How Is a Position Analysis Questionnaire Used?


Quick Answer

A position analysis questionnaire is used to identify specific elements of a job and the skills and disposition predictive of an employee's success in the job. Results of a position analysis are most often used to ensure internal pay equity, determine hiring criteria or assist with disability determination.

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Full Answer

The position analysis questionnaire is widely used and respected by vocational experts due to its proven reliability in establishing job requirements and comparing these requirements across various positions and employment sectors, as well as its recognition in courts of law.

The instrument measures 195 job elements that represent a broad range of human behaviors. The job elements that are measured fall into five key categories: how and when the employee receives information required to do the job; the cognitive processes required to receive and integrate the information required of the position; the tools and physical activities involved in completing the work; the nature of the communication and interpersonal relationships inherent to the job; and the physical and social context within which the work is performed. Research related to position analysis questionnaire analyses of hundreds of jobs is maintained by Purdue University.

The position analysis questionnaire was developed in 1972 by industrial and organizational psychologists Ernest McCormick, Paul Jeanneret and Robert Mecham.

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