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How to Define Your Job Role: Job Title Naming Conventions, Responsibilities, and More

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Having the right people in your organization can be crucial to hitting your growth goals –– And that begins with your hiring process.

However, finding the best people can be difficult, especially when you’re competing with other companies in your industry for the top talent.

That’s why you should pay closer attention to how you define your job roles. Optimising this aspect of your hiring process could help you attract better candidates who can take your company to the next level.

Keep reading to learn how to concisely define a job role and title, and become familiar with some common naming conventions. 

The importance of defining a job role, title, and responsibilities 

Precision is key when it comes to job titles, roles, and responsibilities.

Providing a clear outline of what would be expected of the candidate should they be successful is every bit as important as ensuring your advert neatly describes the necessary skills, knowledge, or education required for the role. 

Why is this so important? The following reasons are just the start:

Attract candidates that tick all the boxes

This is the most important benefit of clearly stating accurate job roles, titles, and responsibilities. When you do so, you attract candidates who fit all––or at least most––of your specifications.

Having suitable candidates from stage one can simplify your hiring process. 

Save time and money during the hiring process

By the same logic, defining your job roles accurately can help you screen out applicants who aren’t a good fit for the position. 

This can save you time and money because you likely won’t have to manually sift through as many unqualified candidates as you would with generic job role descriptions – which can be super time consuming!

Reduce the need for training and upskilling

Using the right job role descriptions helps you hire people who are extremely qualified for your position. That means you shouldn’t have to spend as much time and money on training or upskilling them in the future.

Naming conventions for jobs––how important are they?

You’re usually going to want to be as precise as possible with your job titles. 

That being said, it’s worth bearing in mind standardised and industry-specific naming conventions while creating your job title and role. 

These conventions are the standard names that an industry uses to describe certain roles. You want your job titles to fit into these conventions so that applicants intuitively understand what your position entails.

For example, if a leadership position in your industry is usually titled ‘director’ and you call it ‘manager’, you could confuse your target audience. Or, qualified applicants could search online for ‘director’ jobs and not find your position because it’s improperly titled.

In the sub-sections below, we’ll highlight some of the most important naming conventions for different types of jobs.

Common leadership naming conventions 

These are the most commonly used titles for leadership positions:

  • Director
  • Executive
  • Manager
  • Supervisor
  • Chief
  • CEO

The specific title that’s right for your job listing will vary based on the industry that you operate in and the exact nature of the position.

Some of these words indicate a higher status than others as well. For example, a director is usually thought of as a higher position than a supervisor. Titles such as CEO, CFO (Chief Financial Officer), and CTO (Chief Technology Officer) are just some of the higher senior leadership positions.  

Common sales, administrative, and HR naming conventions

There’s a lot more flexibility in terms of the job titles that you use for non-leadership positions. That means you have some extra wiggle room to select a title that’s as close to what you intend the position to be as possible.

For example, here are some trending sales job titles in 2021:

  • Sales associate
  • Sales representative
  • Account executive
  • Sales manager
  • Outside sales representative

Administrative job titles are similarly varied, including:

  • Administrative assistant
  • Secretary
  • Executive assistant
  • Program manager
  • Legal secretary

And to wrap it up, here are some common HR job titles for you to consider:

  • HR coordinator
  • Recruiter
  • HR specialist
  • HR analyst
  • HR representative

As you can see, each of these job titles has a slightly different meaning. 

This is a signal to job searchers, so you want to make sure that you use the title that’s closest to the meaning that you intend. Doing so will help you attract as many qualified candidates as possible.

General guidance on naming conventions in the recruitment process 

Naming conventions absolutely matter, but they will often vary from industry to industry. As you create your job titles, it’ll be important for you to understand and utilize the standard naming conventions in your industry.

The easiest way to do that is to take some time to research positions that are similar to the one that you’d like to post. See what job titles others are using and that should give you a pretty clear indication of what you should use.

That being said, you also want to make your job postings stand out. So it’s okay to tweak a conventional job title as long as you don’t get so far away from what’s standard that your intended audience no longer connects with the posting.

Top tips for attracting candidates to fit your specific job role

The way that you structure your job listing can have a big impact on how many qualified candidates apply for your position. Here are five tips to help you craft better help-wanted ads so that you can attract more of the best applicants.

Use a title that includes both employment level and responsibilities

The more accurate that you are with your job titles, the likelier you are to attract applicants who are a good fit for the position. That’s why it’s often a good idea to use titles that hint at both the employment level and responsibilities of the job.

For example, words like director, executive, and chief, indicate that the role will be at the very top of the company. But these words don’t describe much about the actual responsibilities of the position.

So instead of using a title like ‘director’, consider going with something like ‘director of sales’ instead. That extra bit of information makes it clear what the job is going to be all about and it should help you catch the eye of more applicants.

Be detailed when listing responsibilities

It’s also important to be detailed when you list the responsibilities of the position. You want these to be as clear as possible so that your applicants know what to expect from the job.

Of course, it’s not going to be possible for you to list every possible task that the position might entail. So just make sure that you capture the main ones.

Also, avoid generic, boilerplate responsibilities like ‘meet deadlines’ and ‘multi-task’. These take up space on your job listing but don’t provide any real value. It would be better to have either a more succinct listing or replace those generic responsibilities with unique ones.

(Feel free to use our job description template as an example.)

Add keywords to your job description

Modern job searchers have tonnes of different platforms they can use to find employment opportunities. Every employer knows this and posts their jobs in as many places as possible.

That means you’re going to have a lot of competition when you post a job online. One way to make sure that your job shows up when people search for similar positions is to include SEO keywords in it.

SEO keywords are the terms that people put into Google when they want to find something. If you include them in your job posting, your job can be a Google search result for specific phrases that people looking for that type of work would be searching for.

That means using the correct SEO keywords in your job listing could help you find a ton of new job applicants. So try to include these early in the job description and potentially even in the job title if it makes sense to do so.

Describe what makes your company unique

The best applicants often have multiple job opportunities to choose from. That means you may need to sell them on your company as much as you want them to pitch themselves to you.

You can begin doing that in your job description. Talk about some of the things that make your business different from others from the perspective of wanting to attract high-quality job seekers.

For example, you might have a collaborative culture, great health insurance, or other perks. Highlighting these in a job description is a good way to convince more of the people who read your job posting to actually apply.

Use a mobile-friendly layout

Finally, make sure that you use a mobile-friendly layout for your next job description. Mobile accounts for about half of all internet traffic and you want to make sure that you’re accommodating these users.

Are you looking for the newest member of your senior management team?

Part of finding the best people is knowing where to look for them. That’s why you should sign up for Juggle. It’s free to sign up and post a job on our platform which makes it super easy to find, onboard, and compensate new employees.

We also have an AI ‘smart matching’ feature to automatically curate a list of diverse, pre-vetted candidates based on your needs. This can significantly reduce the amount of time you have to spend looking for your next employee.

So why wait? Take the plunge and sign up for Juggle today to experience the difference we provide for yourself.

Mya Ramanan

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