The process of Job analysis involves collecting information about a certain specific job and analyzing it. The information obtained from such analysis relates to the work environment, the job description, which includes responsibilities and working conditions of an individual holding the position and the performance standards. Job analysis also involves identifying the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA’s) required in order to perform the job effectively (Siddique, 2004). In my job analysis for the position of a Clinical Informatics Specialist, I will adopt the critical incidence method of analysis. This technique of job analysis involves observing and recording incidences that are mainly effective or ineffective behaviors at work. For a behavior to be termed as effective or not, it depends on the outcome of the behavior. Given that am interested in being a Clinical Informatics Specialist, using the critical incidence method, I will look for the critical incidences; incidences that were handled either extremely well or poorly and the consequences that followed, in different health organizations under this position.
While I conduct the job analysis using the Critical incidence method, I will concentrate on three areas, that is; how and where the situation occurred and what led to its occurrence. I will also look at the actions that those who have worked as Clinical Informatics specialist did that were effective or ineffective and what consequences were involved for their behavior. In addition, I will consider to what extent the position of Clinical Informatics specialist holds accountable, certain types of actions. Critical incidence method is an easy and flexible method to be used in any organization. In any organization, new staff should carry a critical incidence job analysis before they start working. The job analysis is in order to establish areas of concern that need improvements. To those existing in the organization, such a way that To organizations, this method will be helpful if adopted, given that it will create room for improvements of every individual in their positions, as the culture of learning from mistakes will be part of the organization (Siddique, 2004).
Reliability and Validity of Critical Incidence Method of Job Analysis
Critical Incidence method is reliable since it explores the actual events and behaviors that have occurred within the Clinical Informatics specialist position in the past rather than providing speculations and opinions about what might have happened. Since the observations are only recorded after behavior occurs, critical incidence method allows every individual in an organization to work effectively as supervisors are monitoring their behaviors closely. The method is flexible since it does not force the individual or respondent into a given framework, it is cost effective to the company and the information collected is from the individual’s perspective.
Critical incidence method is a valid method since it provides a source of factual life materials on which to base assessment centre exercises. The method is also able to identify minute events that other methods ignore and consider them insignificant. Critical incidence method is the only job analysis method that has gone through very slight changes, unlike all the other methods, which have transformed wholly over the years. Critical incidence method has been proved a much effective method since it is easy to understand and it gives motivation to individuals in their positions of work (Siddique, 2004).
Performance appraisal is an analytical process, which involves the assessment of an individuals’ performance. The best methods for appraisal of a Clinical Informatics specialist include; psychological appraisals, confidential records, critical incidence method and performance tests and observations. These appraisal methods, perfectly match the position of Clinical Informatics specialist since their role is to support the goals of an organization by bringing about tangible changes. In addition, a Clinical Informatics specialist, through innovative technical skills, brings about quality improvements and solutions in the operations of the organization (Jafari, Bourouni, and Amiri, 2009).
Psychological appraisals are done in form of psychological tests, in-depth interviews and discussions with the supervisors. This appraisal method is more focused on an individual’s personal characteristics, their emotions, their intellectual level and other characteristics that may affect an individual performance at the work place. Confidential records, another appraisal method, involve records of items such as attendance, teamwork, reasoning ability, resourcefulness, initiative, leadership, technical ability and originality. The record in this case is given in the form of an Annual Confidential Report; it is usually very confidential and highly secretive.
As discussed earlier, Critical incidence method is also used as a performance appraisal method. This method of appraisal is done on past critical behaviors of employees, which cause differences in performances. The evaluations are based on actual behaviors at work and gives improvement chances to subordinates. Behavioral anchored rating scales are another method of performance appraisals where the raters say which behavior best describes the employee’s performance. This method therefore, overcomes errors associated with rating such as biases. Lastly, performance tests and observations is another good method for performance appraisal since it tests an individual’s skills and knowledge. The best test for a Clinical Informatics specialist is the actual presentation of skills since the work is more technical and easily observable (Jafari, Bourouni, and Amiri, 2009).
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Benefits and Vulnerabilities of Performance Appraisal Methods
In relation to psychological appraisals, the method creates a feeling of attachment to the job and the organization at large since it employs emotions and personal characteristics relating to the individual and the job. Unfortunately, psychological approach is costly, as it requires professional psychologists for it to be effective. The method is also slow and time consuming since every individual is interviewed alone. Confidential records method has the benefit of being highly secretive, which gives a sense of security to the respondent and thus boosting their confidence at work. The fact that confidential records’ method is secretive brings the issue of being highly subjective and thus the ratings are subject to manipulation by the human resource department.
Critical incidence method is one of the best appraisal methods since the evaluation process is based on tangible job behaviors and thus, the appraisal method is flexible and easy to use by any organization. This method also reduces biasness associated with recent information obtained from a specific jobholder. On the other hand, critical incident method suffers a number of vulnerabilities such as; some incidences may go unreported since the method relies on memory of the respondent rather than relying on the recorded information. In addition, the individuals involved may not have the time to tell all the details of the incidence, thus the method becomes less representative. Critical incident method requires close supervision as well and the provision of feedback may appear as punishment, which may cause de-motivation of the concerned employee. Performance tests and observations method has the benefit in that, the tests involved may be suitable to measure potential performance more than the actual performance and thus giving room for improvements and motivation to the individuals. However, the major problem associated with Performance tests and observations method is that the tests may not be reliable and validated and their costs may be high (Jafari, Bourouni, and Amiri, 2009).
Jafari, M., Bourouni, A., & Amiri, R. H. (2009). A new framework for selection of the best performance appraisal method. European Journal of Social Sciences, 7(3), 92-100.
Siddique, C. M. (2004). Job analysis: A strategic human resource management practice. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 15(1), 219-244.
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