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Use for data not decided first many a data-gathering effort has been like poking in a haystack to try to find the needle. The effort is excessively lengthy, it gathers data that will not be used, job analyses challenge workers unnecessarily.
Job analyses, and job description preparation, if properly executed, can be expensive-at least until a system for gathering data and preparing JDs is established.
Job descriptions are not adhered to. Incumbents must be thoroughly schooled and motivated to provide truthful data. This may require extensive orientation about the analysis.
Quality and consistent structure in person specs, performance evaluation instruments, and job factor sheets can, therefore, not be obtained. Rather than use such JDs, they are ignored and efforts, independent of consideration of the job descriptions, are made to develop person specs, performance evaluation instruments, and job factor sheets.
Job descriptions alone are of little value for measuring performance. They tell what areas to look at in evaluating performance but not how to measure it.
It was just stated that job descriptions fail to cover general responsibilities that apply across many workers. But it is perhaps even more common and more of a problem when JDs do not reflect adequately the uniqueness of each different position.
Job descriptions usually leave out discussions of the independent authority that can be exercised by the jobholder. What kinds of decisions can the incumbent make without navigating through the checks and balances of higher authorities and supervisors?
In practice, considerable problems exist with respect to job description use and preparation. They are neither used properly nor nearly as fully as they could be.
Do not reinvent the wheel every time you are faced with the task of preparing a job description. Often old job descriptions will exist. They may be grossly out of date and out of touch with reality, but they can still provide valuable data or suggestions on where to focus a job analysis study.
Good supervisors make work plans and keep these plans in some written form. Notebooks are frequently used for recording non-recurring as well as recurring delegated assignments with expected completion dates.
You can either do all the work yourself or serve in an apprentice or assistant role. This takes time and, therefore, is costly, but it gives the analyst a better real feel for the job than any other mechanism.