Ridiculous job titles (ie.“Growth Ninja’) are not an effective way to recruit talent

Using “Wizard” in your job ad is probably not going to land you a “Rockstar” employee.

January 12, 2018

Let’s talk about a trend that’s been plaguing the tech world for a while: rebranding a role like “Marketing Assistant” as “Content Rockstar,” or “Customer Service Rep” as “Client Happiness Wizard.” 

While including abstract words like these in job postings is on the rise — it’s a practice that may be turning off some of the best candidates.

Wanted: “Product Genius”

Last month, jobs platform Indeed put out a report on “weird” and unusual job titles companies use in job postings. The 5 most frequently-used terms? Rockstar, Guru, Ninja, Genius, and Wizard.

Genius (82.5% increase) and Rockstar (19%) have seen the biggest growth in use over the past 2 years; Ninja and Guru have declined, and Wizard has stagnated.

Look, we get it: jazzing up hackneyed titles to make them sound more fun has long been a recruiting strategy (a al the Apple “Genius” or the Subway “Sandwich Artist”). But turns out, it’s a terrible way to advertise an opening.

Some advice: keep things literal

Truth is, adding “Wizard” to your product manager job posting isn’t going to make up for the fact that your listing sucks.

But on a practical level, using those terms as substitutes for more traditional roles means you’re going to miss out on all the well-qualified candidates searching for the jobs they actually want.

To give yourself the best shot on platforms like Indeed, job titles should be: concise (5-80 characters), straightforward (“UX Designer” instead of “Aesthetic Wizard”), and as specific as possible (“Events and Sponsorships Coordinator,” not “Kick-A*s Marketer”).

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