“How to conduct a job analysis and define an optimal profile”

Published on 05/03/2024

“How to conduct a job analysis and define an optimal profile”

Published on 05/03/2024
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“How to conduct a job analysis and define an optimal profile”

Job analysis involves thoroughly examining the functions of a job and the behaviors of dedicated professionals, with the aim of identifying the requirements and components of a professional profile.

This practice, specific to the Human Resources department, comprises different concepts and structures that facilitate its correct execution. Let’s see what it’s about.

What does job analysis entail?

Job analysis is the process of gathering information about the tools, tasks, behaviors, and results of a specific professional profile, in relation to predetermined objectives and criteria.

The purpose of this practice is to develop a description, evaluation, or classification of the position. This allows for the definition of training and development programs, knowledge flow systems, compensation and benefits systems, as well as identifying the optimal professional profile for each work area.

Job analysis is presented in an analytical and formalized description of the job. The job description indicates the name of the professional profile, its main objective, its position in the organizational chart, and its main tasks.

It can be used as a method for evaluating the position or as part of the search and selection of personnel. It can also be carried out for other purposes, such as:

  • Understanding or reducing the reasons for turnover.
  • Improving work methods.
  • Designing or modifying machinery or computer programs.

How to conduct a job analysis

Job analysis can be carried out through one or more of the following systems:

  • Interview with one or more individuals occupying the position or their superiors.
  • Discussion groups with individuals in the position.
  • Direct observation or video recording of the person occupying the position.
  • Review and evaluation of procedure manuals, job profiles and their functions, employment contracts, and other written sources.
  • Analysis of the tasks and responsibilities that a specific professional profile must carry out. For each task, the necessary manual and mental activities, duration, frequency, environmental conditions, equipment and clothing, and any other significant elements for its performance are analyzed.

The choice of method or job analysis strategy depends on each responsible person and company. However, it is important to follow a series of steps to carry out this practice correctly.

Determining the purpose of conducting a job analysis

The purpose should be related to the success and strategic objectives of the organization and may be motivated by different factors:

  • Evaluation of existing positions and profiles: The nature of the job often changes due to technology and the needs of a competitive environment, requiring reevaluation.
  • Valuing new positions: The rapid expansion and evolution of the work environment open doors to the creation of new professional profiles.
  • High turnover: High employee turnover indicates that some positions are undervalued compared to the external job market, requiring in-depth analysis.
  • Low job satisfaction: Boring or monotonous work is often the cause of low job satisfaction. Job analysis can help develop new methods to design tasks that are more attractive and demanding.

Identifying the positions to be analyzed

Once the objective is determined, the positions to be included in the analysis can be identified.

Time and resource constraints often limit the total number of positions that can be included in the analysis.

When a significant number of people are assigned to the same position, it is necessary to decide how many will be included in the analysis. If it is a high number, it is advisable to support the analysis with a data collection system for performance and productivity.

Reviewing and filtering reference data

A successful and effective job analysis is often based on the results of existing job profiles and previously updated data.

Examining job descriptions as well as current organizational charts will provide the basic insights needed for analysis and optimize job definition and structure. Ensuring that irrelevant data is filtered and discarded is fundamental.

The analysis of workflow helps to understand the responsibilities of the position and how they fit into the overall work process.

Planning and executing the job analysis project

Planning is the key to success. A project action plan for job analysis should be designed, where activities, responsible parties, execution deadlines, and the most applicable data collection methodologies are clearly defined.

Useful data collection for analysis can be generated through surveys, discussion groups, suggestions, or any other method of direct interaction with the profile to be analyzed. However, it is advisable, and even necessary for obtaining objective data, to use performance measurement systems.

Productivity and performance measurement systems, such as EffiWork, provide data on employee performance within different areas of the company, analyzing the time spent on tasks, applications, responsibilities, and projects, thus facilitating an understanding of the behaviors and workflow of each job profile.

Defining the job description and its productivity map

Once the data has been collected and analyzed, it is time to develop and update job descriptions, profile specifications, and their productivity map.

The productivity map defines the activities that add value to the organization. It consists of categorizing tools, tasks, and projects (pages and applications) into productive or unproductive activities, according to the functions of each employee or team.

The map itself does not provide data, but it facilitates the obtaining of performance metrics, as it shows the sum of the time spent working on activities valuable for the performance of the organization and its projects or services.

Conducting periodic job analysis

Carrying out a systematic, periodic evaluation of job descriptions and specifications, as well as their productivity map, is a good HR practice.

Many companies employ a rotating process, in which a component, or even a job profile, or sometimes an entire department, is reviewed annually, and the entire organization is reviewed once every three, four, or five years.

Defining the optimal profile through job analysis

It was previously mentioned that job analysis allows for the identification of the optimal professional profile for each department, but what does defining the optimal job profile entail? It is a strategy to relate the data obtained by measuring employee productivity indicators to the data desired by managers and supervisors.

The goal is to compare two scenarios: the actual time investment in productive activities per employee and the ideal time dedication to these productive activities.

“How to conduct a job analysis and define an optimal profile”

Structuring an optimal profile will allow you to conduct a more conscious analysis of the different job positions, understand the real management of employees’ work time; whether they are focused on productive tasks or key activities, as well as analyze and identify whether the established work processes are truly efficient or not.

In this way, it will be possible to plan effective improvement strategies or evaluate if the created optimal profile is realistic or utopian. This process without metrics or an objective measurement system is impossible to consider.

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