Job Titles


I’m en route to NYC to attend the Senior HR Executive Conference on Tuesday. Since I write for The Conference Board Review, I’m hoping to learn a few new things and incorporate those concepts & ideas into future columns.

I’ll be live-tweeting the event under @punkrockHR, and I look forward to meeting smart people with fancy HR titles. When I speak with VPs of HR, I often hear them say, “Sure, I’m a VP. Big deal. Titles don’t matter.”

Then they whip out their Corporate AMEX card and buy my dinner.

Hey, I’m not complaining. Unfortunately, when I speak with line managers and regular joes, I’m acutely aware that titles do matter. Titles have been used as a way to compensate workers when wages and benefits are low.

I’ve had the following titles — some on business cards, some in HRIS system, and some given to me by my bosses who just thought it sounded right. Ugh.

  • HR Assistant
  • Staffing Specialist
  • Staffing Manager
  • Recruiter
  • Corporate Recruiter
  • Interim HR Generalist
  • HR Generalist
  • HR Manager
  • Regional HR Manager
  • HR Advisor
  • Interim HR Director
  • HR Business Partner

Let me digress a moment, but who the heck uses HR Business Partner? I had that title for one day. I demanded that it must be removed from my HRIS profile. I argued that HR Business Partner is a state-of-being, not a title. What’s worse is that Human Resources Business Partner was abbreviated HRBP. Herrbbbbfffff. Ridiculous. Something is wrong when a job title is too long to fit into a computer system.

So what do you think about titles? Do they matter? What’s your title? Does it suck?

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