Job titles given to us by our employers almost always describe the tasks we accomplish whilst working. However, in recent years we’ve seen the rise of what is being called inflated job titles; this is where employers look to bestow extra-ordinary job titles to what can sometimes be nothing more than a normal job. Employers dig into their thesaurus to find as many adjectives as possible to make a job sound grander. We thought we’d take a look at a few examples which have been used instead of ordinary job titles to make roles sound more important than they actually are.
Inflated job titles within corporate culture have been used for years, Subway like to call their customer facing staff, “Sandwich Artists” and Ikea once had a job listed as “Front of house display supervisor” with a job description which was surprisingly similar to that of a cleaner. But Jobs in the Public Sector as well as Private sector are now becoming equally creative with their names, these are a few of our favourites.
Location change management specialists – Removal man/woman
Canine relocation specialist – Dog catcher
Wet leisure assistant – Lifeguard
Waste management and disposal technician – Bin man/woman
Coordinator of interpretive teaching – museum guide
Recruitment consultants are no exception to this rule, here at Euro London we like to call our colleagues “consultants”, but there are examples within our industry where others have been creative with their job titles which have included “talent acquisition supervisors”.
So why does this happen? Some attribute the occurrence to occupations outgrowing languages themselves. In the last 20 years industries around the world have been transformed, leaving many languages struggling to develop new names for their new roles; instead, using a number of adjectives and nouns to describe a role in a new way.
Employers may also inflate job titles for several reasons. For lower level positions it can help boost people’s esteem, for managers it can sometimes allow them to give employees more tasks as their job title isn’t pigeon holed and when it’s time to move on it can also look good on a CV.
So does it actually do any harm to have an inflated job title? What’s the strangest job title you’ve seen?