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What’s in A Name -- or Job Title?

job title announces to the world the role you’re looking to fill within your organization. When looking for the right candidate, it is vital that you first properly name the position. The name of the job title is often the indicator by which you will reduce the fluff and attract qualified candidates both internally and externally. But how do you know what exactly you are looking for? 

The following are three titles that will help you further fine-tune your own job descriptions. When your job descriptions are clear, it helps eliminate a large part of the recruiting nonsense while reducing employee turnover rate. 

Having clear job titles and descriptions also allows a clear road map for those wishing to advance internally. If the job title itself is well written and transparent, then it communicates exactly what it takes for an employee to move up to the next level. 

To understand how to write a clear job title and description, you first must understand the role for which you’re recruiting. Take what you see below and use these ideas as springboards to writing descriptions that represent your company’s goals, expectations, and values. 


When you announce that a position is available for a manager, job seekers hear that you are seeking someone who can drive results and supervise employees while having company support to achieve their goals and expectations. A manager should have experience in fulfilling the role while also having experience in the industry. Previous work communicates that they are a person who can take responsibility while having room to grow on the job. A manager is able to execute plans passed down to them but is typically not called upon to create those plans. 

Tasks include:

  • Reporting to upper management 

  • Implementing company vision at the office or store level

  • Communicating clearly to employees

  • Work directly with outside sales and vendors

  • Schedule employees and handle payroll

  • Stick to the budget


Directors oversee the mangers. In this position, the candidate is expected to drive results with little to no supervision. They create and execute tactical plans with which managers assist. A director is available to answer questions for and guide the managers. A director knows how to get things done but ultimately relies on the plan created by a vice president. 

Tasks for directors include:

  • Direct management in the execution of the company’s mission and plans

  • Supervise managers

  • Prepare budgets 

Vice Presidents 

Vice presidents understand the entire company and the direction it wants to go and how to get it there. Their primary job is to create plans that work. The vice president’s value lives and dies on the success of the plan they create. It is their job to ignite the passion in everyone else to move forward with the plan and then see that it is properly executed. 

  • Create budgets

  • Mentor directors 

  • Collaborate with contractors

  • Brainstorm with creatives to create company plans that lead to success


If you are in the nonprofit world, Bridgespan outlines a number of additional job titles that will help you build a strong organization. Generally speaking, nonprofits are adopting the for-profit models for titles after decades of providing grandiose but troublesome and unearned titles.

So what’s in a name? 

The above descriptions are a jumping-off point and need to be adapted to your business’ needs. Remember the clearer you are with candidates about the job for which they are applying, the less of a headache you will have during the hiring process. No one enjoys accepting a job only to discover the expectations were not what they expected. In order to be fair and improve retention, be clear from day one. Let people know what they will be held accountable for and who will be holding them accountable. Clarity lies in the name.