Whether you’re looking for a new member of your finance, marketing or IT team, attracting the best talent is going to be a number one priority. A lot of time can be spent thinking about the job description but sometimes the importance of the job title gets overlooked.

Here are five job title tips to ensure that you maximize your chances of finding your perfect employee:

1. Use well known titles

Have you ever seen a job advert that uses an exciting phrase to describe quite a well-known role? At first glance tiles such as “Finance Ninja” or “Marketing Guru” can seem a great idea as surely these would attract the dynamic and fun individuals that such companies are looking for? In reality, this is unlikely to be the case. A Finance Ninja in a growing SME is likely to be called a Management Accountant/ Finance manager or even Financial Controller in their current role and their job search is unlikely to extend to more radical titles.

2. Avoid Jargon/Abbreviations

Similarly to maximize the chances of your future employee finding you through their online search it is best to avoid industry jargon. Research has indicated that people are less likely to apply for a role if they don’t understand the job title and so using terms which are highly specific to your industry may deter suitable candidates. Abbreviations such as Sr. Mgr. (instead of Senior Manager) are also likely to reduce your chances of success.

3. Do some Research

Before deciding upon the job title, look at job listings on jobs boards (such as Reed and Indeed) and identify those being used for similar roles. The ones that feature the most are the job titles that are likely to be getting the most web-traffic and therefore likely to yield the best results. You could also check out the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, which will show you the popularity of specific searches.

4. Make it appropriate

Sometimes there is a tendency in smaller businesses to use more senior terms (for example Finance Director) when in actual fact the role is a more hands-on position (such as Financial Controller or even Management Accountant). Getting this wrong will potentially mean that you have few, or no, candidates apply (if you advertise the salary band) or you have over qualified candidates applying who are all probably looking for a higher salary than you can offer. Such candidates will not expect to be applying for a role where most of their time is spent dealing with administration and paperwork; instead there will be an expectation of responsibility, strategic decisions and working as part of a senior management team. If this isn’t the role that you are actually advertising then honesty is a much better policy otherwise everyone’s time will be wasted.

5. Mix it up

Consider doing two job adverts to attract candidates at different levels if your requirements are flexible, as this might be more effective than having a large salary band. If training can be provided then it may be suitable to search for a more junior member of staff concurrently with your ideal candidate search. This will widen the pool of candidates that you can then select from. For example, changing the job title to include the word “junior” and adjusting the salary band downwards could actually result in you attracting candidates that may have felt they were underqualified for the original job advert.

Using well known and understood job titles is important when attracting candidates, and also important to the successful applicants.

Therefore whilst there are plenty of aspects of recruiting where innovation is to be encouraged, creative job titles isn’t one of them!

This article first appeared on the Artemis Clarke blog.

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