There are two major ways to approach a job: task- and worker-oriented. The first method implies the focus on tasks completed and tools used, whereas the second method concentrates on features a worker has to have to complete the job effectively. It is important to employ a combination of these two methods to provide a job analysis of the Customer Service Representative. It is also possible to use the following three approaches: interviews, examining manuals, and task inventory. These strategies involve elements of both tasks- and worker-oriented approaches. However, interviews rely more on a task-oriented approach, while examining manuals are based on worker-oriented. The task inventory involves both approaches.
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Conducting interviews may be an effective approach, which is both task- and worker-oriented (Landy & Conte, 2010). The interviews may be held with Customer Service Representatives or supervisors and other employees from the Customer Service Department. Landy and Conte (2010) note that customers may also be interviewed to obtain more information concerning customers’ expectations. It can help the human resources manager (HRM) understand the peculiarities of the work and personal features that may be useful or harmful for completing certain tasks. This method may help the HRM acquire a lot of useful details concerning the job.
At the same time, this method relies on people’s experience and the way they see their job and tasks. This method may lack certain standards and can be limited to the knowledge and skills of people interviewed. The approach is also time-consuming as it is necessary to interview several people and analyze the data obtained. Therefore, it is possible to assume that this approach will provide incomplete information, which may result in inadequate results of job analysis.
Landy and Conte (2010) note that task inventories are often used for job analysis. This approach is quite similar to the one mentioned above, as it is based on the experience of employees. Thus, employees (those employed at the department in question, supervisors, customers as well as other professionals) complete questionnaires. This method is less time-consuming, but it is also quite one-sided. There is another issue as the questions may seem ambiguous to some employees, and there can be a certain degree of ambiguity in the results of the analysis. Therefore, it is ineffective to use this approach as it still lacks standards.
Examining manuals is another approach which can be utilized. It is based on the research of manuals, instructions, job details, and so on. It is noteworthy that the data can be collected through an online search, which requires less time than interviewing people (Landy & Conte, 2010). The data collected may involve job description, standards existing in the area, latest findings, and advances as well as trends. The approach is quite effective as it is possible to obtain a lot of data within rather a short period.
Nonetheless, the major downside of this approach is that it may lack information on personal experiences, which can be important for job analysis. Of course, it is possible to find some online forums or blogs, but the information extracted may be insufficient. Therefore, this approach is not perfect, as well.
The Approach to Be Used
As seen from the brief analysis of the approaches, it is inefficient to use one of these methods. Nonetheless, it is possible and (will be effective) to use a combination of task inventory and manual examining. The task inventory method will take up a reasonable amount of time and will provide the HRM with insights of professionals. Thus, the necessary skills and features of character will be identified. At the same time, manual examining will help collect the necessary data on standards, latest trends, and advances.
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To fill the opening at the Customer Service Department, it is possible to utilize motivationally, and engineering approaches. These approaches result in high job satisfaction and performance (Tims & Bakker, 2013). The advantage of the engineering approach is that it concentrates on particular characteristics of the job and ways to optimize the employee’s work. This method enables the HRM to increase the efficacy of each employee.
While designing a job of the Customer Service Representative, the HRM can face certain challenges. In the first place, it will require a considerable amount of time to research and analyze the latest advances in the field. It is possible to collect data online, and there is a significant scope of work on engineering job design and the job of a Customer Service Representative. However, time will be needed to analyze the data collected. Another challenge is applying the job design to the particular characteristics of the small company which is rapidly growing. The growth may put extra challenges to the newly developed design. Of course, the major characteristics of the design will remain unchanged, but the increasing size of the company will affect the functioning of the department and will require new tasks to be accomplished. Therefore, job design will have to be changed.
The motivational approach is seen as one of the most effective but difficult to develop. The approach is aimed at the development of comfortable conditions for the employee (Gagne & Panaccio, 2014). Again, one of the main challenges will be to develop a motivational strategy applicable in a company that is experiencing rapid growth. Thus, motivation tools developed may become outdated soon due to the changed structure of the company. Another challenge is the nature of the work, which may always be associated with a lot of stress. The Customer Service Representative has to respond to all questions and be able to react accordingly. Development of strategies to diminish stress may require a lot of time, and these tools have to be changed occasionally.
Attracting and Selecting Qualified Applicants
The first strategy to be discussed is external recruitment, which implies the selection of applicants who have not to work for the company. While selecting employees, the HRM should utilize the job design developed, and it is also important to employ the engineering method. The HRM will identify the applicants’ KSAs. Analysis of the applicant’s KSAs and their relevance to the job will be central to the process of selection. The selection may be held through testing and interviews with applicants. When the applicants are selected, it is necessary to focus on tools to attract them. The HRM will employ the motivational element of the job design. It is crucial to make potential employees aware of benefits and positive experiences they may have.
This strategy is effective as it ensures that the most qualified employees will fill the openings in the department. It is noteworthy that employees will have the skills and qualities necessary for the effective accomplishment of tasks. At the same time, it is possible to predict the extent to which they will be satisfied with their jobs.
It is possible to combine internal and external recruitment. The company is rapidly growing, and several people will be needed within a short period. It is possible to start with internal recruitment accompanied by external selection. The external recruitment has been mentioned above and considered in detail and, hence, it can be enough to note that engineering method will be central to it. Internal recruiting requires additional attention. The major focus will be made on the motivational approach as existing employees should be motivated to take up the position in question (Landy & Conte, 2010). Interviews and questionnaires will be major tools utilized. First, it is necessary to ask employees to complete questionnaires aimed at identifying those who are eager to try the new post.
Advantage of internal recruitment is that employees are aware of the company’s characteristics and are already loyal to it. The new post may be seen as a type of promotion, which may increase employees’ loyalty. The use of solely internal recruitment will not be effective enough as it will not be sufficient for the growing department. However, this strategy will be efficient as it involves the use of both external and internal recruitment. The former will ensure the filling of all positions. At the same time, the latter will help fill the position with a loyal and experienced employee (s).
The job analysis utilized will help measure the employees’ performance as well. In the first place, it will be easy to identify the extent to which the employee is effective. The job analysis involves the collection and consideration of details concerning the job. The HRM is aware of major tasks the employee has to fulfill and, hence, it is easy to trace all deviations from the job description. Of course, the fact that an employee completes a task does not mean the task is fulfilled properly. Questionnaires filled by customers should also be collected and analyzed.
Apart from particular tasks examining, the job analysis also involves exploring the characteristics of employees. If the employee’s traits prevent him/her from fulfilling tasks properly, this can negatively affect the employee’s performance (Landy & Conte, 2010). Notably, people may change due to various reasons (family issues, conflicts in the working place, dissatisfaction with work and so on) and, thus, even though an applicant who had all the necessary qualities was employed, this individual could change. Thus, questionnaires aimed at revealing the qualities of people and their attitude towards the job can identify whether the change has taken place, and certain steps are needed.
Finally, job analysis enables the HRM to learn about the latest trends in the field. It is possible to assess whether the employee uses the most efficient tools to complete the tasks. Admittedly, the efficacy of employees and their development is of paramount importance for the company. Thus, it is possible to interview employees on the strategies they use and the way they try to optimize their work. These are three major ways job analysis can be used for performance measurement.
Gagne, M., & Panaccio, A. (2014). The motivational power of job design. In M. Gagne (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of work engagement, motivation, and self-determination theory (pp. 165-181). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Landy, F.J., & Conte, J.M. (2010). Work in the 21st century: An introduction to industrial and organizational psychology. Sydney, Australia: John Wiley & Sons.
Tims, M., & Bakker, A.B. (2013). Job design and employee engagement. In C. Truss, K. Alfes, R. Delbridge, A. Shantz, & E. Soane (Eds.), Employee engagement in theory and practice (pp. 131-149). New York, NY: Routledge.