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Application of Text Analysis to Quality Control of Human Resources Documents

Thor Osborn, PhD, Principal Systems Research Analyst, Sandia National Laboratories

Management of the job description set is an important human resources function. Job descriptions factor into the selection of new hires, compensation setting, career planning, and perceptions of internal, external, and peer equity among the workforce. Clear differentiability is one of the hallmarks of a good job description set. Yet recruiting is challenged by over-specification, and hiring managers demand flexibility and adaptability. These conflicting pressures and the sheer number of descriptions necessary to support the business needs of midsize or larger firms can lead to vagueness and substantial job duty overlaps, underscoring the necessity of job description set quality control. Text analysis procedures enable automated parsing of job descriptions and processing to represent the placement of jobs within the description set's job concept space. Bootstrapping on this concept space essentially produces randomly designed jobs within the space. The estimated job-to-job distance distribution may then be used to set a minimum acceptable distance criterion to flag real job pairs for closer examination and potential revision.

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