University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Advantages and Disadvantages of Job Analysis Methods

Method Advantages Disadvantages
Observation
  • Firsthand information.
  • Simple to use.
  • Verifies data from other sources.
  • Useful for manual and psychomotor tasks.
  • Time consuming.
  • May bias worker performance.
  • Small sample size.
  • Requires skilled observer.
  • Validity & reliability may be problematic.
  • Not useful for jobs consisting of mostly mental tasks.
Interview
  • Incumbent describes work.
  • Can yield data about cognitive and psychomotor processes difficult to observe.
  • Qualitative data can be examined.
  • Works well for jobs with long job cycles.
  • Requires experienced interviewer and well-designed questions.
  • Difficult to combine data from disparate interviews.
  • Data gathered is subjective and should be verified.
  • May elicit extraneous data.
Critical Incident
  • Analysis is based on concrete behavior.
  • Scales require some expertise to develop.
Diary
  • Collects data as events happen.
  • Consistent and continuous entries may be difficult to obtain.
  • Data not in standardized format.
Checklist
  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy to administer.
  • May not include all important parts of work.
Questionnaire
  • Does not require trained interviewer.
  • Relatively less expensive.
  • Can reach more workers.
  • Data is standardized (structured).
  • May be difficult to construct.
  • May have low response rate.
  • Responses may be incomplete.
  • Responses may be difficult to interpret (open-ended).
Technical Conference
  • Data from experience is superior to observation.
  • Data is comprehensive.
  • SME's chosen for expertise and competence.
  • SME's may have trouble breaking work into tasks and describing work.
  • Time consuming.
  • Differences in opinion need to be resolved to consensus.