Job analysis questionnaires are structured tools used to gather information about work as it is performed in each organization.

Questionnaires may be used by the job analyst in an interview or completed by the job incumbent. Preparation of a job analysis questionnaire takes both time and skill of individuals knowledgeable of the jobs being analyzed and the development of questionnaires. Job analysis questionnaires may be hardcopy or electronic. They may be designed specifically for an organization, or more general to collect information from a large number of people working in many different organizations.

Some conventional job analysis programs ask job incumbents to complete a preliminary questionnaire describing their jobs. The purpose is to provide the job analyst with a first draft of the necessary job information. It is also meant to be a first step in obtaining incumbent and supervisor approval of the final job description. Of course, not all employees enjoy filling out questionnaires. Also, employees vary in verbal and reading skills and may overstate or understate their work activities. Usually, the job analyst follows up the questionnaire by interviewing the employee and observing his or her job.

Position Analysis Questionnaire

The best-known quantitative approach to job analysis is the Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ). Developed by Dr. Ernest J. McCormick* and associates at Purdue University, the position analysis questionnaire is a structured job analysis questionnaire containing 194 items called job elements. These elements are worker-oriented. Using the terminology of the Department of Labor’s 1972 job analysis formula, they would be classified as worker behaviors. The items are organized into six divisions:

(1) information input
(2) mental processes
(3) work output (physical activities and tools)
(4) relationships with others
(5) job context (the physical and social environment)
(6) other job characteristics (such as pace and structure)

Each job element is rated on six scales: extent of use, importance, time, possibility of occurrence, applicability, and a special code for certain jobs.

(*During and after WWII, Dr. McCormick worked for the Federal Government contributing to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.)

These descriptors flow from McCormick's model of the operational functions basic to all jobs: sensing (information receiving), information storage, information processing, and decision and action (physical control or communication). These functions vary in emphasis from job to job.

Job analysts or supervisors usually complete the position analysis questionnaire. In some instances managerial, professional, or other white-collar job incumbents fill out the instrument. The reason for such limitations is that the reading requirements of this questionnaire is at the college-graduate level.

Analyzing Job Analysis Questionnaire Data

Data from the position analysis questionnaire can be analyzed in several ways. For a specific job, individual ratings can be averaged to yield the relative importance of and emphasis on various job elements, and the results can be summarized as a job description. The elements can also be clustered into a profile rating on a large number of job dimensions to permit comparison of this job with others. Estimates of employee aptitude requirements can be made. Job evaluation points can be estimated from the items related to pay. Finally, an occupational prestige score can be computed. Analysts can have position analysis questionnaire data computer-analyzed by sending the completed questionnaire to PAQ Services.

Position Analysis Questionnaire Uses

The position analysis questionnaire has been used for job evaluation, selection, performance appraisal, compensation planning, assessment-center development, determination of job similarity, development of job families, vocational counseling, determination of training needs, and job design.

Reliability and Validity

The position analysis questionnaire has been shown to have a demonstrated level of reliability. An analysis of 92 jobs by two independent groups yielded a reliability coefficient of 0.79. (See McCormick, E.J., & Jeanneret, P.R., “Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ)”, in Gale, S., Ed. The Job Analysis Handbook for Business, Industry and Government, Vol.2., New York, John Wiley, 1988.)

Order Position Analysis Questionnaires

The following PAQ job analysis questionnaires can be ordered online.

FLSA Questionnaire
Fill out this online questionnaire to learn PAQ's estimate of an employee's exempt or non-exempt status under FLSA regulations based on the employee's actual job duties.
Price: $29.95 per report

Pre-Interview Job Description Form for Job Incumbents
Form used by job analysts as a means of gathering information about a job before a PAQ interview.
Price: $29 per PDF

Expanded Interview Job Description Form
This job analysis form allows a job incumbent to complete much of the information about his/her job in narrative format. Useful to the job analyst in gathering information prior to a PAQ interview.
Price: $39 per PDF

PAQ Interview Guide
Job analysis worksheets used by job analysts while interviewing an incumbent in the PAQ interview.
Price: $39 per PDF

PAQ Questionnaire (traditional PAQc form)
The original Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQc), in use since 1972, is a structured job analysis questionnaire that measures 187 job characteristics and relates them to human characteristics (rather than describing the tasks, technologies, or duties of jobs). Scoring is described above.
Price: $39.00/each

PAQ Questionnaire (traditional PAQe form)
The enhanced Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQe), in use since 2004, is a structured job analysis questionnaire that measures the PAQc's 187 job characteristics plus the new eDOT measures and ~35 selective characteristics of occupations (SCOs) highly predictive of pay. Also includes items relevant to the FLSA, SSA Disability, PMPQ, and others. All scoring is now online.
Price: $39.00/each

PAQ Enter-Act Record Form
Record Form for entry of PAQ job identification information and item ratings for later online entry for PAQ scoring.
Price: $39 per PDF

PAQ Job Analysis Manual
Manual that provides guidelines, instructions, and procedures for conducting job analysis using the PAQ position analysis questionnaire.
Price: $149 per PDF

PAQ User's Manual
Manual that provides guidelines, instructions, and procedures for conducting job analysis using any edition of the new PAQ.
Price: $279 per PDF

PAQ Technical Manual
Technical manual covering new eDOT and PAQ measures, editions, and applications. Included in its Appendix are copies of the pre-2004 PAQ and PMPQ Technical Manuals. Contains the new content, construct, and face validity statistics, and research from the enhanced Dictionary of Occupational Titles and the eDOT Skills Project's data, and use of PAQ scored inputs as eDOT subject matter job field analyses. (775 pages, changing each edition; 10/1 edition contains only pre-2004 Manuals and new content...
Price: $679.00

Job Analysis Training

Receive training on how to use the PAQ at a job analysis training seminar. Learn to interview job incumbents using the position analysis questionnaire. Use the information you gather to write detailed job descriptions and evaluate jobs in order to make promotion, pay, and hiring decisions.

Job Analysis Software

Need a database of ready-made job descriptions? See PAQ's Occupational Assessor software. This job analysis software provides detailed job descriptions for more than 20,000 position titles. It also analyzes job for FLSA exempt/non-exempt determinations, transferable skills assessment, career counseling, and vocational rehabilitation.

Download a Free Occupational Assessor Job Analysis Demo!

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