Companies are advertising for tech, sales and customer service jobs with quirky sounding job titles
These job titles sound a lot more exciting than they actually are.
Companies are attempting to recruit prospective employees by jazzing up otherwise ordinary positions in industries like tech, sales and customer service with exotic sounding monikers like “rockstar,” “ninja,” and “guru,” a new survey from Indeed.com found.
“Companies that do this are trying to show the quirkiness of their culture or interesting parts of their company by using these words in their postings,” Paul Wolfe, Senior Vice President of HR at Indeed.com tells Moneyish. “Adding these words in job titles may cause job seekers to click on it just to see what it’s about.”
The career site showed current postings for gigs like “developer ninja,” “customer service wizard,” “rockstar chiropractor,” and “BMW Genius.” But despite the catchy titles, job requirements are still the same as any average position. A listing for a customer experience ninja at clothing company Bonobos, for example, is described as someone who “aspires to be a fantastic advocate for our customer, delivering superior service and helping design the best service policies and infrastructure in the world.” A sales guru is responsible for simply generating new business, while a Mercedes Benz Genius just provides product information and greets customers.
This year, the most popular name attached to a job title was “rockstar” which has shown 19% growth since 2015, according to the career posting site. And recruiters seem to use the weird titles for jobs in parts of the country like California, Idaho, Oregon and Utah, while New Yorkers, by contrast, keep it more simple by listing the regular job, according to the site.
Using an exciting name for an otherwise boring service like IT has its pros and cons, says Steven Price, owner of Tech Rockstars, a Monrovia, California-based I.T. company that specializes in data recovery, hardware and software repairs and computer network maintenance.
“It was kind of risky cause it doesn’t sound so professional,” says Price who launched the company in 2007. “It worked against us in the beginning. We had some big companies that we were contracted with that didn’t take it seriously and we had to use the abbreviation ‘TRS.’”
Price says the name works to his advantage to show job seekers that they have a relaxed work culture and attracts employees to the company.
“We’re not super serious, and we can be playful and real to people. Our work is really stressful companies are depending on us to do our jobs correctly, you have to have that equilibrium of fun and playfulness,” he adds.
From a networking and marketing perspective, Wolfe agrees that having a catchy, standout job title can work to an employee or business owner’s benefit, but suggests refraining from putting the title on a resume.
“There’s a time and place for it. Certainly if you’re at a speaking event or a recruiting event maybe you’d change your title to ‘HR Rockstar.’ It’s a good way to network and represent your company,” says Wolfe who also suggest: “Do a bit of decoding on a resume maybe in parentheses you put the more technical term so that a recruiter looking can really understand what that job entails.”
Having a cool title is also a great way to build your own personal brand. Just ask Debbie Sultan, who goes by the “food guru.” Sultan and her daughter Ariel started up a video producing marketing company creating promotional food content for brands. Eventually, when they gained enough culinary cred, they began creating their own easy recipes for things like chai almond milk and slow cooked scrambled eggs so the site also serves as an authority for novice chefs to seek out culinary tips.
“We consider ourselves on the forefront of potential food trends,” says Sultan.
“People always call us the ‘food gurus,’ we sort of adopted that title and now our consumer base blog is collaborating with other people in the food industry, but really anybody can be a food guru,” she admits.
Career experts say millennials and baby boomers rely on exotic job titles to build buzz around their brands and careers.
“There are two demographics: millennials and boomers, but not the folks in between,” says New York-based career coach Roy Cohen. “Boomers are struggling to stay relevant and millenials feel very comfortable distinguishing themselves. Millennials have a deep need to feel like they’re unique, and boomers are scared that they will become irrelevant.”
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