Before designing a selection process to identify effective performers, we must first define “effective performance” in terms of the tasks to be performed and the knowledge, skills, abilities and personal characteristics needed to perform those tasks. A job analysis helps ensure that the selection system in which you invest is going to produce the results you expect (i.e., effective performers). From a best practice and legal compliance standpoints, it is critical to conduct a job analysis before developing any personnel decision-making process. Linking test content to job content ensures that you are making decisions on job-relevant characteristics and satisfies compliance requirements dictated by various legal statutes and guidelines.
Our goal in any job analysis is to completely and accurately define the tasks to be performed and the knowledge, skills, abilities and personal characteristics (KSAPs) that are prerequisites for effective task performance. Our job analysis process relies on:
- observation and interviews with a representative sample of incumbents and supervisors,
- panel reviews with a representative sample of incumbents, and
- questionnaires measuring task, knowledge, ability and personal characteristic requirements.
These methods of data collection are turned into a simple but complete report for your agency. The job analysis results then enable us to:
- determine essential functions (e.g., important and frequently performed tasks) and develop a job description,
- identify the KSAPs critical to effective job performance,
- determine precise specifications for each test component of the selection process, and
- identify appropriate weights to be allocated to each test component.
In this way all test material is drawn directly from the foundation of tasks, knowledge, abilities, and personal characteristics that are identified during the job analysis.