Marketers are a career focused lot, as demonstrated by Armstrong Lloyd’s recent survey of 500 marketers. 50% of respondents from executive to senior level rate the importance of a job title as very important to them when considering a job role.
Much is inferred by a job title; status, influence, responsibility, scope and authority. However, the inferences do not always translate across different industries or companies. Size of company particularly plays a huge role in the scope of a job title and can muddy the waters.
It is perfectly possible for a role with management responsibilities in terms of campaign management scope and delivery accountability for example, in a small company to be the equivalent in scope to an executive role in a larger company.
Psychology of Persuasion
Any seasoned Marketer will have come across Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It has far reaching applications across business and marketing. In his best seller, Cialdini cites Commitment (i.e. to self-image) as one of his six Principles of Influence.
That which is inferred by others but that which is also inferred by self. The perception of self and self-image is directly linked to acceptance of a job title. If a candidate sees themselves as a Manager, they are very unlikely to take a role of an Executive. Even if the company is larger, the pay check higher and the opportunities greater, if the title conflicts with their self-image they are less likely to consider the role.
When you consider the opportunity dispassionately, it makes complete sense. Why wouldn’t you grab it with both hands? Some people can overcome the perceived loss of status and the implications for their self-image but others can’t. Could you?
Reviewing your talent attraction
So, if you are struggling to attract the best talent in your recent recruitment drive, it might be worth considering whether the job title is having a negative impact.
In this case, consider benchmarking; it is worth reviewing the scope of the role relevant to the wider market rather than just internally.
It is good practice to undertake regular external benchmarking in terms of salary and scope anyway and you may find that you’ve under baked the title of the role relevant to its responsibilities, even if the salary is hitting the mark.
If your internal structure prevents you from changing the job title, then it is essential to brief your Recruitment Partner fully. They will then be able to manage candidate’s expectations and explain that the role is more than it may appear.