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2 in 5 Singapore employers inflate job titles to attract, retain talent: study

This could cause talent mismatch and resentment, Robert Walters warned.

About 2 in 5 employers in Singapore are resorting to inflating job titles to attract and retain talent, to limited success, reports Robert Walters.

“Inflated” job titles refer to roles which are intended for professionals with 2 years of experience that use words such as “manager” and “director.” These may not accurately reflect the responsibilities, seniority, or even salary of the position.

Usually done to attract and retain talent, these efforts have seen limited success, however, and may even create problems for employers and employees alike, Robert Walters Singapore warned.

Whilst 43% of hiring managers have or are considering inflating a job title to attract or retain professionals, only one in five (21%) shared that it has the desired effect.

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An inflated job title may also lead to problems where fellow professionals may not see it as a major indicator of seniority, warned Robet Walters. Only 20% of respondents believe that a C-Suite or Head title reflects seniority.

“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,” said Monty Sujanani, country manager, Robert Walters Singapore.

“There could potentially be a talent mismatch or cause resentment among employees as well,” Sujanani said.

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Despite this, job titles remain important to individuals applying for a job. Over 8 in 10 or 85% of professionals agree that the job title is important or very important when applying for a role. 

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”, Sujanani said.

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