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    A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Conducting Job Analysis


    “Clearly defined job roles will eliminate any kind of dilemma. It will help an employee better understand what they are supposed to achieve as a part of their job description.” ― Pooja Agnihotri.

    Job analysis is the process of gathering, analyzing, and documenting information about a particular job within an organization. It provides an understanding of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job successfully. By following this step-by-step guide, owners and managers can better understand why formal job analysis is essential and how to conduct one to ensure that all positions within your organization are adequately staffed with qualified employees.

    What is a job analysis?

    Job analysis is gathering relevant information about various aspects of a job. It includes identifying the tasks required to perform the job safely and efficiently. The analysis component entails systematically defining a role, context, conditions, activities, performance standards, and responsibilities needed to do the job. 

    Why Conduct a Job Analysis?

    Job analysis assists decision-makers in hiring the right candidates, evaluate employee performance, and identify training and development needs. It also helps in job design to improve productivity and job satisfaction, and ensures fair compensation based on similar duties.

    When is a Job Analysis Necessary?

    Job analysis is typically required in several situations, including:

    • Conducting a job analysis helps identify responsibilities and tasks associated with a new role.
    • Implementing a job analysis helps new employees to understand job requirements and find suitable candidates. 
    • Redesigning jobs based on job analysis can improve workflow.

    Job Analysis & Human Resources Management

    Job analysis is necessary for various HR, and managerial functions including workforce planning, recruitment and selection, training and development, job evaluation, health and safety measures, promotions, performance appraisal, and employment guidance. Conducting a job analysis clarifies job requirements, aids in effective workforce management, and ensures compliance with employment laws and regulations.

    Six-Step Job Analysis

    The following is an example of a step-by-step process for completing a formal job analysis; they include: 

    I) Determine the Purpose

    Determine the purpose for conducting job analysis, which should be linked to organizational success and strategic plans. Reasons for conducting job analysis may include job dynamics, technological changes, growth, turnover, or low job satisfaction. 

    II) Identify Jobs Requiring Analysis

    Identify the jobs to be analyzed based on the purpose identified. Consider departments with high turnover or significant changes, or select a statistical sample when many employees hold the same job. 

    III) Compile and Review Job Data

    Review relevant background data, such as current job descriptions, organizational charts, and workflow analysis, to gather basic information and understand job responsibilities and the work process. 

    IV) Develop a Plan of Action

    Plan and execute the job analysis project by determining data-gathering methodologies, creating an action plan, and establishing project activities and milestones. 

    V) Execute the Plan

    Collect data using observation, time and motion studies, work sampling, critical incidents, employee logs, interviews, and questionnaires/checklists. Combining multiple methods will yield better results. 

    VI) Write the Job Description

    Write the job description and specifications based on the collected and analyzed data. Ensure the job explanations are logical, concise, and specific, using action verbs to describe essential functions and duties. Review the documents with a sample of employees and managers for feedback and final approvals. 

    Side note: Regularly review job descriptions and specifications ensures accuracy, and revisions.

    The Dos & Don’t When Conducting Job Analysis


    1. Gather information through direct observation and questionnaires/interviews with qualified incumbents.
    2. Use job analysis to identify the knowledge, skills, and expertise required for effective job performance.
    3. Utilize job analysis to establish criteria for selection, promotions, training, and development programs.
    4. Develop performance standards based on a job analysis to measure employee performance.
    5. Use job analysis data to assist with compensation decisions, including establishing internal equity and determining the relative worth of different jobs.


    1. Don’t confuse job analysis with job evaluation; they are separate activities.
    2. Don’t solely rely on one method for job analysis; utilize a combination of techniques for comprehensive results.
    3. Don’t neglect grouping jobs with related functions to identify job families and clarify related work tasks.
    4. Don’t overlook the importance of job analysis in workforce planning, performance management, and career development.
    5. Don’t disregard the use of job analysis data for selection assessments and developing job-oriented assessments that measure critical tasks and KSAs. 

    “Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.” – Anne M. Mulcahy, Former CEO, Xerox.

    Job analysis is vital for organizations to understand job requirements and ensure a qualified workforce. It clarifies a job’s tasks, responsibilities, and performance standards, aiding in effective workforce management. Conducting a job analysis supports various HR functions, including recruitment, training, promotions, and compliance with employment laws. By following the six-step job analysis process, owners and managers can gather and analyze job data, develop accurate job descriptions, and periodically review them for accuracy. This ensures that all positions within the organization are adequately staffed and aligned with organizational success.

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