Judging a Job by Its Title

Job titles are important, and especially to the person wearing (or applying for) the title. And this is exactly why it’s critical for hiring managers to consider the position’s needs and the type of person they want to hire. There are two players in the job search: the job seekers and the companies recruiting. If you haven’t clearly defined the type of person you want to find your post and apply, you probably won’t be able to reach them. Knowing what your ideal candidate is looking for in their job search is the key to success.

There are two different ways you can go about titling a job position: through SEO or creativity.

SEO Approach

Knowing what your ideal candidates are searching for is critical for most companies. You don’t want just anybody clicking on your link; you want the right potential employees. This means you need to be careful with your position titling. For example, say you’re looking for someone to work in marketing. If you want them to have a high level of experience, say 10+ years, you don’t want to title the position “Marketing Associate” because that sounds like an entry or low-level position. “Marketing Executive” or “Marketing Director” sounds like a position that someone with a high level of experience would be looking for.

The position’s title is the first thing a job seeker sees. If it doesn’t sound like what they’re looking for, they won’t click on it to read the description. If someone has the exact skills you’re looking for and fits the job description perfectly, but the title doesn’t appeal to them, you’ve missed out on a valuable potential employee.

An important first step is to profile the employee you want and figure out what they are likely to search for. Optimizing your post for search engine results will ensure that job seekers will be able to find your post. Time spent on LinkedIn, browsing the profiles of similar job titles to that you’re looking for, will give you an idea of what talents and skills you might look for and include in your post.

Creative Approach

If your company is particularly creative or well known, creative job titles may be the way to go. Organizations like Apple, Method and Quicken Loans use these creative titles like Genius, VP of Misc Stuff to distinguish themselves and have some fun. 

These titles are less likely to be found on searches because they won’t match search terms, so you have to think carefully when making the decision to be creative. You can get around this disadvantage by using accurate and searchable terms in the body of your job description. For example If you title the job “Genius” somewhere in the job description it should say “service technician” to ensure that the job can be found when searching.

When using the creative approach to job titles it is important to ensure titles fit in with company culture. If you have a fairly formal culture, it probably wouldn’t make sense to take the creative approach. A design firm, whimsical company, or advertising agency could reasonably take this approach.

When deciding on a strategy for titling your job postings, evaluate your company and the type of person you’re looking to hire. Once you’ve figured this out and explored the approach you want to take you can pick the best job title to attract the employees you want.