5 Important Sections of a Job Analysis

  • Job Title
  • Summary
  • Equipment
  • Environment
  • Activities

Neither a degree in human resources nor one in industrial-organizational psychology is required to understand what a “job analysis” is or how one is created. Also known more popularly as a “job description,” the job analysis is essentially a breakdown summary of the important characteristics of a particular job role. These are the standard displays seen in job postings everywhere.

So, how are these generated? With some solid knowledge of the job needing to be described, nearly anyone can create an accurate analysis. Properly created, it will primarily communicate all necessary information via five distinct sections. Those standardized sections are as follows.

Ranking: Top 10 Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

1. Job Title

The “Job Title” section is fairly straightforward. This is where the official name of the job position is declared and is always placed at the very beginning of the analysis. While this may indeed be the most simplistic of the five components to complete, the analysis creator must be sure to be correct here, especially when the position is closely related to a number of others and, consequently, quite easily confused.

2. Summary

The “Summary” section of the analysis is important in that it creates a brief yet encompassing synopsis of how the position is outlined to function. This is a short section with more, related description being provided later on in the “Activities” section. Ideally, this component to the analysis should only entail one or two sentences at the most.

3. Equipment

It is within this area of the analysis that the creator communicates a fairly complete rendition of the equipment that is related to the fulfillment of the position. Any pertinent physical devices or tools used by those in the position should always be clearly stated here without exception. More commonplace items and tools of relation to the job may not necessarily need to be listed conclusively, however. An example of this might be a job description for a heavy machinery operator position for a construction company. For this example analysis, the “Equipment” section will certainly need to list the forms of heavy machinery used, but it does not need to mention, in entirety, a list of hand tools or writing tools used throughout the environs of the job.

4. Environment

The “Environment” component to the analysis is similar in its breadth to the “Equipment” section. Here, the creator of the analysis must also present a telling yet non-confounding summary of the environments those in the described position will work in. When applicable and space permitting, some analysis creators also go on to give an approximation of the ratios of time one can expect in the different areas of a multiple-environment role.

5. Activities

Finally, the last section to be listed is typically the “Activities” section. This part of the analysis ties back into the contents of the “Summary” section but goes on to give a bit more detail with regard to the position’s typical duties and expectations. At times, this section may also be seen drawing comparisons with similar, more widely-known job roles in order to provide a better overall description to the reader.

A proper analysis and job description will assure a much more relevant response to company job ads as well as a clear understanding between the current employee and their employer. For even more information on the analysis process, the Society for Human Resource Management hosts some very helpful and free material on the subject. These are the basics of today’s job analysis nearly any layman can follow – without the prior need for a master’s in industrial-organizational psychology.