What’s in a job title?

Having worked in recruitment for the past 2 decades, agency side for 10 years and the last 10 years in-house, I have come across some seriously bizarre job titles. There is no standard across industries but the norm seems you either go with the American VP, AVP title regime or the more European / Global titles of Director, Associate Director etc.

Some do digress from this, particularly in the start-up world, and I will revert to Troy Hammond to correct me if I’m wrong but these are a few I’ve seen out there:

  • Chief Happiness Officer
  • Chief Trouble Maker
  • Genius (at Apple)
  • Imagineer (Disney Engineers)

My favourite, however, is Mighty Eagle which Rovia, who make Angry Birds, call their CEO Peter Vesterbacka. I love seeing diverse titles out there, not that it makes it any easier for those sourcers / recruiters diving deep into their Boolean / X-Ray searches, but it does differentiate a company.

So what is in a title?  Awesome job titles seem to draw top talent or at least pique the interest of people when they see a different job title in a job ad or on social media but what about those lesser attractive jobs out there? It seems companies are turning to creating unique job titles to attract the talent they seek to connect and engage with.  There are those willing to push the boundaries but then there are those companies that tend to stick to the “normal” job titles.

So what does a job title mean to you? Does it make a massive difference if you get a new job with a decent pay increase yet the title, in your opinion doesn’t really reflect the actual role or what you feel you should be called? I’m interested to hear your thoughts as to some candidates the title makes the role.

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One comment

  1. As an HR Systems Specialist I see another side to this discussion that really highlights your point. The job title used when advertising a role is rarely the job title used on the contract or by the HR System that categorises the role. The recruiting job title is effectively a marketing title for the job. My role for example is often categorised internally as a Business Analyst or Technical Analyst.

    That said I still make a claim for having the best job title ever. When working at BAE Systems in London I was their SMCS Tool Champion (SMCS is pronounced ‘smacks’).

    Liked by 1 person

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