Essential Functions

Readings:

Department of Labor (1998). O*NET version 1.0.

Heneman, H. H., Judge, T. A., Kammeyer-Mueller, J. (2014). Staffing Organizations (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, Chapter 4.

Sackett, P.R. & Laczo, R.M. (2003). Job and Work Analysis. In W. C. Borman, D. R. Ilgen, R. J. Klimoski, & I. B. Weiner (Eds.),Handbook of Psychology (pp. 21-37). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

**Jeanneret, P. & Strong, M. (2003). Linking O*NET job analysis information to job requirement predictors: An O*NET application.Personnel Psychology, 56, 465-492.

**Dierdorff, E.C. & Wilson, M.A. (2003). A meta-analysis of job analysis reliability. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 635-646.

Overview:

There is one common ground about which the law, science, and practice of personnel psychology all agree. This is the need for a thorough job analysis before developing selection and placement applications. In this module, we will review the science and practice of job analysis. In the process, you will learn an essential set of terms as well as something about the approach that is taken to analyzing jobs.

Additional terms:

Criterion development is the first step in developing and evaluating a selection system. It is the process of establishing conceptual and operational definitions for essential job functions. Conceptual definitions usually include clear verbal descriptions of performance dimensions. Operational definitions consist of the measures used to identify the level of individual performance in a reliable and accurate fashion. For example, for the job of graduate student, an important performance dimension would be completing important assignments thoroughly and accurately in a timely fashion. This is a statement of the conceptual definition of a performance criterion. The operational definition of this criterion might include several indicators, including the professor’s evaluation of the accuracy and thoroughness of the assignment, as well as a computer-based indicator of when the assignment was submitted. It should be noted that, since performance is multi-dimensional, there will usually be multiple criterion measures for any job (and often for a single conceptual criterion).

Criterion development is accomplished as part of the job analysis process. After developing a list of task statements for a job, job analysts usually distribute surveys to job incumbents asking their views about the importance of each task statement to the job. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) then make judgments about the importance of various Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other characteristics (KSAOs) to the accomplishment of essential job functions. These KSAOs are then used to develop selection devices, and clusters of tasks (duties) and KSAOs are used to develop criterion dimensions. Measures of criterion performance are then used to evaluate the predictive accuracy of selection devices. Thus, criterion development is essential to criterion-based validation of selection devices.

Important terms from readings:

Job, position, task, KSAO, task- and KSAO-oriented job analysis, position description, job specifications, task statement, task questionnaire, SME, task-KSAO linkage

QUESTION

For this assignment, I want you to conduct a “mini job analysis” for the job your currently hold or the job you have most recently had. This assignment is worth 15 points. The first section is worth 10 points, the second section is worth 5 points.

For this assignment, consider yourself a subject matter expert (SME) and do the following:

1. Construct a job requirements matrix that includes

  • Specific tasks

oYou must have at least 10 specific tasks. Make sure your task statements are written correctly. Heneman and Judge provide very nice examples of techniques for writing task statements. O*NET statements do not go into as much depth as do the task statements that Heneman and Judge present. I would prefer that, for this part of the assignment, you model your work after Heneman and Judge’s suggestions rather than after O*NET.

  • Task dimensions / duties

oYou must have at least 3 task dimensions / duties that encompass the specific tasks.

  • Importance (indicate what your scale is, whether it is 0-100, percent of time spent on task, relative amount spent with Likertformat, etc. Just be sure you are clear about how you are operationalizing the scale)
  • Knowledge (use O*NET knowledge areas – listed in H&J and on O*NET site)
  • Skills (use O*NET skills – listed in H&J and on O*NET site)
  • Abilities (use O*NET skills – listed in H&J and on O*NET site)
  • The importance of each of the KSAs (indicate what your scale is, whether it is 0-100, whether it is needed or if it can be trained ~ an issue in the Jones et al. article, etc. Just be sure you are clear about how you are operationalizing the scale)
  • The context in which the job occurs (use O*NET skills – listed in H&J and on O*NET site)

Hint: Use Heneman & Judge’s (2009) example as your guide on how to format the matrix, but be sure to look at O*NET because there is a lot of useful information and many examples of task statements and KSAs.

2. Create a job description for your current or most recent job. Although there is no standard job description, for this assignment it must include the following:

  • Job Title
  • Job Summary
  • Essential functions (duties linked with tasks)
  • Qualifications
  • Job Context

You can add more to the job description, but you must at least have the above items. Also, the job description should be on its own page, no more than one page, and be aesthetically pleasing.

 

 

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