Quantitative Job Analysis Techniques

Qualitative approaches like interviews and questionnaires are not always suitable. For example, if your aim is to compare jobs for pay purposes, you may need to say that, in effect, Job A is twice as challenging as Job B and so is worth twice the pay. To do this, it can help to be able to assign quantitative values to each job. The position analysis questionnaire and the US Department of Labor approach are popular quantitative methods.

Position Analysis questionnaire (PAQ): A questionnaire used to collect quantifiable data concerning the duties and responsibilities of various jobs.

The position analysis questionnaire (PAQ) is a very structured job analysis questionnaire. The PAQ contains 194 items, each of which (such as written materials) represents a basic element that may or may not play an important role in the job. The job analyst decides if each item plays a role and if so to what extent. For example, written materials received a rating of 4, indicating that written materials (like books, reports, and office notes) play a considerable role in this job. The analyst can do this online.

The advantage of the PAQ is that it provides a quantitative score or profile of any job in terms of how that job rates on five basic activities: (1) having decision making / communication / social responsibilities, (2) performing skilled activities, (3) bring physically active, (4) operating vehicles / equipment, and (5) processing information. The PAQ’s real strength is thus in classifying jobs. In other words, it lets you assign a quantitative score to each job based on its decision making, skilled activity, physical activity, vehicle/equipment operation, and information processing characteristics. You can therefore use the PAQ results to quantitatively compare to one another and then assign pay levels for each job.

US Department of Labor (DOL) Job analysis procedure: A standardized method by which different jobs can be quantitatively rated, classified, and compared based on data people and things scored.

The US Department (DOL) job analysis procedure also provides a standardized method by which to quantitatively rate, classify and compare different jobs. The heart of this analysis is data, people, and things rating for each job.

It works as follows. The DOL method uses set of standard basic activities called worker functions to describe to describe what a worker can do with respect to data, people, and things. With respect to data, or instance, the basic functions include synthesizing, coordinating, and copying. With respect to people they include mentoring, negotiating and supervising. With respect to things, the basic functions include manipulating tending and handling.

Note also that each worker function gets an importance level. Thus, coordinating is 1, whereas copying is 5. If you were analyzing the job of a receptionist / clerk, for example, you might label the job 5, 6, 7 which would represent copying data, speaking / signaling people, and handling things. On the other hand, you might code a psychiatric aide in a hospital 1, 7, 5 in relation to data, people and things. In practice, you would analyze each task that the worker performed in terms of data, people and things. Then the highest combination (say 4, 6, 5) would be used to identify the job, since this is the highest level that a job incumbent would be expected to attain.

The schedule produced the DOL procedure contains several types of information. The job title, in this case dough mixer in bakery, is listed first. Also listed are the industry in which this job is found and the industry’s standard industrial classification code. There is a one of two sentences summary of the job, and the worker function ratings for data, people and things – in this case 5, 6, 2. These numbers mean that in terms of difficulty a dough mixer copies data, speaks /signals with people and operates /controls with respect to things. Finally, the schedule specifies the human requirements of the job, for instance in terms of training time required, aptitudes temperaments. As you can see, each job ends up with a numerical score (such as 5, 6, 2). You can thus group together (and assign the same pay to) all jobs with similar scores, even for very different jobs like dough mixer and mechanic’s helper.

Another technique, functional job analysis is similar to the DOL method, but rates the job not on data, people and things but also ion the extent to which performing the task requires specific instructions, reasoning and judgment mathematical ability and verbal and language facilities.