Job Analysis: Job Descriptions

Job descriptions, as a management tool, can greatly simplify an organization's human resource management.

A job description clarifies work functions and reporting relationships, helping employees understand their jobs. Job descriptions aid in maintaining a consistent salary structure. Performance evaluations may be based on job descriptions.

Well written duty statements contain action words which accurately describe what is being done.

Duty statements should focus on primary, current, normal, daily duties and responsibilities of the position (not incidental duties, an employee?s qualifications or performance, or temporary assignments). Related or similar duties should be combined and written as one statement.

Each duty statement should be a discreet, identifiable aspect of the work assignment, described in one to three sentences, and should be outcome-based, allowing for alternate means of performing the duty, changes in technology, preferences of employees and supervisors, and accommodations of workers with disabilities, without altering the nature of, and/or the duty itself.

Examples of duty statements are:

Duty statements typically contain three parts: 1) the Verb, the Object, and a Purpose. Examples of these parts of duty statements are shown below:

Verb Object Purpose
Collectsfinancial datato evaluate budget requests.
Conductsanalytical studiesto support financial planning.
Compilesenrollment data for distribution to administrators.
Cleanscomputer equipmentin conformance with established schedules.
Drivespickup truck carrying motor fuelsto job sites.
Overhauls and repairsequipment daily, or as needed.
A form, such as the one below may help in identifying the necessary information to create duty statements.

Worksheet for task statements
Who? Performs what action? To whom or what? Using what tools, equipment, methods? To achieve what result?
SubjectAction VerbsObject of verb PhraseIn order to...
the worker

Task statement

Job Analysis answers the following important questions:

The content of job descriptions should identify and describe:

  1. Mental Functions
    1. COMPARING - Judging the readily observable functional, structural, or compositional characteristics (whether similar to or divergent from obvious standards) of data, people, or things.
    2. COPYING - Transcribing, entering, or posting data.
    3. COMPUTING - Performing arithmetic operations and reporting on and/or carrying out a prescribed action in relation to them.
    4. COMPILING - Gathering, collating, or classifying information about data, people, or things. Reporting and/or carrying out a prescribed action in relation to the evaluation is frequently involved.
    5. ANALYZING - Examining and evaluating data. Presenting alternative actions in relation to the evaluation is frequently involved.
    6. COORDINATING - Determining time, place, and sequence of operations or action to be taken on the basis of analysis of data. May include prioritizing multiple responsibilities and/or accomplishing them simultaneous-ly.
    7. SYNTHESIZING - To combine or integrate data to discover facts and/or develop knowledge or creative concepts and/or interpretations.

  2. Relations with Others
    1. SUPERVISION (given) - Coordinating and directing the activities of one or more subordinates.
    2. SUPERVISION (received) - Independence of actions; authority to determine methods of operation.
    3. NEGOTIATING - Exchanging ideas, information, and opinions with others to formulate policies and programs and/or jointly arrive at decisions, conclusions, solutions, or solve disputes.
    4. COMMUNICATING - Talking with and/or listening to and/or signaling people to convey or exchange infor-mation; includes giving/receiving assignments and/or directions.
    5. INSTRUCTING - Teaching subject matter to others, or training others through explanation, demonstration, and supervised practice; or making recommendations on the basis of technical disciplines.
    6. INTERPERSONAL SKILLS/BEHAVIORS - Dealing with individuals with a range of moods and behaviors in a tactful, congenial, personal manner so as not to alienate or antagonize them.
    7. CONTROL OF OTHERS - seizing, holding, controlling, and/or otherwise subduing violent, assaultive, or physically threatening persons to defend oneself or prevent injury. Body strength and agility of all four limbs is necessary.

  3. Physical Demands (strength)
    1. SEDENTARY - Exerts up to 10 lbs. of force occa-sionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects, including the human body. involves sitting most of the time, but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time.
    2. LIGHT - Exert up to 20 lbs. of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 lbs. of force frequently, and/or a negligi-ble amount of force constantly to move objects. Physical demands are in excess of those of Sedentary work. Light work usually requires walking or standing to a significant degree.
    3. MEDIUM - Exert up to 50 lbs. of force occasional-ly, and/or up to 20 lbs. of force frequently, and/or up to 10 lbs. of force constantly to move objects.
    4. HEAVY - Exert up to 100 lbs. of force occasionally, and/or up to 50 lbs. of force frequently, and/or up to 20 lbs. of force constantly to move objects.
    5. VERY HEAVY - Exert in excess of 100 lbs. of force occasionally, and/or in excess of 50 lbs. of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 lbs. of force constantly to move objects.

  4. Physical Demands (movement)
    1. CLIMBING - Ascending or descending using feet and legs and/or hands and arms. Body agility is emphasized.
    2. BALANCING - Maintaining body equilibrium to prevent falling on narrow, slippery, or erratically moving surfaces; or maintaining body equilibrium when perform-ing feats of agility.
    3. STOOPING - Bending body downward and forward. This factor is important if it occurs to a considerable degree and requires full use of the lower extremities and back muscles.
    4. KNEELING - Bending legs at knees to come to rest on knee or knees.
    5. CROUCHING - Bending body downward and for-ward by bending legs and spine.
    6. CRAWLING - Moving about on hands and knees or hands and feet.
    7. REACHING - Extending hand(s) and arm(s) in any direction.
    8. HANDLING - Seizing, holding, grasp-ing, turning, or otherwise working with hand or hands. Fingers are involved only to the extent that they are an extension of the hand.
    9. FINGERING - Picking, pinching, or otherwise working primarily with fingers rather than with the whole hand or arm as in handling.
    10. FEELING - Perceiving attributes of objects, such as size, shape, temperature, or texture, by touching with skin, particularly that of fingertips.

  5. Physical Demands (auditory)
    1. TALKING - Expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word. Talking is important for those activities in which workers must impart oral information to clients or to the public, and in those activities in which they must convey detailed or important spoken instructions to other workers accurately, loudly, or quickly.
    2. HEARING - perceiving the nature of sounds. Used for those activities which require ability to receive detailed information through oral communication, and to make fine discriminations in sounds, such as when making fine adjustments on running engines.

  6. Physical Demands (taste/smell)
    1. TASTING/SMELLING - Distinguishing, with a degree of accuracy, differences or similarities in intensity or quality of flavors and/or odors, or recognizing particular flavors and/or odors, using tongue and/or nose.

  7. Physical Demands (vision)
    1. NEAR ACUITY - Clarity of vision at 20 inches or less. Use this factor when special and minute accuracy is demanded.
    2. FAR ACUITY - Clarity of vision at 20 feet or more. Use this factor when visual efficiency in terms of far acuity is required in day and night/dark conditions.
    3. DEPTH PERCEPTION - Three-dimensional vision. Ability to judge distances and spatial relationships so as to see objects where and as they actually are.
    4. ACCOMMODATION - Adjustment of lens of eye to bring an object into sharp focus. Use this factor when requiring near point work at varying distances.
    5. COLOR VISION - Ability to identify and distinguish colors.
    6. FIELD OF VISION - Observing an area that can be seen up and down or to right or left while eyes are fixed on a given point. Use this factor when job performance re-quires seeing a large area while keeping the eyes fixed.

  8. Environmental Conditions and Physical Surroundings - exposure results in marked bodily discomfort.
    1. EXPOSURE TO WEATHER - Exposure to hot, cold, wet, humid, or windy conditions caused by the weather.
    2. EXTREME COLD - Exposure to nonweather-related cold temperatures.
    3. EXTREME HEAT - Exposure to nonweather-related hot temperatures.
    4. WET AND/OR HUMID - Contact with water or other liquids; or exposure to nonweather-related humid conditions.
    5. NOISE - Exposure to constant or intermittent sounds or a pitch or level sufficient to cause mark ed distraction or possible hearing loss.
    6. VIBRATION - Exposure to a shaking object or surface. This factor is rated important when vibration causes a strain on the body or extremities.
    7. ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS - Exposure to conditions such as fumes, noxious odors, dusts, mists, gases, and poor ventilation, that affect the respiratory system, eyes or, the skin.
    8. CONFINED/RESTRICTED WORKING ENVI-RONMENT - Work is performed in a closed or locked facility providing safety and security for clients, inmates, or fellow workers.

  9. Equipment Used
    1. office equipment such as computer, typewriter, projector, casette player/recorder.
    2. hand tools (e.g., hammer, shovel, screwdriver)
    3. power tools (e.g., radial saw, reciprocating saw, drill, pheunomatic hammer)
    4. vehicles (e.g., automobile, truck, tractor, lift)

  10. Hazards
    1. Proximity to moving, mechanical parts.
    2. Exposure to electrical shock.
    3. Working in high, exposed places.
    4. Exposure to radiant energy.
    5. Working with explosives.
    6. Exposure to toxic or caustic chemicals.