EMPLOYEE RESOURCING: AN INTRODUCTION

EMPLOYEE RESOURCING: AN INTRODUCTION

Introduction

This course is intended to cover the techniques of manpower planning, recruitment, selection and placement in order to meet the present and future needs of the organization.

General Objectives

At the end of this unit, the trainee should be able to: –

  • Understand the dynamics of the labour market in Kenya and how they affect selection and hiring processes
  • Understand the relationship between organizational structure and the HR requirements for the organization
  • Appreciate the need for HR planning
  • Draw up a short term and long term HR plan for the organization
  • Appreciate the need for job analysis in the procurement processes
  • Develop competence in the area of employee procurement

 

Topic to Be Covered

  • Labour Economics
  • Job Analysis
  • Human Resource Planning
  • Recruitment And Selection
  • Legislation Governing Employment In Kenya

LABOUR ECONOMICS

Specific Objectives

At the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to: –

  • Identify factors influencing labour market in Kenya
  • Analyse ways of increasing productivity of labour
  • Identify methods of controlling labour costs
  • Evaluate impact of education and training on the employment opportunity

 

Introduction

Employee resourcing is concerned with ensuring that the organisation obtains and retains the people it needs and employs them productively. It is also about those aspects of employment practice that are concerned with welcoming people to the organisation, and if there is no alternative release them.

 

Labour is a factor of production. It is a different factor of production since it’s not a substitute for land in overpopulated countries labour is ‘abundant’ while land is scarce.

 

One needs to make a distinction between physical or unskilled labour and skilled labour. Some countries have an abundant supply of unskilled labour but an acute shortage of skilled labour of all types a major hindrance to economic growth.

FACTORS INFLUENCING THE LABOUR MARKET IN KENYA

Supply and Demand for Labour

 

Demand for a factor is known as derived demand, i.e. it s derived from the demand for the product it can produce. E.g. if demand for sugar increases, the demand for sugar increases, the demand for workers in the sugar estates will increase. It therefore follows that labour is in abundant supply where derived demand is high.

Supply of labour can be seen from the entire economy point of view the size of the national workforce. Determinants affecting the size of the economically active population or national workforce include; the size of the population itself, the age structure, ratio of men to women, the average working day and efficiency of quality of the labour effort. A developing nation is characterized by unlimited supply of labour form the rural areas – consisting of underemployed workers. The supply curve of labour to an industry or economy slopes up form left to right. If the price of labour (wage rate) goes up, the amount of labour supplied will increase.

However in developing countries, the supply curve of labour is “backward sloping” – the supply curve of labour is “backward sloping”. The supply curve slopes down form left to right, so that an increase in wage results in a decrease in the amount. People prefer leisure to money to an extent that an increase in money earnings is more likely to lead to a decrease in the amount of work done.

Income and Substitution Effects

With any form of labour anywhere, there must be some point at which the amount of labour supplied by an individual ceases to increase or decrease, as the wage rate increases. This is because money income is not desired for its own sake, but for the goods it can buy. And the enjoyment of these goods will be impossible without at least a minimum amount of leisure; as one sets better off he is likely at some point to take at least part of the increased standard of living n the form of more leisure – and thus work fewer hours. The increase in real income is therefore an incentive to work less hard, to consume more leisure. This is known as the income effect (rise in income leading to more leisure) and the substitution effect caused by the change in the price of the leisure (less income taken).

 

The Downward Sloping Demand Curve

Firms need workers to produce goods and services. The demand curve for labour shows how many workers will be hired at any given wage rate over a particular time period. Economic theory suggests that the higher the price of labour, the less labour firms will hire. The higher the wage rate, the more likely it s that firms will substitute machines for workers and hence the lower the demand for labour.

 

In the third world, where labour is cheap relative to capital, firms tend to choose labour intensive methods of production. In the first world, labour is relatively expensive and hence more capital-intensive techniques of production are chosen.

 

The Supply Curve of Labour

A rise in real wage rates may or may not increase the supply of labour by individual workers in the industry. However, it is likely to attract new workers in the industry. The supply curve of labour is likely to be upward sloping. The higher the wages the more workers will want to enter the particular industry.

 

Key Terms

  • Activity or participation rates – the percentage or proportion of any given population in the labour force.
  • Economically active – the number of workers in the workforce who are in a job or are unemployed.
  • Net migration – immigration minus emigration.
  • Workforce/labour force – those economically active and therefore in work or seeking work.
  • Workforce jobs – the number of workers in employment. It excludes the unemployed.
Factors influencing the labour market in Kenya:  A summary

o    Supply and demand for labour

o    Production techniques/technology

o    Quality of labour/education levels

o    Cost of labour/wage rates

o    Population dynamics – migration, age etc

o    Government – legislation EEO, wage guidance, age requirements, entertainment, culture

o    Socio cultural factors

o    Environment and climate

 


  1. The Supply of Labour

Supply may be taken to mean the total number of people of working age. It may also mean the supply of labour service available. The total supply of labour in an economy depends upon: –

Size of the population. Size of population: – this sets an obvious limit to the total supply of labour.

The proportion of the population which works/available for employment. This is determined chiefly by age distribution, social institutions, customs, participation rate of married women and the wages offered.

The amount of work offered by each individual labourer. Number of hours worked by each person per year. Higher rates of pay usually induce a person to work overtime, the increased reward encouraging him to substitute work for leisure.  But this is not always so.

 

  1. Production Techniques and Technology

In the developing world where technology is not extensively applied the demand for labour is high. This s as compared to the developed world where machines are used to replace people. Our production techniques are labour intensive and as such demand for labour is high.

 

  1. Quality of labour

There is an important difference between low wages and cheap labour. Despite low wages in labour – abundant countries, labour is not nearly as cheap as it appears since low wages are to a great extent offset by low productivity. This is attributed to the poor education levels among the labour force. The higher the levels of education, the scarcer the unskilled labourers become.

  1. Wage rates

High relative wages outside Kenya have attracted highly skilled professional in such countries as Botswana and South Africa. High labour costs may also make a company resort to technology. High wage rates are also known to attract and hold labour in most unattractive areas of the country. Unpleasant but unskilled jobs are often poorly paid because anyone can do them. Shifts in earnings may create substantial inflows of workers into an expanding occupation, industry or area and an outflow of workers from a depressed occupation, industry or area.

  1. Population Dynamics

The number of people searching for work in a developing country depend primarily on the size and age composition of the population. The age structure of the population also affects the labour market. An aging population has fewer workforces and therefore few people are available for work.

 

The rapid reductions in death rates experienced by most developing economies have expanded the size of their present labour force while continuous high birth-rates create high dependency ratios and rapidly expanding future labour force.

 

  1. Government Legislation

Governments may affect the labour market through various legislations such as; equal employment opportunity, age limit for employment and retirement and minimum wage limits. The trade union movement activities may also have an impact on the labour market.

 

PRODUCTIVITY OF LABOUR

There are two main factors, which reduce the supply of labour – the longer period of education and the shorter workweek. Efficiency of labour is the ability to achieve a greater output in a shorter time without any falling off in the quality of the work – increased productivity per man employed. The efficacy of the labour force depends on a number of influences: –

  • Climate – this can be an important influence on the willingness to work, for extremes of temperature or humidity are not conducive to concentration on tasks.
  • Health of the worker – workers must be adequately fed, clothed and housed. Attention to the employee’s physical welfare reduces time lost from sickness and improves general efficiency. The cost of a health service might be offset to some extent by increased production
  • Peace of mind – anxiety is detrimental to efficacy. A social security scheme relives people from worry about the future by providing form them in times of sickness, unemployment and old age
  • Working conditions – the general conditions under which people work can affect their output. Workplace health and safety is an important consideration here. Heating, lighting, ventilation, noise, provision of rest pauses and tea breaks help reduce fatigue and increase output. Provision of recreation facilities and canteens has the same objective
  • Education and training – this factor has 3 aspects general education, technical education, and training with industry. General education is a foundation upon which more specialized vocational training can be based. Training within industry is offered by each firm that opts to train its own employees, in the correct manner that it desires work to be done.
  • Efficiency of the factors – the productivity of labour will be increased if the quality of the other factors of production is high. Fertile land, sufficient capital and division of labour all increase the efficiency of labour.

Education and Manpower

Governments have expanded educational budgets in part because they have seen education as an investment in human capital and the training of manpower needed for development.

Education may have important labour market effects, accelerating rural – urban migration and increasing the amount of labour force and even wastage of manpower.

Education may through its effects on the wage and salary structure effect income distribution and equality of opportunity to jobs.

The type of education offered could influence attitudes, attitudes to manual or agricultural work, interest in business and risk taking.

Due to the importance of education to manpower, governments are now formulating HRD programmes, which make explicit the role of education in labour force development. This can be seen in provision of formal or informal education, and in manpower planning.

 

Formally educated manpower is always in abundance in the developing world, taking up the rates of unemployment and labour wastage.

 

A different approach towards planning educational investment is the method of manpower planning. The approach here is to make a demand projection or forecast of the economy’s requirements of different categories of labour in future time periods, and a supply projection for the same categories and periods, comparing them and determining which categories of manpower will be short supply. Training programmes can then be adjusted to alleviate the shortages.

 

The key to mobility among occupations is education. Many skills are learned rather than inherited. This is the stock of personal capital acquired by each worker. Since investment in labour skills is similar to investment in physical capital, acquired skills are called HUMAN CAPITAL. The supply of some particular skill increases when more people find it worthwhile to acquire the necessary human capital and decreases when fewer do so. Because acquiring human capital is costly, the more highly skilled the job, the more it must pay if enough people are to be attracted to train for it.

WAGES AND EMPLOYMENT GROWTH

There is a relatively slow growth of employment in the developing countries due to low wage levels. However, on the other hand increases in real wages re a significant factor restraining growth in employment. Rapid increases in real wages retard paid employment opportunities.

 

FACTORS DETERMINING THE LEVEL OF PRODUCTIVITY.

  • The stock of capital available; money, machinery and other capital equipment used in the organisation.
  • The nature of the human resources available in the organisation; skilled and experienced manpower.
  • Conducive working environment; encouraging workers through motivation, team work etc.
  • Level of technology; on the machines and tools used at the places of work e.g. latest technology would contribute to higher productivity.
  • Effective organisational procedures, policies, rules and regulations.
  • Motivational measures adopted by the organisation. It includes job enlargement and enrichment.
  • Strength of the management team. A strong management team will improve employee morale leading to high work performance and productivity.

INCREASING LABOUR PRODUCTIVITY.

  1. Providing training and development programmes to employees to improve their skills and level of performance, hence a high level of productivity.
  2. Improving working facilities and equipment e.g. installation of modern equipment, machinery and computers.
  • Effective organisational structures e.g. departmentation, delegation of authority etc.
  1. Effective job design i.e. the level of job enlargement or job enrichment in the organisation.
  2. Improve working conditions; fair and appropriate rules and regulations; democratic leadership approaches to management.
  3. Conducive working environment and god organisational climate; level of cleanliness, sanitary conditions of the organisation; friendly working environment; employee health and safety measures.
  • Motivation or incentive measures provided by the organisation; attractive employment packages, wages and salaries, medical, housing etc; opportunity for promotions through internal recruitment.
  • Provision of social amenities to staff; sports, club membership. These enable workers to reduce stress and strain of the workplace.
  1. Provision of rest breaks at places of work; tea break, lunch break etc.
  2. Provision of leave; annual, sick off etc.
  3. Friendly work environment; team spirit, knowing employees in great detail, concept of shared fate (that the company belongs to everyone and if it goes down all will suffer; and if it succeeds all will benefit)
  • Client/service chain concept; all employees must understand that all their activities are meant to serve the “customer” – the person who uses the product of their work.

METHODS OF CONTROLLING LABOUR COSTS.

The total cost of production TC= Fixed cost (FC) + Variable costs (VC)

Where

TC       =          the total cost of production

FC       =          Fixed cost (FC) {Machinery, plant, salaries, taxes, rent}

VC      =          Variable costs (VC) {wages, materials, transport)

The term labour costs refer to additions to the total cost of production contributed by or associated with units of labour (employees).  Methods of controlling labour costs are concerned with measures to reduce the cost of labour and improve efficiency.  The following measures should be undertaken to control the labour costs:

  1. Effective recruitment and selection processes. Scientific recruitment and selection should be conducted to hire the right persons for the right jobs; placement should be carried out to ensure that individuals are matched with jobs in line with their experience and qualifications.
  2. Training and Development. The management should provide their employees with adequate training and development programmes to improve their efficiency. This should reduce poor performance, resulting in a reduction in labour costs.
  • Retrenchment/Downsizing. Most organisations are trying to restructure by cutting down the size of their labour force in order to reduce the cost of labour and improve their profit margin. This is due to the recognition that labour cost contributes the greatest amount to the cost structures of organisations.  Layoffs or redundancies may therefore be carried out due to poor business performance.  Layoffs of employees may be temporary or permanent.
  1. Discharge or dismissal. This action may be taken to stop employment of less productive workers by discharging or dismissing them. As a result, the labour costs will reduce.
  2. Improving work equipment and tools. Outmoded equipment and tools may contribute to labour inefficiencies and therefore high cost of production. Improvement on equipment and tools at the workplace may therefore reduce inefficiencies associated with working using such equipment.  An organisation may also install new technology in order to reduce the labour cost.
  3. Training on effective use of time. Labour costs resulting from poor time management may be reduced by training employees on effective use of time. For instance reporting to work, reporting for meetings, monitoring production activities etc requires effective time management.
  • Improving organisational structures, Job design and job description. Efficient organisational structures, job design and job description may reduce labour costs associated with inefficiency of such structures. Poor organisational design may affect coordination and control.
  • Improving physical work environments and well-being of employees. This will reduce the stress in the work environment and lead to improvement in productivity and reduction in the labour costs.

TOPIC 2: JOB ANALYSIS AN INTRODUCTION.

At the end of this topic, the trainee should be able to:-

  • Explain the meaning and purpose for job analysis
  • Discuss the procedure for carrying out job analysis
  • Carry out a job analysis

 

Definition

A job is a collection of tasks assigned to a position in an organization.  Job analysis is the term used to describe a process of examining jobs in order to identify their main features, in particular the duties they fulfil, the results they expect to achieve, the major tasks undertaken and the job’s relationships with other jobs in the organizational hierarchy.

 

Job analysis is the process by which a description of a job is compiled.

Job analysis is the process of determining and reporting pertinent information relating to the nature of a specific job.  It is the determination of the tasks which comprise the job and of the skills, knowledge, abilities and responsibilities required of the holder for successful job performance.

 

Job analysis is the process of collecting, analysing and setting out information about the content of jobs in order to provide the basis for a job description and data for recruitment, training, job evaluation and performance management.  Job analysis concentrates on what holders are expected to do.

 

Job analysis is the cornerstone of all human resource functions.  Data obtained from job analysis produces the following information about a job:

 

  • Overall purpose – why the job exists, and in essence, what the jobholder is expected to contribute.
  • Content – the nature and scope of the jobs in terms of the tasks and operations to be performed and duties to be carried out i.e. the processes of converting inputs (knowledge, skills and abilities) into outputs (results).
  • Accountabilities – the results or outputs for which the jobholder is accountable.
  • Performance criteria – the criteria, measures or indicators that enable an assessment to be carried out to ascertain the degree to which the job is being performed satisfactorily.
  • Responsibilities – the level of responsibility the job holder has to exercise by reference to the scope and input of the job; the amount of discretion allowed to make decisions; the difficulty; scale, variety and complexity of the problems to be solved.
  • Organizational factors – the reporting relationships of the jobholder, the people reporting directly or indirectly to the jobholder and the extent to which the jobholder is involved in team.
  • Motivation factors – the particular features of the job that are likely to motivate or demotivate jobholders.
  • Development factors – promotion and career prospects, and the opportunity to acquire new skills or expertise.
  • Environmental factors – working conditions, health & safety considerations, unsocial hours, mobility and ergonomic factors relating to the design and use of equipment & workstations.

 

What Aspects of a Job are analysed.

Job analysis should collect information on the following areas; i.e. content and context of the job

 

  • Duties and Tasks – The basic unit of a job is the performance of specific tasks and duties. Information to be collected about these items may include; frequency, duration, effort, skill, complexity, equipment, standards etc.
  • Environment – This may have a significant impact on the physical requirements to be able to perform a job. The work offensive odours and temperature extremes. There may be definite risks to the jobholder such as noxious fumes, radioactive substances, hostile and aggressive people and dangerous explosives.
  • Tools and Equipment- some duties and tasks are performed using specific equipment and tools. Equipment may include protective clothing.  These items need to be specified in a job analysis.
  • Relationships – Supervision given and received relationships with internal or external people.
  • Requirements – The knowledge’s, skills and abilities (KSA’s) required performing the job. While and incumbent may have higher KSA’s than those required for the job, a job analysis typically only states the minimum requirements to perform the job.

 

Basic Terminology

The simplest unit of work is the micromotion.  A micromotion involves a very elementary movement such as reaching, grasping, positioning or releasing an object.  An aggregation of two or more micromotions forms an element.  An element is a complete entity such as picking up, transporting and positioning an item.  A group of working elements makes up a work task.  Related tasks comprise the duties of a job.  Duties when combined with responsibilities (obligations to be performed) define a position.  A group of positions that are identical with respect to their major tasks and responsibilities form a job.

 

A job may be held by more than one person whereas a position cannot.

 

Products of Job Analysis

Job analysis involves not only analysing job content but also reporting the results of the analysis.  These results are normally presented in the form of a job description and a job specification.

 

A job description concentrates on describing the job as it is currently being performed.  It explains, in written form, what the job is called, what is to be done, where it is to be done and how it is to be done.  Most job descriptions contain sections that include; the job name, a brief summary description of the job a listing of job duties and responsibilities and an explanation of organizational relationships pertinent to the job.

A job specification concentrates on the characteristics needed to perform the job.  It describes the competency, educational and experience qualifications the incumbent must possess to perform the job.

Uses of Job Analysis Information

As earlier indicated job analysis information is used in the formulation of job description and specifications.  The information is the basis for a number of HR activities.  These activities include:-

  1. Job definition: A job analysis results in a description of the duties and responsibilities of the job. Such a description is useful to the current jobholders and their supervisors, as well as to prospective employees.  The jobholders can get a clear idea of their main responsibilities from a job description.
  2. Job Redesign: A job analysis often indicates when a job needs to be redesigned.
  • Recruitment: Job analysis clarifies posts for which new recruits are sought. A job analysis not only identifies the job requirements but also outlines the skills needed to perform the job.  This information helps to identify the type of people to be recruited.
  1. Selection and Placement: Selection seeks to match an individual with a job. For this to succeed the job and its requirements must be clearly and precisely known. Job analysis produces job descriptions, which can provide essential evidence for selection interviewers.
  2. Orientation: Effective job orientation cannot be accomplished without a clear understanding of the job requirements. The duties and responsibilities of a job must be clearly defined before a new employee can be taught how to perform the job.
  3. Training: Whether or not a current or potential jobholder needs additional training can be decided only after specific requirements of the job have been determined through a job analysis. Also, the establishment of training objectives is dependent on a job analysis.  Another training-related use of job analysis is to help determine whether a problem is occurring because of a training need or because of some other reason.
  • Career Counselling: managers and HR specialists are in a much better position to counsel employees about their careers when they have a complete understanding of the different jobs in the organization. Employees can better appreciate their career options when they understand the exact requirements of other jobs.
  • Employee Safety: A thorough job analysis often uncovers unsafe practices and/or environmental conditions associated with a job. Focusing precisely on how a job is done usually uncovers any unsafe procedures.
  1. Performance Appraisal: The objective of performance appraisal is to evaluate an individual employee’s performance on a job. A prerequisite is a thorough understanding of exactly what the employee is supposed to do.  Job analysis provides the basic material on which performance assessment can be made.
  2. Compensation: A proper job analysis helps to ensure that employees receive fair compensation for their jobs. Job analyses help establish the worth of a job relative to other jobs and enables the employer determine an equitable wage.

The benefits just described are directed at management, and especially towards line management.  There are also benefits to individuals from job analysis:

  • They can be given a clear idea of their main responsibilities
  • They are provided with a basic for arguing for changes or improvements in their job (e.g. job redesign)
  • They are provided relevant information in respect of any appraisal they may have.
  • They have an opportunity to participate in setting their own short-term targets or objectives

When performing a job analysis, the job and its requirements (as opposed to the characteristics of the person currently holding the job) are studied.

JOB ANALYSIS METHODS

Several methods are available for conducting a job analysis.

Choice of Method

In the selection of a method of job analysis, the criteria for choice are the purpose for which it will be used, its effectiveness in obtaining the data required, the degree of expertise required to conduct the analysis and the resources and amount of time available for the analysis programme.  The following are the most important methods, which may be used in job analysis; four of the most frequent used methods first.

  • Observation
  • Interviews
  • Questionnaires
  • Functional job analysis
  • Materials of work
  • Previous studies
  • Do-it-yourself
  • Work diaries/worklogs
  • Review of job classification systems
  • Expert panels
  • Checklist
  • Task inventories
  • Hierarchical task analysis
  • Self-description

JOB ANALYSIS METHOD 1: INTERVIEWING

The interview method requires that the person conducting the job analysis meets with and interviews the jobholder, manager or supervisor.  To obtain the full flavour of a job, it is necessary to interview jobholders and check the findings with their managers or team leaders.  Interviews can be held on the job site, and may be either structured or unstructured.

Unstructured interviews have no definite or pre-planned format; the format develops as the interview unfolds.  A structured interview follows a predesigned format.  Structured interviews have the advantage of ensuring that all pertinent aspects of the job are covered.  Also they make it easier to compare information obtained from different people holding the same job.

A major drawback to the interview method is it can be time consuming – planning and conducting the interview.  Also inaccurate information may be collected due to bias.  If the purpose of interview is not clear, the worker may provide information to protect his own interest.

The interview method is flexible and can provide in depth information and is easy to organize and prepare.  A disadvantage may be seen in unstructured interviews where the information collected is not easy to analyse.

 

Interview with the Job-Holder

This is always necessary but difficulties always do occur, largely because the worker may be suspicious of the job analysis.  He may exaggerate the importance of the job or occasionally try to make it seem unimportant.  The main problems with such interviews are: –

 

  • The workers attitude may influence his account of the job.
  • The employee may, even if co-operative, forget some details of the job only remember the most recent events
  • The employee may not be able to express himself clearly
  • The employee may, even if co-operative, forget some details of the job & only remember the most recent events
  • The employee may not be able to express himself clearly

 

Interview with the supervisor

This is quite inevitable, but its values vary due to the following:-

  • Supervisor may be out of touch with details of the job
  • Some have never performed the job themselves
  • Some allow their description of the job to be influenced by their opinion towards the jobholder.
  • They may exaggerate the duties& responsibilities of the job in order to increase their own performance.

 

Interview Questions

These may cover such aspects as:-

  • Amount of supervision received and discretion allowed in making decisions
  • Typical problems to be solved and guidance available to solve the problems
  • Relative difficulty of the tasks performed
  • Qualifications and skills required to carry out the work

Conducting the Interview

  • Have questions arranged in a logical sequence to help interviewees to order their thoughts about the job.
  • Probe as necessary to establish what people do
  • Ensure jobholders are not allowed to get away with vague of inflated descriptions of their work
  • Ensure answers contain only relevant data
  • Obtain a clear statement from the jobholder about the amount & level of decision-making allowed for the job.
  • Avoid asking leading questions that make the expected answers obvious
  • Allow the jobholder ample time & opportunity to talk by creating an atmosphere of trust.

Checking Information

It is always advisable to check the information provided by jobholders with the managers or team leaders.  To get systematic information from several jobholders, a checklist is necessary.  The aim is to structure the job analysis interview in line with predetermined headings.

In interviewing several jobholders for the same job, information from different interviews, can be:

  1. Hard to bring together
  2. Have a potential for interviewer bias
  • Certain areas of the work may fail to be picked up
  1. An interview may stress one area & neglect others
  2. There may be problems in interpretation and analysis with the possibility of distorted impressions
  3. Consider subjectivity of the data captured
  • Interviewers need skills in communication & must be trained

Advantage: Allows the incumbent to describe tasks and duties that are not observable

JOB ANALYSIS METHOD II:  OBSERVATION

Direct observation of incumbents performing their jobs enables the trained job analyst to obtain first hand knowledge and information about the job being analysed.  Observation method is suited for jobs in which the workers behaviours are: –

  • Observable involving some degree of movement on the part of the jobholder.
  • Job tasks are short in duration allowing for many observations to be made in a short period of time or a significant part of the job analyst can learn information about the job through observation.

 

Jobs in which the observation method is successful include: –

  • Machine operator/adjuster
  • Construction worker
  • Police officer/patrol officer
  • Flight attendant
  • Bus driver
  • House keeper/janitor
  • Skilled crafts worker

The observation method is derived from the techniques of work-study.  The method is appropriate for situations where a relatively small number of key jobs need to be analysed in depth.

Time and Motion study are the most frequently used observation methods.  Motion or methods study involves determining the most efficient way to do a task or job.  It involves studying the motions and movements necessary for performing a task or job and then designing the most efficient methods for putting those motions and movements together.

Time study is the analysis of a job or task to determine the elements of work required performing it, the order in which these elements occur and the times required to perform them effectively.

Work sampling is a type of observation method based on taking statistical samples of job actions throughout the workday.  By taking an adequate number of samples, inferences can be drawn about the requirements and demands of the job.

Observation is used to analyse jobs that are relatively simple and straightforward.  It can be used independently or in conjunction with other methods of analysis.  Information includes; what was done, how it was done, how long it took, what the job environment was like, and what equipment was used.

Advantages

  • Simple to use
  • Can be used effectively for manual repetitive tasks

 

Disadvantages

  • A skilled worker can make a job look easy
  • An experienced worker can make a job look difficult
  • Mental processes are not revealed
  • Some manual work is too fast or intricate to be observed accurately
  • Not suitable for highly skilled annual work where the actions are too speedy to observe accurately
  • Observer must be well trained to know what to look for & record

JOB ANALYSIS: METHOD 3: QUESTIONNAIRE

This method involves developing structured or semi-structured questionnaires on different aspects of job-related tasks and behaviour such as coordinating, negotiating, manual and mental processes.  They are usually completed by jobholders and approved by the jobholder’s manager or team leader.

The method can be used to obtain information from a large number of employees in a relatively short time period.  Questionnaires are used when a large input is needed and time and cost are limiting factors.

Questionnaire design is a difficult and time-consuming task.  Questions need to be correct and unambiguous; otherwise the quality of information obtained will fall short of expectation.  To get quality answers, all the questionnaires must be pre-test.

The accuracy of the results depends on the willingness and ability of jobholders to complete questionnaires.  Many people find t difficult to express themselves in writing.  Some jobholders may be suspicious of the questionnaire, not understand the questions and feel restricted by it.  Designing a questionnaire is expensive, since it needs skilled persons to do it.

Examples of Questionnaires

Some of the standard questionnaires used include: –

  • Comprehensive Occupational Data Analysis Programmes (CODAP)
  • Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ)
  • Functional Job Analysis (FJA)
  • Management Position Description Questionnaire (MPDQ)
  • Supervisory Task Description Questionnaire (STDQ)

 

The questionnaire method inhibits direct rapport between analyst and respondent and the respondent’s cooperation and motivation are not guaranteed due to impersonal approach.

JOB ANALYSIS METHOD 4: CHECKLISTS AND INVENTORIES

A checklist for completion by jobholders is similar to a questionnaire but response requires fewer subjective judgments and tends to be of the YES and NO variety.

Checklists to be thoroughly prepared and a field study is essential to ensure the responses sought are adequate and make sense.  Checklists can be used only where a large number of jobholders exist.

Rating scales or inventories are an improvement of the checklist. They present a jobholder with a list of activities and require him to rate them accordingly to time spent on them and importance.

JOB ANALYSIS METHOD 5: MATERIALS OF WORK

A study of the tools, working materials, machines, documents, communication, media etc frequently provides a useful check on information obtained in other ways, and may suggest questions to be asked.

JOB ANALYSIS METHOD 6: PREVIOUS STUDIES

Work study records, training manuals and accident reports are sometimes available and can be brought up to date or added to other information.  His approach utilizes existing documentation as a rich source of information about jobs in the structure.  Typical documents studies include; organization charts, budget statements, letters of appointment and statement of objectives for units.  This particular approach is more likely in an organization planning or job redesigned exercise.

JOB ANALYSIS METHOD 7: CRITICAL INCIDENTS

This method seeks to distinguish between effective or ineffective behaviours of the workers in the job.  Job holders are requested to describe several incidents based on their past experience on a given job. The incidents collected are analysed and categorized.  The end result draws a fairly clear picture of actual job requirements.

The method is time consuming and requires high level of skill, from the analyst.

JOB ANALYSIS METHOD 8: DO-IT-YOURSELF

In some jobs it is feasible for the analyst to spend some time actually performing the work personally.  The analyst should then be careful not to form too subjective an impression.

JOB ANALYSIS METHOD 9: WORK DIARIES & LOGS

This approach requires jobholders to analyse their own jobs by keeping diaries or logs of their activities.

 

These can be used by the analyst as the basic material for a job description.  The jobholders need guidance on how to keep the diaries and logs.

Diaries and logs are best used for managerial jobs, which are complex and where jobholders have the analytical skills required.  The diaries and logs kept are analysed to obtain a list of duties and their frequency.

Diaries and log are most useful for managerial jobs but they make great demands on jobholders and can be difficult to analyse.  At times, the jobholder forgets to complete the diary of log on time and recollection of a days work may not be reliable.

JOB ANALYSIS METHOD 10: HIERARCHICAL TASKS ANALYSIS

This breaks down jobs or areas of work into a hierarchical set of tasks, sub-tasks and plans.  Tasks are defined in terms of objectives or end products and the plan needed to achieve the objective is also analysed.  The process starts with an analysis of the overall task.  This is then subjected to further analysis in order to develop a hierarchy of sub-plans needed to achieve them.  The method involves: –

  • Using verbs to describe what has been done.
  • Defining performance standards- desired level of performance
  • Listing the conditions associated with task performance

This method is used for process or manufacturing jobs.

JOB ANALYSIS 11: SELF – DESCRIPTION

Jobholders can be asked to analyse their own jobs and prepare job descriptions.  This saves time for the analysts.  But jobholders do not always find it easy to describe their jobs objectively.   The method is helpful to produce a model job description to illustrate the format required.

 

It is the quickest and most economic form of job analysis.  But it relies on the often-limited ability of people to describe their own jobs. It is therefore necessary to offer guidance in the form of questionnaires and checklists.

 

THE WRITING-UP PROCESS

Clearly job analysis is a sensitive issue.  Certain steps need to be taken to ensure it is conducted effectively.

 

  • Decide aims and objectives of the analysis e.g. job evaluation, organization planning etc
  • Submit outline plan to senior management
  • Gain support of senior management
  • Discuss plan with line managers and specialists and modify if necessary.
  • Seek co-operation of employee representatives
  • Draw up detailed plan with time table
  • Select and train job analysts, if applicable.
  • Notify all staff
  • Implement plot stage
  • Review results, discuss any problems
  • Proceed with final plan
  • Review results

 

Once the initial information has been collected, the person responsible for producing a realistic and readable job description now has his work cut out.  The steps towards the production of a job description are as shown in the following sequence.

 

  • Assemble the key facts about he job, excluding irrelevant or unclear pieces of information
  • Sort the key facts into clusters of related issues or responsibility areas
  • Commence writing up the initial sections of the job description (Title, relationships etc)
  • Write up the main responsibilities as they appear to the analyst
  • Then draft out a statement of the overall purpose of the job
  • Complete rest of description, focusing on the need for accuracy, clarity and conciseness
  • Review the first draft to see if it has completeness about it – that it sounds true.
  • Said a draft to the job-holder, and/or his senior manager for perusal and comment
  • Make alterations only if they are judged to be fair to the facts.
  • Draw up a final version and submit to the senior person concerned in the exercise.
&   TASK

  1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of structured and unstructured interviews in job analysis.
  2. What are some of the disadvantages of the work dairies and logs?

 

PREPARATION OF A JOB DESCRIPTION AND SPECIFICATION

JOB DESCRIPTIONS

These are derived from job analysis. They provide basic information about the job under the headings of the job title, reporting relationships, overall purpose and principle accountabilities or main tasks or duties. A job description is a broad statement of the purpose, scope, duties and responsibilities of a particular job.

It is customary for a job description to be written up son as to cover the following features of the job:

 

  • Job title
  • Immediate supervisor
  • Relationship with other jobs
  • Overall purpose of job
  • Main duties/ responsibilities (key tasks)
  • Authority granted
  • Resources available to job holder
  • Principle qualifications required for the job
  • Location
  • Date of analysis
  • Numbers supervised

 

Job description can be used: –

 

For organizational, recruitment and performance management purpose.

Here it can be used to: –

 

  • Define the place of the job in the organisation and to clarify for job holder and others
  • Provide the information required to produce person specifications for recruitment and to inform applicants about the job
  • Be the basis for the contact of employment
  • Provide the framework for setting objectives for performance management.
  • Be the basis for job evaluation and grading jobs

Job description for job evaluation purposes. Such a JD should contain the information included in an organizational description as well as factor analysis of the job. Factor analysis describes the incidence of reach job evaluation factor – knowledge and skills, responsibility, decisions, complexity and contacts.

Job description for training purposes. Such should be based on the format for an organizational job description. This should include an analysis of the attributes and competences used in the job.

JOB SPECIFICATION

A job specification is a detailed statement of the physical and mental activities involved in the job and hen relevant, of social and physical environmental matters. The specification is usually expressed in terms of behaviour.

A job specification concentrates on the characteristics needed to perform the job. It describes the competency, educational and experience qualifications the incumbent must possess to perform the job.

Uses of job specifications

  • For personnel functions a detailed account of the job is necessary. The most important of these are for: –
  • Selection
  • Promotion
  • Appraisal
  • Setting performance standards
  • Job evaluation
  • Training

There is no standard layout or a set of headings for a job specification; it s found that variations are necessary according to the type of work e.g. manual or non-manual, and to the organisation. In general, a job description must emphasize activities and behaviour.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS WITH JOB ANALYSIS

In analysis jobs, certain problems can occur. Some of the problems stem from natural human behaviour, others, from the natural of the job analysis process.

Some problems encountered include: –

 

  1. Top management support missing. To management should make it clear to all employees that their full and honest participation is needed. Such a message is at times not communicated.
  2. Only a single means and source are used for gathering data. All too often an analysis process depends on only one of the many available methods, when a combination of methods might provide better data.
  • The supervisor and the jobholder do not participate in the design of job analysis. Too many analyses are a one-man show. The job holder and his supervisor should be involved early in the planning of the project
  1. No training or motivation exists for jobholders. Jobholders are the most important sources of information for analysis yet they are seldom trained or prepared to generate quality data. Some are rarely made aware of the importance of the data and almost never rewarded for providing good information.
  2. Employees are not allowed sufficient time to complete the analysis. Usually companies conduct analysis as if it was a crash programme and employees are not given sufficient time to do a thorough job analysis.
  3. Activities may be distorted. Without proper training and supervision, employees may submit distorted data. Those being watched may speed up if they are made aware.
  • There is a failure to critique the job. Many analyses just report what the jobholder currently does. Yet, the job should be critiqued to determine whether it is being done correctly or whether improvements can be made.
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