chapter 7 part 2
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. What would you like to do?
From our interview procedure, we find that the two sets of tasks differ. From our comparison, we see that the task statements developed previously appear to be more complex.
- Tasks that were identified under the interview procedure described what the tasks consisted of as well as the results of those tasks. Work aids, materials, methods and other requirements of a job incumbent were noted. In contrast, in our taks inventory example the task are not as fully developed. Most statements on a task analysis inventory are concerned with what gets done. Tasks isted on some inventories provide no information about the situation surrounding the activitiy.
- Tasks developed by other job analysis methods (e.g. office of personnenel management interview) usually provide information on what, how and why. Some task analysis inventories also include these kinds of detailed task statements. Because of the detail provided in these statement, inventores with detailed statements can be particularly helpful in selection applications. E.g. useful in planning specific selection procedures to employ and developing the actual content of these procedures.
Another important characteristic of any task inventory is the rating scale used by the respondent for judging the given tasks. A rating scale provides a continuum or range of options (most often cosisting of five to seven steps), that respondents can use to express their perceptions of a task. Numbers are employed to define degrees of respondents views. E.g. Relative time spent on task performance is an often used task rating measure.
- One form of such as scale is:
- Relative to the time you spend in your job doing other tasks, how much time do you spend on this job task?
- 0=This task is not performed
- 1=Much below average
- 2=below average
- 3=Slightly below average
- 4=about average
- 5=slightly above average
- 6=above average
- 7=Much above average
- This illustration is just one way of phrasing the rating scale for time spent on task performance. Many other forms can be used. Regardless of the scale, the objective of a rating scale is to identify the degree to which a task is perceived to possess a rated characteristic.
- Quite often, respondents use more than one rating scale to assess job tasks, The scales chosen depend on any number of issues, such as the number of tasks to be rated, the time available, the capabilities of incumbents (e.g. educational level, reading ability), the complexity of the job (more complex=more complex scales), and purpose of the task analysis. Regarding purpose, if the analysis is being performed as part of a validation study, specific rating scales will be needed, for example, in a content validation study, the following task-rating categories should be considered:
- 1. Frequency of task performance
- 2. Task importance or criticality
- 3. Task difficulty
- 4. Whether the tak can be learned on the job relatively quickly.
- The third portion of the task invetory may focus on parts of the job, other than tasks, that also account for job performance. E.g. this last section is sometimes used to assess the physical working conditions of the job (degree of heating and cooling, amount of lifting, standing, sitting, walking etc. degre of job stress or equipment and tools used for performing the job)
Development of Task Inventories:
Because most task inventories are aimed toward a specific job, they may have to be developed by the user. This process is time-consuming and often expensive. Access to previous inventories or analyses of the job in question - as well as use of technical exprets in job analysis and questionnaire development are important determinants of the cost and success of the method. For those organizations committed to the development and administration of a task inventory, there are a number of steps to be taken.
- Basically, development of a task inventory should be carried out in a sequential fashion. There is no one best way.Suggestions noted increase the chances of resulting questionnaire meeting objectives for which it is intended.
- Once developed, the inventory is ready for application. In using task analysis inventories, several issuues should be considered. First, respondents' names and other identifying information should be collected. Using identifying information (a) helps to ensure high quality information (b) is necessary if follow-up studies will be conducted and (C) is useful when combined with personnel file data (e.g. scores on selection measures and demographic characteristics). The inventory should be distributed to large numbers of incumbents, which improves data reliability. Finally,optical scanning sheets are recmmended for minimizing time, cost and errors in coding and data entry. In some cases it may be possible to administer the inventories using the Internet.
Application of task analysis in selection:
A task analysis inventory is used to define the most important tasks or activities that compose incumbesnts' jobs. It is this core group of job tasks that serves as the basis for inferring the KSAOs needed to perform the job successfully.
Since jobs we are interested in studying may be reasonably complex, lists of task statements and accompanying rating scales are one of the principal means used for assessing job tasks. Once the task rating data have been collected, subsequent statistical anslyses of the ratings are used to identify the most important or most critical aspects of the job.
To identify important job tasks, any of several statistical techniques can be applied to the rating data. In many cases, these techniques involve the calculation of simple descriptive statistics (such as means, standard deviations, and percentages) and the application of decision rules for defining critical job tasks.
In deciding which tasks should be classified as inportant to the job, some minimum statistical criteria are chosen that a task must meet to be considered critical. As a possibility, we could set the following cut off points:
- 1. A task must receive a mean rating of 4.00 of higher (higher = more important task)
- 2. A task rating must have a standard deviation of 1.00 or lower (lower sd= greater agreement among employees in task rating.
- 3. Most employees (greater than 75%) must perform the task.
Major idea behind application of task analysis inventories is to define important job content. That determination can serve as the source of statements about requisite worker specifications and the development or selction of devices for choosing among job applicants. Defined job content can also serve as one basis for applying specific validation models such as content validity.
Sequential steps for developing content of task inventories:
1. Technical manuals, previous job analyses, and other job related reports are reviewerd for possible task-tem content.
2. Technical job experts (consultant, selected incumbents/supervisors) prepare lists of job tasks known to be performed.
3. Interviews are held with job incumbents and supervisors in order to identify additional tasks.
4. Tasks identified are reviewed for duplication, edited, and incorporated into an initial version of the inventory. Tasks are described according to task-writing guidelines.
5. First draft is prepared and submitted to a panel of experts (of incumbents and/or supervisors) for review.
6. Panel of reviewers adds, delets, or modifies tasks for the development of another draft of the inventory.
7. Steps 5&6 are repeated, using the same or a similar panel, until an acceptable draft has been developed.
8. Task inventory is then pilot-tested on a sample of respondents to whom the final version will be given.
9. Appropriate modifications are made as needed.
10. Steps 8 and 9 are repeated until a final, acceptable version is developed.
Guidelines fo Writing Task Statements:
when task statements are identified, they should
- 1. characterize activities, not skills or knowledge.
- 2. Have an identifiable beginning and ending.
- 3. Represent activities performed by an individual worked, not activities performed by different individuals.
- 4. Have an identifiable output or consequence.
- 5. Avoid extremes in the phrasing of activities; statements should not be too broad or too specific.
- 6. Be developed by full-time inventory writers (preferably); supervisors/incumbents should serve as technical advisers.
- When task statements are written, they should:
- 1. Mean the same thing to all respondents.
- 2. Be stated so that the rating scale to be used makes sense.
- 3. Be stated so that the incumbet is understood to be the subject of the statement. The pronoun "I" should be implied. For example"(I) number all card boxes."
- 4. Be stated so that the action verb is in the present tense.
- 5. Be stated so that the action verb has an object.
- 6. Use terms that are specific, familiar, and unambiguous.
Advantages and disadvantages of task analysis
- Advantages: Task inventories offer an efficient means for collecting data from large numbers of incumbents in geographically dispersed locations. Task inventories lend themselves to quantifying job analysis data. Quantitive data are invaluable in analyzing jobs and determining core job components.
- Disadvantages: Development of task inventories can be time-consuming and expensive. Motivation problems often become significant when inventories are long or complex. Ambiguities and questions that arise during administration of the inventory may not be addressed; however, in an interview, problems can be resolved as they come up.As these difficulties become magnified, one can expect respondents to become less cooperative, with a concomitant decline in the quality of data collected. Quality can be affected by the respondent representativeness of the desired employee population - where actual respondents do not represent the desired employee population then the results may be biased. Potential biases may lead to legal concerns. Steps taken to encourage participation include requiring names on surveys, conducting follow-up contacts with nonrespondents, and requiring survey participation.
Critical Incident Technique:
Involves the development of a series of behavioural statements developed by supervisors and other SMEs. The SMEs develop these behavioural statements based on direct observation or memory, describing incidents of good and poor job performance. These statements are important because they describe those behaviours that differentiate successful job performance from unsuccessful performance. Critical incidents can provide valuable information about important components of the job. These components can serve as a basis for developing descriptive information about a job.
Originally developed to gather information to determine training needs and develop performance appraisal forms.
The process is designed to generate a list of especially good and especially poor examples of performance (incidents) that job incumbents exhibit. The object of the Critical Incident Techniques is to gather information regarding specific behaviours that actually have been observed, not judgmental or trait-oriented descriptions of performance. These behaviours are then grouped into job dimensions. The final list of job dimensions and respective critical incidents provides a great deal of qualitative information about a job and the behaviours associated with job success or failure. The basic elements of information collected are job behaviours rather than personal traits. Each critical incident consists of (a) a description of a situation (b) the effective or ineffective behaviour performed by a job incumbent, and (C) the consequences of that behaviour. The result of the Critical Incident Technique is a list of events where employees performed tasks poorly or exceptionally well. A representative sample of all job tasks may not be in the list, but the range of incidents provides information from which performance dimensions and worker specifications can be inferred.
Application of Critical Incidents:
Can be used for a variety of selection purposes. Job information collected from critical incidents is helpful in developing the content of task analysis surveys. In addition, critical incidents are particularly helpful in developing selection procedure content such as the Situational Interview, the Behavioural Description Interview, Assessment Center tasks, and Situational Judgment Tests. Information derived from critical incidents can facilitate the development of content comprising employee performance evaluations that often serve as criterion measures of job success. Implementing the method involves the following steps:
1. Selecting the method for critical incidents collection: Critical incidents can be gathered from job expers in a group setting, individual interviews or administering a questionnaire. THE MOST EFFICIENT method of gathering critical incients is by working with a group of job experts. Each job expert in the group is asked to write as many critical incidents as he or she can - this approach - less time for the analysts, job experts may help jog each other's memories and create more critical incidents.
Sometimes not possible in group settings: e.g. job experts not skilled at writing. In this case, individuals or group interviews are conducted and incidents recorded as experts recall them.
Individual interviews- to be used when info is confidential or embarrassing - should not be discussed in a group.
If experts are managers or executives - difficult to find common time to meet as group. Questionnaire should only be used with individuals who are skilled at expressing themselves in writing and excited about participating in the process. Resulting critical incients obtained may be insufficient in content and number.
2. Selecting a panel of job experts: CI tech often applied by job analyst working with SMEs. With this particular procedure, it is important to think carefully about the job experts chosed to participate in the process. Job incumbents, subordinates, and supervisors likely to provide different types of information. Individuals should be chosen who have had the opportunity to observe others' performance on the job. Normally, this would include supervisors and job incumbents who have been in the position for a long period of time (4-5yrs).
- 3. Gathering Critical Incidents: Use of a structured format for generating critical incident statements is best. A structured format should be used whether a questionnaire or interview is being conducted. Job experts are asked to recall actions workers have taken while performing the job that illustrate unusually effective or ineffective performance. Then job experts write statements describing effective and ineffective performance that meet the following four characteristics of a well-written critical incident:
- a. It is specific (a single behaviour).
- b. It focuses on observable behaviours that have been, or could be, exhibited on the job.
- c. It briefly describes the context in which the behaviour occurred.
- d. It indicates the consequences of the behaviour.
- A resulting ci should be detailed enough to convey the same image of performance to at least two individuals who are knowledgeable about the job. The following is an example of a critical incident for a supervisory job:
- Nontoxic waste was being picked up by a disposal company. The order ticket was in error and read that the waste was toxic and to be disposed in a manner only suitable for nontoxic wast. The supervisor signed the disposal order without taking time to read it. As a consequence, EPA fined the company $5,000 for improper disposal of waste - In this incident, there is only one critical behaviour exhibited by the supervisor: signing the disposal ticket without reading it. It is an observable behaviour that could be exhibited on the job. It is also phrased in behavioural terms, not in reference to any personal traits of the supervisor (e.g. careless, lacks attention to detail, hasty, trusting). There is enough detail for the reader to understand the situation, and the consequences of this behaviour are clear.
- 4. Rating and classifying CIs into Job Dimensions: Ratings of the developed incidents are typically made by SMEs. The goal of the ratings is to identify those behaviours that are most relevent in differentiating among behaviours leading to job success or failure. Those incidents passing various rating screens are then classified into job dimensions. Job dimensions are determined by judges analyzing the content of the critical incidents and identifying common themes among the incidents. One way to do this is to write each critical incident on a separate card.These cards are sorted by a judge into piles representing common themes. The sorting continues until all incidents are in piles, and all piles are of a reasonable size. (Piles that are too big may be representative of more than one theme, and those with only one or two incidents may not really be a theme.) once the incidents have been sorted by theme, each theme is given a label that names the dimension. To help establish confidence in clustering incidents into dimensions, other job analysts or experts are asked to re-sort the incidents into the dimensions. If there is not agreement about the dimension to which a ci belongs, it is prudent to drop that ci.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Critical Incidents:
- Advantages: results in great deal of interesting, specific, job related info. The info is behavioural in nature, not trait based. Described behaviours are "critical" incidents, so info most likely represents improtant aspects of the job.
- Disadvantages: not clear that the incidents reported represent the full scope of the job - meaning dimensions based on these CIs may not be representative of the entire job. Dimensions may not be stable, given that they are the product of the analysts judgments. Process is labour intensive, results are very situation specific. Effort required for each new endeavor since most info is not transferrable from one setting to another.
Subject Matter Expert Workshops
Not really a distinct job analysis method per se. Many different job analysis formats and methods such as task analysis inventories and group interviews, can be used in the context of SME workshops. Because of their use, particularly in content validation studies, we briefly outline how SME workshops are used to produce job analysis data.
- consist of gropus or panels of 10-20 job incumbents who work with a group leader to produce a job analysis.
- No particular format for conducting the workshops, bu general steps seem to characterize most workshops:
- 1. selecting and preparing SMEs to participate: SME workshop panelists should possess several important characteristics - willingness to participate in the workshop, a minimum period of tenure in the job, a position representative of the employees on the job under study, reading, writing, and speaking skills, and so forth. Once SMEs are selected, the panelists are oriented in the workshops' purpose and procedures and trained in how to develop and rate task and KSA statements.
- 2. Identifying and rating job tasks: Following training, the workshop leader serves as a group facilitator. The facilitator's role is to solicit from the group descriptions of the major tasks performed on the job. The group describes these major activities, and the facilitator records their comments on a projection screeen or large sheets of paper so that the entire group can read what is being written. The goal is to prepare the task statements to accurately capture the group's descriptions. Once prepared, the task statements are assembled into a rating booklet whose format is like that of a task analysis inventory. Then, panelists use rating scales to make judgments about the task statements listed in the booklet.
- 3. Identifying and rating KSAs associated with these job tasks: After rating job tasksSMEs identify KSAs required for successful performance of these tasks. These rating may be made by the same panelists participating in the task ratins or by different panelists. Following in group processsimilar to that used for generating task statements, SMEs specify KSAs required on the job. Then, as with the task statements, the panelsits rate these KSAs using rating scales. The purpose of these ratings is to identify the most essential KSAs that must be possessed by those applying for the job.
- 4. (when content validation study is being conducted) SMES judge the relevance of a selection measure's content (e.g. items on an employment test, or selection interview questions) to the job domain: SMEs use rating scales to indicate the relevance of selection measure content to the job domain. These ratings help to establish content validity.
Use of multiple job analysis methods
- Review of methods may show that one job analysis approach will not be sufficient in the context of HR selection.
- Instead multiple methods of job analysis may be needed.
- Surveys have show that most experienced job analysts preferred a combination of methods.
- Noted that job analysis is still a relatively imprecise endeavor, and the results of any one method should be corroborated by the results of another.
- Multi-method approach is preferable to reliance on a single method.
- Costs involve offset by the advantages of their use.
- HR job analysts may be faced with the problem of developing a means to reconcile any differences they find in the results produced by two or more job analysis methods. If these differences cannot be reconciled, then job analysis results may be open to both technical and legal challenges.
Incorporating job analysis results in selection measures:
Job analysis info necessary for constructing or choosing the needed selection measures: 2 elements are key steps in implementing job analysis results for HR selection purposes:
- 1. The identification of KSAs and other characteristics from job analysis data (determination of employee specifications)
- 2. the incorporation of employee specifications in our selection procedures (determination of selection measure content).
Identification of employee specifications:
estimating specifications such as KSAs 2 methods are used:
- Direct: require larger inferential leaps than indirect methods as SMES simply rate the importance of KSAs for a specific job. SMEs do not engage in the more manageable, step by step process of indirect methods.
- Indirect: involve the use of specific steps in order to break down the large inferential leaps involved in deriving critical KSAs from job tasks.
- Inferences are useful if the are accurate and complete. If the inferences are wrong, the selection measures will not be useful for predicting job performance.
- Inappropriate selection measures may produce a situation that is ripe for charges of advers impact against certian applicant groups, or one in which new employees are unqualified for the job for which they were employed. Both situations are unfair to employers and employees alike.
- Indirect procedure for KSA determination: series of steps takent to collect SMEs opinions throught the use of surveys. The surveys, some composed of work behaviours or job tasks and others consisting of KSAs, are given to SMES who judge aspects of a job using various rating scales.
- Structured interviews with groups of job incumbents in SME workshops are often used in conjunction with these surveys to obtain task and KSA data. Generally speaking, this method of KSA determination is specific to one job. Because it is job specific, the method is particularly appropriate in content validation study involving the development of selection procdures such as a written test or a structured employment interview. Implementation of the method's sequential steps facilitates the identification of appropriate selection procedure content that representatively samples the job content domain.
Determination of Employee Specifications:
- The various approaches to the development of KSAs and other employee specifications using the results of a task analysis typically follow similar procedures. Generally speaking, task or work behaviour data are collected and these data, in conjunction with SME panels' judgments, are used to identify the KSAs that will compose the content of selection measures for the job.
- The following sequential steps are taken in developing KSAs and selection procedure contents:
- 1. Identifying job tasks/work behaviours.
- 2. Rating job tasks/work behaviours.
- 3. Specifying KSAs necessary for successful job performance.
- 4. Rating the importance of identified KSAs.
- 5. Identifying other employee specifications necessary for successful job performance.
- 6. Linking KSAs and other employee specifications to job tasks/work behaviours.
- 7. Developing the content areas of selection procedures.
Ultimately, the goals of these seven steps are to (a) identify job-related information that should compose the content of selection procedures and (b) identify the selection procedures that should be used to assess the identified information.
- work behaviour is a broad description of the major activities of a job.
- Task is a more specific action associated with these work behaviours.
1. Identifying and rating job tasks/work behaviours:
number of different approaches can be used to identify task content. E.g. observing and interviewing job incumbents and supervisors, and conducting brainstorming sessions with SMEs in SME workshop.
Whatever method used - goal is to produce a survey questionnaire that SMEs can use to rate their job tasks.
Because of Importance of task data, proper development of task statements is critical. Task statements (a) begin with an action verb and (b) describe what the worker does, for whom or what the worker does it, why the worker does it, and how the worker does it.
example of Incorrect and corrected task statements
- Incorrect: Assists with inspection of construction projects
- Comment: first, the What is ambigious and gives no real information as to the action. Second, neither the Why nor the How questions have been answered
- Corrected (What) Inspects/Construction operations (erosion control, Portland cement concrete paving, asphaltic concrete paving, painting, fencing, sign placement),
- (Why) in order to ensure compliance with construction specifications
- (How) by comoparing visual observations with construction specifications and plans and by following verbal instructions; while under daily review by the supervisor.
Although information in work behaviour and associated task statements seems massive, it is this level of precision in the identified work behaviours and task statements that facilitates the development of selection procedure content that accurately maps job content. Therefore, content validity of resulting selection procedures is enhanced.
2. Rating Job Tasks/Work Behaviours
- once we have task data, the next step is to isolate the essential job tasks that compose the job content domain. Typicall, job incumbor SMES ratings of the tasks are used to make this determination.
- Tasks are often rated on a variety of ratin scales such as frequency of task performance or task importance.
- We can employ these ratings to identify a jobs most important activities.
- One possible tack is to use statistical indicies (e.g. averages, percentages, ore even more complex calculations) created from the rating scales and decision rules applied to these indicies to define important tasks.
- Any one or more several criteria can be used. The important point is that a common standard is employed so that it is possible to objectively justify the selection of important job tasks.
- Whatever the analyses used, the "most important" tasks are the basis on which inferences regarding selection instrument content rest. The majore idea behind the application of task analysis invetories is to define important job content. That determination serves as a guideline for defining requisite employee specifications and developing selection procedures for choosing among job applicants.
3. Specifying KSAs Necessary for Successfu Job Performance. Once critical job tasks have been identified, we are ready to specify the KSAs required for successful performance of these tasks. We cannot overemphasize the importance of producing accurate, complete KSA statements.
Correct phrasing of the statements is essential to developing useful selection instruments. Several stages aare necessary for appropriately specifying these KSAs.
- Selection of a KSA Rating Panel: The first stage is to select a panel of SMEs who can identify important KSAs. Such a panel may be composed of those who participated in a job's prior task analysis (steps 1-2) or it may be formed from a new group of individuals. Listed here are several considerations that should be used in forming the KSA rating panel:
- 1. A panel of job experts (at least 10 to 20) is preferable over only one or two individuals. Emphasis, however should not be given exclusively to numbers of experts; we are more interested in the quality of their job Knowledge and participation. If their assessments and inferences regarding KSAs are incorrect, resulting selection instruments will necessarily suffer.
- 2. Characteristics we should seek in job agents are also relevant in choosing the KSA rating panel. These characteristics include the following: (a) participation should be voluntary, (b) incumbents should have performed adequately on the job in questions, and (c) participants should have served on the job a minimum period of time. In addition, women and minority group members should be represented on the panel.
Preparation of KSA panalests: Whatever the data collection methodology, some form of orientation and training of KSA panelists is needed. Panel members will likely require explanations as to what is meant by KSAs, why KSAs are important, and what their roles are to be in identifying and rating KSAs.
Collection of KSA data can take a variety of forms. Survey questionnaires completed independently by panelists can be used. Alternatively, group meetings of panel members can be convened, discussions held, and listings made of KSAs by panelists working independently within groups.
In specifying KSAs, panelists basically review the tasks identified from the job analysis and ask, "what knowledge, skills, or abilities are needed to perform each of these job tasks successfully?" Although the KSAs may not be written at the same level of specificity as task statements, several guiides should be followed in their preparation. Again, the appropriate phrasing of the KSA statements facilitates making inferences concerning employee specifications for a job. Criteria that should be considered include the following:
- 1. Panelists should have a clear understanding of what is meant by knowledge, skills and abilities. Definitions of these terms can vary, but for our use the following are helpful:
- Knowledge: A body of information, usually a factual or procedural nature about a particular domain (e.g. information systems) that makes for successful performance of a task.
- Skill: An individual's level of proficiency or competency in performing a specific task (e.g typing speed). Level of competency is often expressed in numerical terms.
- Ability: A more general, enduring trait or capability an individual possess when he or she first begins to perform a task (e.g. inductive reasoning)
- Some analysts have difficulty distinguishing between skills and abilities. For purposes of preparing KSA statements, it is not absolutely essential that a statement be correctly classified as a skill or an ability. What is important for us is the content of the statement itself; the statement, not its classification, serves as the basis for inferring selection instrument content.
- 2. statements should be written to show the kind of KSA and the degree or level of each that is needed for successful task performance.
- 3. Statements should be written to specify the highest level that is required for the job (lower skills are factored into higher ones)
- 4. Specific statements are preferable to broad, general ones that lack clarity as to what actual KSAs are required. - what kind, what extent, to solve what types of problems - probe questions.
- 5. Although it may be possible to prepare a long list of KSAs for many jobs, emphasis should be given to identifying those that determine "successful" performance on the job.
- 6. In preparing knowledge statements, adjective modifiers relative to the degree or extent of knowledge required should not be used (e.g "thorough" "some").
- 7. Inm preparing ability statements, adjective modifiers of level or extent of the ability required should not be used. (bague adverbs e.g. rapidly or effectively)
- After all KSAs have been suggested, it is quite possible some statements will require editing. When editing is needed, the objective should be to specify important content in as much detailas possible and give examples where appropriate.
Potential problems in KSA determination: The development and specification of KSA statements is not always as straightforward a task as we have presented it here. Several different problems may occur. E.g, if the KSA panelists serving as SMEs are not properly trained, they may produce very broad, undefined KSA statements that are relatively useless in developing a measure. KSA statements such as "ability to work under stress" are not helpful in understanding exactly what is required to be successful on the job. Such KSAs are very likely to be developed when SMEs simply want to tak a job task and add words to it such as Knowledge or, ability to or skill at indefining KSAs. For instance, the task of handling customer complaints becomes ability to handle customer complaints. not only is the KSA undefined and of little use in developing a predictor, but this process assumes a unique KSA for each job task. Realistically a particular KSA may underlie several job tasks.
- 4. Rating the Importance of Identified KSAs: for selection instruments to be useful, they should reflect the importance of different KSAs required for a specific job. That is, those KSAs that are most important for a job should account for more selection instrument content than less important ones. Determination of KSA importance is usually based on SMEs' rating of KSAs.
- Methods of Judging KSA Importance: The methods used in rating KSA importance are similar to those used in assessing the importance of job tasks. That is, some form of survey questionnaire consisting of a listing of KSA statements and relevant rating scales is used by respondents (KSA panel members) in judging KSA importance. Actual questionnaire formats, including rating scales, can vary from one application to the next.
5. Identifying other employee specifications necessary for successful job performance:
Other than KSAs, jobs may require that applicants possess certain personal specifications that are necessary for adequate performance. Such specifications typically include the following types:
1. Physical requirements
2. Licensure/certification requirements
3. other/miscellaneous requirements.
- Physical requirements: Physical requirementsare those qualifications workers must possess in order to physically perform their jobs. These requirements can involve a number of physical abilities requiring specific levels of hearing, seeing, speaking, or lifting, to name a few. (e.g. the abilit to lift, pull, or carry a specific amount of weight must be set for firefighters).
- Be sure that any specified physical abilites are essential to the job. Careful review will help ensure compliance with Disabilities Act.
- The relevance of physical qualifications can be assessed in either of two ways: (a) by listing a rating physical abilities required for a job or (b) by rating a pre-established set of physical abilities. Where a listing and rating of physical abilities is concerned, the same methods described for generating and rating KSAs can be used. Emphasis is placed on developing specific, observable, and measurable statements descriptive of physical job requirements. E.g.
- "be able to read a voltmeter dial from a distance of five feet".
- Once listed, these characteristics can be rated using appropriate scales likel those judging KSAs.
- Physical abilities scales - exisiting measure.
Licensure/Certification Requirements: The next set of specifications that may be legally necessary for job performance are special licensure or certification requirements. If these requirements are critical in performing a job, then they are important specifications that should be used in selection. Examples of licensure/certification requirements are a drivers license, teaching certificate etc. Like KSAs, these specifications can be rated on a scale to determin their importance in performing the job under study or simply listed as mandatory requirement.
Other Miscellaneous Requirement: It is possible for requirements other than KSAs, licenses, or certificates to be critical to a job. More than likely, these requirements will be unique to a job; if they are critical to job success, they should be evaluated. E.g. ownership of specific tools, equipment or a vehivle. Some jobs may require a willingness of an applicant/incumbent to work under unusual conditions of employment such as frequent relocation/overtime/shifts or travel.
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