. Gathering critical incidents

4. Rating and classifying critical incidents into job dimensions

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Critical Incident Technique – Advantages and Disadvantages…

Advantages:

Information elicited is behavioral, not trait based

Information is “critical,” so represents important aspects of the job

Disadvantages

Incidents don’t represent the full job

Process is labor intensive, and results often situation specific

Doubtful that the information is transferable from one situation to another

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Critical Incident Technique – Integrating a Task Analysis Inventory…

To develop an interview integrating a task analysis inventory and critical incident:

1. Identify important job tasks

2. identify important WRCs

3. Show critical job task and WRC info to SMEs

4. Rewrite the critical incident into a selection interview question

5. develop a key for scoring responses to the interview question

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Figure 3.8 – Use of Critical Incident for Developing ..Question

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Critical Incident Technique – SME Workshops

Description:

Consist of groups or panels of 10-20 job incumbents who work with a group leader to produce a job analysis; to prepare:

1. Select and prepare SMEs

2. Identify and rate job tasks

3. Identify and rate WRCs

4. Judge selection measure, job content relevance

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Table 3.3 – Approximate Numbers of Participants Needed…

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Incorporating Job Analysis Results in Selection Procedures: A Cookbook

How do we take the information collected and develop or choose selection procedures?

Job analysis results determine the relevant WRCs needed for effective performance

These WRCs serve as the basis for constructing or choosing needed selection procedures

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Identifying Employee WRCs

Employers use both direct and indirect methods

Indirect – use specific steps to break down large inferential leaps involved in deriving critical WRCs from job tasks

Direct – require larger inferential leaps because SMEs simply rate the importance of WRCs listed on a survey for an entire job, not each individual task

WRCs are useful only if accurate, complete

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Figure 3.9 – Examples, SME Rating Scales & Screens..Identifying..WRCs (1)

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Figure 3.9 – Examples, SME Rating Scales & Screens..Identifying..WRCs (2)

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Identifying Employee WRCs – Determining Employee WRCs

These sequential steps specify WRCs:

1. Identifying job tasks and work behaviors

2. Rating importance of job tasks & work behaviors

3. Specifying WRCs necessary for successful job performance

4. Rating importance of identified WRCs

5. Linking important WRCs to important job tasks and work behaviors

6. Developing … a selection plan

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Figure 3.10 – Example of a Work Behavior & Associated Task Statement

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Figure 3.11 – Example, Rating Scales Used To Rate a Work Behavior…

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Figure 3.12 – Examples, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Statements…

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Figure 3.13 – Examples, Typical Rating Scales Used in Rating WRCs

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Figure 3.14 – SMEs’ Average Ratings of Abbreviated Job Tasks…

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Figure 3.15 – SMEs’ Average Ratings of Abbreviated WRCs…

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Figure 3.16 – Mean Ratings of WRC Importance Linked to Task …

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Figure 3.17 – Summary of WRC Tabulations for …Content Areas…

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Figure 3.18 – WRC Content Areas Identified for Measurement…

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Identifying Employee WRCs – Determining Relative Importance WRCs

Some WRCs more important than others for job success; to determine which:

SMEs might complete a survey

A questionnaire might list essential WRCs previously identified; respondents assign a relative importance weight from 0 to 100

Simply multiply our WCs’ importance ratings by the task importance ratings for those tasks

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Identifying Employee WRCs – Choosing Selection Procedures…WRCs

An HR decision-maker choosing a selection measure should ask these types of questions:

1. Have job applicants demonstrated past behaviors or had experiences before taking the job that are associated with successful performance of the tasks of the job?

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Identifying Employee WRCs – Choosing Selection Procedures…WRCs

An HR decision-maker should ask: (2)

2. Can job applicants be observed performing the job or part of it? Is there a means for simulating the job in a test situation that is likely to require important behaviors as defined by the job? If so, is there a practical way of measuring simulated work performance?

3. Would a written test be best for examining worker requirements in terms of eliciting desired reactions and providing practical scoring?

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Identifying Employee WRCs – Choosing Selection Procedures…WRCs

An HR decision-maker should ask: (3)

4. Would giving job applicants an opportunity to express themselves orally through an interview cover job requirements that might go unassessed using other means?

5. Can the assessment method produce reliable and valid data for evaluating job applicants’ possession of a WRC?

6. Is it practical and within our resources to use a particular method for measuring a WRC?

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Identifying Employee WRCs – An Example Selection Plan…

When developing employee specifications, research seems to suggest that:

1. A structured, systematic approach should be used to reduce the size of inferential leaps

2. Incumbents can reliably and validly rate the specifications for their position when the specs deal with specific, observable job descriptors

3. Ratings of more abstract traits are improved when raters are properly trained using methods such as frame-of-reference training

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Figure 3.19 – Example, Selection Plan for Job of HR Selection Analyst

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Employee Specs for Jobs About to Change or Yet to be Created

The methods consists of:

1. An analysis of the job is made to identify current tasks and WRCs

2. SMEs (job incumbents, supervisors, managers) are assembled in a workshop to discuss how future issues (technological change)are likely to affect the job

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Employee Specs for Jobs About to Change or Yet to be Created (2)

The methods consists of: (2)

3. Information on expected future tasks and WRCs is collected from those knowledgeable about these expected job changes

4. Differences between present and future judgments about the job are identified to isolate those tasks and WRCs for which the greatest change is anticipated. This task and WRC information serves as the basis for selecting incumbents in a job that does not currently exist

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Conclusion

Robert Guion, commenting on the amount of detail and comprehensiveness of job analysis information required in HR selection said:

The level of detail desired may also be determined by the likelihood of litigation. Prudent personnel researchers attend not only to the best wisdom of their profession but to the realities of the courtroom. In a specific situation, a detailed job analysis may not be necessary technically, but failure to have evidence of an “adequate” job analysis, in the view of the trial judge, may result in an adverse decision in court.

© 2017 Cengage Learning® May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part, except for use as permitted in a license distributed with a certain product or service or otherwise on a password-protected website or school-approved learning management system for classroom use.

 

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