Time was, in this great country of ours, you had like three job titles at every firm: "Boss," "Manager," "Businessman." That was it, it worked, everyone was happy.
Now you gotta have a PhD in linguistics to even say a lot of these positions:
The tight US labor market isn't just boosting wages, it's also bidding up job descriptions.
Once prevalent mostly with startups, job-title inflation has gone increasingly mainstream, said Shawn Cole, president of Cowen Partners, a nationwide executive search firm. It "exploded" during the pandemic as companies competed for talent in the Covid-19 economy and more of them leveraged titles to entice experienced workers.
This Bloomberg article actually gets pretty meta in the way in reports on this:
Companies "do all sorts of things to put together attractive overall compensation packages" in an unusually tight labor market, said Andy Challenger, senior vice president at executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "And one of those things is your title."
That's right: One of the guys they interview about "job-title inflation" is a...senior vice president!
If you want a good picture of what job-title inflation looks like, Rasmussen University has some examples:
- Director of first impressions: Receptionist
- Loss prevention officer: Store security officer
- Meat distribution engineer: Deli-counter staff
- Waste removal engineer: Trash collector
- Customer happiness hero: Customer service representative
- Vision clearance engineer: Window washer
- Brand warrior: Marketing associate
- Digital prophet: Marketing manager
- Brand evangelist: Marketer
- Knowledge navigator: Teacher
- Crockery cleaning operative: Dishwasher
- Word herder: Copywriter
- Web kahuna: Web developer
Next time you go to your grocery store, be sure to call the deli clerk a "meat distribution engineer." Out of respect, you understand.
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