What Is A Job Analysis And Why Is It Important?

Being a great place to work starts with your new hires having the right expectations from the word go.

What Is A Job Analysis And Why Is It Important?

Getting ready to make a big hire at your company? Do yourself a favour and start with a thorough job analysis even before you start the recruitment process. After all, if you want your company to be a great place to work, making sure that everyone is on the same page straight off the bat is a good way to go.

There are various reasons why employees leave for greener pastures, but one of the biggest causes of voluntary turnover is unmet expectations. According to recent findings, 48% of employees have left a role because it simply wasn't what they expected it to be. This included expectations regarding job responsibilities, working environment, as well as working hours/shift patterns.

This is why a job analysis is such a vital tool in the modern-day HR arsenal. By definition, it requires members of the recruitment and hiring team to consider what it takes to get a particular job done, how the work needs to be performed, how the person in the role relates to others in their team and/or the enterprise, as well as the tools they need to do it well.

Here are a few important things to bear in mind when conducting a job analysis in 2021 and beyond.

Four Important Things To Bear In Mind When Conducting a Job Analysis

1. The Type of Data You Require

Data For Job Analysis

Start from the surface of things (i.e. the knowledge, skills and abilities required to do the job), and then take a deeper dive into the activities and responsibilities that will form a part of the employee's day to day. This will also include working conditions, interactions with others (clients, co-workers, departments), performance standards, and the tools they need.

How will supervision be delivered and received? What training and development will be provided? How will promotions work and are there growth opportunities in this area of the business in the near future? KPIs and expected business outcomes will also need to be discussed. In short, you need to put yourself in your prospective new recruit's shoes and answer any and all questions they may have.

2. Who Should Be Looking Into It

The simple answer to this question is, of course, the HR team. However, you may very well find that within the scope of a particular business, it could benefit team managers and other roleplayers to be involved in the process. After all, it is a good way to get to grips with the employee experience from a completely different point of view.

On the other hand, over-burdened HR teams could benefit from outside consultants who could manage the process on their behalf. Getting an impartial person or team to take care of the job analysis also has the added benefit that the data gathered will be dealt with in a completely objective manner.

3. Which Data-Gathering Methods Will Be Used

Data Collection Methods

The three most commonly used methods to gather data pertaining to job analysis include interviews, observations and questionnaires:

●   Interviews should be conducted with the people who form a part of the team that the new recruit will slot into upon their induction into your enterprise. This includes managers and co-workers who will work with them on a grassroots level. These folks have a far keener understanding of what is required than those who consider the position from the top down.

●   Observations (i.e. someone sits in on an average day to see how things normally progress) is a way to fill in the gaps that may be left by interviews.

●   Questionnaires are great because they can be distributed throughout an entire business to get 360-degree feedback. It's easy to answer and time-efficient because it can be tailored to include checklists and multiple-choice questions. Plus, if you really need to get honest feedback on certain aspects of the job, it could help if you allowed participants to provide their insights anonymously.

4. How To Put Your Findings to Good Use

Once you have all your data gathered, it’s time to put the findings to good use. A few ways in which a job analysis can benefit your business include improved job designs that allow for boosted performance and a healthy work-life balance, as well as a more effective recruitment and candidate selection.

It can also help you to understand if there are areas of training and development that need to be addressed within a team, and if your compensation rates are adequate for the amount of expertise and/or work involved.

Data Findings


A job analysis provides the basis for your job description. During onboarding interviews, it becomes part of the KPI meeting. For annual reviews, it's a measure of performance. As such, it makes sense to spend sufficient time on this vital aspect of your employment plan even before you start recruiting. It takes a lot of planning and structuring, but the payoffs are definitely worth it.