Many job analysis tools are available to the human resource practitioner. One valuable free resource that has been available since the 1930s and has been brought into the digital age is the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, or its digital descendant, O*Net Online.
The Dictionary of Occupational Titles or D-O-T (DOT) refers to a publication produced by the United States Department of Labor which helped employers, government officials, and workforce development professionals to define over 13,000 different types of work, from 1938 to the late 1990s. The DOT was created by job analysts who visited thousands of US work sites to observe and record the various types of work, and what was involved.
The DOT was later replaced by an online database called the Occupational Information Network or the O*NET.The entire O*NET database is available free of charge to the general public for job analysis and workforce planning via a searchable web-based application O*NET Online.
The readily accessible data from O*Net Online is a treasure trove for HR professionals in large and small organizations and can be applied to a multitude of purposes beyond job analysis, including, performance appraisal ( job dimensions, standards), compensation (external equity), and career management. For the latter the online tool has built-in career breakout options.
O*net Online is a terrific free resource in a small business setting, where there may not be any HR professional on duty. Easily accessible and intuitive it can be a “go-to” guide for the entrepreneur who wants to inject a bit of HR professionalism to his/her entrepreneurial skill set.