Apr
14
2016
Ron Feldstein Recruiting

The Importance of Having the Right Job Title

Many employers don’t give a second thought to their job titles and others want to get too creative with them. Both of these scenarios can be dangerous to the recruitment process because a job title is the company’s first impression to the candidate. Job titles are more important than we think. So lets delve into this important topic in order to stop making those recruiting mistakes and, in turn, start increasing the number of qualified applicants.

The Basics

The most important point to keep in mind when creating a job title is simplicity. The more complex your job title is the less likely a candidate will be to click on or apply to the job. Many employers want to use titles that include words like super star, guru, or hotshot. This type of phrasing will make the job less readable. The candidate will not understand what the job entails or what level of employee it requires. This will cause the potential quality candidate to avoid clicking on it, the opposite of what we are looking to achieve. While keeping it simple, make sure it is still specific enough that the candidate knows generally what the job will actually involve.

Avoiding abbreviations in your job title will allow candidates to have an easier time finding the job. This is another tactic to make the job appear clean and straightforward to the job seeker. The exception would be if the abbreviation was frequently used in the industry, for example, RN for registered nurse.

Do not add anything extra to the job title. Adding extra information, like salary or numbers, will make your job description look cluttered and confusing – making the job seekers steer clear.

If the employer really feels they need to be creative to attract the right candidate, the appropriate place to express creativity is in the job description. Just make sure the job title and the job description match up so you don’t confuse the candidate.

One mistake often made by employers is posting an internal job title to their ATS or website that is used within the company, without taking into consideration what job seekers may be using as searchable job titles. It is very important to create a different title that will attract and make sense to the job seeker. For Instance, if its a Regional Sales Position, the job title should not be Regional New Business Account Executive. Sales should definitely be in the title. 

An analysis done by Appcast.io found that job titles containing 50-60 characters had a higher click to apply ratio than titles with 30-40 characters. Having a job title that is less then 30 characters or more than 80 characters had a significantly lower click to apply ratio.

Researching For Best Results

Begin putting yourself in the job seekers shoes and thinking about keywords. What are these candidates going to be searching for? The best way to figure this out is research.

Begin by searching for other job postings for the same job you are trying to fill. This way you can see what job titles come up in your search. You want candidates to be able to find and apply to your job posting so figuring out how to be better than your competition is an important step. You can also do some research on the copy while you are at it!

To really be affective, you should be spending the time to create candidate personas. These are just like the buyer personas that marketer’s use, except the personas you are creating are not looking to be customers of your company; they are looking to be employees. Specifically, a candidate persona is a fictitious person who is your ideal candidate. You can have multiple candidate personas. The personas will include your candidate’s background, goals, challenges, objections, fears, and anything else that is important to your company and the job.

Candidate Personas

So where are you getting all of this data for your candidate personas? Research! Doing this research is important to be successful. This includes interviews, surveys, and a lot of analysis. Once the personas are created, you will know what the perfect candidate is looking for in a job posting, allowing you to create a better one.

A/B Testing

Another research tactic that can help you discover the most effective job description is A/B testing. When you use A/B testing you are taking two different job titles (both of which you think will be successful) and you are comparing them to see which performs better. That way, you can make the appropriate changes to get the best results possible.

Employee Job Titles

Lastly, having creative titles isn’t a bad thing but it should only be used for your current employees, NOT for recruiting. It was actually found to be beneficial for employees to create their own job titles. A study by the Academy of Management Journal found that employees that were able to create their own job title were less stressed and burned out over all. It gives them more self expression and a creative outlet. It is important to realize, though, that the company culture must support this type of creativity otherwise the employees will not respond as well.

It is more difficult with smaller companies. Many employees have to do a multitude of different things to keep the company going. Sometimes the job description of an employee at a smaller company won’t accurately reflect what that person actually does. This is where it becomes even more beneficial for the employee to sit down and write out everything they do during their time at work. They should be making sure that they include the roles that they spend the most time on in their job title. This way they feel like they are getting the credit and recognition for the job that they are doing. It is also important for resume writing, allowing future employers to understand what their job entailed.

Now you realize the importance that your job titles have on your potential applicants. Taking tips from this article will allow you to become more successful in your recruiting and increase the amount and quality of candidates coming from each job post.