Analysis of Supervisor Job Descriptions

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The job market is frequently updated with new offers and vacancies. For this assessment, there were chosen three different companies that are looking for specialists in production supervision. Production supervision implies the responsibility of organizing and overseeing the production processes, the staff, and the equipment. While the titles of the jobs are the same in all three offers, the companies that are looking for new employees have slightly different requirements and expectations. They tend to have specific preferences regarding the employee’s qualifications, future duties, and responsibilities. There have also been detected various aspects of the employer that affect their list of requirements for future employees.

Production Supervisor – HarbisonWalker, Valmont Industries, and Graham Packaging

The companies that have uploaded job offers on hiring platforms are all from different locations. HarbisonWalker International needs a specialist in Fulton, Missouri, Valmont Industries in Houston, Texas, and Graham Packaging in Newark, Delaware. There are a couple of differences that suggest the companies’ years of being active in the market, the ethical principles, and the field of manufacturing. HarbisonWalker has been on the market for over 150 years, Valmont Industries for more than seven decades, and Graham Packaging, being the newest one, has been active since the early 90s. All three offers mention that they are employers who respect the equal opportunities values on their websites, as well as on the recruitment platforms. However, none of the offers included information about training and courses for future managers. According to researchers, training is a critical factor when it comes to having an efficient manager or supervisor (Ellström & Ellström, 2018). This addition to the offer would make the potential applicants confident and eager to learn new things.


Each of the potential employers specifically states the responsibilities the job offer implies. HarbisonWalker’s duties as a production supervisor include: ensuring the products meet the company’s standards, analyzing equipment, organizing shift activity, partnering with maintenance, reporting on the performance of the staff, and managing aspects like payroll, approval, and communication. Valmont Industries lists the same duties with the addition of extra functions such as training new employees and implementing a work schedule that would maximize production. Graham Packaging’s vacancy also mentioned that the production manager would be responsible for developing new methods to optimize manufacturing efficiencies. Graham Packaging is the newest company out of all of them. They are the most interested in hiring a specialist who would be able to participate in the company’s strategies and manufacturing process at all stages.

Minimum Qualifications/Preferred Requirements

Each of the three job offers includes different qualifications the employers would like their employees to have. HarbisonWalker’s proposal states the potential production supervisor needs to have a high school diploma and at least five years of work experience with one year of supervisory experience. Previous factory work is an advantage when applying for the job. The company also expects their employee to have knowledge of hydraulic equipment and computer operation skills. The company also stated the preferred requirements. These things are not crucial, but an employee who possesses the preferred skills and qualifications will more likely get the job. HarbisonWalker will preferably hire someone with a bachelor’s degree and previous experience using Oracle ERP software.

Valmont Industries also lists all the requirements a production manager should have. Similar to the previous offer, Valmont is looking for a person with a high school diploma or GED equivalent. While the company mentioned above is looking for a specialist with at least one year of experience in supervision, Valmont’s offer states the requirement of having a minimum of two years of leadership experience in an industrial environment. The offer also includes mentions of solid communication skills, proficiency in operating a computer, ability to interpret documents, etc. They specifically state the additional qualities that would classify the potential employee as “highly classified.” The preferred requirements include possession of a bachelor’s degree, three years of supervisory or managerial experience, knowledge of OSHA and environmental regulations, and the ability to calculate percentages, area, and proportions.

Graham Packaging, the company that produces plastic packaging, is the only job provider out of the three that does not hire production supervisors without a bachelor’s degree. The job offer also includes mentions regarding computer skills, ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines, and proficiency in communication. The preference for this vacancy is having a minimum of two years of experience in supervisory or managerial jobs related to manufacturing. This is also the only company that stated the importance of demonstrating leadership skills, which will also make the employee preferred for this position.

The Main Differences

While the mentioned job offers indicate the position of a production supervisor, all three of them have different requirements, minimum qualifications, and various responsibilities that the employee has to follow. It is noticeable that the newest company, Graham Packaging, is the employer that has the higher standards when it comes to hiring new people. Unlike Valmont Industries and Harbison Walker, Graham Packaging expects the supervisor to have a bachelor’s degree. While they have the highest requirement for education, this is also the employer that expects the employee to participate in developing new strategies and plans for a more efficient manufacturing process. Compared to the other offers, this vacancy is the one that is focused on leadership rather than audit and communication with staff. The only company with seemingly minor requirements is HarbisonWalker, stating the need for one year of experience in supervision, unlike two years for Valmont and Graham. HarbisonWalker is also the oldest employer. The fact that the oldest company has the lowest requirements while the youngest organization has the highest ones may suggest a causality.


The notion of “supervision” implies overseeing, analyzing, and examining a process, staff, or activity. However, the job descriptions studied above include a lot more responsibilities that are related to this job. A supervisor is responsible for the staff’s schedule, communication with internal and external customers, organizing activities, implementing new strategies, and improving the efficiency rate. On the one hand, having so many requirements makes the supervisor’s job more difficult and stressful. The responsibilities are connected to different fields of the company’s activity, which can be challenging for the specialists. However, on the other hand, this allows supervisors to develop new skills, learn various things related to leadership and management, and increase the chance of being promoted. A specialist who is proficient in multiple fields will always be more preferred by future employers than the one who was only responsible for a few tasks in a single department or area of work. Furthermore, the evolved tasks that a supervisor must introduce in their schedules directly affect the employee from both negative and positive perspectives.


Ellström, E., & Ellström, P.-E. (2018). Two modes of learning-oriented leadership: a study of first-line managers. Journal of Workplace Learning, 30(7), 545–561.

  • Production Supervisor, HarbisonWalker – At HWI our supervisors are an integral part of the success of our operations. This role will lead the press department operators in our efforts to make quality products in a safe manner while exceeding the quality and delivery standards expected by our customers. Communication and leadership skills are key as this role interfaces with a wide variety of leaders and team members across the plant to achieve our collective goals.
  • Production Supervisor, Valmont Industries – This position is responsible for overseeing and managing the production, material flow, and quality control of the Galvanizing department. The Shift Supervisor is responsible for administering organizational policies and procedures at the department level and for supervising the daily shop operations and establishing work priorities to meet internal and external customer shipping commitments. The Shift Supervisor is responsible for ensuring manufactured products meet or exceed quality standards and initiating actions necessary to maintain standards.
  • Production Supervisor, Graham Packaging – Production Supervisors are responsible for supervising hourly employees engaged in all phases of the manufacture of all blow-molded containers. Duties include safety, quality, customer service, housekeeping, training, performance management, plant productivity, labor utilization, warehousing, and control of raw materials.

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ChalkyPapers. (2022) 'Analysis of Supervisor Job Descriptions'. 29 July.


ChalkyPapers. 2022. "Analysis of Supervisor Job Descriptions." July 29, 2022.

1. ChalkyPapers. "Analysis of Supervisor Job Descriptions." July 29, 2022.


ChalkyPapers. "Analysis of Supervisor Job Descriptions." July 29, 2022.