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An HR Glossary for HR Terms

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Job Description

What Is a Job Description (and Example)?

A job description is a written summary that communicates key responsibilities, duties, skills, and qualifications for a role. 

A good job description should provide candidates with a solid outline of what is expected of them in the position. Doing so sets up both parties—job seekers and employers—for success in the hiring and onboarding process. 

Managers usually work with their employees to put together a job description to ensure they communicate the right information and hire the right person. 

Here is an example of a job description:

Job Title: Inventory Manager

The inventory manager is responsible for overseeing and recording all inventory levels of the company. They will focus on developing inventory tracking procedures along with planning purchasing and procurement to maximize efficiencies and minimize loss. The inventory manager leads a staff of warehouse or inventory employees to track all incoming and outgoing products. 

Responsibilities typically include examining levels of supplies, evaluating new inventory, and preparing detailed reports. These duties are performed to determine demands and order new materials. The inventory manager is essential in ensuring that the organization has sufficient supplies to meet customer demands. 

The ideal candidate is reliable and attentive to detail and holds extensive experience with record keeping. The inventory manager must be comfortable with reporting and math, data analysis, and managing a team. 

Inventory Manager Job Duties

  • Create and integrate an inventory tracking system to streamline inventory procedures.

  • Analyze daily inventory products and supplies and anticipate shortages/issues.

  • Prepare detailed daily reports on operations, stock levels, and adjustments.

  • Use inventory management software to monitor demands and document features of products.

  • Track and record daily deliveries and shipments.

  • Research suppliers to determine the best cost-effective deals.

  • Propose strategies for cost reductions and process optimizations.

  • Collaborate with staff to achieve business objectives and mitigate issues.

  • Hire, train, supervise, and mentor staff.

  • Manage staff schedules.

  • Incorporate safe practices.

Inventory Manager Job Requirements

  • Strong knowledge and experience with data analysis, inventory management software, and forecasting strategies

  • Leadership and management experience

  • Attention to detail

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills 

  • Desire to create a team-oriented environment and ability to train and mentor team members

  • Excellent organizational, planning, and problem-solving skills

  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds

  • Ability to stand for long periods of time in a warehouse environment

  • Bachelor’s or associate degree in a business, systems engineering, supply chain management, or related field

  • 5+ years experience of inventory management

  • CPIM certification preferred

For more examples of job descriptions, take a look at BambooHR’s comprehensive list of job description templates

What Is a Job Description Used For?

Employers use job descriptions to post their job ads and get in touch with qualified candidates. Employers may also keep job descriptions as part of their internal documentation to help maintain accountability in the workplace and/or use them for salary administration or other clerical purposes. 

Job seekers use job descriptions to assess whether they are a good fit for the position and prepare for the hiring process. They can use the details outlined in the description to help them put their best foot forward during interviews and ask the right questions. 

Why Are Job Descriptions So Important?

When a job description effectively communicates the right information, this attracts the right candidates and creates a positive employer brand and hiring experience. More than half of job candidates believe the quality of a job description is “very or extremely influential” on their decision to apply for a role. 

In addition, job descriptions can help employers maintain accountability in the workplace. If a job description is too vague or poorly written, it may be challenging for leaders to identify poor performance or areas of improvement during employee evaluations.

How Do You Write a Good Job Description?

Writing a good job description involves keeping your description detailed yet concise. You want to offer as much insight into the role as possible, but you also want to communicate the information well enough for job candidates to easily understand. 

What Do You Write in a Job Description?

A good job description should entail the following components: 

  • Title: The title should have the name and a brief description of the open position. 

  • Purpose: The purpose is an explanation of why the job exists. This should include a high-level overview of the role and communicate the scope of responsibility the role has within the organization.

  • Responsibilities: This is a list of the day-to-day and “big-picture” responsibilities the role requires. More importantly, this section should explain how one’s results impact the team and organization. Any tasks that are unique to your field/industry should be addressed here. 

  • Qualifications and skills. This section should consist of an outline of hard and soft skills. Employers may want to discuss these with current employees prior to finalizing the job description to ensure they seek out the right skills. 

  • Education: This should outline the educational qualifications (B.A., M.S., J.D., etc.) a candidate should have to fulfill the role’s duties and responsibilities. 

  • Required experience: Required experience is the minimum number of years of experience (work, internships, undergraduate work, etc.) the person must have to be qualified for the role.

  • Preferred qualifications: These are qualifications that are simply good to have—they are not required, but candidates who have them may have an advantage in the hiring process. Preferred qualifications might include certifications or experience in a niche field.