Only about half of HR professionals practice the science of job analysis—reducing a job to its elemental parts and identifying the skills and knowledge required to do it.

That's the implication that could be drawn from a survey released by the Society for Human Resource Management that queried 459 HR professionals about their familiarity with and use of job analysis to infuse their department's performance.

The survey revealed that a little more than half of those surveyed (51 percent) had participated in at least one formal job analysis activity. Less than half (45 percent) said they've used the information obtained from job analysis for some function other than identifying the skills and knowledge required to perform a certain job. Only 20 percent said they'd conducted a job analysis while working for their employer.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.