Job analysis and hiring the right people for your business

people meeting
When undertaking job analysis, you need to identify the job tasks and activities required to perform the role successfully, as well as taking into account the resources (financial equipment etc.) and outcomes of the combined job functions i.e. the products and services.

Job analysis will help you determine what the real requirements of a position holder are and help you feel more knowledgeable about what experience, skills, qualifications and abilities the ‘right’ person to fill your vacancy should have.

Step 1: Ask yourself what you expect your new employee to do on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis; and focus on whether these expectations will help you achieve your strategic business goals.

Step 2: Identify the tasks and responsibilities that will need to be performed to ensure that your new employee can meet your expectations and accomplish your desired outcomes.

Step 3: Once you think you know what your new employee will need to do, you then need to consider the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) necessary to successfully complete the tasks and responsibilities of the position.

Knowledge – information attained through education and experience
Skills – techniques learned and practiced to ensure competency when completing specific tasks
Abilities – inherent characteristics that an individual displays through their behaviours

Step 4: Ask for the views of ‘subject matter experts’- people who hold similar/same jobs and line managers are typically included in your group of job experts. Is there anything in terms of functions, experience or skills that they would expect the ideal job holder to do or possess?

Step 5: Consider whether there are likely to be any differences between the job to be filled now and the same job in the future. If you’re going to be implementing new procedures, new software, new products, etc., you may need to take the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform those tasks too.

At the end of these steps you should be in a position to create a job description for the role and a person specification for the ideal job holder. Don’t forget though, this is your ‘ideal’ – ask yourself (and maybe a select few of your experts) if your expectations are realistic. Can any one person do all the tasks and have all the skills you’ve listed?

Thorough job analysis will prove beneficial when creating a targeted job advert – helping to increase your chances of attracting applicants that would be suited to your role.

Focusing on the job analysis details when screening candidates also helps you to manage the resumes and draw up a shortlist.

Developing a short list based on your job analysis will help ensure that you are only interviewing candidates that could ‘on paper’ do the role.

When interviewing, the experience, knowledge, skills and abilities will form the base of your interview questions; again it is your job analysis process that will have helped you determine what these are. By asking all the candidates the same questions, you can be confident that you are comparing “apples with apples” when you make your hiring decision.

Once the hiring decision is made, share the job description you’ve made with your new employee, and then regularly refer to it when doing performance reviews. This ensures your employee knows exactly what you expect of them – the tasks and responsibilities required of them in the role, and the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary to successfully achieve their objectives.

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