We’ve become accustomed to rising consumer prices over the past couple of years as inflation reached multi-decade highs. Job titles can be inflated too. Some employers offer higher-ranking titles or, at least, titles that sound that way “without a pay increase or added responsibilities” as RecruitingDaily.com put it.
A 2023 survey from Pearl Meyer, an executive compensation consultancy, found that companies are using titles to attract, reward, and retain employees more often than before. About 13% of employers used job titles to “recognize and/or reward employees when funds are limited,” up from 8% of employers in Pearl Meyer’s 2018 survey.
For example, Toman said some organizations might call employees “data ninjas” or “finance wizards.” But this could backfire on employers if there isn’t a pay increase to accompany the strategy. “It shouldn’t be the only strategy that is implemented because at the end of the day, cash usually is still king,” Toman said.