When building a high performing hiring process, one of the first tasks is to define the job. Sometimes this is referred to as a job analysis.
If it isn't already, conducting a job analysis should be part of your pre-employment process.
A job analysis is the most comprehensive way to understand specific “can do” and “will do” components of your service, sales, and support job. With the help of a job analysis, you can accurately identify job candidates with the highest potential to become high performers. By using a job analysis to build a solid talent selection foundation, your organization can reap benefits that include higher customer satisfaction, higher revenue per call, lower early-stage attrition, and an improved company culture.
What is a Job Analysis?
According to "Testing and Assessment: An Employer’s Guide to Good Practices", published by the US Department of Labor, a “job analysis is a systematic process used to identify the tasks, duties, responsibilities and working conditions associated with a job and the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics required to perform that job."
George Thornton III in Assessment Centers in Human Resource Management provides some of the output from a job analysis.
The job analysis provides:
- A list of the competencies needed to be assessed
- Examples of behaviors that clarify the competencies
- Suggestions as to the types of exercises that resemble job situations
- Suggestions for problem content to be used in the exercises
- An indication of the level of proficiency required for the competencies
- Standards for scoring applicant performance in the exercises
- Documentation of job-relatedness of the assessment process (for use in the event of a lawsuit)
Essentially, a job analysis allows organizations to measure as many job-relevant characteristics as are feasible, so that they don't overlook important characteristics needed to predict employee success and potentially reap lower returns from the pre-hire process.
The benefits of a job analysis are many, however there are a few things organizations must do in order to successfully execute a job analysis so that it is both successful and legally defensible.
Conducting a job analysis requires several steps:
- Plan your process, resources, and timeframe
- Gather and analyze all current information about the job available in the organization (descriptions, ads, training materials, performance plans, etc.)
- Choose a representative sample of job holders
- Gather demographic data on the job holders
- Gather information from the job holders' supervisors
- Gather information from the senior managers
- Establish a preliminary list of competencies
- Obtain ratings of the importance of the competencies
- Select and validate the final list of competencies
The job analysis process allows vendors to document the characteristics that SMEs feel are important for job success so the vendors can link those to the characteristics measured by the assessments. After that, vendors then validate any potential pre-hire assessment tools specifically for the role in which they will be used, so that they are properly utilized and deliver the maximum amount of value to the organization.
To learn more, check out our blog on how to spot a quality pre-hire assessment and discover whether or not the vendor you're working with - as well as their product - is legitimate.
You can also learn more about building a better hiring process with our 7 Steps to Better Hiring.