Job Shadowing

What is Job Shadowing?

Job Shadowing implies deep observation of an employee at work interested in the same career. It is a form of on-the-job training, in which a new employee follows and minutely observes another employee who is skilled and professional, while he performs the role. It is a technique to see the tasks that you have learned, by closely observing someone when they are actually doing it.

It usually takes place at the time of onboarding new joinees in the company. Also, it takes place when an intern is trained for a specific position. This method is primarily used at the time of induction. This is because it acts as a bridge between theory and practice. Further, this process may take place for a few hours, days or sometimes weeks based on the nature of the job.

In simple words, it is a worksite experience. In this process, a learner invests his time one to one with an employee, monitoring the daily activities and asking relevant questions.

Now you must be wondering when job shadowing is effective. Well, job shadowing is necessary and effective when seeing has more relevance than telling and also when seeing is an important part of the learning process.

Purpose of Job Shadowing

Giving a meaningful introduction to the learner about the work and organization.

Job shadowing for Learners

From the learner’s point of view, job shadowing is an opportunity for the learners to spend a short span of time observing, interviewing and accompanying an experienced person while they perform their task, to obtain first-hand data regarding that job profile.

As a learner, your responsibilities include:

  • Preparing in advance for the experience, like researching the firm that you are attending, listing out the questions you can ask, etc.
  • Ensuring that your job shadowing host knows your expectations with the process.
  • Being professional and polite
  • Respecting the rules, restrictions and confidentiality of the workplace.

Who participates in Job Shadowing?

New joinee who is onboarding and longer-term employees who would like to learn different jobs in the company.

Types of Job Shadowing


  1. Observation – Fly on the wall: As a learner or visitor, you will spend the time of the training observing the routine work of the host, like watching interactions with customers and other team members and attending meetings. It is a reflection of what the host does on a day-to-day basis.
  2. Regular Briefings – Burst Interactions: In this type, the learner shadows the host for specific activities, over a span of time. This is preceded by a mini brief and follow-up debrief. It is suitable when the learner works close to the host and the host gives all the details regarding the dates and times of specific activities.
  3. Hands-on – Job Sharing: This is the advanced version of the observation model, in which the learner or visitor gets to perform a few tasks they have observed. In this way, the learner gets hands-on experience with the concerned role, and the host closely supervises him.

Advantages of Job Shadowing

  1. It is a great opportunity for freshers to learn the job duties and responsibilities along with the tasks and requirements.
  2. Job shadowing helps the company in ascertaining whether an employee is right for the job or role.
  3. Interns and trainees can questions to the concerned person about the in and out of the job.
  4. Trainees also get to know the skills they need to develop for performing the job effectively.
  5. It allows the trainee to gain practical knowledge and get hands-on experience and a full-fledged understanding of the work to be performed. Also, it allows them to develop their skillset.
  6. Trainees develop new connections at the workplace.
  7. The learner spends time with a professional, who provides insights that he will not be able to obtain otherwise. This may include learning about their daily working schedule, work environment, and time management.
  8. It is very beneficial for cross-training.
  9. Gaining an understanding of the academic, technical and personal skills necessary for the performance of the job.
  10. Developing communication skills by interacting with workers.
  11. Job Shadowing lets the learner understand how other staff members work and what their role involves.

Wrap Up

Job shadowing is an effective way to find out if the employees are the right fit. It provides freshers with a chance to enter into the world of work and get sufficient knowledge about the job. It provides a good introduction to the work.

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