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What’s the secret to assigning the correct salary range to a job? It all starts with job analysis.
Unfortunately, many compensation practitioners make their salary survey matches based on their review of a job description, which could be outdated and in other ways inaccurate. Proper job analysis ensures that you have a thorough understanding of the job at hand, its contribution and value to the organization, and its relationship to other jobs within the company.
Not sure where to start when it comes to job analysis? This article can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of job analysis, which will lead to more accurate job pricing.
Job analysis is the process of examining a job to define the specific activities and duties it entails. This includes its relationship to other jobs, the working conditions, and the skills required. A thorough understanding of the job is critical to assigning a level, market pricing the job, and establishing organization structures.
For example, a job analysis of a software engineer would show the primary function of this role is creating or updating software. Candidates for this role will likely have coding credentials, computer engineering skills, and other technical knowledge. Through job analysis, you would also understand how the actual work assigned to this job differs from one level to another (e.g., Software Engineer I versus Software Engineer II), how it influences and coordinates with other jobs in the company, and how much discretion and independent decision-making the person in the role is required to use.
When performing a job analysis, there are four types of information you should ensure you understand about the job in question:
To perform a job analysis, you might use some of these methods:
When doing job analysis research, you can look at external job postings, comparing them to the job description you have been given. Look at the differences and similarities and use them to develop your list of questions that will help you get a clearer understanding of the job. Pay particular attention to jargon. Don’t be afraid to say, “What does that mean? Explain it to me like I’m a child.”
Typically, you will start by having a discussion with the manager/supervisor of the job in question. They can provide background information on the need for this evaluation (e.g., new role or modification to an existing role, and the cause of either situation). If you have current employees in the same role you are analyzing, you can interview them to get their perspective. You can also interview associates who aren’t in the same role but might be in the same department. They will eventually work with someone in the new role you are creating. This will give you a good idea of what qualifications and skills they are looking for in someone who can support the team. The person responsible for managing the employee can tell you what they expect out of the role.
If research and interviews still leave you questioning what exactly the job entails, ask if you can shadow someone in that job for a few hours. Sometimes just seeing what they do and then matching that up to how the job has been described to you previously will provide the clarity you need. Perhaps it will also identify discrepancies in the job description that can then be modified by coordinating with the manager.
Asking employees to respond to time study surveys to give you insights about the duties they perform and how they spend their time is another way to understand what that job really entails.
Though job analysis and job evaluation are similar and are often consecutive processes, there are some differences.
As we described above, job analysis involves developing an understanding of a job. Job evaluation then uses that information from the job analysis to determine a relative value of the job within the organization. Often the job evaluation uses a point-factor system, whole job ranking, or blended system, like with Mercer’s IPE methodology.
Job evaluation is typically focused on comparing jobs within the organization. It is used alongside market pricing to assign a salary range or market reference point to a job. The combination of internal and external knowledge about the job will allow you to consistently approve titling, assign pay ranges, identify incentive targets, and consider other aspects important to the role.
If you have been tasked with performing a job analysis, your goals should be to fully understand the job and its relationship to other jobs. Talking to the manager and employees is the best way to do that.
Here are some questions to get you started:
It is important to develop a method for tracking your job analysis and job evaluation findings and results. Having an easy way to retrieve specific jobs that have been reviewed will assist you in future analysis. Consultants at Mercer are happy to help and offer more helpful tips.
Contact us to learn more