Explore BrainMass

Job Analysis, Job Descriptions and Job Specifications

26 Pages | 5,318 Words
Beth Bertelsen, MBA (#108863)

This book describes how to perform Job Analyses, and how to write Job Descriptions and Job Specifications. Human Resource professionals and other business managers need to perform Job Analyses and write Job Descriptions and Job Specifications in order to successfully recruit the best professionals to their company. Professionals who can write effective Job Descriptions and Job Specifications will have an edge over their competitors, as writing effective documents will increase their chances of attracting the best people for the job. These documents are also integral to compensation decisions, developing performance appraisals, and helping to determine training needs.

After you read this book, you will know how to plan for and structure a Job Analysis, including how to perform a successful interview, specific questions to ask during the interview, and other methods of observation and information-gathering, followed by writing a comprehensive report of your findings.

The book also covers how to write a Job Description, which follows from the information gathered in the Job Analysis. You will learn how to synthesize data from the Job Analysis to formulate concise statements about the company s requirements for a given position. You will read about the standard contents and terminology, tips on specific phrasing rather than general wording, and how to determine essential functions for diversity recruiting purposes. You will be informed about how to delineate different types of job conditions, machine and equipment use and potential hazards for that position.

The complement to a Job Description is a Job Specification, in which the candidate s minimum requirements necessary for a given job are specified. These include the necessary skills, knowledge, abilities, and other qualifications necessary in the job candidate. You will learn how to effectively describe the experience, training, and skills necessary for a job in addition to any related physical, mental, and other attributes necessary for the job.

This book is designed for Talent Management professionals and both undergraduate and graduate students of Human Resources.

An Introduction to Job Analysis, Job Descriptions and Job Specifications

Good employee-company fit is critical to a successful employee-employer relationship. If an employee s skills, values, and training do not match the company s needs, the result is low productivity and frustration for all participants in the relationship. Even if the mismatch becomes obvious during the probationary period and the problem is not long-term, it will, at the very least, set the company s recruitment efforts back 4-6 months and result in a duplication of efforts. In some cases, the problem can be fixed with extra training, but this is costly to the company. In either case, it will cause unnecessary difficulties for both sides.

A first step to ensuring an employee s fit with the company is to make sure the employee is a good fit with the given position. To do this, the organization needs to carefully consider the needs of the company using a solid job analysis, followed by a clear and effective job description and job specification. These tools allow the employer to efficiently filter out any candidates that do not fit all of the qualifications. This ensures that, at a minimum, the candidate has the skills and qualifications necessary to do the job (at least on paper). Following that, the employer will need to try to confirm and reaffirm that what is written on the candidate s resume is indeed true through successful interviewing, testing, and judgment to confirm that their skills and abilities match the needs of the position via the job description.

Many people think that writing a job description or a job specification is a very straightforward task that anybody can do. Although this may be true for those jobs with very few tasks, such as handing out flyers, most jobs require a variety of skills and more specific education and training. To complement company strategy effectively, and to find the person who has not only the proper background, but who shares the company s values, is a complicated task in today s competitive environment. The wrong hire can cost the company in recruitment and training costs.

In the following pages, you will learn the importance of and details surrounding job analyses, job descriptions, and job specifications. As you hone your skills in performing these tasks, you will increase the overall efficiency of the recruiting process for your company and contribute to more streamlined decisions regarding training needs and compensation.

About the Author

Beth Bertelsen, MBA

Active since Apr 2011

Beth Bertelsen, MBA, has over twenty years of experience in management within small-to-mid sized organizations, both in the United States and internationally, and specializes in communication. She holds an MBA from the Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnologa in Costa Rica, a Master's degree from Indiana University, and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. She has been teaching for the last 10 years, and came to BrainMass seeking to share her knowledge on a variety of topics, as well as contribute to their growing library of information. Fully bilingual, she consults with businesses and other organizations regarding training and development, document translation, and cultural awareness.

Beth's BrainMass Profile