Miscellaneous Collection of Stuff…

August 1, 2010

So What’s the Big Deal about the Job Title?

First impressions count – everyone knows that and has countless examples of first impressions that were right on and some that may have missed the mark. Think back to the first time you met your current boss, you were doing your best to make a good first impression – good firm handshake, eye contact, proper attire for the meeting, on time, ready to present your skills, and underneath, just a bit flustered. Did you consider that the person you were meeting may have gone through all the same stuff, well, probably not. You may have been impressed with the place, staff, office, attire, presentation, business card, and the title on the card… aah, the title. So just what did the title convey? Assuming that this person is the one that made the decision to hire you, it may have implied the level of responsibility to do just that as well as the responsibility to be in charge of the department that you were joining.

If this title was Manager of Whatever, would it have been more impressive if it had been Director of Whatever or even VP of Whatever – well yes, but it may have been lost on you as your relationship had already been established. But what impact would each of these titles have on that person’s ability to make business contacts outside of the company?

Put yourself in the position of answering the phone and having the person announce that they are the vice president of whatever at so and so… chances are they got your attention. So corporate culture not withstanding, you might want to consider bumping up titles to support the role an individual has in a company and task that they have to carry out.

This applies to all levels within a company. As an IT Recruiter I have seen so many companies come up with such exciting titles as Programmer I, DBA II, Systems Administrator III, and on and on with boring titles that say to a perspective employee that you will be chained to you desk and work in a joyless, unimaginative job forever. Yuck… Think about the real contribution of the role you are trying to fill and put a word or two in the title to reflect the responsibility and the challenge. Try things like Development Programmer, Production DBA for Key Systems, Corporate Systems Administrator, or whatever you can come up with that focuses on the person. Remember that the key elements of the job are still conveyed in a really great job description. More on job descriptions in a future Newsletter.

Chet Volpe
Director of Information Technology Staffing
© 2008, 2010

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