Job Titles Today
Tectonic shifts in the work world are driving the creation of new positions and accompanying titles. To stay current and fuel growth, management must continually identify new priorities and create corresponding jobs with direct responsibility for these new priority areas.
New Careers for the Next Generation
As new generations enter the workforce, new careers emerge along with interesting titles to describe them. Advances in technology such as cloud computing, big data, or AI, as well as emerging social movements like climate change, #metoo, or Black Lives Matter, require new skills and place new demands on the workplace. In the past several years we have seen a new set of positions gaining in popularity, including:
Sustainability Manager: Develops and implements sustainability strategy, advising organizations on trends in Green Business and criteria for ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) to demonstrate social responsibility.
Cloud Computing Specialist: Helps organizations migrate information and services to the cloud, providing analyses and recommendations about cloud technology needs, and designing systems to meet those needs.
AI Architect: Builds systems to integrate organizations’ data acquisition, storage, and analytics for machine learning and artificial intelligence to serve business goals.
Chief Experience Officer: Creates and activates strategies to optimize both employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX), improving employee engagement to enhance customer service, which drives customer satisfaction.
Titles Express Corporate Culture
Typically, a job title telegraphs to those within your own organization, as well as to the outside world, what you do. Plenty of traditional titles are still prevalent, i.e. Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operations Officer (COO), and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Many companies use creative titling to express their unique corporate brand and culture. Language which projects a sense of fun, that a company is forward thinking, is attractive to Next Gen workers.
Some examples include the Boss of All Things (CEO) and the Wizard of Want (CMO). Creativity does not stop at the executive suite. Consider the new title for Receptionist, now the Director of First Impressions, or Software Engineer, now the Code Keeper.
Remote/Hybrid Is Here To Stay
While accelerated by COVID, the migration to remote and hybrid work is now being viewed as a permanent change across industries and around the world. LinkedIn reports a 60% increase in job titles related to the “future of work” and a 304% increase in titles using “hybrid work” since the start of the pandemic. According to Mehdi Loudiyi, Managing Partner of IMSA Search Global Partners Morocco, “As organizations focus on the future of work, they are rethinking and evolving their structure and culture, adding positions such as “Director of Hybrid Work” or “VP, Employee Engagement & Flexible Work” to ensure greater attention and accountability in this area.”
Many companies are investing in leadership, staff, and budget as they transition to permanent remote/hybrid work models. Yet one size does not fit all. Some examples include: Unilever, whose VP of Global Learning and Future of Work is responsible for reskilling of workers and implementing new employment models, also manages their U-Work program for employees who want to work as gig-based project workers. Cimpress, the parent of online printing company Vistaprint, has a 7-person team dedicated to remote work issues. And LinkedIn’s VP of Flex Work provides strategic guidance in addition to overseeing HR systems updates.
Flexibility, Wellness, and the Great Reshuffle
According to a Microsoft survey more than 40% of workers worldwide are considering quitting their current jobs, including 54% in the Gen Z cohort (World Economic Forum 6/2/2021). “Embedded in this Great Reshuffle is the desire for greater flexibility, better work-life balance, and enhanced attention to their overall well-being,” explains Monika Ciesielska, President of IMSA Search Global Partners. “Organizations that address these needs will continue to attract and retain the best talent.”
Culture is key as organizations strive to create environments which support employees’ best work and best life. Companies are creating positions to ensure they deliver in this area: At management consulting firm Deloitte it’s the Chief Well-Being Officer, while at global communications company WPP, the Global Head of Culture and Engagement oversees this area. Other examples include: Singapore-based super-app creator Grab with their Head of People Strategy, and e-commerce giant Digital River’s VP of People and Places, while Google, Airbnb, and Salesforce all have a Chief Happiness Officer.
Diversity Officers in Demand
Following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, companies rushed to hire diversity officers. In 2021 in the S&P 500 index, new diversity officer hires jumped to nearly a dozen per month (LATimes.com 3/12/21), and 85 of the S&P 100 reported having a Chief Diversity Officer (Bloomberg.com 10/21/21). While the position is not new – Intel hired its first Chief of Diversity in 2005 – it is now viewed as essential.
The Future of Work is here and now. Remote and hybrid models are the new norm; corporate cultures of flexibility, work-life balance, and overall well-being stand out; and new positions prioritizing these areas resonate with today’s workers. In the midst of the Great Reshuffle, companies which reflect this new work world will continue to attract the best talent, thrive and grow.