Be Creative When Assigning Titles To Direct Reports

More and more organizations are getting creative with the titles they assign to their associates.  Titles like Sanitation Engineer (Janitor), Sandwich Artist (sub maker), VP of Hiring Really Great Talent (VP of HR), Corporate Magician (Administrative Assistant), Transportation Captain (Driver), and Director of First Impressions (Receptionist) are imaginative and conjure up fun images of the company and incumbents.  These untraditional titles stand out, make great conversation fodder, and communicate the company’s culture.

Some organizations choose titles that are attractive to customers and industry associates (banks are infamous for all their Vice Presidents). Sales people have the greatest variety of titles: Sales Representative, Account Executive, Business Development Executive, Customer Specialist, and Sales Ninja.

When posting for job openings, hiring managers should use titles that will resonate with the types of candidates they want to attract.  If they call their sales person VP of Sales and post the job that way, expect candidates with much sales experience, a number of direct reports, and higher salary expectations. If managers post for a Sandwich Artist, they’ll likely not get responses from someone expecting to work behind a deli counter.

The title used in the job posting doesn’t have to be the title assigned to the new hire.  Similarly, the title put on someone’s business card need not be the same title they hold within the organization.  For the same job, there can be different titles for job postings, business cards, and internal classification.

Leaders who empower their team to be creative in the titles they use will experience more success (and fun).

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Explore posts in the same categories: Communication, Leadership

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