Job review vs performance review (plus benefits and FAQs)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 8 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Staff performance evaluations remain critical for every organisation, and the efficacy of these assessments depends on how well the company's management conducts them. A good employee review assists team members in identifying development opportunities while also preserving positive employee-manager relationships. Understanding what a performance review is and what it's intended to accomplish ensures you know what to expect from these meetings. In this article, we consider the fundamental differences between job reviews vs performance reviews, answer some questions about each type of assessment and detail how to use them to advance your professional development.

Related: How to conduct employee performance reviews (with steps)

Job review vs performance review

To define a job review vs performance review, it's worth examining their key differences in the following categories:

Definition

A job review is a type of review that analyses the job role itself instead of assessing the individual occupying that role. This includes analysing the role's worth independently of its department and how effectively the role works in tandem with other roles. Job reviews also assess the resources necessary for that role's effective completion and whether the job specification aligns with the expectations of the individual fulfilling the role.

A performance review is a type of review aimed at analysing the individual employee hired to fulfil a particular role. This includes analysing how effective they are at meeting the role's responsibilities and their commitment to working in the role to the best of their ability. Some performance reviews also assess whether the individual is at a suitable salary given their skill set and expected duties.

Related: What is a 360 review? (With advantages and disadvantages)

Purpose

A job review aims to provide an organisation with insight into how suitable a single job role is for the company as a whole. Job reviews are more common during times of company growth or restructuring and typically occur on a widespread level rather than on an individual basis. Sometimes, a job review takes place if senior staff members consider a job role to be obsolete and in need of revision.

A performance review aims to assess whether an employee is still suitable for the role they were initially hired for. This may occur on a company-wide level, or it may occur individually if the company suspects that an employee is either underperforming or overperforming. Senior staff members usually conduct performance reviews with occasional support from an external specialist.

Related: What is a performance review template? (4 templates to use)

Opportunities

Many opportunities arise as a result of a job review. The most common opportunity is the chance to reform the job role to better suit the organisation as it is at the present moment. This includes redefining the role's responsibilities and adjusting its salary accordingly in line with those responsibilities. Companies merge some roles together as a result of job reviews, while others create new roles where the role of a job is too broad at present.

There are also many opportunities that come from a performance review. The most common opportunity is a chance for the employee to receive a promotion if the assessor feels that the employee is worthy. Factors that affect this decision include how skilled the employee is in their role, how long they've been working at that company and what their future career ambitions are. If a company is making more of a profit, then a pay rise is a potential outcome.

Related: Auditor job profile (with roles and responsibilities)

Outcome

The outcome of a job review is typically one of the following things:

  • The job role is fit for purpose and stays as it is.

  • The job role is too broad and divided up to create more specialist roles.

  • The job role is too narrow and broadened out into a wider role.

  • The job role is no longer fit for purpose, and the role is made defunct.

The outcome of a performance review is typically one of the following things:

  • The employee satisfies their job requirements and is kept on.

  • The employee is more capable than their current role and offered a promotion.

  • The employee is better suited to another role and offered a transfer.

  • The employee does not satisfy their job requirements and is let go.

Related: How to conduct employee performance reviews (with steps)

Benefits of a job review

Many benefits arise from conducting a job review. This makes it a worthwhile process, even as a non-mandatory procedure. The advantages of job reviews include:

Encourages pay transparency

Regular job reviews ensure that the advertised salary is suitable for the role. This is because they allow organisations to confirm that the salary matches the job's duties and that employees aren't being paid too much or too little for their level of responsibility. This encourages pay transparency, as organisations have confidence they're offering a fair wage.

Supports the recruitment process

By regularly reviewing a job role, organisations assure themselves that they're recruiting the right sorts of candidates for the role. This is because job reviews allow them to redefine and structure the role as necessary for the benefit of the company. When necessary restructuring happens to match the company's current state, the business takes on more suitable candidates.

Ensures roles are fit for purpose

Job reviews ultimately ensure that a role is fit for purpose. This is because job reviews are a comprehensive assessment of the job role's effectiveness and consistently apply the same measures of rationality with each review. When job reviews occur, the company grows in strength, and productivity multiplies as each role has a more defined and relevant purpose.

Promotes company growth

Another benefit of job reviews is that they promote company growth. This is because job reviews allow organisations to streamline their current procedures and create new roles that are more fit for their purpose. This is why many companies opt to conduct job reviews right before they develop a new long-term business strategy.

Benefits of a performance review

There are many benefits that arise from conducting performance reviews. These benefits extend beyond fulfilling mandatory requirements. The advantages of performance reviews include:

Identifies promotion opportunities

Regular performance reviews allow an organisation to track employee performance. This includes identifying the employees who are exceeding their current responsibilities and demonstrating a greater skill set than what's currently expected of them. This leads to suitable candidates being chosen for any internal promotion opportunities that arise.

Strengthens employee morale

Performance reviews may also strengthen employee morale. This is because they quell concerns of underperformance when an employee is told that they're doing well. This leads to greater employee productivity and satisfaction, which in turn lowers the company's rate of employee turnover.

Establishes areas of improvement

By regularly undertaking performance reviews, organisations easily see which employees are doing well and which ones require further training and development. This means that the company can offer upskilling opportunities to that employee. This makes the employee feel valued and provides them with the chance to prove their worth within the company.

Increases employee retention

As performance reviews help employees feel valued within the organisation, this has the added advantage of increasing employee retention. This is because more employees seek employment with companies that satisfy them personally and professionally. When employees feel they're suited to their current role, they're more inclined to stay.

Job review and performance review FAQs

Here is a list of FAQs about job and performance reviews:

Who is in charge of a job review?

Job reviews are typically carried out by a designated committee. A range of senior staff members make up the committee, including directors and board members. Alternatively, the organisation may form the committee via an external company, such as an auditing company.

Who is in charge of a performance review?

Performance reviews are typically carried out by individuals at a superior rank to the employee being reviewed. This is most commonly the manager of the employee's department, but other superiors are also permitted to conduct the review. Some companies opt for a senior staff member who doesn't personally know the employee, as this encourages objectivity.

Is a job review mandatory?

No, job reviews aren't mandatory processes. This means that organisations choose when and where they wish to conduct job reviews and on what scale. This means that job reviews are most commonly carried out to the organisation's advantage rather than to fulfil legal or industry obligations.

Is a performance review mandatory?

Yes, performance reviews are mandatory processes. They're necessary for all employees, regardless of their job role or level within the organisation. There's no one defined frequency at which performance reviews take place, but as general guidance, employees are subject to review every three and six months.

Explore more articles