What is a Person-Oriented Job Analysis?

person oriented job analysis

Some aspiring HR professionals or business owners may have heard the term person-oriented job analysis. They  might wonder what it means. Understanding how to conduct a good job analysis and the nuances between different focuses is beneficial for employers of all kinds. This overview will go over the details.

The Basics

Put simply, a person-oriented job analysis is when a company breaks down a job based on the human elements that are needed to be successful in that role. It is different from a task-oriented analysis. Here, employers focus more on the duties that the job entails. A person-oriented approach takes into account:

  • skills
  • individual ability
  • knowledge
  • interests
  • personality traits

The famous Fleishman Job Analysis System is considered a person-oriented approach. Many companies make use of the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator as well. A successful analysis often includes:

  • asking the right questions in interviews and questionnaires given to employees currently in a role
  • first-person observations
  • the creation of checklists
  • assessing the needs of managers and more

Like all approaches to hiring, it has strong benefits as well as a few drawbacks, which will be discussed in more detail below.

Why Fit Is Critical

Many employers are starting to take a more person-oriented approach to analyze their job openings because the right fit is so critical for:

  • job satisfaction
  • smooth business operations
  • employee retention

Fit not only takes into account skills and experience. Fit also includes the key personality traits of someone who will be most successful in this role. It includes their ability to do the job successfully as well as their compatibility with an existing employee team. The right job description and recruitment strategy, born of these analyses, help employers and recruiters attract the right staff to their organization.

Advantages And Disadvantages

There are a number of key advantages, and a few drawbacks, to this type of job analysis. A potential advantage to a more person-oriented job analysis is that less focus may be placed on candidates’ education. Education is not always an indicator of whether someone will excel in the role.

New employees who fit in well are not as likely to leave, which would force the company to start the expensive recruitment process all over again. They are also more likely to be productive and achieve success in the role. The major downside to focusing on individual characteristics is that someone with the right personality fit may not have the skills or experience the employer really needs. This approach does not lend itself well to a quantitative rating of a position. It can also be much more difficult to write an effective job description that implies the type of person, personality-wise, that will be ideal in a role.

How To Write A Good Job Description

The ultimate goal of conducting a person-oriented job analysis is usually to draft a job description for the company’s records and for use in hiring. It is important to be transparent in a job description. If it’s not transparent,   new employees may feel misled about the nature of the job. Lack of transparency could also potentially get a company in legal trouble with Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance.

Forbes confirms that as many as 70% to 90% of employers are in violation of FLSA in one way or another. It is important to write these descriptions to appeal to the type of person the job analysis indicated should be in this role. Of course, list the key responsibilities of the job. Focus on selling the role too, such as:

  • benefits employees receive
  • salary information
  • the work environment, and other perks

It is as important to be honest as it is to promote the job.


Person-oriented job analyses are useful for really dissecting a role at a company with the goal of determining who the best person for that job may be. This greater understanding can help businesses make better hiring decisions and prevent employees from accepting an offer that doesn’t turn out as described. A person-oriented job analysis is important for all businesses to conduct from time to time.

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