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Job Analysis - Job Description and Job Specification

Job analysis is primary tool in personnel management. In this method, a personnel manager
tries to gather, synthesize and implement the information available regarding the
workforce in the concern. A personnel manager has to undertake job analysis so as to put
right man on right job.

There are two outcomes of job analysis :

Job description
Job specification

The information collected under job analysis is :

 Nature of jobs required in a concern.

 Nature/ size of organizational structure.
 Type of people required to fit that structure.
 The relationship of the job with other jobs in the concern.
 Kind of qualifications and academic background required for jobs.
 Provision of physical condition to support the activities of the concern. For example-
separate cabins for managers, special cabins for the supervisors, healthy condition
for workers, adequate store room for store keeper.

Advantages of Job Analysis

 Job analysis helps the personnel manager at the time of recruitment and selection of
right man on right job.
 It helps him to understand extent and scope of training required in that field.
 It helps in evaluating the job in which the worth of the job has to be evaluated.
 In those instances where smooth work force is required in concern.
 When he has to avoid overlapping of authority- responsibility relationship so that
distortion in chain of command doesn’t exist.
 It also helps to chalk out the compensation plans for the employees.
 It also helps the personnel manager to undertake performance appraisal effectively
in a concern.

A personnel manger carries analysis in two ways :

 Job description
 Job specification
JOB DESCRIPTION is an organized factual statement of job contents in the form of duties
and responsibilities of a specific job. The preparation of job description is very important
before a vacancy is advertised. It tells in brief the nature and type of job. This type of
document is descriptive in nature and it constitutes all those facts which are related to a
job such as :

Title/ Designation of job and location in the concern.

The nature of duties and operations to be performed in that job.
The nature of authority- responsibility relationships.
Necessary qualifications that are required for job.
Relationship of that job with other jobs in a concern.
The provision of physical and working condition or the work environment required in
performance of that job.
Advantages of Job Description
It helps the supervisors in assigning work to the subordinates so that he can guide and
monitor their performances.
It helps in recruitment and selection procedures.
It assists in manpower planning.
It is also helpful in performance appraisal.
It is helpful in job evaluation in order to decide about rate of remuneration for a specific
It also helps in chalking out training and development programmes.

JOB SPECIFICATION is a statement, which tells us minimum acceptable human qualities

which helps to perform a job. Job specification translates the job description into human
qualifications so that a job can be performed in a better manner. Job specification helps in
hiring an appropriate person for an appropriate position. The contents are :
Job title and designation
Educational qualifications for that title
Physical and other related attributes
Physique and mental health
Special attributes and abilities
Maturity and dependability
Relationship of that job with other jobs in a concern.
Advantages of Job Specification
It is helpful in preliminary screening in the selection procedure.
It helps in giving due justification to each job.
It also helps in designing training and development programmes.
It helps the supervisors for counseling and monitoring performance of employees.
It helps in job evaluation.
It helps the management to take decisions regarding promotion, transfers and giving extra
benefits to the employees.
From the above advantages, we can justify the importance of job analysis and it’s related
products. Both job description as well as job specification are important for personnel
manager in personnel management function. Therefore, job analysis is considered to be the
primary tool of personnel management.
Job Descriptions and Specifications

HR uses the job analysis output to develop a job description and job specifications. The job
description summarizes and organizes the information for the organization's job-related
actions. Generally, the job description and specifications are combined but compartmentalized
to enable independent updating as needed. The sections of a job description are outlined

 Identification. The first part of the job description lists the title, reporting relationships,
department, location and the date of the analysis. This section also often includes other
information useful in tracking positions and employees through the human resource
information system (HRIS), such as internal job code, pay grade, exempt or nonexempt
status and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) job classification.
 Job summary. The descriptive summary is a concise statement of the general duties
and responsibilities that make the job unique.
 Duties and responsibilities. This section lists the job's essential duties and
responsibilities using clear, declarative statements in priority order.
 Job specifications. This section identifies both the essential skills and experience and
the nonessential skills and experience (i.e., preferred qualifications) to perform the job,
and includes all information necessary to determine any possible accommodations
under Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. Job specifications are typically
designated as KSAs, education and experience, and physical demands and work
environment, depending on the nature and scope of the job.
 Disclaimers and approval. The disclaimer informs the employee that the job
description is not a contract between the employee and the employer, that the
employer may change the job description or that the employer may request the
employee to perform additional duties. The approval component should include a
section for the signatures of the supervisor and HR professional and the date approved.
The job incumbent should also sign and date the document.

See How To Develop a Job Description and Sample Job Descriptions.

Compensation Decisions

In relation to employee pay practices, job analysis has two critical uses: It establishes
similarities and differences in job content, and it helps determine the internal equity and
relative worth of like jobs. If jobs have equal content, then the pay established for them will
likely be equal. If, on the other hand, job content is perceptibly different, then those
differences, along with the market rates, will become part of the rationale for paying certain
jobs differently.

Selection Assessments

Job analysis information can also be used as a basis for developing employment assessments.
Specifically, assessments are developed to measure the most critical tasks or KSAs resulting
from the job analysis for a given job. Some assessments involve work samples that simulate
job tasks and require candidates to demonstrate that they can perform these tasks effectively.
HR uses job-oriented or task-based job analysis data as a basis for developing these types of
assessments because they focus directly on assessing how well job candidates can perform
critical work tasks. Other assessment methods focus on measuring KSAs that are required to
perform job tasks effectively, such as various mental abilities, physical abilities or personality
traits, depending on the job's requirements. If one were selecting a manager, for example, it
would be important to assess whether candidates could solve complex business problems, be
decisive and communicate effectively. Alternatively, if one were selecting an administrative
assistant, KSAs such as the ability to perform work conscientiously and the ability to perform
work with speed and accuracy would be much more important for identifying capable
candidates. HR uses worker-oriented or KSA-based job analysis data as a basis for developing
assessment methods that focus on a job candidate's underlying abilities to perform important
work tasks.

According to the 2014 SHRM survey, 45 percent of HR professionals have used information
from job analyses for purposes beyond identifying what was required for a job/role, such as
developing interview questions. See Three-Fourths of HR Professionals Use Job Analysis Data
for Recruitment, New SHRM Survey Finds.


O*Net, the Occupational Information Network, is a comprehensive database containing

information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors sponsored by the
U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration through a grant to the
North Carolina Department of Commerce. O*Net covers more than 950 occupations based on
the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) developed by the U.S. government. The
O*Net system supersedes the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT).

HR practitioners may use this source to develop job descriptions and define job-specific
success factors and for other purposes related to training, recruiting and selection. O*Net also
provides extensive links to additional workplace resources. It is a timesaving resource for job
analysis and for others writing job descriptions and specifications. See O*Net Resource Center.


The key objective of these guidelines is to highlight the benefits of Job Analysis, a
structured technique in designing Job Descriptions, Person Specifications, and other
criteria, as a basis for most Human Resource (HR) systems.

What is Job Analysis?

Job Analysis is a systematic procedure for collecting and analysing job information.
In selecting an applicant for a job, the selectors need to know what the job involves:
 ! the key tasks, objectives and responsibilities (Job Description)
 ! the attributes (abilities, experience, personality, etc.) required for successful
performance (Person Specification)
 Not only does this aid in getting the right person for the right job, it also helps
individuals to identify with, and increase their accountability for their role within
the Health and Personal Social Services sector.

Reasons for Using a More Structured Approach

 ! Legislation concerning freedom of information, equal opportunity and fair
selection at work. This has placed a greater emphasis on the need for structured job
analysis techniques which provide accurate information on job content and an
adequate justification for choice of selection criteria.
 ! Getting the right person for the right job. Being certain that you are recruiting
against the correct criteria helps to ensure that the best quality candidates are
selected for the jobs. It also helps you in building a more rounded picture of the
individual at work.
 ! Changes in working practices (e.g. greater accountability, increased flexibility)
 ! Give staff clear messages regarding what constitutes good performance in the job
both in terms of “what” is involved, and “how” it should be done. This leads to an
increased identification with the role, and ultimately greater accountability.

Outcomes from Job Analysis

The outcomes from Job Analysis can be many:
 ! Job Descriptions
 ! Person Specifications
 ! Competencies / Performance Criteria
 ! Interview Questions
 ! Structured Application Forms
The two most common outcomes within Health and Personal Social Services are the Job
Description and Person Specification. Both are described on the pages that follow. Also
described are competencies, as you may wish to go along these lines in the future.



Every job should have its’ own Job Description, explaining exactly what is involved for the
Particular role. A Job Description is intended to give a candidate a clear feel for what they
would be doing should they take up the position.

Structure of the Job Description

A Job Description should be a brief document summarising the tasks involved in doing a
job. Ideally, it should be one / two pages in length. It does not have to include every single
task as it is likely that these will vary over time, however, it should include a list of the
principal responsibilities of the job. Try to limit yourself to the 10 most important
accountabilities. The headings under which a Job Description should be written are:
 ! Job Title / Job Grade
 ! Department
 ! Location
 ! Reporting to
 ! Direct Reports
 ! Job Purpose
 ! Key Responsibilities & Accountabilities
 ! Conditions
It is important that the Job Description succinctly clarifies the key accountabilities so that:
 ! personnel can easily draft the job advertisement
 ! the interview panel can use them in preparing questions
 ! it can be sent to candidates to aid in self-selection, and to aid in CV/interview

A blank Job Description template is provided on the next page, followed by sample
questions which you can ask to get at the key information under each heading. There are
also three sample Job Descriptions for your information.


Job Title / Grade:



Reports to:

Job Purpose:

Key Responsibilities & Accountabilities:

Working Week:


Job Title / Grade
 ! What is the job title?
 ! At what grade is the job positioned?
 ! What is the name of the department?
 ! Where is the job located?
 ! Which hospital?
 ! Which geographic area?
 ! Which Health Board?
Reports to
 ! To whom will the job holder report?
Job Purpose
 ! What is the overall objective of the job?
 ! What is the purpose of the job?
Key Responsibilities & Accountabilities
 ! What are the key responsibilities of the job?
 ! What is entailed in doing the job?
 ! What are the key tasks of the job?
 ! What are the most important aspects of the job?
 ! What will the job holder spend most time doing?
 ! What will the job holder be responsible for doing?
 ! What will the job holder have accountability for?
 ! Will the job holder have managerial responsibilities?
 ! Will the job holder have budgetary responsibilities?

 ! What salary or wage can the job holder expect?
 ! What is the annual remuneration?
Working Week
 ! How many hours a week will the job holder work?
 ! How much overtime will be involved?
 ! Will the job involve shift work?
 ! How much travel is involved in the job?
 ! Around what regions must the job holder travel?
 ! The date on which the Job Description was developed - month and year


Job Title / Grade: Professionally Qualified Social Worker
Department: Child Psychiatric Service
Location: St Johns Hospital, Bray Road, Arklow, Co. Wicklow
Reports to: Team Leader - Child Psychiatric Service, under the general direction
of the Clinical Director
Job Purpose: To ensure the provision of a high standard of child care in line with
regulations and procedures
Key Responsibilities & Accountabilities:
1. Assess and respond to the needs of child and family members
2. To be familiar with and work in accordance with relevant legislation, regulations and
3. To provide counselling for individuals, families and groups
4. To engage in preventative work
5. To link individuals with the services / resources appropriate to their particular needs
to act as an advocate on behalf of those unable to avail of these services
6. To liaise with other services and voluntary groups, such as the Public Health Nursing
service to ensure the provision of an effective all-round service
7. To ensure that the service is delivered to the highest standards
8. To monitor the trends in demands for services - referrals, admissions and discharges
9. To agree and maintain policies and procedures for the admission of patients to homes,
and to co-operate with the management of those services to ensure that patients placed
there receive the best possible care
Remuneration: £xx,xxx - £xx,xxx per annum
Working Week: 39 hours per week
Travel: You will have to travel within the Eastern and North Eastern region
Date: December

Algera MA & Greuter MAM (May 1987). Job Analysis for Personnel Selection. Paper
Delivered at the International Conference on Advances in Selection and Assessment,

Armstrong, M (1993). A Handbook of Personnel Management Practice. Kogan Page.

Gael, S. (ed) (1987). The Job Analysis Handbook for Business: Industry and Government.
John Wiley & Sons.

Ghorpade, J.V. (1988). Job Analysis: A Handbook for the Human Resource Director. Prentice

Kelly, G. (1955). The Psychology of Personal Constructs. Norton, New York.

Mirabile, Richard J. (1990) The Power of Job Analysis Training 27 (4), April.

Pearn, M and Kandola R. (1986) Job Analysis. Institute of Personnel Management, London.

Smith, M and Robertson I. (1986) Systematic Staff Selection. Macmillan, London


A Person Specification should provide information on what the person needs to do the job. In
other words, a statement of the personal attributes required for successful performance in the
job. By personal attributes we mean knowledge, skills, aptitudes and experience - everything
which is necessary for doing the job.
In order to protect against unfair selection, and in line with employment legislation, all the
attributes listed must be specifically related to the job. The Person Specification should also
specify which requirements are essential and which are desirable.
! Essential skills and abilities refer to those things which, without them, the candidate could
not do the job, therefore essential skills / abilities must be fully matched by candidates
! Desirable skills and abilities refer to those which would offer added value if held by

It is important that the Person Specification is:
! objective - should be based on those requirements which are demonstrably relevant to the
! clear and unambiguous
! realistic - the requirements for the job should not be overstated
! measurable - each element should be assessable through the selection procedure
! follows a practice of equal opportunities
! approved and authorised by the appropriate person in the organisation

Structure of the Person Specification

! what educational qualifications are necessary to do the job?
! what additional training / further qualifications should the candidate have undertaken?
! what professional bodies should they be registered with?

! how many years experience must the candidate have? A minimum period may be defined
as the period during which an average person would become familiar with all the
circumstances of the relevant experience

! what type of experience must the candidate have (any specialisms)?

! what locations / departments must the candidate have experienced?
Note: the quality of experience is more important than the duration or location

Organisational Knowledge
! what knowledge does the person need of the level of services provided?
! what knowledge does the person need of the reporting arrangements?
! what knowledge does the person need of the external environment?

Professional Knowledge
! what specific technical / professional / theoretical knowledge does the person need of their
particular subject area?

Core Competencies
! these are the softer attributes related to how the person does the job
! what are the behaviours required for success within the job?
! be specific in listing these, rather than saying “good communicator” - go further and delve
into what you mean by a good communicator - how does this look in practice ? It may mean
“able to present to a number of people in a clear and concise manner”. If you spend time
making sure that this is correct at this stage, it will be easier to gather information on at the
interview stage - it will become measurable

Special Aptitudes
! what additional aptitudes does this person need to be able to perform in order to do the job?
! this will include skills and abilities, such as computer skills for instance. Again be specific,
mention the precise computer packages which are essential / desirable for the job, rather
than having a broad catch-all phrase

! what are the specific requirements of the post to which the person will have to adapt?
! this section may include details on: driving licence, shift work, un-social hours, access to a
car, call-out, proximity, Garda clearance, etc.
A blank Person Specification template is provided on the next page, followed by three sample
Person Specifications for your information.
A work schedule is a list of time periods when an employee is expected to work. These are a critical
element of a job's working conditions as employees may value a schedule that is gainful, predictable,
flexible and fair. The following are common types of work schedule.
Standard Business Day. A requirement to be at work during the standard business hours of a firm such as
9 to 5.
Part Time
A fixed or variable schedule that has less hours than a standard full-time work week. For example, if a
standard work week is 37.5 hours, under 30 hours may be considered part time.
Unpredictable Schedules
A schedule that changes from week to week in an unpredictable fashion. This may disrupt an
employee's quality of life as they are unable to make other commitments. Some jurisdictions have laws
and regulations that require employers to offer a reasonably predictable schedule.

An employee who is required to work core hours with the rest of their hours to be worked according to
the employee's preferences. This may require approval in advance or it may be a flexible arrangement
where an employee can work different hours each day. For example, a firm specifies core hours of 10 to 3
Monday to Friday and employees are free to work the rest of their hours when they want.

Alternate Work Schedule

A broad term for any flexible or non-standard work schedule that is arranged at the request or preference
of the employee.

Compressed Workweek
Working less days but more hours per day. This is typically four extended days each week with an extra
day off.

Shift Work
A schedule that is organized into a variety of shifts in order to meet business needs. For example, a
factory that operates 24 hours a day that schedules employees on two 12-hour shifts each day. This can be
unpopular with employees as it may require working at odd hours.
Rotating Shifts]
A business schedule organized into a variety of shifts that may be continuous 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week or non-continuous with periods where all workers are off. These shifts are "rotated" such that
employees take turns working different shifts. This requires employees to repeatedly adapt to different
schedules such as the transition from working at night to working in the day and vice versa.

Split Shift
Working more than once a day. This may be done due to business needs or at the preference of the
employee. For example, a school bus driver may work 8 to 10 and 3 to 5 each day. Some employees may
ask for this type of arrangement such as a parent who works shorter hours in the day but then catches up
when their kids go to bed. In the case where a split shift is based on business needs, laws and regulations
may apply such as a minimum shift length.

A requirement to be available to work at any time on demand. This is typically compensated beyond the
hours worked as it prevents the employee from having any time that is truly off. It is common to rotate
on-call responsibilities as they are unpopular and burdensome.

Working more than full time hours in a week based on business needs. In some cases, this may be
compensated at a higher rate of pay.
No Schedule
A position with a set of responsibilities, accountabilities and objectivesthat has no set hours. As such, the
employee may work less than full time hours if they find a way to do their work more efficiently. In
practice, this type of arrangement is often reserved for positions with heavy workloads such that a short
work week is unlikely.

John, Spacey. 2018. 12 Types of Work Schedule. Simplicable, June 23.