Job Analysis and Performance Appraisal Methods: Practical Applications
My current circumstances could be grooming me for a totally different profession but deep inside, I have always admired the work journalists do. I particularly like how news reporters go out to the field, gather real time information, and interact with newsmakers. In addition to enjoying themselves, these ladies and gentlemen play a very significant role in the creation of a more open and just society. For this assignment, I will address a number of issues with regard to the job I would be interested in pursuing, i.e. news reporting.
Job analysis according to Werner, Schuler, and Jackson (2010) is essentially “a systematic process of describing and recording information about job behaviors, activities, and worker specifications” (p. 122). In that regard therefore, a job analysis seeks to generate information regarding both those performing the job and the job itself. It is a process that seeks to not only understand but also describe what individuals do at work. In basic terms, job analysis information could be collected using a variety of methods.
In seeking to collect information relating to the job I selected earlier on in this text, I made use of the observation method. This particular method of job analysis in the opinion of Mathis and Jackson (2012) involves the observation of the person undertaking the job in question and taking notes on not only the duties but also the tasks performed. The other job analysis methods as the authors further point out include but they are not limited to the utilization of questionnaires and interviews. For this particular task, I observed news reporters both on television and in the field as they went about their daily routines. In this case, I largely concerned myself with the tasks they were performing and the kinds of skills they were making use of. Below are the notes I took.
Job Title: News Reporter
1. Covering events such as talent shows, national celebrations, football matches and other sporting events, etc.
2. Attending press conferences
3. Interviewing people in an attempt to collect relevant information and seek clarification regarding certain issues.
4. Investigating and developing stories out of happenings like scandals, crimes, etc.
5. Researching topics that could interest or entertain viewers (or readers when it comes to print journalism).
Key Skills Required
1. News-gathering expertise
2. Broad knowledge of local, national, as well as global issues
3. Ability to communicate clearly in both the spoken word and in writing
4. Computer literate
Personal Attributes Required
2. Ability to work under pressure
3. Excellent memory
4. A good sense of humor would help
5. Confidence and self-motivation
Job Analysis: Its Utilization Within an Organization
The job analysis I develop above could come in handy in the development of a job description and specification — key human resource objectives. A job description seeks to highlight a given position’s responsibilities, tasks, as well as working conditions. On the other hand, a job specification attempts to define the specific characteristics that employees need to have to perform the job efficiently. In an organizational setting, the above job analysis could also be used to formulate performance standards. It is also important to note that the organization could use the information it derives from the job analysis for job enrichment and combination, as well as for training purposes.
An Evaluation of the Reliability and Validity of My Job Analysis
From the onset, it should be noted that the method of job analysis I chose to make use of is relatively simple and straightforward. Unlike the other methods such as questionnaires, the observation method does not involve the tedious task of aggregating the information collected from employees. It should however be noted that in some instances, the results produced courtesy of this method may not be genuine. This is more so the case given that due to the fact that different individuals observe and interpret things differently, there is a likelihood of personal bias creeping in. Further, in the words of Mathis and Jackson (2012), “use of the observation method is limited because many jobs do not have complete and easily observed job duties or job cycles” (p. 130). Thus according to the authors, this particular method of job analysis is most appropriate for those jobs that happen to be repetitive. It is also important to note that this particular approach to job analysis could have been disruptive were I to conduct the same on-site. As a matter of fact, it could affect the way a news reporter does his or her work and by extension, the validity of the information gathered in the job analysis undertaking. It should also be noted that there are some cognitive activities I may have missed by virtue of making use of this job analysis method. The job analysis results could also have been tainted by journalists who were completing tasks inappropriately.
Performance appraisals in basic terms seek to assess the performance of an individual or group of individuals in a systematic way. In addition to helping in work performance assessment, performance appraisal also comes in handy in the identification of areas requiring improvement. There are various performance appraisal methods that could be applied to my chosen job.
Performance Appraisal Methods that Could be Applied to My Chosen Job
Some of the performance appraisal methods that could be applied to my chosen job include but they are not limited to the behavioral checklist method, the essay method, and the critical incident method. When it comes to the behavioral checklist method, the rater as Snell and Bohlander (2011) note is required to check the statements (presented in a list format) that he or she is convinced represent the employee’s behavior or performance. In our scenario, I could therefore prepare questions based on YES or NO answers. The said questions should be structured in a way that helps in the evaluation of the behavior or performance of the news reporter. One key advantage of this method is its ease of administration, especially given that specialized training is not required on the part of the rater. The method is also cost effective. However, it should be noted that in addition to being prone to rater bias, this method does not permit the rater to offer substantive comments.
The essay method on the other hand calls upon the rater to develop a statement that in his or her own opinion describes the individual being appraised (Snell and Bohlander, 2011). In this case, I would be required to figure out the weaknesses and strength of the news reporter and develop an essay that describes my findings. Unlike the behavioral checklist method, this appraisal method permits the rater to give substantive comments thus effectively closing any information gaps. However, this method is largely dependent on some specific abilities of a rater, i.e. memory and communication/writing skills.
Lastly, we have the critical incident method which concerns itself with the identification and description of instances where the behavior of an employee was inappropriate or uncommonly good. A critical incident according to Snell and Bohlander (2011) is “an unusual event that denotes superior or inferior employee performance in some part of the job” (p. 367). In our case, I would describe specific incidences where the reporter’s performance of a specific task was particularly outstanding as well as specific instances where the reporter’s performance was way below average. By basing evaluations on actual job performances and behaviors, this particular appraisal method significantly reduces the probability of bias. However, this method of appraisal could result in a level of supervision seen as being overly close.
In conclusion, it should be noted that before selecting a job analysis method of a performance appraisal approach, human resource professionals in an organizational setting must take into consideration a number of things. These include but they are not limited to costs involved and the time limits. Further, the most appropriate job analysis or appraisal method is also largely dependent on the nature and structure of the concerned organization.
Mathis, R.M. & Jackson, J.H. (2010). Human Resource Management (13th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Snell, S.A. & Bohlander, G.W. (2011). Managing Human Resources (16th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Werner, S., Schuler, R.S. & Jackson, S.E. (2012). Human Resource Management (11th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
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