Emphasise what it is you do for your company and not just what you do at your job
‘Evangelist’, ‘Ninja’, ‘Geek-squadron’, ‘Guru’, ‘Wizard’, ‘Rockstar’, and the list goes on. Well for many, ‘Geek-squadron’ could mean personnel in the armed forces, ‘Rockstar’ could imply belonging to a band, and yes ‘Guru’ could have a spiritual connotation too. But how would you relate if these were to be the job titles of your friends or family working for some organisation?
Aren’t job titles supposed to signify the level or rank of an employee in an organisation's hierarchy? Perhaps, yes. If one were to adhere by the traditional rule book, then job titles typically speak about the employees’ position and responsibilities.
Things have changed. Today not many buy in to this old school thought. Recruitment and HR professionals of today believe that there is a dire need to realise that job titles and job descriptions are both marketing and sales tools. They have a tremendous impact on recruiting, engagement, retention, and product sales. Also, many a professional look at career mapping by making use of superlative titles on their CV’s.
As John Sullivan, the world-known talent management thought leader puts it, “Currently job titles are under-managed at large corporations. It’s time for recruiting to take charge and put together a strategy and program to ensure that for at least key jobs, the title and the content of the job both become key selling and branding points. The costs are minimal but the results can be amazing.” In fact, it is believed that having an interesting job title boosts employee morale by making the employee stand out in a herd.
At the same time, there is another school of thought that insists employees to be authentic with their job titles. “Emphasize what it is you do for your company and not just what you do at your job. Each employee offers something to the business as a whole and detailing those things will allow for a potential boss to see exactly what you have to offer. Be honest and show just how much your current or past company benefitted from your presence. Your contributions will shine on their own without needing catchy titles or superlative descriptions.” says Ken Schmitt of www.turningpointsearch.net.
There is demographic angle too. Priya Chetty-Rajagopal, Vice-President at the executive search company, Stanton Chase International says, "It's a generational issue. Mid to senior management executives take their titles seriously that articulates their career progression." (read the full article here) Also, research shows that title inflation is especially evident among 30 to 39 year-old employees because these are the workers who would normally be getting promotions.
From an employer’s standpoint though, it is interesting to note that the HR leadership and hiring managers, who devise the organisational chart, focus on three main aspects while creating a job pyramid for the company. These are: the company’s culture; the industry vertical that the company belongs to and the career trajectory for the job position.
Many industry veterans agree that using buzzwords and titles which provide accurate descriptions of a job in specific industries is important. ‘Secretary’ just doesn’t cover the full spectrum of tasks an assistant does these days, after all.
However, over-glamorizing a title can at times backfire too. Not only can it devalue a position if the title is lacking legitimate substance, it can end up diluting the impact of a specific title.