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Job Title Inflation

Emerging trend of Job Title Inflation in Singapore sees limited success in Attracting and Retaining Talent

More employers are inflating job titles in Singapore in 2023, with a 24%[1] increase in positions with titles such as “Managers” and “Directors” for jobs intended for professionals with 2 years of experience. Usually done to attract and retain talent, these efforts however see limited success and may create problems for employers and employees alike. These are among the observations and insights from Robert Walters Singapore on the trend of job title inflation.

Job title inflation refers to a practice by companies to offer inflated or exaggerated job titles that may not accurately reflect the responsibilities, seniority, or even salary of the position.

Using inflated job titles to attract and retain talent

Job titles and promotions are valued by professionals. Based on LinkedIn polls conducted by Robert Walters Singapore in January, 85% of professionals agree that the job title is important or very important when applying for a role. Among young professionals, 35% also expect to be promoted within 12 months of working in a company.

While some companies have tried inflating job titles, the success rate varied. Among companies, 43% of hiring managers surveyed shared that they have or are considering inflating a job title to attract or retain professionals to a role within their organisations. However, only one in five (21%) shared that this move has worked to its desired effect.

An inflated job title may also lead to problems where fellow professionals may not see it as a major indicator of seniority, or the level of responsibility and experience associated with a position. Being able to manage a team (46%) and the importance of the job (34%) were perceived as top indicators of seniority, while only 20% believe that a C-Suite/Head-of title reflected seniority.

“While job title inflation does attract talent as employees with inflated titles may feel more important and valued in an organisation, it may not be accurate as it needs to be pegged to the actual job scope. If employees are given inflated job titles, it may be difficult for them to understand their actual job scope, or make it confusing to know who does what, which could lead to tasks not actually being done. There could potentially be a talent mismatch or cause resentment among employees as well,” said Monty Sujanani, Country Manager at Robert Walters Singapore.

Robert Walters Singapore advises hiring managers to avoid inflating job titles as it may cause inefficiencies and inequality within the organisation, and result in employees leaving.

“Clearly defining roles and responsibilities, and having accurate job titles can help to ensure fairness”, added Monty.

 

[1] Based on LinkedIn Talent Insights

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