The Value of Titles

In a recent blog posting for the Harvard Business Review, Career Builder CEO Matt Ferguson reported that hiring mangers who only look at job titles report a higher rate of ‘skills gaps’ than those who look more widely at a resume.

…the…survey found that 55 percent of hiring managers who have job openings for which they can’t find qualified candidates reported that they typically hire people who have held the same title as the open position. Comparatively, among hiring managers who don’t have an issue with filling open positions, 42 percent restrict their hiring based on previous job titles.

This would be more comical if it weren’t true.  It’s a bit like saying that people who only date good looking people are more disappointed by their pool of potential mates.  If you’ve chosen to look at only one superficial set of criteria and ignored the rest, you’re bound to be disappointed.

Ferguson’s article is basically a plea to hiring managers to think more broadly, but there is some backdoor career advice for job candidates: titles count.

While the practices of hiring managers may be frustrating, the survey points out that titles are a powerful career tool.  And while they are a currency of value in the hiring process, they are cheap as an employee retention tool.  To be more blunt, it’s often easier to ask for a title upgrade than for a raise.  Calculating the value of a title on a future resume might be one of the best career decisions you make.  Think about it the next time you negotiate a pay increase or talk about your aspirations during a review.

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Tim McPherson

By Tim McPherson

Tim McPherson, President and COO for Nesco Resource, has over 27 years of experience in all facets of the Staffing Services Industry.

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