Job titles - clarity or confusion?

Job titles – clarity or confusion?

We all know that the world of recruitment, and attracting talent, has become so competitive and challenging in recent years.

Putting “senior”, “group”, “global” or “executive” at the start of a job title would suggest an elevated role and an elevated remuneration, but is this always the case?

Is title inflation becoming an issue?

Stephanie Mulholland, Associate Director for Human Resources Recruitment said “An interesting phenomenon I’ve noticed is how difficult it is to decipher some of the job titles and what they actually mean. Similar jobs will vary considerably across different sectors, locations and scale of businesses, but for candidates looking for their next career move, it can all be very confusing.”

On a survey by Jobsage published earlier this month the results were that nearly half of hiring managers said job titles were less reliable indicators of skills than they used to be.

Moreover, 40% of them said they had had trouble finding the right people for roles because candidates’ past titles were confusing or overstated. Managers said they were responding to the problem by focusing on what specific skills candidates had and listening for what candidates said about what they had done in previous roles.

The survey of more than 700 employees and 300 hiring managers found that nearly one in three employees said they had had job titles that overstated their skills.

The problem appears to be that once this process starts it is difficult to stop it. More than half of Generation Z employees (those born after 1996, so in the early stages of their careers) expect to be promoted at least every 18 months, probably to job titles that are at once ever more precise and more meaningless. And the research suggests that even the employees themselves are not taken in. Nearly half said job titles were not clear indicators of seniority, with 20% saying that they believed people at their companies had not earned their titles.

However, it would appear that titles are more important to Generation Z employees than to their older colleagues, with 49% rating them important, compared with 41% among Baby Boomers (those aged in their late 50s and beyond.) Indeed, 37% of them said they would consider staying at a company for longer if they received a title change even in lieu of a pay rise. Only 29% of Boomers said the same.

Stephanie continued, “I work in partnership with a wide range of businesses from SME to global multinationals as well as new entrants to the NI market, assisting with recruitment exercises, benchmarking, offering advice on market conditions and providing a confidential, expert, consultative service. I also advise my clients on the job titles and what they ultimately should be advertising for.
The HR job market is extremely buoyant, and I have a range of fantastic opportunities currently available.”

To find out more about the HR roles we are currently recruiting for, contact Stephanie Mulholland.

Call: 07458160110



(Sources from and Jobsage)

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