There is no ideal, one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some people will tell you that job titles rarely matter, especially for a startup; however, research and reports have proven that they do, and tend to be very critical to the success of a business. In their simplest form, job titles describe employee roles, but according to numerous studies, they do much more than that.
Have it in mind that the right job title – whether it is imposing, motivating, powerful or plain fun – can ensure that a business can draw in top talent, confer social status, influence behavior, reduce stress, limit burnout, bolster employee satisfaction and commitment, and confirm an employee’s identity within the office hierarchy.
One way to choose a job title for someone who wears many hats would be to give the person a title based on the work they do the most. For instance, if you find yourself creating databases, resolving database integration issues, installing and testing database upgrades and patches 70% of the time, then you would call yourself a database administrator.
Another way would be to use generic titles, if possible in combination with the technology you use or the specialization you are in. When you decide to leverage a generic title to describe an HR Advisor, it is also imperative you leverage bullet points to outline the different hats they must have worn or wear due to the tasks they do regularly.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Job Title for Someone Who Wears Many Hats
Just as it was noted above, it can be quite tasking to choose a job title for someone who wears many hats. However, to simplify the process, here are a few vital points to consider;
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Create a Protocol
Truth be told, no two businesses are ever exactly the same and everyone will have or use titles in distinct ways to meet unique needs. Owing to that, it is critical you first invest in creating a system for generating titles early on in an organization’s life.
There are certain questions you need to ask to enable you to create a reasonable and sustainable protocol for choosing job titles. By genuinely answering these questions, you can create a framework for titles that are well tailored to the very needs of your company, while also encouraging employees’ career development. Those questions include;
- Does the title make it easy to interpret the person’s role at the company?
- Does the title reflect the person’s area of expertise, level of experience, and seniority?
- What impact will the title have on a person’s career trajectory?
- Will the title be taken seriously by others?
- Will the title attract top talent or turn them off?
Give Room for Employees To Name Their Own Job
If you are finding it challenging to find the perfect job title, then consider relieving yourself of that pressure by allowing your employees to choose their own job titles.
Have it in mind that a good number of these employees have been in a role for a certain period and have a very good understanding of everything the position entails. Owing to that, you can encourage them to name their own job, all within well-defined parameters.
Have Fun With The Process
When someone wears many hats in the workplace, you can come up with a fun and unusual title that encircles the spirit, if not the content, of their job. Although there is a time and industry for such unique and creative titles, you should consider how these titles will be seen outside the company.
While uncommon and unique titles can be self-empowering, to other clients, companies, and potential recruiters, they may be dubious. A job title that does not in vivid detail explain the person’s responsibilities can be a problem in the long run.
Focus On Skills And Expertise
Just as it was noted above, one way to choose a job title for someone who wears many hats would be to give the person a title based on the exact work they do the most. Note that it makes sense to link their title to that specific area of the business. You can start by analyzing what it is that an individual does most often and what the most critical aspects of their position are.
First, consider what the general terms are to ensure that you can come up with an umbrella title or department that they can fall into. Don’t forget that the aim here is to try and categorize their duties and position broadly, then narrow down from there.
Avoid Title Inflation
You have to first realize that every employee is vital in an organization. If you are a small operation, your intention should be for your titles to carry the weight of their value. However, note that it is unrealistic to have five directors in a company of seven people just so that everyone feels good.
It is imperative for a business enterprise to avoid title inflation, even when trying to recognize the multidimensional roles of staff. While it is more cost-effective to hand out fancy titles than to offer raises to employees, there are often unpredictable consequences when titles are dished out with ease.
Have in mind that title inflation can lead to issues among colleagues who may feel that their old responsibilities are not worthy of their new titles. Most often, the best advice is to keep it simple and pass over the impressive-sounding titles in favor of solid ones that speak directly to the needs and goals of your organization.