Remember when titles like “sanitation engineer” and “domestic engineer” were the politically correct term for garbage man and housewife? I remember hearing those terms when I was in my 20’s and chuckling to myself at the silliness. Fast forward 20 years later and it seems like maybe the geniuses who came up with these titles were actually on to something – note the bit of sarcasm here!
In 20 years of being in the recruiting business I have seen my share of interesting titles. It seems that the past 24 months have brought on a new onslaught of made-up, sometimes ridiculous, titles by professionals trying to jazz up their image and create their own personal brand.
With the heavy focus on social media as a recruiting and branding tool, it’s no wonder that people are trying to stand out from the crowd. Titles like “web designer” or “digital consultant” have been traded in for “web kahuna” and “digital dynamo”. I get that people are trying to adjust their titles to better reflect the actual job they do, but are these getting a bit absurd?
- From Accomplished Sales Professional to “Sales Ninja”
- From Copy Writer to “Word Herder”
- From Social Media Marketer to “Master Connector”
- From Senior Vice President to “Head Cheese”
- From Marketing Executive to “Marketing Rock Star”
- From Programmer to “Linux Geek”
Don’t be overly offended, but the website www.bullshitjob.com exists just to help you come up with new-fangled titles for positions – this is just one site of hundreds on the web.
I get that people want to be unique and stand out from the crowd, but where does this end? In the recruiting industry we have all seen this same phenomenon happen. It’s no longer uncommon to see titles including…
- Talent Scout
- Talent Consultant
Or more recently I have stumbled across these on cards and social media profiles:
- People Placer
- Professional Networker
- Chief Talent Aggregator
- Master Contact Convertor
- People Investigator
- Chief Selection Officer
I asked a few of these self-proclaimed Recruiting Masters why they chose their titles, and most commonly they said that they wanted to shake the negative connotation of the commonly used term “Head Hunter”. OK – I get that we want to be viewed as professionals who perform a needed service that has been around for decades, if not centuries; but can we live up to the titles? I would love to hear your thoughts.