How to Write a Job Analysis and Description

Home » Blog » Business Guides » How to Write a Job Analysis and Description
*This post may contain affiliate links, check out our disclosure for more.

Becoming an entrepreneur is very rarely done by most people on their own. Even with years of overtime and second jobs, we can only get to the point of starting our own business, and the difficulty usually comes after that, so a lot of people are forced to look for people to partner with or to employ. Just make certain you already know what you are seeking out in an employee earlier before you begin your search. The personnel you hire could make or smash your business.

While you’ll be tempted to hire the first person to throw their CV at you to simply get it over with – doing so may be a deadly error and a major disservice to your business. A small business in its startup phase cannot come up with the money to carry along useless, burdensome or unproductive staff. Sooner or later a lot of your company’s deadwood will need to be removed by voluntary redundancy or some other means.

It’s better to get it right the first time wouldn’t you agree? A clever way of going about the process of hiring is by means of taking time to discern out your staffing needs and wishes earlier before you even start seeking out any candidates actively or passively looking for jobs.

A great starting point is having a grasp on the requirements of the job being filled. You need to have a mental picture of the personality of the new hire, in terms of experience and education what level does the job require? To determine these attributes, you need to conduct a job analysis. Use our recommendations here to help you in your search for suitable help.

Job analysis

Recruitment and selection require the foundational processes of job analysis and job design without which your business may not be able to find the right people with right skills to do the necessary tasks for it to be successful. A job analysis is conducted so that the tasks required of job incumbents as well as the Knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSAOs) required for accomplishing those tasks effectively are clearly defined. Conventional job analysis determines the tasks that make up a job, and these tasks form the foundation for a job description.

If you’re having trouble, one good way to get information for a job analysis is by to talking to employees and their supervisors at other companies who are in similar positions. Larger corporations or businesses use task inventory questionnaires or Position Analysis Questionnaires or PAQ for short as a method for conducting job analyses. There are several other methods that are used each requiring different amounts of time, resources, and participation by job experts. The methods are the Critical Incidents Technique, the Job Elements Method, the Task Inventory Approach and Interview Methods. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here, most of these would not be possible for a small business. You need to do a job analysis and design regardless of the size of your business because it will help you determine whether you need a contingent or fulltime employee or whether you could use an independent contractor to fill the position.

Job design

Job design is all about the process of work arrangement (or rearrangement) aimed at reducing or overcoming job dissatisfaction and employee alienation arising from repetitive and mechanistic tasks. In practice there is no ideal job design just like there is no ideal or perfect candidate for the job. There are certain types of changes you can make to boost productivity in potential employees such as combining tasks by letting employees do a variety of tasks thus enabling them to display more of their talent and skills. Another way of fighting monotony is by allowing your employees to establish relationships with clients to bring diversity and give a greater feeling of ownership to them. Another way is the expansion of jobs vertically to increase employee autonomy and establishment of open feedback channels.

Procedure for a typical job analysis

Although there are several ways to conduct a job analysis, the procedure generally includes the following steps:

Step 1

Get the backing of higher management and make certain that all your business partners are on board with the job analysis endeavor. This ensures this analysis is being taken seriously and will be afforded time and resources to be conducted. For a one-person business this step is already taken care of because you call the shots.

Step 2

If you have a few employees under your belt you need to thoroughly convey the purpose of the job analysis to them as they are contributors to the analysis and make sure they are meticulous about completing the task objectively. This ensures the job analysis is promoted within your business and it assuages any fears or concerns employees might have about the security of their own jobs so that they participate in the exercise honestly without fear.

Step 3

Again, this step is more relevant if you have more than one employee. You need to gather the necessary background information and analyze how the job contributes to the execution of your overall business strategy. We need a starting point, so a review of existing company documents is a good starting point (e.g., training manuals, performance reviews, desk audits) to build your analysis upon.

Step 4

Generate the task statements based on step 3. Think of a task as an observable unit of work. The statements should convey amongst other things, the physical working conditions, the physical requirements of the job, the type of knowledge required and so on.

Step 5

Generate the Knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSAOs) which are the attributes needed to perform a job. Examples of knowledge are the ability to be bilingual or knowledge of computer software. In terms of skill try to be specific, clearly state the performance standard i.e., typing 100 words per minute. Ability includes natural talents like sensory abilities, physical strength, flexibility, etc. Anything that does not fit into ‘KSA’ is included in ‘other characteristics’ e.g., personality traits.

Step 6

Structure the job duty and task groupings. This step merely involves grouping similar task statements to reflect a broader job responsibility. Duties are simply tasks that are repeatedly done to fulfil the job. So just combine related tasks to form the duty

Step 7

Link the KSAOs back to the job duties to confirm which KSAOs should be given precedence when it comes to making recruiting and selection decisions.

Step 8

Collect critical incidents to identify the behaviors, competencies, skills, etc that a job incumbent displays when faced with an unsual challenge. This also aids to identify the behaviors that differentiate good from poor job performance. This is done by either imagining an incident or interviewing employees about an incident that happened in the past.

Step 9

Weigh the job duties. In other words which duties are the most or least important?

Step 10

Construct a job requirements matrix (summarizing the information at hand so far).

Step 11

Write the job description and person specification as the final step. The 11th step requires an engaging title, positive information about the company to provide more context, answers why the job is a great opportunity, describes the minimum requirements, reflects company culture, includes a link your company’s careers page if you have one to give more information.

This step can be augmented by letting someone else review it. It’s important to share your business mission, vision, values and culture to ensure a cultural fit. Your mission statement is also a strategic tool that highlights your company’s uniqueness and identity. It sets your business apart from competitors. It gives the world a small taste of the operating plan, it is the unique vehicle through which your business in the vast jungle of the business world articulates its strategic intent to exist, survive or grow. It can also show us how your business relates with stakeholders around it including the wider society.

Your company vision is no small thing either. It gives would be investors or workers an indication of your company’s direction or its intentions in terms of its desired future state in the long term. Since the needs of all stakeholders including you are ever changing, the vision may lose its meaning, motivating and transforming power and become inappropriate after some time. Consequently, a continuous controlling or an analysis of the current needs and opportunities and a corresponding adjustment of your company vision is necessary.

Final Word

For a solopreneur looking to hire his or her first employee some of these steps may seem unnecessary, but keep in mind that they lay the foundation for a human resources personnel policy that will be needed when your business reaches corporate levels. See yourself as the CEO of your own big-name company no matter what stage you are in your entrepreneurship journey. Keeping detailed records and doing the proper things from the moment you hire the first employee makes things much easier when you hire the 100th employee.

Build a job description to hire a great restaurant Manager

A restaurant manager ensures that the restaurant runs smoothly. They hire employees and train them according to company policy.

Read more

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.