The Surprising Reason Companies Are Losing Employees

A job search is mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically exhausting.  When you are a job seeker, the number of hours you must put in to find the proper position can come as a shock, especially if you haven’t been in the market for a job in a long time. It’s not uncommon for job hunting to turn into a second job! According to a CareerBuilder survey, the average job seeker spends 11 hours per week on their job search, which lasts two to six months.

Job Titles Need to Be Honest

Candidates spend time tailoring resumes and writing cover letters, copying the information from the resume to a company’s talent portal, attending phone interviews, in-person interviews, zoom interviews, site visits, and, if all goes well, negotiating!  Typically, interviews occur during working hours, and very few job seekers want to advertise their impending departure by taking this time off every week to attend interviews. When a candidate finally signs on the dotted line, it is the culmination of a tremendous amount of effort on their part.

So, what happens when your new IT Manager joins the company, goes through onboarding, is trained, and then gradually realizes that their dream job is not what it appears to be? Despite their title and job description, it slowly dawns on them that they are a Systems Administrator.

Titles ARE NOT Free

Many hiring managers dismiss this! “What’s the big deal?” We pay them the salary of an IT Manager, but they have a much easier job! Who could object to that?” Some hiring managers even do this on purpose, believing they have discovered a win-win situation. They can hire from a more experienced pool, have an employee with more expertise than needed in case they decide to expand the department, and they envision the job as “cushy” for their new hire.

Imagine their surprise when their administrator in manager’s clothing delivers their notice 18 months later. As it turns out, few employees desire “cushy,” and even fewer are content in a position where they feel a lack of challenge. They think that their expertise suffocates in what is essentially a junior position.

The inverse can be equally damaging! Hiring a Systems Administrator when the job description calls for an IT Manager puts the organization in an unstable situation. While they were an excellent Systems Administrator, the company risks losing that employee after a short period. Why? Because while the employee is an excellent Systems Administrator, what is needed is an IT Manager who could hit the ground running.

Finally, think about internal promotions. When the budget for a merit increase is lacking, some organizations placate employees with a shiny new title. Giving a Sales Representative the title of “Senior Sales Executive” may appear to be a low-cost way to keep an employee happy, but artificially inflating titles with no increase in duties or pay is bound to backfire. Current Senior Sales Executives will feel slighted, and the newly minted Senior Sales Executive will only be happy for a while if they start looking into market pay rates for someone with their title.

Simple and Clear Job Descriptions

The best bet for an organization is to have robust, detailed job descriptions that reflect reality rather than aspiration and a solid title that does not imply a different job. Time is valuable for looking for the ideal job or hiring and training a new employee. It may seem obvious, but it is critical to ensure that job titles match the job. Spend time wisely because, as the saying goes, “lost time is never found again.”

About the Author: Michelle Henderson

Michelle Henderson’s lifelong love of puzzles and problem solving has been an incredible asset in her role as Compensation Consultant for MorganHR, Inc. Michelle advises clients on market pricing, employee engagement, job analysis and evaluation, and much more.