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The ever expanding, ever ridiculous job title bonanza!

Written by Phil Roebuck | August 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

wonkaCFOAlright, recruiters and hiring managers of the interwebs. It’s time to hold you to task.

A lunch lady is not an “Education Center Nourishment Consultant.”

A paper boy is not a “Media Distribution Officer.”

What’s crazy is this used to be the candidate’s fault. Who out there hasn’t seen a resume that’s been so doctored up you’d think a recent college graduate had enough experience to be CEO? (When upon closer review, it’s obvious that the former “Executive Pedagogical Administrator” was actually just a babysitter).

But now the companies are the worst offenders. In the war for talent, hiring managers have been doctoring up job titles to puff up their perceived importance. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a “Color Distribution Technician” instead of a plain old painter?

A name has even been coined for this trend of inventing ridiculous job titles to make ordinary jobs sound more impressive: “Jobbledygook.”

There are two fundamental problems with Jobbledygook, and employers should do their best to avoid it. First, it’s confusing. Really confusing. It’s hard enough trying to attract the right talent and then screen out the most qualified candidates, but burying a job function in a string of elaborate adjectives and irrelevant nouns only puts a roadblock between you and your potential hire.

And it’s not a “generational thing,” so don’t use that as an excuse. I will concede that many Millennials do seek more creative titles due to a lack of ascribing to more traditional, vertical career paths.  But even if Generation Y candidates appear to have more chutzpah than the oldsters, that doesn’t mean that a job opening for a new “Director of Fun” is going to attract the best “Marketing Manager” (which is really what you’re hiring for). In thatcase you needn’t be too surprised if you only attract clowns!

The second issue with Jobbledygook is that given our current recruitment landscape, with it’s countless job boards, resume databases, and social networks, a ridiculous job title is going to literally get lost in the milieu.

While Jobbledygook may stand out on your company’s website, out in cyberspace where the actual job seekers go, your listing for a new “Beverage Dissemination Officer” won’t stand a chance against somebody else looking for a new “bartender.”

Therefore, every job title must be optimized for the job boards and particularly for every search engine. If you don’t know how to do this, you should either spend the time to learn or find an expert that can help you.

Moral of the story here? To quote Lead Architect of Melody, John Mayer, “Say what you mean to say.”

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