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Your UCP: National October 13, 2003

Fact Sheets

Job Analysis: An Important Employment Tool

All hiring decisions and supervisory evaluations should be made on objective criteria. A supervisor needs to know each job under his or her supervision, and the qualifications needed to perform it, to develop objective interview questions and objectively evaluate an employee s performance. Human resource specialists who are responsible for initial screening of job applicants and mediating performance appraisal disputes must also understand the key components of the jobs in their organization.

Job analysis provides an objective basis for hiring, evaluating, training, accommodating and supervising persons with disabilities, as well as improving the efficiency of your organization. It is a logical process to determine (1) purpose-the reason for the job, (2) essential functions-the job duties which are critical or fundamental to the performance of the job, (3) job setting-the work station and conditions where the essential functions are performed, and (4) job qualifications-the minimal skills an individual must possess to perform the essential functions. A job analysis describes the job, not the person who fills it.

How to Conduct a Job Analysis

The following questions can help you to analyze each job in your organization.


  1. What are the particular contributions of the job toward the accomplishment of the overall objective of the unit or organization?
Essential Functions:
  1. What three or four activities actually constitute the job? Is each really necessary? (For example a secretary types, files, answers the phone, takes dictation.)
  2. What is the relationship between each task? Is there a special sequence which the tasks must follow?
  3. Do the tasks necessitate sitting, standing, crawling, walking, climbing, running, stooping, kneeling, lifting, carrying, digging, writing, operating, pushing, pulling, fingering, talking, listening, interpreting, analyzing, seeing, coordinating, etc.?
  4. How many other employees are available to perform the job function? Can the performance of that job function be distributed among any other employees?
  5. How much time is spent on the job performing each particular function? Are the tasks performed less frequently as important to success as those done more frequently?
  6. Would removing a function fundamentally alter the job?
  7. What happens if a task is not completed on time?
Job Setting:

  1. Location - Where are the essential functions of the job carried out?
  2. Organization - How is the work organized for maximum safety and efficiency? How do workers obtain necessary equipment and materials?
  3. Movement - What movement is required of employees to accomplish the essential functions of the job?
  4. Conditions - What are the physical conditions of the job setting (hot, cold, damp, inside, outside, underground, wet, humid, dry, air-conditioned, dirty, greasy, noisy, sudden temperature changes, etc.)? What are the social conditions of the job (works alone, works around others, works with the public, works under close supervision, works under minimal supervision, works under deadlines, etc.)?
Worker Qualifications:

  1. What are the physical requirements (lifting, driving, cleaning, etc.)?
  2. What are the general skills needed for the job (ability to read, write, add, etc.)?
  3. What specific training is necessary? Can it be obtained on the job? What previous experience, if any, can replace or be substituted for the specific training requirements?
How to Use the Job Analysis

Once the job analysis has been completed you will be in a better position to:

  1. Develop objective job-related interview questions.
  2. Write current and accurate position descriptions. Position descriptions should be updated on a regular basis and a job analysis done if any factors outlined above have to be altered.
  3. Perform objective performance appraisals.
  4. Determine if accommodations can assist a person with a disability to perform the job.
  5. Conduct personnel functions in a non-discriminatory manner.
Information for this fact sheet was taken in part from Ready Willing and Available, A Business Guide for Hiring People with Disabilities.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disabilitiy Employment Policy, October 1994

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