Effective Job Analysis – So, how does it work?


Hopefully in our recent article Effective Job Analysis – Why bother?! we convinced you on the merit of such an exercise and how the results will drive better search and selection outcomes when recruiting for leadership positions.

I’ll grant you that an effective job analysis exercise can be time consuming, however by taking this time and by asking the right questions, it will offer valuable insights into the position allowing you to write a complete and useful job description, and critically, ensure you hire the person with the right skills for the job!

So, before you pick up the phone to call a search firm, ask yourself “does the definition of the job description as it stands, accurately reflects my organization’s needs today?”

As an external recruiting partner, I can tell you that a complete and useful job description is essential to clearly define the blend of functional expertise and behavioral characteristics required to be successful and will ultimately form the basis of the sourcing strategy which is built around targeting those skills in the market.

So where do you start?

Keep in mind that the goal of this exercise is to understand all aspects of any given job and how it is done, so you’ll need to speak with incumbents in the role, their peers and superiors to collect the knowledge.

Identify and observe the most successful employees. What factors (functional experience and behavioral qualities) contribute to their success? Check as many different locations, circumstances, and types of people as possible. Ask how important each task they complete is, how often it is performed, how difficult it is to learn, and what are the consequences of doing it wrong?!

For the company, it’s a great exercise that will allow you to:

– fully understand the role and define the main deliverables

– define the internal positioning of the job

– establish what the key skills / knowledge is essential to be successful

– run a sound – and successful – assessment and selection process with your search partner