Everything you need to know about the methods and techniques of job analysis. Job analysis is a systematic exposition of the activities within a job.

It is a scientific method to define the duties, responsibilities, and accountabilities of a job. It involves the identification and description of what is happening on the job and also of the skills and qualifications of personnel needed for the job.

It is performed by a job-analyst of personnel department. A trained analyst knows what to look for in a job. He can clarify the difference between primary and secondary duties.

This will further help you to learn about:


A:  For obtaining data several methods are required which help in job analysis. They are – 1. Technical Conference 2. Self-Recording or Diary 3. Interview and Questionnaire 4. Observation and Collection of Data 5. The Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ) 6. Participation 7. Management Position Analysis Question­naire.

B: The methods for job analysis are as follows – 1. Data Gathering 2. Data to be Gathered.

C: The four most popular methods of job analysis are – 1. Questionnaire Method 2. Written Narratives Method 3. Observation Method 4. Interview Method

D: The top ten methods of job analysis are – 1. Personal Observation 2. Sending Out Questionnaires 3. Maintenance of Log Records 4. Individual Interview Method 5. Group Interview Method 6. Technical Experts’ Method 7. Diary/Logs Method 8. Quantitative Job Analysis Techniques 9. The Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ) 10. Management Position Description Questionnaire (MPDQ) 11. Functional Job Analysis.


E: The methods of job analysis commonly in practice are – 1. Interview Method 2. Direct Observation 3. Questionnaire 4. Critical Incident Technique (CIT Model) 5. Occupational Analysis Inventory 6. Work Profiling System.

F: The methods or techniques involved in job analysis are discussed as follows – 1. Job Performance 2. Interviews 3. Structured Questionnaires 4. Observation 5. Diaries and Logs 6. Critical Incidents.

G: The two main methods of job analysis are – 1. Job Description 2. Job Specification.

H: The important methods of job analysis are – 1. Interview 2. Direct Observation 3. Questionnaire Method 4. Critical Incident Technique.


I: The methods of job analysis generally adopted by companies are – 1. Personal Observation 2. Interview 3. Log Records 4. Critical Incidents 5. Checklist 6. Questionnaire.

Learn about the Methods and Techniques for Job Analysis in HRM

Methods for Job Analysis – With Limitations 

For obtaining data several methods are required which help for job analysis.

They are:

Method # 1. Technical Conference:

In this method, data or information about the job is collected from experts, Supervisors, and not from actual job incumbents. One important defects of this method is that experts show poor knowledge of the job since they do not perform it themselves. They give answers based on past experience or abstract perception.

Method # 2. Self-Recording or Dairy:


In this method, information about the job are obtained through dairy or self-recording. Here, the head of the organisation or incumbent asked each employee to record his daily activities, by using some type of log book or dairy. From this method incumbents know the time spent on various activities during a day.

It is a time-consuming method. Here the incumbents are heard complaining that they spend more time on writing diaries than actually doing the job. This method is useful, in systematically collecting information about a job. It is particularly useful for studying high level managerial jobs.

Method # 3. Interview and Questionnaire:

Interview and questionnaire are the important method for obtaining data about job. Interview is a two person conversation. It is initiated by the interviewer for obtaining information on the subject-matter. It is of two types- formal or informal. Formal interview is one in which set questions are asked and answers recorded in a standardised form.

On the other hand informal interview is not charted. It is in the nature of an informal conversation. Interview in an organisation or anywhere are of supervisor interviews or incumbent interview. Further, the success of survey depends, upon the questionnaire. Care has to be taken in formulating questions, wording subject-matter, sequence, format etc.


Questions are of either pre-coded or open. In the pre-coded question, questions are put in the appropriate code category and respondent is given on a limited number of answers. On the other hand, in open question, respondent is left free on the format of his answer, to decide its form, detail, length etc.

Responses help for the development of job design. The interviewer can use questionnaire personally. It should be user friendly so that the respondent is able to handle it without trouble. In a mailed questionnaire, there is no opportunity for the interviewer to explain or supplement arguments by observational data. Therefore, it had self-sufficient document Questionnaire should also be tested before being put to use.

Method # 4. Observation and Collection of Data:

Observation and collection of data serve the purpose of scientific investigation. Science begins with observation and returns to observation for validation.

Observation saves the investigator’s purpose in the following ways:


i. Observation provides supplementing data, which help for obtaining other techniques.

ii. It is used for determining complex social phenomena, culture or behaviour.

iii. It helps the observer to get actual phenomenon that can be later tested by other techniques.

iv. It also used as the primary method of data collection.


v. It provides clear and authentic picture of a given situation.

Method # 5. The Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ):

The position analysis questionnaire is a practical job analysis method which compare specific job with other jobs. It has been thoroughly researched and enables statistical comparison of job elements. It contains a hundred and ninety four job elements.

Method # 6. Participation:

In this method, the job analyst himself performs the job to study the characteristic or nature of job. This method is suitable for simple jobs, but in case of complex jobs, it required advance training of the analyst which is not possible. This method is also time-taking and expensive for collecting data about job.

Method # 7. Management Position Analysis Question­naire:

Management position analysis questionnaire is a highly structured questionnaire, designed with two hundred and eight items. It is used in describing, comparing, classifying and evaluating executive white collar jobs. The latest version of MPAQ is classified into thirteen parts.

Other important methods are also used separately to aid job analysis exercise.

These include:


(a) Task Inventories:

Task inventories provides vital information about the skills, knowledge and abilities required to perform a job. This information is valuable for developing employee selection procedures, and training programs. It is also valuable for setting standards in performance appraisals and evaluating jobs to-determine the correct pay level. For training purposes, it tells the developer what the job requires.

(b) Check Lists:

Check lists are used to avoid duplication of work across tiers. If any duplication is taken place, concerned employee can be advanced in the career ladder on the basis of his experience of the added task. It also helps in the selection of employees. It is used to order tasks sequentially. It also classified task as logistic support, service delivery, sales etc. A good check list is a result of collaborative effort of the supervision and the employee.

(c) Expert Panels:

Job analysis experts are hired by organisations for conducting job analysis. Analysis is done on the basis of critical incidents of good and job element. Job element is defined as a worker characteristic which influences success in a job, including combination of abilities, skills, knowledge or personal characteristics.

Limitations of Job Analysis:


There are various limitations on job analysis. Even in case of organisation, a well-established job analysis programme provides information only a snapshot of a particular job. A well- formulated job analysis programme facilitates organisational change by providing an inbuilt mechanism for periodically assessing jobs.

This reassessment may be done through observation, interviews, or by using a brief questionnaire or a check list. Unlike performing job analysis is a less expensive and time-consuming effort.

Methods for Job Analysis

Job analysis is a systematic exposition of the activities within a job. It is a scientific method to define the duties, responsibilities, and accountabilities of a job. It involves the identification and description of what is happening on the job and also of the skills and qualifications of personnel needed for the job.

Review previous job analysis, if any, and read any recruitment information such as newspaper advertisements and brochures/information given to past applicants. Gain a basic understanding of the current and possible reporting and working relationships between this job and other jobs.

In case of a new job or position that has not existed in the organization before, make sure you understand the reasons for the position from the person in highest authority over the position (this will save you a lot of trouble with regard to office politics).

Always begin by asking a job incumbent or supervisor to list the duties of the position and then to indicate the most important tasks by ranking them beginning with one. Then ask them to indicate the task ranked five or the duties on which they spend the most time (these are not necessarily the same). Some people stop here. In the hands of a good analyst, job analysis can support several personnel decisions.

1. Data Gathering:


i. Observation:

Stand and watch one employee work. This method is best used for manufacturing jobs and jobs that are easily discernible by merely seeing what a person physically does.

ii. Desk Audit:

Go to an employee’s work location and ask them to take you through their most important and most frequent tasks. This is a good way to analyse clerical and technical positions.

iii. Individual or Group Interviews:

Get a group of your best performers together in a room where they cannot receive telephone calls. Ask them to explain why certain tasks are more important than others and how tasks are performed.


This approach is best used for managerial and supervisory positions or in conjunction with a desk audit when there are several positions and you want to make sure you do not miss anything. It tends to yield very good selection (criteria for choosing new employees) information.

iv. Questionnaire:

Use this approach when there are several positions and it is not feasible to bring several employees together for an interview. One should prepare the questionnaire by conducting one or more desk audits, brainstorming sessions, or interviews. Because questionnaires can be designed to gather different kinds of information, they are also good at clarifying information gathered during brainstorming, desk audits, or previous job analysis.

v. Diary:

Ask one or more incumbents to keep a diary of duties noting the frequency of the tasks performed.

vi. Critical Incidents:


Ask one or more incumbents to brainstorm (if there is only one person, you will have to participate in brainstorming with that person) about critical incidents that happen routinely and infrequently while working. Separate these into two lists. Generate one list of incidents indicating good or excellent performance and another indicating poor performance.

This approach is excellent for determining training and selection strategies. The results lend themselves to meeting discrimination complaints concerning selection choices where the person chosen clearly possesses the skill and know­ledge to perform the most critical duties indicating success on the job. The analyst will have to extrapolate a list of duties to be performed from the incidents.

vii. Recording the Video of Job Performance:

This is a good approach because it can be watched over and over again to perform analysis and because it can be pulled out later to re-evaluate.

viii. Review of Records:

Review records of work such as maintenance requests and make a list of requested repairs. In this situation, it is important to take representative samples so that seasonal variations in work requests do not mislead. This is a good approach for jobs such as those of mechanics or electricians.

The kinds of repairs being performed and, thus, the duties being performed most often can be itemized. However, this approach could also be used for computer programming and computer troubleshooting jobs in which incumbents have records of work requests or works completed.

The following are the various other methods used for obtaining job analysis information:

i. U.S. civil procedure.

ii. Quantitative job analysis techniques.

iii. Positional analysis questionnaire- Here a structured list of wok activities is given to the employee. He allots a score from 0 to 5 to each activity. These scores bring out a quantitative score for five basic job activities of any em­ployee- (a) having decision making/communications/social responsibilities, (b) performing skilled activities, (c) being physically active, (d) operating vehicles/equipment, and (5) processing information. These scores help one to analyse a job based on other jobs, giving each job a relative grading.

iv. Department of Labor (DOL) procedure- This procedure gives the worker three categories dealing with data, people, and things, respectively. Each category has some listed activity. The worker has to select from these activities and thus a specific job profile is created from this method. This method aims to standardize the job description of the various jobs.

v. Functional job analysis (FJA) – This method is a combination of both the above-mentioned methods.

This method has two advantages-

a. This method rates the job not only on data, people, and things but four other factors, namely, (1) the extent to which specific instructions are necessary to perform the job, (2) the extent to which reasoning and judgment are required to perform the task, (3) the mathematical ability required to perform the task, and (4) the verbal and language facilities required to perform the task.

b. It identifies the performance standards and training requirements. Considering all the above methods, there is a need to bring stability to the procedure. That is why it is advisable to get multiple perspectives vis-a-vis the immediate supervisor, the deputy manager, the manager, and the subsequent superior.

2. Data to be Gathered:

The data to be gathered is dependent to a large extent on the use or purpose of the analysis. Information about training needs requires information about the transaction of the work so that the trainer can determine the critical skills and knowledge that must be improved. Selection decisions require the same information usually on a broader scale. A lot of information can be inferred from well-written task statements.

Examples of data that can be gathered:

i. List of tasks.

ii. List of decisions made.

iii. Indication of results if decisions are not made properly.

iv. Amount of supervision received.

v. Supervision exercised.

vi. Kind of personnel supervised.

vii. Diversity of functions performed by supervised staff.

viii. Interactions with other staff (description of the staff interacted with).

ix. Physical conditions.

x. Physical requirements (for instance, how heavy are the objects that are lifted? How much stooping and bending is conducted and under what conditions?).

xi. Software used.

xii. Programming language used.

xiii. Computer platform used.

xiv. Interpersonal contacts with outsiders (customers).

xv. Interpersonal persuasive skills or sales skills.

xvi. Amounts of mental or psychical stress.

xvii. Necessity to work as a team member.

xviii. Needed contributions to a work group.

xix. Authority or judgment exercised.

xx. Customer service skills.

It should be understood that collecting all information that will cater to all the uses job analysis can be put to, is impossible with just one data gathering method. It is best to think of job analysis as a process of gathering information with various methods to use as tools to glean insights and information.

This understanding is very important in organizations that have a strong developmental or training component. In this case, it is best to start out gathering the basic information and then to add other data in an effort to gradually put together a true picture.

Several methods exist that may be used individually or in combination.

These include:

i. Review of job classification systems.

ii. Incumbent interviews.

iii. Supervisor interviews.

iv. Expert panels.

v. Structured questionnaires.

vi. Task inventories.

vii. Checklists.

viii. Open-ended questionnaires.

ix. Observation.

x. Incumbent work logs.

A typical method of job analysis would be to give the incumbent a simple questionnaire to identify job duties, responsibilities, equipment used, work relationships, and work environment. The completed questionnaire would then be used to assist the job analyst who would then conduct an interview of the incumbent(s).

A draft of the identified job duties, responsibilities, equip­ment, relationships, and work environment would be reviewed with the supervisor for accuracy. The job analyst would then prepare a job description and/or job specifications.

The method that you may use in job analysis will depend on practical concerns such as type of job, number of jobs, number of incumbents, and location of jobs.

Methods of Job Analysis – Questionnaire Method, Written Narratives Method, Observation Method and Interview Method (With Duties of Job Analyst)

Job analysis is essentially a staff function. It is performed by a job-analyst of personnel department. He usually heads a small team of specialists and organizes, directs, co-ordinates and controls the work of the specialist team. The responsibility for sponsoring a job analysis programme lies with the top management, who usually authorize the personnel division to execute the programme.

The job analyst may be an expert from the personnel department or an outside consultant. For effective job analysis, personal integrity and an impartial attitude are essential. Other qualifications are the ability quickly to group job requirements in different work situations and the skill to put these requirements into simple action verbs. The analyst has to be a keen observer and should be over-particular in detail with respect to noting and using factual data.

A trained analyst knows what to look for in a job. He can clarify the difference between primary and secondary duties. He can also identify the elements of a job to be classified as job factors and the opportunities for career development. He is also careful to discover the “crucial task” in the job that may be the probable source of job failure.

The duties of a job analyst are:

(1) To outline the complete scope of a job and to consider all the physical and mental activities required in ascertaining what the employee does. To this end, he observes and evaluates the physical methods used by an employee, including the use of machinery, equipment, his own movements and necessary mental facilities;

(2) To find out why an employee does a job for which he studies why each task is essential for the overall results;

(3) To study the skill factor which may be required in the employee with a view to draw distinction between jobs and establish the extent of difficulty, hazard or discomfort of any job.

The process of analyzing a job is essentially one of data collection.

Job information is obtained through three sources:

(i) Employees on the jobs

(ii) Other employees, including supervisors, who watch employees performing their jobs.

Various techniques can be utilized for obtaining information and the methods vary greatly in comprehensiveness and systematic approach.

The four most popular methods are:

(1) Questionnaire

(2) In addition, there are various other sources of information such as old job descriptions, time and motion studies, and daily diaries or logs.

(1) Questionnaire Method:

In this method properly drafted questionnaires are sent out to job-holders for completion and are returned to supervisors. Supervisors may examine and comment on the replies provided by the job-holders.

The questionnaire technique of gathering job-information is an objective method. However, it places great faith in the job-holder’s ability to organize reporting of the job. The information received is often found to be incomplete, unorganized, and sometimes incoherent. So this technique can be used to collect background information for the interview that follows to analyze the job properly. Questionnaires are only as good as their initial design.

(2) Written Narratives Method:

Narrative description can be requested of both the job incumbent and the supervisor. Under this system, the employee keeps a daily record of major duties performed, marking the time when each task is started and finished. Narratives, logs and questionnaires can be helpful to the job analyst, but as single techniques unsupported by follow-up interviewing and observation, they leave much to be desired.

(3) Observation Method:

Under this method, job analyst observes the work and the worker while the worker is involved with the work. Thus he knows the materials and equipment used, the working conditions and probable hazards, and understands what the work actually involves.

Experienced and expert analysts combine observation and interview both these techniques for collecting job information since these methods hold the greatest promise of completeness, accuracy, and better utilisation of time.

For jobs which are simple and repetitive mainly physical nature (e.g. the jobs of mechanic, draftsman, spinner or weaver etc.) the observation technique is useful. It is adopted usually when the work is largely automatically controlled and the job cycle (time taken from the beginning to the end of the specific task) is short.

(4) Interview Method:

In most cases interviews coupled with observation is the most preferred technique for gathering job information. The interview will provide information not readily observable plus the verification of information obtained by means of other techniques. This method is more time-consulting but it may bring out all the relevant information.

Flippo mentions several attitudes and techniques to be used in the interview method so as to elicit the maximum of accurate and complete information.

They include the following:

1. Introduces yourself so that the worker knows who you are and why you are there.

2. Show a sincere interest in the worker and the job being analysed.

3. Do not try to tell the employee how to do the job.

4. Try to talk to the employees and supervisors in their own language.

5. Do not confuse the work with the worker

6. Do a complete job study with the objectives of the programme.

7. Verify the job information obtained.

All the above techniques of collecting informations are generally used but none of them is free from defects. So a combination of these techniques usually gives better results.

The entire process of job analysis can be studied in various steps:

i. Collecting Factual Information:

The first step is to gather factual information about the job through different techniques like questionnaires, records, observation, and interviews. The information is to be collected on different aspects of the job as well as the job-holder. The information regarding job includes such things as its physical environment (temperature, noise, dirt, comforts and dangers etc.); its social environment (whether job is in teams, shifts or isolated); and financial conditions (wages, bonus, incentive schemes or fringe benefits etc.).

Information regarding the job holder may include such things as the physical demands (muscular energy, hours of work, travel, etc.); intellectual demands (educational degrees, technical and professional qualifications, and problem solving abilities); skills, experience, and personality factors required on the job.

ii. Completing Job Description Blank:

Standard job description forms are to be filled up after collecting the job information. This form is a comprehensive draft and may be used as reference for the future. It is a descriptive statement showing full details of the activities of the job and the job holder.

iii. Preparing Job Specification:

Job specification is to be prepared on the basis of information collected. It specifically mentions what personal qualities, skills, traits and backgrounds are necessary for the person to perform the job properly. It has two aspects – One is job familiarity or introduction; and the second is expected qualities in the individual.

iv. Preparing Report:

On the basis of assembled field notes, first draft of the report is to be prepared as “Facts observed”. Then this draft has to be shown to supervisors and managers for reviewing. In the light of their suggestions and comments the necessary modifications should be made and the original draft has to be prepared.

v. Getting Final Approval:

Such document becomes official unit only when it is approved by the line executives or staff expert who is responsible for making final decisions on the matter. Sometimes office-bearers of labour unions may also be taken into confidence before approving the draft finally. Their suggestions should also be incorporated at proper places. Final draft should be approved by top management since only after, getting final approval, the draft gets “official recognition.”

Methods of Job Analysis 

There are several ways to conduct a job analysis, including- interviews with incumbents and supervisors, questionnaires (structured, open-ended, or both), observation, critical incident investigations, and gathering background information such as duty statements or classification specifications. In job analysis conducted by HR professionals, it is common to use more than one of these methods. For example, the job analysts may tour the job site and observe workers performing their jobs. During the tour the analyst may collect materials that directly or indirectly indicate required skills.

The analyst may then meet with a group of workers or incumbents. And finally, a survey may be administered. In these cases, job analysts typically are industrial / organisational psychologists or Human Resource Officers who have been trained by, and are acting under the supervision of an industrial psychologist.

In the context of vocational rehabilitation, the primary method is direct observation and may even include video recordings of incumbents involved in the work. It is common for such job analysts to use scales and other apparatus to collect precise measures of the amount of strength or force required for various tasks.

Accurate, factual evidence of the degree of strength required for job performance is needed to justify that a disabled worker is legitimately qualified for disability status. In the United States, billions of dollars are paid to disabled workers by private insurers and the federal government. Disability determination is, therefore, often a fairly “high-stakes” decision. Job analysts in these contexts typically come from a health occupation such as occupational or physical therapy.

Questionnaires are the most common methodology employed by certification test developers, although the content of the questionnaires are gathered through interviews or focus groups. Job analysts can at times operate under the supervision of a psychometrician.

Methods of Job Analysis – Top 11 Methods 

The determination of job tasks, the concomitant skills and abilities necessary for successful performance, and the responsibilities inherent in the job can be obtained through such methods or approaches as the following:

Method # 1. Personal Observation:

The materials and equipment used, the working conditions and probable hazards, and an understanding of what the work involves are the facts which should be known by an analyst. Direct observation is especially useful in jobs that consist primarily of observable physical ability, like the jobs of draftsman, mechanic, spinner or weaver.

Method # 2. Sending Out Questionnaires:

The method is usually employed by engineering consultants. Properly drafted questionnaires are sent out to jobholders for completion and are returned to supervisors. However, the information received is often unorganised and incoherent. The idea in issuing questionnaire is to elicit the necessary information from jobholders so that any error may first be discussed with the employee and, after due corrections, may be submitted to the job analyst.

Method # 3. Maintenance of Log Records:

The employee maintains a daily diary record of duties he performs, making the time at which each task is started and finished. But this system is incomplete, for it does not give us any desirable data on supervisor relationship, the equipment used, and working conditions. Moreover, it is time-consuming.

Method # 4. Individual Interview Method:

In this method, job incumbents are selected and interviewed in an elaborate manner. The results of these interviews are combined into a single job analysis. Some of the questions that could be posed to employees might include- what is the job being handled by you? Outline the major duties of your position?

Where do you work actually? Tell us more about the education, experience, skill needs of your job. Do you actually participate in any job-related activity voluntarily? What are the important duties and responsibilities of your job?

Does the job demand too much in terms of physical as well as mental effort? Tell us more about the health and safety aspects of your job. Are you made to work under hazardous conditions? etc. The method is somewhat time-consuming and may prove to be expensive.

Method # 5. Group Interview Method:

Here, a number of job incumbents are simultaneously interviewed in order to get the required job-related information. The results could be accurate but group- related problems could come in the way of getting information quickly.

Method # 6. Technical Experts’ Method:

Here, the organisation utilises the services of supervisors with extensive knowledge of the job. Of course, technical experts may fail to throw light on how the job incumbents are actually feeling about the job, about the conditions under which the job is being performed, etc.

Method # 7. Diary/Logs Method:

Here, the workers are asked to keep a diary/log of what they do during the day. The workers are required to record any activity undertaken by them during the day along with the time. A careful observation of the activities performed by a worker during a day would provide a snapshot of the job in general terms.

When the method is followed up through a personal interview, a more complete view about the job could be obtained. It may be a tough job to remember everything that an employee does and asking him to make a note of the activities in a chronological sequence and many may not remember everything in clear detail. Of course, the use of pocket dictating machines and pagers would put to rest some of these problems.

Method # 8. Quantitative Job Analysis Techniques:

Job analysis data could be obtained in a more effective way, through the use of quantitative techniques which simply assign values to jobs that are subjected to close examination in a non emotional manner.

Method # 9. The Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ):

The PAQ is a standardised questionnaire developed at Purdue University to quantitatively sample work-oriented job elements. It focuses on general worker behaviours instead of tasks.

It contains 195 items divided into six major divisions:

i. Interpersonal activities (36 elements),

ii. Work situation and job context (19 elements), and

iii. Miscellaneous aspects (41 elements).

iv. Information input (35 elements),

v. Mental processes (14 elements),

vi. Work output (49 elements),

The PAQ permits management too scientifically and quantitatively group interrelated job elements into job dimensions.

Method # 10. Management Position Description Questionnaire (MPDQ):

MPQD is a standardised instrument designed specifically for use in analysing managerial jobs. The 274 item questionnaire contains 15 sections. It would take 2½ hours to complete the questionnaire. In most cases, the respondents are asked to state how important each item is to the position.

Method # 11. Functional Job Analysis:

FJA model is a technique of job analysis that was developed by the Employment and Training Administration of the United States Department of Labour. It includes 7 scales (numbers) that measure- 3 worker-function scales: measure percentage of time spent with- data, people, things; 1 worker-instruction scale; 3 scales that measure reasoning, mathematics, language.

Methods of Job Analysis – Interview Method, Direct Observation, Questionnaire, CIT Model, Occupational Analysis Inventory & Work Profiling System

There are several techniques that can be used for the purpose of collection of data. In practice, these techniques may be used in combination.

Method # 1. Interview Method:

Interview method is a useful tool of job analysis to ask questions to both incumbents and supervisors in either an individual or a group setting. Interview includes structured interviews, unstructured interview, open-ended questions. The interviewer collects accurate and complete data and information by creating favourable attitude among employees and supervisors.

The important attitudes of the interview are:

i. The interviewer should introduce himself to the workers.

ii. He has to show a sincere interest in the worker and the job.

iii. He should not tell the employee how to do the job.

iv. He should not confuse the work with the worker.

v. He has to do a complete study.

Method # 2. Direct Observation:

Direct observation of incumbents performing their jobs enables the trained job analyst to obtain first­hand knowledge and information about the job being analyzed. The observation method of job analysis is suited for jobs in which the work behaviours are- (a) observable involving some degree of movement on the part of the incumbent, (b) job tasks are short in duration allowing for many observations to be made in a short period of time or a significant part of the job can be observed in a short period of time, or (c) jobs in which the job analyst can learn information about the job through observation.

Jobs in which the observation method is successful include:

i. Machine Operator/Adjuster

ii. Construction Worker

iii. Police Officer/Patrol Officer

iv. Flight Attendant

v. Bus Driver

vi. Housekeeper/Janitor

vii. Skilled Crafts Worker.

Direct Observation allows the job analyst to see the work environment, tools and equipment used, interrelationship with other workers, and complexity of the job. Direct Observation of incumbents may be necessary to support testimony if the incumbent or applicant for the job has sued the employer.

A Job Analysis is necessary to support personnel actions that were taken. However, the job analysis may be of limited value if the job analyst has not seen the incumbent perform the job. In other words, relying solely on the incumbent’s description of their job may not withstand scrutiny in a court of law.

One problem with the direct observation method of Job Analysis is that the presence of an observer may affect the incumbent causing the incumbent to alter their normal work behaviour. It is important for the analyst to be unobtrusive in their observations. Incumbents may alter their work behaviour if they know they are being observed.

This method is not appropriate for jobs that involve significant amounts of time spent in concentration or mental effort.

Method # 3. Questionnaire:

Questionnaire methods include six techniques as follows:

(i) Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ Model):

The Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ) developed at Purdue University by McCormick, Jeanneret, and Mecham (1972) to quantitatively sample work-oriented job elements. It is a structured job analysis instrument to measure job characteristics and relate them to human characteristics. It consists of 195 job elements that represent in a comprehensive manner the domain of human behaviour involved in work activities.

The items that fall into five categories:

a. Information input (where and how the worker gets information),

b. Mental processes (reasoning and other processes that workers use),

c. Work output (physical activities and tools used on the job),

d. Relationships with other persons, and

e. Job context (the physical and social contexts of work).

The PAQ permits managements to scientifically and quantitatively group interrelated job elements into job dimensions. Over the course of many studies, PAQ researchers have aggregated PAQ data for hundreds of jobs; that database is maintained by Purdue University. A wealth of research exists on the PAQ; it has yielded reasonably good reliability estimates and has been linked to several assessment tools.

(ii) Functional Job Analysis (FJA Model):

Functional job analysis is a worker-oriented job analysis approach that attempts to describe the whole person on the job. It tries to examine the fundamental components of “data, people and things”.

Beginning in the 1940s, Functional Job Analysis (FJA) was used by U.S. Employment Service job analysts to classify jobs for the DOT (Fine and Wiley, 1971). The most recent version of FJA uses seven scales to describe what workers do in jobs- (a) Things, (b) Data, (c) People, (d) Worker Instructions, (e) Reasoning, (f) Math, and (g) Language.

Each scale has several levels that are anchored with specific behavioural statements and illustrative tasks. Like other job analysis instruments, FJA is a methodology for collecting job information. While it was used for many years as a part of the DOT, the Department of Labour is replacing the DOT with O*NET and will not be using FJA in O*NET. There is no current database of jobs (other than the DOT) containing FJA data for jobs in the national economy.

(iii) Work Profiling System (WPS Model):

Saville and Holdsworth’s Work Profiling Systems (WPS) is designed to help employers accomplish human resource functions. The job analysis is designed to yield reports targeted toward various human resource functions such as individual development planning, employee selection, and job description. There are three versions of the WPS tied to types of occupations- managerial, service, and technical occupations.

The WPS is computer-administered on-site at a company. It contains a structured questionnaire which measures ability and personality attributes in areas such as Hearing Skills, Sight, Taste, Smell, Touch, Body Coordination, Verbal Skills, Number Skills, Complex Management Skills, Personality, and Team Role.

Saville and Holdsworth aggregates information provided by users into a database when users make those data available. Saville and Holdsworth does not require WPS users to submit their data.

(iv) MOSAIC Model:

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is in the process of developing a database of information on federal jobs using Multipurpose Occupational Systems Analysis Inventory-Closed Ended (MOSAIC). Toward that end, OPM has been conducting a series of occupational analysis projects, each project handling a different set of occupations (e.g., clerical, managerial, etc.). Each job analysis inventory used to collect data for OPM’s system includes a variety of descriptors.

The two primary types of descriptors in each questionnaire are tasks and competencies. Tasks are rated on importance and competencies are rated on several scales including importance and requirement for entry. The MOSAIC database is intended to include all government occupations. Clerical, technical, and managerial job sections are complete. Information on the reliability of MOSAIC questionnaires has not been reported.

(v) Common Metric Questionnaire (CMQ Model):

The Common Metric Questionnaire (CMQ) is targeted toward both exempt and non-exempt jobs. It has five sections- (a) Background, (b) Contacts with People, (c) Decision Making, (d) Physical and Mechanical Activities, and (e) Work Setting. The Background section asks general questions about work requirements such as travel, seasonality, and licensure requirements.

The Contacts with People section asks questions targeting level of supervision, degree of internal and external contacts, and meeting requirements. The Decision Making items in the CMQ focus on relevant occupational knowledge and skill, language and sensory requirements, and managerial and business decision making.

The Physical and Mechanical Activities asks about physical activities and equipment, machinery, and tools. Work Setting contains items that focus on environment conditions and other job characteristics.

(iv) Fleishman Job Analysis System (FJAS Model):

Another job analysis methodology-the Fleishman Job Analysis Survey (F-JAS), formerly the Manual for Ability Requirements Scales-contains a taxonomy of abilities. The taxonomy includes cognitive, physical, psychomotor, and sensory abilities that have strong research support, and the FJAS uses level of ability rating scales that specify level of functioning
requirement for jobs.

FJAS is a job analysis method; it has not been applied to a large number of jobs in the U.S. economy to produce an occupational database.

Method # 4. Critical Incident Technique (CIT Model):

It is a qualitative approach to job analysis used to obtain specific, behaviourally focused descriptions of work or other activities. In this method in an interview with the person whose job you are analyzing, ask them first to identify a ‘critical incident’ based on their past experience. The incidents so collected are analyzed and classified according to the job areas they describe.

The job requirements will become clear once the analyst draws the line between effective and ineffective behaviours of workers on the job. For example, if a shoe salesman comments on the size of a customer’s feel and the customer leaves the store in a huff, the behaviour of the salesman may be judged as ineffective in terms of the result it produced.

The critical incidents are recorded after then events have already taken place-both routine and non-routine. The process of collecting a fairly good number of incidents is a lengthy one. Since incidents of behaviour can be quite dissimilar, the process of classifying data into usable job descriptions can be difficult. The analysts overseeing the work must have analytical skills and ability to translate the content of descriptions into meaningful statements.

Method # 5. Occupational Analysis Inventory:

The Occupational Analysis Inventory (OAI). It was designed to yield more specific job information than other multi-job questionnaires such as the PAQ while still capturing work requirements for virtually all occupations. The major categories of items are five-fold- (i) Information Received, (ii) Mental Activities, (iii) Work Behaviour, (iv) Work Goals, and (v) Work Context.

OAI respondents rate each job element on one of four rating scales: part-of-job, extent, applicability, or a special scale designed for the element.

Method # 6. Work Profiling System:

Saville and Holdsworth’s Work Profiling System (WPS) is designed to help employers accomplish human resource functions. The job analysis is designed to yield reports targeted toward various human resource functions such as individual development planning, employee selection, and job description.

There are three versions of the WPS tied to types of occupations- managerial, service, and technical occupations. The WPS is computer-administered on-site at a company. It contains a structured questionnaire which measures ability and personality attributes in areas such as Hearing Skills, Sight, Taste, Smell, Touch, Body Coordination, Verbal Skills, Number Skills, Complex Management Skills, Personality, and Team Role.

Saville and Holdsworth aggregates information provided by users into a database when users make those data available. Saville and Holdsworth does not require WPS users to submit their data.

Methods of Job Analysis With Advantages and Disadvantages

The methods or techniques involved in job analysis are discussed below:

(i) Job Performance:

This method is used for jobs that can be relatively learned in a short period of time. The actual job tasks are studied along with physical, environmental and social demands of the job.

(ii) Interviews:

The job analyst questions individual employees and managers about the job. Though it is the most widely used method for determining a job’s duties and responsibilities, there are chances of distorted information due to outright falsification or honest misunderstandings.

Employees may view interviews as efficiency evaluations and hence may tend to exaggerate certain responsibilities.

(iii) Structured Questionnaires:

Carefully designed questionnaires are circulated to be filled out individually by job holders and managers. The information collected pertain to areas of job duties/tasks performed, purpose of the job, physical setting, requirements for performing the job such as skill, education, experience and physical and mental demands, equipment and materials used and special health and safety concerns. A typical job analysis questionnaire may have several open-ended questions as well as structured questions.

(iv) Observation:

The details of a job can be understood by observing and recording on a standardized form. Some organizations may use standardized form. Some organizations may use videotaping also. It is more useful when the jobs consist mainly of observable physical activity than when the jobs involve immeasurable mental activity.

(v) Diaries and Logs:

The workers are required to maintain diary/logbook or list of activities of what they do during a day. The worker records the activity in a log book. This can produce a complete picture of the job especially when supplemented with subsequent interviews.

(vi) Critical Incidents:

The behaviours of job incumbents are monitored and measured in this method. Important incidents handled by the job holder is gathered and categorized to create a job profile.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Job Analysis Methods:

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of job analysis methods:


(a) Job Performance- There is exposure to actual job tasks as well as external demands.

(b) Interviews- (i) Provides information on standard as well as non-standard and mental work, (ii) Since job performer responds, more authentic information can be obtained.

(c) Structured questionnaires- (i) Cheaper and quicker method, (ii) Can be completed off the job, (iii) Web surveys can cover large no. of people.

(d) Observations- Can get a deeper understanding of job requirements.

(e) Critical Incidents- (i) Provides insight into job dynamics, (ii) More reliable as behaviours are observed and measured.

(f) Diaries and Logs- Can be detailed as the incumbent himself/herself fills up data.


(a) Job Performance- Suitable only for jobs that can be learned in short period of time.

(b) Interviews- (i) Interviewers may be looked with suspicion, (ii) Distortion of information may occur.

(c) Structured Questionnaire- Misunderstandings may occur in the questionnaire Response may be poor. There is a chance for less cooperation.

(d) Observation- Less suitable for knowledge work as observation may not reveal useful information.

(e) Critical Incidents- (i) Time-consuming, (ii) Difficult to develop a profile of average job behaviour.

(f) Diaries and Logs- Bias may be present.

Methods of Job Analysis – Job Description and Job Specification (With Contents & Advantages)

1. Job Description

2. Job Specification

Method # 1. Job Description:

Job description is an organized factual statement of job contents in the form of duties and responsibilities of a specific job. The preparation of job description is very important before a vacancy is advertised. It tells in brief the nature and type of job.

“Job Description implies objective listing of the job title, tasks, and responsibilities involved in a job.” Job description is a word picture in writing of the duties, responsibilities and organizational relationships that constitutes a given job or position. It defines continuing work assignment and a scope of responsibility that are sufficiently different from those of the other jobs to warrant a specific title.

Job description is a broad statement of purpose, scope, duties and responsibilities of a particular job.

Contents of Job Description:

1. Job Identification

2. Job Summary

3. Job Duties and Responsibilities

4. Supervision specification

5. Machines, tools and materials

6. Work conditions

7. Work hazards

8. Definition of unusual terms

Format of Job Description:

i. Job Title

ii. Region/Location

iii. Department

iv. Reporting to (Operational and Managerial)

v. Objective

vi. Principal duties and responsibilities

Features of Good Job Description:

1. Up to date

2. Proper Job Title

3. Comprehensive Job Summary

4. Clear duties and responsibilities

5. Easily understandable

6. State job requirements

7. Specify reporting relationships

8. Showcase degrees of difficulties

9. Indicates opportunities for career development

10. Offer bird’s-eye-view of primary responsibilities

Advantages of Job Description:

1. It helps the supervisors in assigning work to the subordinates so that he can guide and monitor their performances.

2. It helps in recruitment and selection procedures.

3. It assists in manpower planning.

4. It is also helpful in performance appraisal.

5. It is helpful in job evaluation in order to decide about rate of remuneration for a specific job.

6. It also helps in chalking out training and development programmes.

Method # 2. Job Specifications:

Job specification is a statement which tells us minimum acceptable human qualities which helps to perform a job. Job specification translates the job description into human qualifications so that a job can be performed in a better manner.

“Job Specification involves listing of employee qualifications, skills and abilities required to meet the job description. These specifications are needed to do job satisfactorily.”

It is a statement of minimum and acceptable human qualities necessary to perform job properly.

Job specifications seeks to indicate what kind of persons may be expected to most closely approximate the role requirements and thus it is basically concerned with matters of selection, screening and placement and is intended to serve as a guide in hiring.

Job specifications can be divided into three broad categories –

a. Essential Attributes

b. Desirable Attributes

c. Contra-Indicators – Indicators hampering the success of job.

Job specification helps in hiring an appropriate person for an appropriate position.

Contents of Job Specifications:

a. Job title and designation

b. Educational qualifications for that title

c. Physical and other related attributes

d. Physique and mental health

e. Special attributes and abilities

f. Maturity and dependability

g. Relationship of that job with other jobs in a concern.

Advantages of Job Specification:

1. It is helpful in preliminary screening in the selection procedure.

2. It helps in giving due justification to each job.

3. It also helps in designing training and development programmes.

4. It helps the supervisors for counseling and monitoring performance of employees.

5. It helps in job evaluation.

6. It helps the management to take decisions regarding promotion, transfers and giving extra benefits to the employees.

Methods of Job Analysis – Interview, Direct Observation, Past Record Maintenance, Questionnaires & Critical Incident Technique 

There are several methods used for collection of data for job analysis.

But important of them are as follows:

(a) Interview

(b) Direct observation

(c) Maintenance of past records

(d) Questionnaires and

(e) Critical incident technique

a. Interview:

In this method, the interviewer collects complete and accurate data and information by creating favourable attitude among the employees of all levels in the organisations.

The main attitudes of the interviewers are as follows:

(i) The interviewer should introduce himself to all the employees.

(ii) He should show a sincere and honest interest in the employees and their jobs.

(iii) He should not tell the employees how to do the job but his job is only to observe how they are performing their jobs.

(iv) He should complete the job study completely.

b. Direct Observation:

Job observation is especially useful in jobs which consist of observation of physical activity of the craftsmen, mechanics, computer operators etc. The interviewing observes should observe the actual performance of the job cycle by the workers. Afterwards the interviewer may collect any additional information required by him.

c. Questionnaire Method:

Many companies use questionnaires to secure job information in regard to typical duties, tasks, tools, equipment etc.

d. Critical Incident Technique:

This technique is particularly useful for scientific analysis and selection research. Incidents refer to short examples of successful or unsuccessful job behaviour.

Methods of Job Analysis: Personal Observation, Interview, Log Records, Critical Incidents, Checklist and Questionnaire

Information is to be collected for job analysis. Such information may be collected by the trained job analysts, superiors concerned, and job holders themselves. Job information is collected through personal observation, interview, log records, critical incidents, checklist, and questionnaire.

Method # 1. Personal Observation:

Personal observation method of job information collection is quite old and is applicable mostly in the case of manual jobs. In this method, the job analyst observes the job performance process by a worker or group of workers. The tasks performed, the pace at which activities are carried out, the working conditions, the hazards involved, etc., are observed during a complete work cycle.

The information collected is recorded in a standardized format. This method is appropriate for jobs which involve manual, standardized and short cycle activities such as mechanic, weaver, and other workers involved in repetitive activities. This method is quite simple but does not disclose the information relating to mental processes involved in performing the jobs. Therefore, this method has to be supplemented by other methods.

Method # 2. Interview:

In this method, the job analyst personally interviews the job holder, his immediate superior, and other persons concerned with the job. Generally, a standardized interview schedule is prepared covering various aspects of the job under analysis. For a particular job, the information is collected from a number of employees so as to avoid inconsistencies and to identify the common and critical aspects of the job.

The interview method of information collection can be used for any type of job, both operative and managerial. It helps in providing information which cannot be collected by personal observation. However, this method is quite time consuming. This problem is more acute in the case of collection of information for managerial and professional jobs which usually require much longer time.

As is usual with the interview method of information collection for any purpose, this method has chances of bias which may be generated by the interviewer and the job holder. The effectiveness of interview method depends on the ability of the interviewer to solicit the relevant information and the ability and willingness of the job holder to provide such information.

Method # 3. Log Records:

In the log records method, also known as diary method, a diary or log book is given to each job holder in which he records the activities performed and time taken in performing each activity. On the basis of these records, the job analyst collects information relevant to job analysis.

This method provides more accurate information if done faithfully. However, it is quite time consuming. Further, each job holder may maintain records according to his own way which presents problems in analysis at later stage. Therefore, it has limited application.

Method # 4. Critical Incidents:

In this method, job holders are asked to describe incidents concerning the job on the basis of their past experience. Various such incidents are collected and classified according to the job areas they describe. The analysis of these incidents provides the information to distinguish between effective and ineffective behaviours of the job holders on the job. However, this method requires high skills to analyze the job based on the narration of various incidents.

Method # 5. Checklist:

Checklist is like a questionnaire in which various questions are given based on subjective judgement or prepared on the basis of collection of preliminary information from supervisors, industrial engineers, and other knowledgeable persons. The job holders provide information about their job by putting ticks on appropriate descriptions.

The questions in the checklist tend to be either of yes or no variety. The information provided in the form of checklist is analyzed to develop job description. However, preparation of a checklist is a time consuming process and requires high skills.

Method # 6. Questionnaire:

In this method, a questionnaire is used to solicit various information concerning job from the job holders. The questionnaires are filled by the job holders, checked by the supervisors, and analyzed by the job analyst.

The questionnaire generally contains the questions related to the following aspects of the job:

i. The job title.

ii. The job title of the job holder’s immediate superior.

iii. The job titles and number of persons reporting to the job holder.

iv. A brief description of the overall role or purpose of the job.

v. A list of the main tasks and duties that the job holder has to carry out.

vi. The resource used in carrying out the job.

vii. The amount of supervision received and the degree of discretion allowed in making decisions.

viii. The typical problems to be solved and the amount of guidance available in solving the problems.

ix. The relative difficulty of the tasks to be performed.

There are certain standardized questionnaires developed by a few agencies which are used by various organizations for job analysis. Most of these questionnaires are of two types- position analysis questionnaire and management position description questionnaire.

a. Position Analysis Questionnaire:

Position analysis questionnaire (PAQ) is a highly specialized instrument for analyzing a job in terms of employee activities. The PAQ developed by Purdue University is a comprehensive questionnaire for collecting information for job analysis. In this questionnaire, various job elements have been grouped into six categories with each category containing relevant job elements resulting in 195 elements.

b. Management Position Description Questionnaire:

Management position description is a highly structured questionnaire containing 208 items relating to managerial responsibilities, restrictions, demands, and other miscellaneous position characteristics. These 208 items have been grouped under 13 categories.

The questionnaire method of information collection is quite valuable if standardized questionnaire is used and the information collected is properly analyzed. However, this method is quite costly and time consuming.