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Job Analysis is a process used by professionals in the field of Human Resources and Industrial Psychology to describe the nature of a position or set of positions. It can be a thorough, time-consuming process, or it can be relatively quick, depending upon the goal of the user/researcher. Job analysis is often used to gather information for use in personnel selection, classification, and/or compensation.
There are several ways to conduct a job analysis, and several products that may result. Common methods of gathering information about a job include interviews with incumbents and supervisors, questionnaires (structured, open-ended, or both), job observation, and gathering background information such as duty statements or classification specifications.
Job analysis can result in a description of common duties, or tasks, performed on the job, as well as descriptions of the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) required to perform those tasks. In addition, job analysis can uncover tools and technologies commonly used on the job, working conditions (e.g., a cubicle-based environment, outdoor work), and a variety of other aspects that characterize work performed in the position(s).
When used as a precursor to personnel selection (a commonly suggested approach), job analysis should be performed in such a way as to meet the professional and legal guidelines that have been established (e.g., in the U.S., the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures).
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