Functional Job Analysis

What is Functional Job Analysis?

A method of analyzing jobs that seeks to gather information about all that goes into a particular role and what is required from a worker in that role, and qualitatively determine the best fit for the job. Functional Job Analysis (FJA) currently covers seven different categories for each job:

  1. Things (physical tools required to perform the job)
  2. Data (information relevant to the company that a worker must analyze)
  3. Worker Instructions (processes and procedures a worker is expected to follow)
  4. Reasoning (the need for a worker to think critically and make smart decisions)
  5. People (how well an employee must work with others)
  6. Math (how much a worker must work with numbers and mathematical skills)
  7. Language (a worker’s ability to read, synthesize, and communicate information effectively)


Our Functional Job Analysis process determined that the Public Relations Manager role required very few math skills, but plenty of people and reasoning skills – Shelby proved the perfect fit for the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the purpose of Functional Job Analysis?Functional Job Analysis serves the purpose of creating a comprehensive and (relatively) objective list of the tools, responsibilities, requirements, and skills that are part of (and by exclusion, those not part of) any given role in a workplace. Rather than recruiting candidates or writing job descriptions based on gut feelings or subjectivity, Functional Job Analysis allows hiring organizations to determine a clear list of needs and wants that go into a role.
  • What are the 7 categories of Functional Job Analysis?Functional Job Analysis (FJA) currently covers seven different categories for each job: 
    • Things: tools required to perform the job (eg: hammer, desktop computer, video editing software)
    • Data: information relevant to the company that a worker must analyze (eg: building blueprints, supplier invoices, online ad click-through rates)
    • Worker Instructions: processes and procedures a worker is expected to follow (eg: safety protocols, org charts, submitting work to editors)
    • Reasoning: the need for a worker to think critically and make smart decisions (eg: picking a new vendor, negotiating contracts, deciding when to loop in superiors)
    • People: how well an employee must work with others (eg: collaborating on projects, making sales, coordinating between departments with competing objectives)
    • Math: how much a worker must work with numbers and mathematical skills (eg: working with spreadsheets, calculating profit margins, measuring building materials)
    • Language: a worker’s ability to read, synthesize, and communicate information effectively (eg: translating languages, interpreting contracts, giving presentations)


  • Does a worker need all 7 parts of Functional Job Analysis to be good at their job?The 7 elements of Functional Job Analysis are not a checklist – it’s not about “finding an employee that can do all 7.” Rather, every single role out there can be analyzed for each category to determine what all is needed for someone to do the role successfully: Think “what tools and data would a worker need to perform this job fully?” “Will this role involve significant decision-making that requires critical reasoning skills? or “Does this role require any math competency – if so, what tasks require math?” Every job is different. A CEO may make decisions with world-wide repercussions, meaning that role requires significant Reasoning skills, but they may dictate mathematical calculations to others, requiring very few Math skills themselves. Conversely, a carpenter may just be tasked with following a blueprint down to the millimeter, requiring very little Reasoning but plenty of Math skills.
  • How do you perform a Functional Job Analysis of a role?To perform a Functional Job Analysis, go down the list of categories, and for each one, fill out everything relevant to that job that fits under the category, as comprehensively as possible.For example, a (very) abridged Functional Job Analysis for a Graphic Designer may look like this:
    • Things: Tools the Graphic Designer will need includes a computer, photo editing software, and a stylus pad.
    • Data: Data the Graphic designer will need access to includes the branding and style guide, a digital photo catalogue, and any relevant ad copy.
    • Worker Instructions: The Graphic Designer will need to clearly understand marketing objectives, editing feedback procedure, and internal file naming conventions.
    • Reasoning: The Graphic designer will need to make aesthetic judgment calls in-line with marketing campaign objectives, as well as balance perfectionism and quality with material output.
    • People: The Graphic Designer will work closely with the creative team (Copywriter and photographer) as well as need to occasionally collaborate with and accept feedback from the Marketing Manager and other department heads.
    • Math: The Graphic Designer must have a firm comprehension of digital photography data, including pixel counts, PPI, and image dimensions.
    • Language: The Graphic Designer must be able to clearly articulate aesthetic decisions to non-artists, as well as serve as a 2nd line of defense against copy errors and typos.


The workplace is evolving faster than ever before thanks to new HR solutions, rapidly developing technology, ever-present digital security threats, and more, and you need a partner that will help your organization stay agile and on top of the moment.

From strategic talent management to the best onboarding technology, Rival offers secure platforms that enable people to thrive in a changing workplace. Contact Rival today to talk to an expert to see how we can help you attract the best talent and keep them on board and performing up to your expectations.


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