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Job Design And Staffing Essay, Research Paper

Abstract

The Analysis of Jobs

A focus on jobs as important elements in organizational structures and information systems may help with investigation and evaluation of work and work experience. These notes/checklists are offered to aid examination of your own job from a self-development point of view. They may also help

?In projects that generally involve the design of jobs for an organization.

?Those involved in staff recruitment, training, employee appraisal and reward system management

?Budding human resource specialists and team leader/managers.

?Business studies and others involved in a work placement or research activity into job structures and relationships.

What is the Content of a Job Definition?

If you need to analyze a job (your own) and report on a job (write a job description) then the following questions/headings should help.

?What is the Job Title?

?What is the Grade within the company (indicates level/position within the rewards structure)

?How permanent is the job?

?What traveling is involved with the job?

?What are the formal reporting relationships associated with it? (horizontal, vertical, and diagonal relationships)

?Reports to whom in the hierarchy? (formally – boss and key others)

?Responsible for whom? (number of full-time and part-time staff and their job titles)

?Who are the others in the formal job network/role set: (list those contacts/other jobs – internal and external – that form the job’s network of contacts.)

?External (customer groups, agencies, suppliers etc.)

?Internal (other departments which are internal clients or that must work with the post holder)

?What are the main responsibilities (routine/non-routine) of the job?

?Routine (daily, weekly)

?Yearly – and responsibilities that arise from time to time

?Other key events/points in job cycle

?Now focus on the really important (the key) tasks and critical success indicators of job performance for each of these areas of responsibility

?For each area of responsibility LIST the key tasks that have to be carried out

?Describe the indicators that would show that the key results/critical success standards have been achieved (i.e., that performance requirements have been met)

Supervision/Support

?With what supervision and support processes are you involved? (e.g., your boss to you, you to your boss, you to your staff, your staff to you, you to others, others to you)

Authority/Resources

?What authority do you have over staff and resources? (to give instructions, allocate work, make rewards available, fix/change terms and conditions of employment, give feedback, assess and appraise and discipline).

?What responsibility do you have for assets, the fabric of the workplace, budgets? Describe each of these and give details of what, how much.

The Value of Job Analysis Techniques

Jobs are organizational components. Many organizational studies involve looking at job structures, relationships and behaviors associated with jobs. Job analysis techniques are useful for the examination of work experience. Job roles can be defined in terms of:

?Responsibilities

?Accountability

?Communications networks

?Decision-making

?Relationships to operational and information systems in use

?Hierarchical and team positions within business systems and programs

?The learning and developmental opportunities they offer

?Expectations, conflicts, ambiguities and tensions manifested

?Relationships with policies, business imperatives and changes

?Contributions to work systems and information systems

Job Analysis in a Work Experience Project

When taking a work placement test, it is useful to focus on a specific job and study its structure, methods, processes, required abilities and behaviors, and its relationships with other structures.

One need to also look at its place in a network of jobs, both external and internal, in terms of policies and procedures, departmental plans and programs, its cultural milieu, and management approach. With the job at the center, the analysis of work experience can fan out to explore these structures and how they interact (the behaviors and processes in the work place).

Job Analysis as data gathering

Jobs are experienced and often taken for granted. A job holder?s account of a job is valuable data, but the subjectivity of such an explanation must be understood and evaluated using more objective frameworks. Accurate, meaningful, verifiable data is required. We need to define

?The role or tasks, which should not be artificially distorted by analysis.

?The dynamic properties of jobs can be missed when decomposing jobs or task into detailed sub-tasks or elements. One can lose sight of the overall picture essential to job performance.

?The subjective/personal aspects (feelings, perceptions, loyalties) of jobs are important but need to be differentiated from the job as a technical allocation of duties existing within organizational structures which may stress the logic of performance, responsibility and expertise.

Jobs are Dynamic Entities

Jobs are designed, experienced and lived in. They are interpreted and shaped both by management and most importantly by the person doing the job. They have to be learned and they change – often quickly – requiring re-learning. Jobs can be considered historically as evolving phenomena. How and why has a job changed? What events and pressures brought this about and what is likely to affect the job in the foreseeable future?

The Job and the Job-holder

Efforts, skills input, methods used, and results of a job or task may vary depending on the characteristics of the job holder. Attitudes may range from total commitment to more instrumental and restrictive positions. The job exists within a firm and an occupational sector (a profession or skill group). These contexts may influence job-holder?s values and perceptions relating to what they feels their “entitlements” are, their reaction to types of managerial behavior, and their evaluation of threats and opportunities that may exist within the firm or externally. The reasons why someone approaches its job with enthusiasm or lack of it are worth examining.

Job/Role Analysis Techniques

Pearn catalogues and evaluates a range of job analysis methods in his book Job Analysis. He evaluates each method in terms of

1.Whether the technique focuses on the job from a technical perspective (activities, functions, tasks, ergonomics) or aspects of the person doing it (skills, aptitudes, competence).

2.Whether quantitative or qualitative data is generated.

3.The extent to which data gathering can be planned and structured. The level of expertise required of an analyst using the techniques of computing skills, statistical ability and the value of excessive sophistication.

4.Whether the technique enables analysis at a distance, or more direct and intimate appraisal of observing or doing the job and meeting job-holders. This criterion is important in terms of how the objective-subjective problem is managed.

5.Whether the technique can detect less obvious, discretionary elements.

A list of questions offered by Pearn in his book Job Analysis provides a useful starting point for the development of this list.

1.If I use a particular job analysis technique for data gathering, am I clear about why? What will I do with the resultant data? What is it going to tell me?

2.Will the technique I use be acceptable to those I am surveying? Will they find it too long/tedious? Will it be understandable? Will it be credible both for those being surveyed and for those who consider the results?

3.Does the technique provide the coverage I need?

4.Is the technique a valid technique (the type of data collected properly reflects the purpose and focus of the study)? Was the technique designed for the purpose intended and, if not, is it really suitable (design validity)?

5.Will the data be reliable (a repeat of the survey of the same jobs at a different time and with different subjects will generate similar data)?

6.Does the data need to be in a particular form? If it is not quantifiable, will this weaken the possible achievement of my objectives? If the data is qualitative and subjective, can sound conclusions be reached?

7.What is the utility of the technique I am proposing to use? How much time do I have for the survey, interviews, etc. Will I really have access to job holders and others within the network of the job or jobs I am studying?

8.How big is the survey: a few jobs/people or (for large populations) do sampling decisions have to be made?

9.Do I need external expertise (for training, for data analysis of the data) and computer support?

10.What methods will I use and why are these the best?

Tips

?Identify the job information that is already available.

?Identify the job holders and obtain access to them. This will involve much planning and negotiation.

?Respect and show due courtesy to your clients ? ALWAYS!

?Avoid over-sophistication – keep it simple and straightforward.

?If the data is subjective, corroborate it by seeking the interpretations of others (objectives the subjective by seeking shared opinions. However be aware of the biases, preferences and commitments of “the others”).

?Properly record and catalogue your findings. (Pearn, 1988)

Features of Various Job Analysis Techniques – Pearn’s Criteria

Pearn evaluated a range of job analysis techniques with an eye to the following:

1.Orientation. Whether a technique is person or task-orientated.

Task approaches

?Focus on actual activities, functions or tasks carried out

?Produce job and training specifications, support performance appraisal

?Aid job re-design and ergonomic studies of a job and its environment

Behavioral/Person-focused methods

?Focus on job skills, aptitudes, competence and attributes of people

?Useful in staff selection, learning/training analysis, career development assessment, etc.

2.Measurement

Will quantitative or qualitative data be generated? Some techniques involve rating scales, which may enable qualitative responses to be quantified. Structured observations of someone carrying out a job may enable quantification of frequencies, volumes, durations, and actions.

3.Structured data gathering

How structured, specific, or flexible is the technique? An interview is a data-gathering activity. The detail, depth, and focus depends on how planned and structured it is and upon the rapport/relationship between interviewer and client. Where a checklist is used, its design may be for a very specific purposes and so it is unsuitable for wider use of job evaluation, or as a survey for one organization or test for one occupation. Some behavior checklists have more general use.

4.Sensitivity and acceptability

Will the analysis method used be acceptable to the host organization and job holders? How time consuming are they? How threatening are they to those being surveyed?

Job Descriptions

Small firms generally will ignore the fuss and bother of drawing up a job description. Even in large bureaucratic organizations many recruiters will assume that they understand the job and its requirements. Writing job descriptions is time consuming and irrelevant, if they are never referred to or used by recruiters or job incumbents. Regular updating is necessary, especially if they reference performance targets. Updating is an irritation in fast-moving business situations where jobs and priorities change quickly. Rigid job structures may be detrimental to effective client-centered, team, or project imperatives. Lean organizations require multi-skilling and a willingness to be flexible in problem solving across demarcated job boundaries.

Job/Candidate Modeling

Even if a job appears straightforward and simple to describe, without proper analysis the job a recruiter “sees” may be inaccurate, partial, or misleading. Recruiters can fail to account for the real demands and pressures of the post.

Requirements, skills and qualities are often presumed wrongly, understated or exaggerated. Irrelevant criteria can be introduced into the recruitment process and selection decisions. The “systematic prescription” recommends

?A definitive job description

?Competence analysis – the knowledge, skills, and orientations to a standard of performance as required by the job

?The terms and conditions of employment and starting requirements

In a sense the job and the ideal candidate are modeled. These represent the technical selection criteria for recruitment. Such “modeling” happens informally even when a recruiter omits the preparation of documented job criteria. From our model we proceed to identify sources of such recruits and consider how we might attract people who fit the “model” specification. Recruitment specialists or agencies might provide this analysis and documentary service for clients and perhaps even help the client specify the job role in the first place. The job description offers useful information for composing a job advertisement or internal vacancy notification. The job description and personnel specification are essential if a recruitment agency is going to short-list candidates. A well-prepared job description ensures that all the people involved in the recruitment process reference the same job. It should cover the role within the department, responsibilities, authority, and, possibly, conditions of employment (salary, hours,etc.), and how performance will be measured. Select a job and ask the following questions:

?Is there an existing job description for the post?

?If there is, when was it prepared?

?When, if ever, has it been revised?

?Does a vacancy really exist?

?Are there any reasonable alternatives to outside recruitment?

?Is the organization’s policy and procedure with regard to recruitment and selection really understood? The wording of job descriptions as regards sex, marital status and race must reflect the spirit and requirements of equal opportunities and be non-discriminatory. With these we must also avoid:

1.Implying that one sex is preferable to another, or discriminating against race.

2.Unnecessary conditions that make it more difficult or less likely for one sex to apply, such as: :

?Height, age, length of continuous service

?Conditions that discriminate against married people or those with long term relationships and/or with children inflexibility on hours when it makes no difference if its 8.30 am to 4.00 pm with half an hour for lunch or 9 – 5 with a standard lunch hour. If the job has never required it, why stipulate a need to be available for travel?

Alec Rodger: Seven Point Plan

Rodger offered a set of headings for systematic construction of person specifications. Having defined the demands of the job (responsibilities/duties, etc.) and having evaluated the knowledge-base, skills (mental, physical, social, etc.) and the personal orientations, pre-dispositions, and values needed, the recruiter now identifies the “qualities” of the person most suited to the job.

1. Physical make-up health, physique, appearance, bearing, speech (exclude discriminatory features such as accent)

2. Attainments education, training, experience, achievements

3. Intelligence Cognitive ability, learning capacity, analytical ability, ability to synthesize

4. Special aptitudes construction, equipment, dexterity, mathematical, and IT ability

5. Interests intellectual, practical, active, social

6. Disposition maturity, self-reliance, compassion, humor

7. Circumstances geographical mobility (excluding discriminatory factors such as age, children, marital status, unless specifically relevant to job)

Consider each point in the light of minimum requirements listed in the job description. Draw up a chart.

Spec Item Essential Desirable Disqualifiers

1. those attributes applicants must possess to be shortlisted further useful attributes make applicant ineligible

2. etc. etc. etc.

Recruitment – Job Prospectus

In many cases, for managerial and professional appointments a job information pack will be sent by a large organization to job applicants. Firms involved in graduate recruitment will produce and send extensive corporate information to graduate prospects. All new starters will receive job documentation, regardless. If advertising or other promotional activity has attracted numerous good applicants, then one needs to kindle their interest in the company and prime them with sound job information so that they continue to be interested (or not take up their application (the job is not for them)?

One?s list of prime candidates will be improved and those invited for interviews know a considerable amount about the job already. This information can be built on when one meets them. Good job information sent prior to the interview reduces the risks and costs of inviting the wrong people to enter the selection process. Having this documentation saves time and enables quick response to job openings.

What information would be included in a pack for applicants?

A Job Prospectus/Information Pack might contain the following:

?Application form



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