Workforce Flow Project 1 Part 1: Job Description

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Purpose: As discussed in this course, HR professionals must be able to develop a professional, legally defensible job analysis to support selection, training and performance appraisal activities. The following exercise will give you practice in this skill.


  1. Select a job and find someone employed in that job to serve as Subject Matter Expert (SME) with whom you will conduct a job analysis interview, or alternatively, identify someone who has a job and use that job for your analysis. Connecting with a classmate might be a good way to get acquainted.
  2. Conduct background research (e.g., O*NET) on the job. This step is an essential part of the assignment.

Note: Tasks and KSAO should be taken from O*Net and modified based on information from the interview Conduct a job analysis interview with the incumbent (list the questions in your Appendix)

  1. Determine
  • the purpose of the job (value it provides to company, not just a summary)
  • the major3-5) job functions
  • the importance of the major job functions (percentages)
  • two representative tasks for each function
  • the most important KSAOs for overall job (do not list by type (e.g., knowledge) but overall importance to success on the job
  • the unique rewards (intrinsic and extrinsic), and demands of the position
  • the job specifications (i.e., minimum requirements)


See handout for definitions and review class materials to understand what each of these terms means.



  1. Use the template to draft the job description
    1. Job Title and company of the interviewee
    2. Purpose
    3. Job functions (with percentage weights) and the two most important tasks for each function
    4. List the most important KSAOs
    5. List the demands, specifications, and rewards
    6. Answer Appendix questions





Part 1: Job Description


Job Title








Job Functions                                                                                                                                %











Job Requirements (KSAOs)








Specifications (Minimum requirements)










SME Name


Job Title




Interview Questions









Steps taken to complete project



Write a one or two sentence description of the reason for the job’s existence. Describe what value the job provides to the company. This should go beyond a simple summary of the job activities and explain the job’s overall value and importance to the company.


Job Functions

List the 3 to 5 broad functions (duties or responsibilities) of the job.


Note: See helpful hints section on how to identify the functions and the tasks


Function Importance (percentage weights)

All functions are not equally important to the company, so it is important to prioritize the tasks using percentage weight. Based on the input of your SME, allocate 100 points across the functions according to their importance to future job success (not time spent)

List the percentage weights for each job function.


Task Statements

Each function can be further described by listing the important tasks needed to carry out that function A task statement is a concise description of a discrete activity, performed to produce a specific product or service on a job


A task statement should include:

  • What the employee does, using action verbs
  • What is produced, indicating the expected output of the verb
  • What equipment, materials, tools, or procedures, are used incurring out the task


A task statement should be sufficiently detailed to enable SMEs to judge the importance of the task and the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to successfully perform the task. Task statements provide the foundation for the Job Requirements Job Analysis and establishes the job relatedness (i.e., legal defensiveness) of any HR process developed using this procedure


Task statements take time to develop and poorly written task statements make the job description look unprofessional. Use O*Net to preselect relevant task statements for your job.

Write 2 representative task statements for each job function.


Job Requirements

Job requirements are the knowledge, skills, abilities and other qualities necessary to perform the jobReview the KSAOs from O*Net and the ones generated from the interview and select (with the help of the SME) the most important Ks, Ss, As & Os for the whole job. Prioritize KSAOs related to the functions with the highest priority weights rather than listing simply by category (KDAO).


Job Demands

List the most important physical, psychological and work related demands of the job. These include standing, walking, lifting (with maximum weights), job stressors, work schedule (night shifts, changing schedules), travel, etc. These requirements must be related to essential functions of the job as they may impact the employability of people with handicaps.


Job Rewards

List the extrinsic (e.g., benefits) and intrinsic benefits (e.g., inclusive culture) of the job.


Job Specifications

List the minimum requirements of the job. These include the minimum education, experience and other factors that are necessary to be considered for the job. Job specifications must be related to essential functions of the job or bona fide occupational qualifications.





Helpful Hints


  1. O*Net Research


Once you have selected a job, go to O*Net to research relevant tasks and KSAOs. You should compile a list of tasks and KSAOs before you interview the SME. This saves time and results in a more comprehensive and accurate job description. You may copy O*Net tasks and KSAOs without fear of plagiarism.


  1. Conduct Job Analysis Interview

To complete this assignment, you will need to conduct a task-based job analysis interview with a Subject Matter Expert (SME). The SME can be a job incumbent or the supervisor of the job being analyzed.


Note: the following describes an efficient way to conduct a job analysis interview depending on the type of job: routine or non-routine.


To facilitate the collection of job information from a SME, we use a different interview structure for a routine job and for a non-routine job.  A routine job has a typical day, a structured work process or adheres to a defined work schedule or cycle. By using this structure, you can facilitate the SME’s organization of work activities and make it easier for them to describe what they do. Many jobs, especially management, do not have a typical day, so the interview requires a different structure. For the non-routine job, you first have the SME identity the major functions of the job. Then, you go back to each identified function and have the SME describe the tasks performed in each of the dimensions.


Use the following questioning format depending on the type of job you are analyzing.


Routine Job

  • Please tell me the things that you do on a typical day (work process or business cycle).
  • What are some of the other important activities that you perform, perhaps not every day or even every week but are important parts of your job?


Non-Routine Job

  • List the broad duties or functions of your job.
  • We have identified __________ as an important function, what are the specific tasks or activities that you perform in carrying out this function?

Conclude the interview by seeing if they have any questions and thanking them for their help.

Note: Conduct the interview as quickly as possible, keep good notes and treat interviewees with respect and professional courtesy


  1. Determine Job Functions, Tasks and Percentage Weights


Routine Job Interview

After conducting the routine job, you will have a lot of information concerning what the job incumbent is required to do at work. You have two tasks to convert this information into what is needed for a Job Requirements job analysis.


A typical job could include 100s of job tasks. Only the most rigorous of job analyses would require the identification of such a large number of task statements. For most, jobs we only need to identify the major functions of the jobs with a few representative tasks that define the work performed in carrying out that function.


First you need to write task statements capturing all of the major job activities. Second, you need to sort the tasks statement into 4 or 5 major job functions. This is done by grouping task statements into groups and attaching a name to each grouping (i.e., function). You should try to create 4 to 6 reasonably independent functions for each job. A “retranslation” exercise can demonstrate the accuracy of the grouping


Note: some companies call functions by other terms (e.g., “duties,” “accountability areas,” or “responsibilities”).


Non-Routine Job Interview

For the non-routine job, you have already identified the job functions and need to only write the task statements for the work activities described in each of the job dimension.



Note: Once you have established the job functions and related task collect additional information to determine importance of functions, job requirements, demands, specifications and rewards.




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