What’s really in a name? Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Regardless of what Shakespeare may have thought, the fact is that in the workplace, names and titles can be more important than you might expect.
A job title is more than just a line item on a resume. It’s meant to clearly define the scope and methodology of the position that fills it, which is especially important from a recruiting perspective. Despite the fact that many managers don’t give their job titles a second thought, there are many reasons why these titles are more important than you may think. Here are just a few facts.
Understanding the job title
First things first – what purpose does the job title serve exactly, anyway? This is a fair question. After all, as a hiring manager, the primary role job titles serve for you is helping you keep track of which positions are vacant and need applicants. But for job-seekers, an effectively crafted position title can be a huge help.
A job title should instantly convey a few key pieces of information. First, it should indicate which area or specialty an employee will belong to. For example, candidates know from a “customer experience representative” title that they’ll be primarily dealing with customers. Along similar lines, a good title should indicate the level of experience required for the position, as well as what organizational level within the company the candidate will be filling.
If you’ve ever spent time looking for a job, you know how quickly your eyes can glaze over from the non-stop flood of “associate” and “manager” and “representative” positions. And while being descriptive is key, there is something to be said for getting creative with your titles – to an extent.
The Society for Human Resource Management highlighted a few examples where creativity may have gone too far. For example, one company bestowed its HR services representatives with the title “happiness advocate.” While it’s cute and a way to stand out from the monotonous sea of positions with the same headline, chances are someone who encounters the post won’t have a clear understanding of what the job actually is. More importantly, considering that most job postings are found via Web search, choosing to stray from conventional titles may cost you search results, making it that much more difficult to fill a position.