Overview: Job analysis assists HR professionals and supervisors in a variety of ways including job design, evaluation and setting compensation. In addition, it can be a valuable way to help HR professionals not only in performance management, training and development, but in legal compliance as well.
An especially important aspect of job analysis is being able to define the essential job functions of a particular position. This is a key starting point for an employer's efforts in recruitment, selection, promotion and other types of advancement. The inclusion or overemphasis of nonessential job functions could subject an employer to liability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as other antidiscrimination laws.
Another part of job analysis is the ability to accurately assess an employer's market pay competitiveness. Job analysis also offers internal pay equity among jobs as well as external competitiveness in terms of recruiting candidates.
While job documentation is not required under federal law, it generally is a good practice. This documentation includes regularly reviewing job descriptions and essential job functions, and keeping them current.
Author: David B. Weisenfeld, JD, Legal Editor
Updated to reflect regulations expanding national origin protections, effective July 1, 2018.
Updated to reflect the federal tax reform law's effect on nondisclosure agreements.
Updated to remove December 1, 2016, overtime requirements that will not be implemented or enforced.
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This How To outlines the steps that an employer should take to determine which job tasks are truly essential.
HR guidance on how to gather and appropriately analyze and document job information.