How Company Job Titles Can Improve Recruitment and Retention

Two women, hiring managers, review possible company job titles for use in their recruitment efforts.

What’s in a name? When you’re choosing company job titles, the answer is a lot.

An effective job title:

  1. Attracts the right candidates
  2. Clarifies the job responsibilities
  3. Matches the seniority level
  4. Aligns with the expectations
  5. Fits the organizational chart

It’s important to be strategic about the title you select for each position because it can help you recruit and retain top talent. Here are some best practices for creating titles that work for your company.

Attracts the Right Candidates

When you post a job description online, the title you choose could be the difference between collecting dozens of resumes or a handful. Use the most common title so your job description is more likely to appear when people use search engines and job board search features to look for similar jobs.

There’s been a trend in using creative titles like “marketing ninja,” “social media guru,” “recruiting rockstar,” or “buzz builder.” However, it’s unlikely people will be using those search terms so it’s advantageous to use popular company job titles for your industry like “marketing manager,” “social media manager,” “recruiter,” and “public relations associate.”

If you’re unsure of the most common job title, check out how companies in your industry are recruiting for similar positions. Maximize reach by using synonymous titles throughout the job description. If you’re hiring an executive assistant, for example, you might want to also use the terms “personal assistant,” and “administrative assistant.” (If having creative job titles fits your company culture, you could use them internally but have the more standard titles on job postings and business cards.)

Clarifies the Job Responsibilities

A potential candidate has limited information when they are scrolling through job postings to decide whether they want to apply for the role. Use descriptive company job titles so candidates have a clear idea of the general job responsibilities before they click to read the full job description.

Instead of using a vague job title like “associate,” you should include a qualifier like “customer service associate,” “litigation associate,”or “investor relations associate.” Include any specifics that will help someone determine if they want to hit “apply.” For example, instead of saying that you’re hiring a “reporter,” you could specify that you’re looking for a “real estate reporter” or a “politics reporter.”

Matches the Seniority Level

You can add descriptors to your job titles to show the seniority level. Indicate the seniority level by using terms like assistant, associate, supervisor, manager, junior, senior, director, vice president, head, and president.

One of the easiest ways to boost employee morale and retention at a company is to offer career advancement opportunities so ambitious employees don’t think they’ve hit a standstill. The titles you choose will help you show the career trajectory for each role and, if you have a career development plan in place for each employee, it will be clear what they need to accomplish to be promoted to the next level.

Aligns With Expectations

It can be tempting to use elevated company job titles like “chief of staff” when you’re hiring an executive assistant or “client services specialist” when you’re looking for a receptionist. However, keep in mind that a candidate who is applying to a chief of staff or client services specialist position will expect a higher salary. You might go through the entire hiring process just to have candidates reject your offer because they were expecting a six-figure salary.

Let’s say the candidate accepted your offer at the lower salary because they were impressed by the prestigious title-knowing their friends, family, and people they schmooze with at networking events would be impressed. If they thought they’d be in executive-level meetings and are managing an executive’s calendar and picking up their lunch and latte orders, they are unlikely to stick around long.

Fits the Organizational Chart

When you are hiring, it’s important to choose a title that denotes where the person will fall on your organizational chart. It wouldn’t make sense to use the title “director of marketing” on the job posting if the director of marketing is their boss’ boss.

If you don’t have a director of marketing, you may want to give your first marketing hire that elevated title. However, if you subsequently hire someone with much more experience, they might be upset that they are at the same level as someone who is just starting out. Likewise, if you change your original director of marketing’s title to a lower level, they might view it as a demotion and start using Monster to look for jobs.

Put Your Company Job Titles to Use with a Free Job Posting

Now that you know best practices for setting job titles that will help you with recruitment and retention, you’re ready to start hiring. With Monster’s global reach, advanced search filters, and open resume database, you’ll be able to quickly find someone with the skills and experience to be successful. Get started with a free job posting.