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What's in a name? The changing face of job titles

1 July 2014

An interesting recruitment trend is seeing many people pass up traditional job titles in favour of something more creative and inspiring.


This is partly due to modern workplaces requiring many employees to take on new roles and responsibilities, expanding the scope of their position. This trend is leading to some companies renaming certain positions to better reflect their place in the organisation.

If this trend continues, no longer will there be a list of department managers and vice-presidents on job search sites. Instead, employers may be on the hunt for “employee culture conveyors” and “solutions specialists”.

Creating unique job titles can have its benefits when attempting to attract and recruit candidates, particularly if the name of the position more accurately demonstrates what the position will entail. However, there are some problems with advertising for a 'director of happiness' or 'chief people person', for example.

In particular, if a qualified job seeker is on the lookout for a specific role, they may avoid an advertisement if the title differs from their expectations. For this reason, it could be beneficial to hold on to the traditional title during the recruitment process and to carefully consider the message that any new title might convey.

Any unusual titles may require further explanation during the selection and interviewing process, to give the candidates a clear idea of their duties, the company culture and where the role fits in.

In the increasingly competitive business world, finding new ways to inspire creativity and productivity is key. It is also important to recruit new team members who are a good culture fit, as well as having the required skills for the role. Adjusting job titles may help to better reflect organisational culture, show how the company views that specific role and to encourage a positive mindset.

Without the restrictions of a traditional title, workers may feel more able to innovate in their roles and be more proactive. A new and interesting title can be motivational and help employees see more potential for development.

Although some organisations, particularly large multi-national companies, may prefer to stick to job titles which can be standardised across divisions and locations, reviewing the chosen titles to ensure they are descriptive and relevant to the role may be necessary and could help in attracting appropriate candidates when recruiting.

For more information on boosting productivity and engagement, talk to the team at iHR Australia. iHR can offer a range of HR consulting and coaching services and also offers Selection and Interviewing skills training across Australia. Call 1300 884 687 or make an online enquiry.

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