If you work in HR you know the game: Titles. With every raise, with every new hire, with every achievement, there comes the debate what goes under the name in LinkedIn, Xing, and recently Twitter. And whats written there is becoming more and more useless and empty on the one hand because epople will be taking on different roles under one title. On the other hand with declining times of tenure and more and more active xsourcing in recruitment they become more important because the little quib needs not only to give an idea of what a person currently does but also what they want to do in their next role.

Far to long HR has indulged in giving titles as a (de-facto) reward. Especially when times are dire and titles are handed out instead of any other incentives, titles are devalued.

But what are titles worth anyways?

In larger organizations there might be job profiles numbered and coded, org charts in several dimensions, and different tracks of titles: regional, organization-wide, external and sometimes the worst ones: pre-merger titles like the International Vice President Sales Germany, Austria, Switzerland I once met.

So titles are pretty useless if you want to find out what someone does or did. Why else would more and more resumes feature the responsibilities someone had in a job.

And then to top it all of, roles are entering the stage and the one-trick-pony will soon be an employee of the past. Especially in smaller companies people will (and always have) to take on different roles and wear different hats. Need an example? Just google the phrase ⟶ should designers code? and rejoice in the lively debate. If you’re particularly adventurous follow the debate on ⟶ Twitter.