The Macmillan Dictionary defines a “needs analysis” as “the process of defining the needs of a customer, business or organization before providing them with a service.”
According to Scott Reistad, BA, RRT, CPFT, FAARC, the concept can apply to your job search as well. In a talk given many times called “How to Get Your ‘Dream Job,’” Reistad characterizes the job-related needs analysis as something that can help you more thoroughly evaluate a potential place of employment.
“What do you need or want?” asked the long-time AARC member. Reistad says your answer to that question can include anything that applies to your specific situation, but he suggests these are some common components that job seekers should add to the mix –
- Which part of the country do you want to live and work in? Do you want to be in a large city, a small town, or a rural area? What kind of amenities and activities are important to you in the place where you will live?
- Work environment. Are you looking for days, evenings, or nights? Do you want a place that offers educational opportunities or work teams? Are you seeking full-time, part-time, or per diem employment? Do you see yourself as a contractor? Are you looking for a position where you can telecommute?
- What’s the cost of living in the place you are considering? How much will you need to make to maintain your preferred lifestyle? Does the employer offer a shift differential? Is call/call back pay available?
- Does the employer offer insurance, discounts, retirement benefits, time off, or other benefits that are on your must have list?
Reistad says applying these needs analysis components to your next job search will help you determine if the job you think you might like is really the job for you. If all the information you gather about a potential job matches your needs analysis, then you are good to go. If it doesn’t, continue your search.
“Look for jobs that match your needs,” he said. “Do not go any further without doing this!”