The increasing prevalence of obscure job titles is well documented, but new research has highlighted the astonishing breadth of terms used to describe seemingly identical staff roles.
An analysis of the job titles of staff in different business functions, covering 3.5 million workers across the UK, discovered 141,000 unique job titles that appeared more than three times.
The study, by analyst firm Marketing Improvement (MI), showed that IT is by far the most ‘creative’ function, with 60,000 unique job titles. In the IT sector, there are 13,466 different descriptions for an IT director. IT managers have 25,898 titles, while there are 5,920 executive titles, and 700 assistant titles.
Tim Beadle, director of MI, said the vast array of IT job titles could be explained by two factors – “the combination of IT departments growing incredibly rapidly and needing to differentiate people doing slightly different tasks, and a desire by IT directors to make it more difficult for competitors to poach staff by giving them non-standard job titles”.
HR departments get off lightly in comparison, with only 2,963 unique descriptions. In HR, there are 551 ways of saying HR director and 1,115 different ways of being an HR manager. HR executives have 549 titles, while assistants have 186.
In other departments, MI found 2,347 ways to say finance director, and 1,562 different ways of being a marketing director.