Are You Getting a Fair Job Evaluation?

There are several methods of doing a job analysis to provide information about either the job or the person performing the job. Job analysis may be used for employee development, performance appraisal, training, research and legal matters. There really does not seem to be one method that stands overly superior to another. They all have their pros and cons, and it is up to the analyst to decide which is more suitable for a particular position. It is always good to use more than one method and include the participation and input of the employee.

There are four popular methods that are most currently used in the workplace. The first is JCI (Job Components Inventory), which is a fairly new technique in which the use of tools and equipment, physical, perceptual, decision-making, mathematical, communication and responsibility requirements are examined. Next, is FJA (Functional Job Analysis), which can be classified into four sections. Those classifications are elements, position requirements, definition of success and employee requirements. PAQ (Position Analysis Questionnaire) is a structured method in gathering information about work as it is being performed in an organization. It could be used in interviews by the analyst or by the job incumbent. This method was developed by Dr. Ernest J. McCormick at Purdue University. Lastly is TI (Task Inventories), used by health providers. It is a method that is mostly a retrospective form of self-reporting.

Most countries have protective laws against discrimination of minorities and other groups in the work environment. These laws affect the actions of employers against employees that can alter their employment. Those actions could be reflected in promotions, raises and termination of positions that are usually based on the performance appraisal of the employee. It is unlawful to conduct an appraisal based on non-performance related issues such as age, mental or physical disabilities, gender, race or religion. This is where subjective methods could be used for legal action because it allows the personal feelings of supervisors to be reflected in the appraisal. Often times it is very difficult for the supervisor to support their ratings as being fair and unbiased, given that African Americans tend to get lower performance ratings than Caucasians (McKay & McDaniel, 2006). Companies have lost quite a few cases from the inability to satisfy a court of law with its use of a performance appraisal that did not show discrimination in some form or fashion whether it was against an individual or a group.

It has become a benefit to have employees be allowed to have some input on the performance appraisal. When employees are able to sit and talk with supervisors, it fosters a better work attitude and performance. It also offers an opportunity for any discrepancies to be checked and brought to the attention of the company and maybe a more favorable outcome can be reached to maintain the employment of the individual and the satisfaction of the company. For those cases that do reach court, it is always preferable for a company to have multiple raters to provide a cross check of facts and opinions that would support their termination or lack of advancement of an individual.


EBOOK COLLECTION: Spector, P.E. (2008). Industrial and organizational psychology: Research and practice (5thed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Job Analysis