How to Do a Job Analysis

How to Do a Job Analysis

In order to hire the perfect person to fit your organization and to fit with the other employees that work for you, you need to create a job description that defines the tasks, experience, education and personality characteristics of that employee.  In order to create a job description it is very helpful to do a job analysis.


A job analysis (or task analysis) is the process of researching, collecting and defining the details of a particular job. These details may include: tasks and responsibilities of the job; the skills, experience and education required for the job; the work environment, extreme work conditions and safety considerations; opportunities for advancement, performance appraisals and training needs requirements.  This may seem overwhelming at first but you can break it down by asking the 5 Ws.  Use the Internet, National Occupation Classification System, and the job (that may already exist in your organization) to help answer the following questions.  Some areas may overlap but this will help ensure you write a complete and comprehensive job analysis that will help you hire an employee.


Who: When doing a job analysis the first question to ask is who is your candidate?  A university grad fresh out of school? A technical expert who’s been all over the world? A freelance writer with years of experience?  Here you will list the education, knowledge, training, skills, abilities, experience and other characteristics of the person in this position. Define both the cognitive and technical skills this person must possess.


What: The next “w” for the job analysis is what are the tasks and responsibilities the job entails. What does this person do? What equipment does this person use? What are the outcomes expected of this person’s position at the end of the day?  What work conditions and safety considerations are important to this job?  Will the individual be expected to be strong and lift heavy boxes all day, or be intelligent and calculate mathematical formulas, or both?


Where: The 3rd “w” for the job analysis is where will this person work?  Outside in -40 degree weather conditions hanging from a lamppost, travelling all over the world or sitting behind a computer in a downtown office every day?


When: The 4th “w” to consider for the job analysis is when does this person work?  Monday to Friday, 9:00-5:00? Seasonally? Temporarily? Permanently? Casually? Shiftwork?


Why: The last “w” for the job analysis is why is this position important to your organization?  The answer to this question will help you see the position in the bigger picture.  You can later compare this position to other job descriptions in your business to help identify areas that are lacking someone to do the job.  This is helpful when deciding whether or not to hire an employee or simply adjust job responsibilities of employees who already work in your organization.


After answering who, what, where, when and why about a particular job in your organization, or about a job that you wish to develop in your organization, you will have a comprehensive job analysis that will help you write a job description, create performance appraisals, assess the needs of your organization,  and build a strong team of employees.


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