Job Analysis & Human Resource Planning

Chapter Three

Job Analysis & Human Resource Planning

3.1. Meaning and Definition of Job Analysis

Developing an organizational structure, results in jobs which have to be staffed. Job analysis is the procedure through which you determine the duties and nature of the jobs and the kinds of people (in terms of skills and experience) who should be hired for them.’ It provides you with data on job requirements, which are then used for developing job descriptions (what the job entail) and job specifications (what kind of people to hire for the job). Some of the definitions of job analysis are given as follows, to understand the meaning of the term more clearly:

According to Michael L. Jucius, “Job analysis refers to the process of studying the operations, duties and organizational aspects of jobs in order to derive specifications or as they called by some, job descriptions.”

According to Decenzo and P. Robbins, “A job analysis is a systematic exploration of the activities within the job. It is a basic procedure, one that is used to define duties, responsibilities and accountabilities of the job. 

According to Herbert G Herman “A job is a collection of tasks that can be performed by a single employee to contribute to the production of some product or service provided by the organization. Each job has certain ability requirements (as well as certain rewards) associated with it. Job analysis process used to identify these requirements.”

Flippo has offered a more comprehensive definition of job analysis as, “Job analysis is the process of studying and collecting information relating to the operations and responsibilities of a specific job. The immediate products of the analysis are job descriptions and job specifications”

Thus, job analysis involves the process of identifying the nature of a job (job description) and the qualities of the likely job holder (job specification).

3.2. Steps in Job Analysis


Determination of the use of the Job Analysis Information job analysis

Determination of background information

Information processing

Selection for job analysis

Collection of job analysis data

Job description

Job specification


  1. Determine the Use of the Job Analysis Information: Start by identifying the use to which the
    information will be put, since this will determine the type of data you collect and the technique you use to collect them.
  2. Collection of Background Information:  According to Terry, “The make-up of a job, its relation to other jobs, and its requirements for competent performance are essential information needed for a job evaluation. This information can be had by reviewing available background information such as organization charts (which show how the job in question relates to other jobs and where they fit into the overall organization); class specifications (which describe the general requirements of the class of job to which the job under analysis belongs); and the existing job descriptions which provide a starting point from which to build the revised job description”.
  3. Selection of Jobs for Analysis: To do job analysis is a costly and time consuming process. It is
    hence, necessary to select a representative sample of jobs for purposes of analysis. Priorities of various jobs can also be determined. A job may be selected because it has undergone undocumented changes in job content. The request for analysis of a job may originate with the employee, supervisor, or a manager.

When the employee requests an analysis it is usually because new job demands have not been reflected in changes in wages. Employee’s salaries are, in part, based upon the nature of the work that they perform. Some organizations establish a time cycle for the analysis of each job. For example: A job analysis may be required for all jobs every three years. New jobs must also be subjected to analysis.

  1. Collection of Job Analysis Data: Job data on features of the job, requited employee qualification and requirements, should be collected either form the employees who actually perform a job; or from other employees (such as foremen or supervisors) who watch the workers doing a job and there by acquire knowledge about it; or from the outside persons, known as the trade job analysis who are appointed to watch employees performing a job. The duties of such a trade job analyst are
  1. To outline the complete scope of a job and to consider all the physical and mental activities involved in determining what the worker does.
  2. Find out why a worker does a job; and for this purpose he studies why each task is essential for the overall result.
  3. The skill factor which may be needed in the worker to differentiate between jobs and establish the extent of the difficulty of any job.
  1. Processing the Information: Once job analysis information has been collected, the next step is to place it in a form that will make it useful to those charged with the various personnel functions. Several issues arise with respect to this. First, how much detail is needed? Second, can the job analysis information be expressed in quantitative terms? These must be considered properly.
  2. Preparing Job Descriptions and Job Classifications: Job information which has been collected must be processed to prepare the job description form. It is a statement showing full details of the activities of the job. Separate job description forms may be used for various activities in the job and may be compiled later on. The job analysis is made with the help of these description forms. These forms may be used as reference for the future.
  3. Developing Job Specifications: Job specifications are also prepared on the basis of information collected. It is a statement of minimum acceptable qualities of the person to be placed on the job. It specifies the standard by which the qualities of the person are measured. Job analyst prepares such statement taking into consideration the skills required in performing the job properly. Such statement is used in selecting a person matching with the job.

3.3. Methods of Collecting Job Analysis Information

Information is to be collected for job analysis. Such information may be collected by the trained job analysis, superiors concerned and job holders themselves. Job information is collected through the following methods:

  1. Participant Diary/Logs: Workers can be to keep participant diary/long or lists of things they do
    during the day. For every activity he or she engages in, the employee records the activity (along with the time) in a log. This can provide you with a very comprehensive picture of the job, especially when it’s supplemented with subsequent interviews with the worker and his or her supervisor. This method provides more accurate information if done faithfully. However, it is quite time consuming. Further, each job holder may maintain records according to his own way which presents problems in analysis at later stage. Therefore, it has limited application.
  2.  Interview: There are three types of interviews you can use to collect job analysis data: individual interviews with each employee; group interviews with groups of employees having the same job; and supervisor interviews with one or more supervisors who are thoroughly knowledgeable about the job being analyzed. The group interview is used when a large number of employees are performing similar or identical work, since this can be a quick and inexpensive way of learning about the job. As a rule, the worker’s immediate supervisor would attend the group session; if not, you should interview the supervisor separately to get that person’s perspective on the duties and responsibilities of the job.
  3. Critical Incidents: In this method, job holders are asked to describe incidents concerning the job on the basis of their past experience. The incidents so collected are analyzed and classified according to the job areas they describe, A fairly picture of actual job requirements can be obtained by distinguishing between effective and ineffective behaviors of workers on the job. However, this method is time consuming. The analyst requires a high degree of skill to analyze the contents of descriptions given by workers.
  4. Technical Conference Method: This method utilizes supervisors with extensive knowledge of the job. Here, specific characteristics of a job are obtained from the “experts.” Although it is a good data gathering method, it often overlooks the incumbent worker’s perception about what they do on their job.
  5. Job Performance:   Under this method, the job analyst actually performs the job under study to get first-hand experience of the actual tasks, and physical and social demands of the job. This method can be used only for jobs where skill requirements are low and can be learnt quickly and easily. This is a time consuming method and is not appropriate for jobs requiring extensive training.
  6. Functional Job Analysis: Functional job analysis (FJA) is employee- oriented analytical approach of job analysis. This approach attempts to describe the whole person on the job. The main features of FJA include the following:
  • The extent to which specific instruction are necessary to perform the task
  • The extent to which reasoning and judgment are required to perform the task
  • The mathematical ability required to perform the task and
  • The verbal and language facilities required to perform the task.
  1. Observation Method: Using this method, a job analyst watches employees directly on the job. Observations are made on various tasks, activities, the pace at which tasks are carried out, and the way different activities are performed. This method is suitable for jobs that involve manual, standardized, and short job cycle activities. This method also requires that the entire range of activities be observable; possible with some jobs.
  2. Questionnaires: The method is usually employed by engineering consultants. Properly drafted questionnaires are sent out to job-holders for completion and are returned to supervisors. However, the information received is often unorganized and incoherent. The idea in issuing questionnaire is to elicit the necessary information from job -holders so that any error may first be discussed with the employee and, after corrections, may be submitted to the job analyst.

3.4. Importance of Job Analysis

Analysis of jobs in the organization is a primary task for setting a baseline that enables human resources (HR) professionals to effectively manage job-related activities. Job analysis consists of two components: job description and job specification ("HRD & Marketing"). The job description "states job related details such as duties and responsibilities, salary and incentives, working conditions and facilities, etc.," whereas the job specification "gives the related details like qualifications and qualities required by job holders, experience and training required, etc." ("HRD & Marketing"). A job analysis is an efficient way to gather useful information about a job, and its cost-effectiveness makes it affordable for any organization.

Any attempt to apply HR resources and talent to the organization's jobs will be more effective if those jobs are clearly specified in terms of their variables. An effective training program for a particular job cannot be developed unless information about what the job entails is elucidated, for example. Details about the job's content, systems, standards, and demands can be used to choose or develop a training program that specifically meets the needs of the employees .

A job analysis is useful for many reasons. It can facilitate employee performance evaluations and promotions by identifying the level of work the employee has been accomplishing well and specifying the level of work required for the new job.

3.5. Potential Problems with Job Analysis

No process can be entirely accurate and fully serves the purpose. Job analysis is no exception to it. The process involves a variety of methods, tools, plans and a lot of human effort. And where ‘people’ are involved, nothing can be 100 percent accurate. However, they may be appropriate considering various factors including organizational requirements, time, effort and financial resources. Since the entire job analysis processes, methods and tools are designed by humans only, they tend to have practical issues associated with them. Human brain suffers with some limitations, therefore, everything created, designed or developed by humans too have some or other constraints.

Problems with Job Analysis


  • There Lack of Management Support: The biggest problem arises when a job analyst does not get proper support from the management. The top management needs to communicate it to the middle level managers and employees to enhance the output or productivity of the process. In case of improper communication, employees may take it in a wrong sense and start looking out for other available options. They may have a notion that this is being carried out to fire them or take any action against them. In order to avoid such circumstances, top management must effectively communicate the right message to their incumbents.
  • Lack of Co-operation from Employees: If we talk about collecting authentic and accurate job-data, it is almost impossible to get real and genuine data without the support of employees. If they are not ready to co-operate, it is a sheer wastage of time, money and human effort to conduct job analysis process. The need is to take the workers in confidence and communicating that it is being done to solve their problems only.
  • Inability to Identify the Need of Job Analysis: If the objectives and needs of job analysis process are not properly identified, the whole exercise of investigation and carrying out research is futile. Managers must decide in advance why this process is being carried out, what its objectives are and what is to be done with the collected and recorded data.
  • Biasness of Job Analyst: A balanced and unbiased approach is a necessity while carrying out the process of job analysis. To get real and genuine data, a job analyst must be impartial in his or her approach. If it can’t be avoided, it is better to outsource the process or hire a professional job analyst.
  • Using Single Data Source: A job analyst needs to consider more than one sources of data in order to collect true information. Collecting data from a single source may result in inaccuracy and it therefore, defeats the whole purpose of conducting the job analysis process.

may be many other problems involved in a job analysis process such as insufficient time and resources, distortion from incumbent, lack of proper communication, improper questionnaires and other forms, absence of verification and review of job analysis process and lack of reward or recognition for providing genuine and quality information.

3.6. Meaning and Definition of Human Resource Planning

According to Vetter, “HRP is the process by which management determines how the organization should move from its current man power position to desired manpower position. Through planning, management strives to have the right time, doing things which result in both the organization and individual receiving maximum long run benefits”.

According to Gordon Mc Beath, “HRP is concerned with two things: Planning of manpower requirements and Planning of Manpower supplies”.

According to Beach, “HRP is a process of determining and assuming that the organization will have an adequate number of qualified persons, available at proper times, performing jobs which meet the needs of the enterprise and which provides satisfaction for the individuals involved”

Simply HRP can be understood as the process of forecasting an organization’s future demands for and supply of the right type of people in the right number. In other words, HRP is the process of determining manpower needs and formulating plans to meet these needs.

HRP is a Four-Phased Process.

  • The first phase involves the gathering and analysis of data through manpower inventories and forecasts,
  • The second phase consists of establishing manpower objectives and policies and gaining top management approval of these.
  • The third phase involves designing and implementing plans and promotions to enable the organization to achieve its manpower objectives.
  • The fourth phase is concerned with control and evaluation of manpower plans to facilitate progress in order to benefit both the organization and the individual. The long run view means that gains may be sacrificed in the short run for the future grounds. The planning process enables the organization to identify what its manpower needs is and what potential manpower problems required current action. This leads to more effective and efficient performance.


3.7. Importance of Human Resource Planning


HRP is the subsystem in the total organizational planning. Organizational planning includes managerial activities that set the company’s objective for the future and determines the appropriate means for achieving those objectives. The importance of HRP is elaborated on the basis of the key roles that it is playing in the organization.

  1. Future Personnel Needs: Human resource planning is significant because it helps to determine the future personnel needs of the organization. If an organization is facing the problem of either surplus or deficiency in staff strength, then it is the result of the absence of effecting HR planning.
  2. Part of Strategic Planning:  HRP has become an integral part of strategic planning of strategic planning. HRP provides inputs in strategy formulation process in terms of deciding whether the organization has got the right kind of human resources to carry out the given strategy. HRP is also necessary during the implementation stage in the form of deciding to make resource allocation decisions related to organization structure, process and human resources. In some organizations HRP play as significant role as strategic planning and HR issues are perceived as inherent in business management.
  3. Creating Highly Talented Personnel: Even though now a day’s many countries have a great pool of educated unemployed, it is the discretion of HR manager that will enable the company to recruit the right person with right skills to the organization. Even the existing staff hope the job so frequently that organization face frequent shortage of manpower. Manpower planning in the form of skill development is required to help the organization in dealing with this problem of skilled manpower shortage
  4. International Strategies: An international expansion strategy of an organization is facilitated to a great extent by HR planning. The HR department’s ability to fill key jobs with foreign nationals and reassignment of employees from within or across national borders is a major challenge that is being faced by international business. With the growing trend towards global operation, the need for HRP will as well will be the need to integrate HRP more closely with the organizations strategic plans. Without effective HRP and subsequent attention to employee recruitment, selection, placement, development, and career planning, the growing competition for foreign executives may lead to expensive and strategically descriptive turnover among key decision makers.
  5. Foundation for Personnel Functions: HRP provides essential information for designing and implementing personnel functions, such as recruitment, selection, training and development, personnel movement like transfers, promotions and layoffs.
  6. Increasing Investments in Human Resources: Organizations are making increasing investments in human resource development compelling the increased need for HRP. Organizations are realizing that human assets can increase in value more than the physical assets. An employee who gradually develops his/ her skills and abilities become a valuable asset for the organization. Organizations can make investments in its personnel either through direct training or job assignment and the rupee value of such a trained, flexible, motivated productive workforce is difficult to determine. Top officials have started acknowledging that quality of work force is responsible for both short term and long term performance of the organization.
  7. Resistance to Change: Employees are always reluctant whenever they hear about change and even about job rotation.  Organizations cannot shift one employee from one department to another without any specific planning. Even for carrying out job rotation (shifting one employee from one department to another) there is a need to plan well ahead and match the skills required and existing skills of the employees.
  8. Uniting the Viewpoint of Line and Staff Managers: HRP helps to integrate the viewpoints of line and staff managers. Though HRP is initiated and executed by the corporate staff, it requires the input and cooperation of all managers within an organization. Each department manager knows about the issues faced by his department more than anyone else. So communication between HR staff and line managers is essential for the success of HR Planning and development.
  9. Succession Planning: Human Resource Planning prepares people for future challenges. The ‘stars’ are picked up, trained, assessed and assisted continuously  so that when the time comes such trained employees can quickly take the responsibilities and position of their boss or seniors as and when situation arrives.
  10. Other Benefits:
  1. HRP helps in judging the effectiveness of manpower policies and programs of management.
  2. It develops awareness on effective utilization of human resources for the overall development of organization.
  3. It facilitates selection and training of employees with adequate knowledge, experience and aptitudes so as to carry on and achieve the organizational objectives
  4. HRP encourages the company to review and modify its human resource policies and practices and to examine the way of utilizing the human resources for better utilization.

3.8. Steps in Human Resource Planning

HRP effectively involves forecasting personnel needs, assessing personnel supply and matching demand -supply factors through personnel related programs. The HR planning process is influenced by overall organizational objectives and environment of business.

  1. Environmental Scanning:  It refers to the systematic monitoring of the external forces influencing the organization. The following forces are essential for pertinent HRP.
  • Economic factors, including general and regional conditions
  • Technological changes
  • Demographic changes including age, composition and literacy,
  • Political and legislative issues, including laws and administrative rulings Social concerns, including child care, educational facilities and priorities.

By scanning the environment for changes that will affect an organization, managers can anticipate their impact and make adjustments early.

Organizational Objectives and Policies: HR plan is usually derived from the organizational objectives. Specific requirements in terms of number and characteristics of employees should be derived from organizational objectives

Once the organizational objectives are specified, communicated and understood by all concerned, the HR department must specify its objective with regard to HR utilization in the organization.

  1. HR Demand Forecast: Demand forecasting is the process of estimating the future quantity and quality of people required to meet the future needs of the organization. Annual budget and long-term corporate plan when translated into activity into activity form the basis for HR forecast.

Demand forecasting is influenced by both internal factors and external factors: external factors include competition, economic climate, laws and regulatory bodies, changes in technology and social factors whereas internal factors are budget constraints, production level, new products and services, organizational structure and employee separations.

Demand forecasting is essential because it helps the organization to:

  • Quantify the jobs, necessary for producing a given number of goods,
  • To determine the nature of staff mix required in the future,
  • To assess appropriate levels in different parts of organization so as to avoid unnecessary costs to the organization,
  • To prevent shortages of personnel where and when, they are needed by the organization. 
  • To monitor compliances with legal requirements with regard to reservation of jobs.

Techniques like managerial judgment, ratio- trend analysis, regression analysis, work study techniques, Delphi techniques are some of the major methods used by the organization for demand forecasting.

  1. HR Supply Forecast: Supply forecast determines whether the HR department will be able to procure the required number of workers. Supply forecast measures the number of people likely to be available from within and outside an organization, after making allowance for absenteeism, internal movements and promotions, wastage and changes in hours, and other conditions of work.

Supply forecast is required because it is needed as it

  • Helps to quantify the number of people and positions expected to be available in future to help the organization realize its plans and meet its objectives
  • Helps to clarify the staff mixes that will arise in future
  • It assesses existing staffing in different parts of the organization.
  • It will enable the organization to prevent shortage of people where and when they are most needed.
  • It also helps to monitor future compliance with legal requirements of job reservations.
  1. HR Programming: Once an organization’s personnel demand and supply are forecasted the demand and supply need to be balanced in order that the vacancies can be filled by the right employees at the right time.
  2. HR Plan Implementation: HR implementation requires converting an HR plan into action. A series of action are initiated as a part of HR plan implementation. Programs such as recruitment, selection and placement, training and development, retraining and redeployment, retention plan, succession plan etc when clubbed together form the implementation part of the HR plan.
  3. Control and Evaluation: Control and evaluation represent the final phase of the HRP process. All HR plan include budgets, targets and standards. The achievement of the organization will be evaluated and monitored against the plan. During this final phase organization will be evaluating on the number of people employed against the established (both those who are in the post and those who are in pipe line) and on the number recruited against the recruitment targets.  Evaluation is also done with respect to employment cost against the budget and wastage accrued so that corrective action can be taken in future.


3.9. Factors Affecting Human Resource Planning


HRP is influenced by several factors. The most important of the factors that affect HRP are (1) type and strategy of organization (2) organizational growth cycles and planning (3) environmental uncertainties (4) time horizons (5) type and quality of forecasting information (6) nature of jobs being filled and (7) off loading the work.

  1. Type and Strategy of the Organization:  Type of the organization determines the production processes involve, number and type of staff needed and the supervisory and managerial personnel required. HR need is also defined by the strategic plan of organization. If the organization has a plan for organic growth then organization need to hire additional employees. On the other hand if the organization is going for mergers and acquisition, then organization need to plan for layoffs, as mergers can create, duplicate or overlap positions that can be handled more efficiently with fewer employees.

Organization first decides whether to be reactive or proactive in HRP.   Organizations either carefully anticipate the needs and systematically plan to fill the need in advance (proactive) or can simply react to the needs as they arise (reactive). Likewise, the organization must determine the width of the HR plan. Organization can choose a narrow focus by planning in only one or two HR areas like recruitment and selection or can have a broad perspective by planning in all areas including training and remuneration.

The nature of HR plan is also decides upon the formality of the plan. It can decides to have an informal plan that lies mostly in the minds of the managers and personnel staff or can have a formal plan which is properly documented in writing

The nature of HR plan is also depended upon the flexibility that is practiced in the organization. HR plan should have the ability to anticipate and deal with contingencies.



Type and Quality of information

Environmental Uncertainties

Time horizon

Nature of Jobs


Growth cycle and planning

Type & strategy













  1. Organizational Growth Cycles and Planning: All organizations pass through different stages of growth from the day of its inception. The stage of growth in which an organization is determines the nature and extends of HRP. Small organizations in the earlier stages of growth may not have well defined personnel planning. But as the organization enters the growth stage they feel the need to plan its human resource. At this stage organization gives emphasis upon employee development. But as the organization reaches the mature stage it experience less flexibility and variability resulting in low growth rate. HR planning becomes more formalized and less flexible and less innovative and problem like retirement and possible retrenchment dominate planning.

During the declining stage of the organization HRP takes a different focus like planning to do the layoff, retrenchment and retirement. In declining situation planning always becomes reactive in nature towards the financial and sales distress faced by the company.

  1. Environmental Uncertainties: Political, social and economic changes affect all organizations and the fluctuations that are happening in these environments affect organizations drastically. Personnel planners deal with such environmental uncertainties by carefully formulating recruitment, selection, training and development policies and programs. The balance in the organization is achieved through careful succession planning, promotion channels, layoffs, flexi time, job sharing, retirement and other personnel related arrangements.
  2. Time Horizons: HR plans can be short term or long term. Short term plans spans from six months to one year, while long term plans spread over three to twenty years. The extent of time period depends upon the degree of uncertainty that is prevailing in an organizations environment. Greater the uncertainty, shorter the plan time horizon and vice versa. 0
  3. Type and Quality of information: The information used to forecast personnel needs originates from a multitude of sources. The forecast depends to a large extent upon the type of information and the quality of data that is available to personnel planners. The quality and accuracy of information depend upon the clarity with which the organizational decision makers have defined their strategy, structure, budgets, production schedule and so on.
  4. Nature of Jobs Being Filled: Personnel planners need to be really careful with respect to the nature of the jobs being filled in the organization. Employees belonging to lower level who need very limited skills can be recruited hastily but, while hiring employees for higher posts, selection and recruitment need to be carried out with high discretion. Organization need to anticipate vacancies far in advance as possible, to provide sufficient time to recruit suitable candidate.
  5. Outsourcing: Several organizations outsource part of their work to outside parties in the form of subcontract. Outsourcing is a regular feature both in the public sector as well as in the private sector companies. Many of the organizations have surplus labor and hence instead of hiring more people they go for outsourcing. Outsourcing is usually done for non critical activities. Outsourcing of non- critical activities through subcontracting determines HRP.


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