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There is a lot of debate around the significance and importance of job titles. Some people believe they are extremely important, as they indicate your hierarchical position in a company and allude to your skill level. Whilst others believe that they are too easily negotiated and senior titles are thrown around unnecessarily.
Which begs the question, should HR managers and recruiters evaluate and place great importance on choosing job titles when recruiting?
Should they tailor each title to accurately reflect the employees’ position in the company, and therefore outline their career progression?
And are there real career advantages of having a seemingly more important job title, or is it just a device for satisfying self-importance?
According to experts, the answer to these questions is yes. Employers need to carefully consider job titles when recruiting, as they can have a significant impact on an employee’s career progression. Additionally, they should also tailor each title to a specific role, and it should accurately reflect the employee’s position and development opportunities.
In light of this, these are three key points employers need to keep in mind while creating job titles.
Recruiters should think about how much importance job seekers give to their job title, especially when searching for a new role. ‘Catchy’ or more senior sounding titles tend to grab the attention of candidates, and are usually the primary focus, as well as the salary component. Therefore, using attractive, yet appropriate, job titles can draw candidates in and be used as a selling point. For example, a ‘Reward Manager’ could be advertised as a step up from a ‘Reward Analyst’.
Most corporate workers believe that job titles do matter. A recent survey of office workers found that 70% would choose a decent job title over a pay increase. The report also suggested that workers would largely prefer to be known as ‘Specialists’ or would pick something more creative, over a generic, junior title.
On the other hand, there are people that disagree. Some believe that the word ‘Senior’ or ‘Specialist’ does not necessarily reflect their ability and instead may allude to their age. For example, most people would agree that ‘Office Manager’ sounds better than ‘Senior Office Assistant.’
Moreover, HR Manager’s should understand that an inspiring job title can boost an employee’s confidence and signify the company’s belief in the employee’s potential to rise and progress through the organisation. A more senior job title can also inspire employees to further develop and truly grow into the role. The job title should accurately reflect the employees’ current position, but also allow them room to grow and develop certain skills.
The job title should also be used to map out the employee journey and how they could progress through the organisation. This is where many companies use tiers and bands to differentiate between titles and salaries. Organisations also use these bands to outline progression opportunities and illustrate how employees could move up the company.
Many organisations have not changed job titles in several decades, even though the responsibilities have evolved and changed. As the future workforce continues to reinvent itself, and new technology further impacts and changes the way we work, our titles need to reflect this change.
Perhaps that means having more generalist titles that encompass a whole range of skills and responsibilities. On the other hand, perhaps it means having hyper-specific titles, that outline exactly what someone does. Regardless of which way they go in the future, job titles really do matter.
Ultimately, job titles enable separation of primary responsibility. As well as creating structure, they highlight exactly where an employee sits in the organisation and their path for progression. A job title should be decided after all the primary responsibilities of a role have been determined. This way titles are more likely to reflect an employee’s true role and what their next step would be.
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