Job Analysis

Editor's Note: Job analysis is a key process for gathering and analyzing information about jobs that aims to assist HR specialists.

David B. WeisenfeldOverview: A good job analysis measures the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform a particular job. In doing so, it collects information about a host of areas of importance to supervisors, HR specialists and others, including:

  • Job design (including duties and responsibilities);
  • Job specification or qualifications;
  • Performance evaluation;
  • Setting compensation; and
  • Organizational design.

Being able to define the essential functions of a particular position is a notable aspect of job analysis. 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 job functions that are not essential could lead to liability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other antidiscrimination laws.

The ability to accurately assess an employer's market pay competitiveness is another part of job analysis. Consistency is crucial as well. This is true both with internal pay equity as well as external competitiveness in terms of recruiting job candidates.

For instance, applying a lower or higher pay grade to a new position that effectively has the same essential job functions as an existing job may run afoul of the law without a justifiable business necessity for the disparate grading. One reason that would qualify as such a necessity would be a change in labor market conditions.

To obtain the best results with a job analysis, an employer would do well to obtain feedback from as many job holders and supervisors as possible.

Author: David B. Weisenfeld, JD, Legal Editor

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