If you were hiring for a marketing director with at least five years’ experience as a marketing manager, would you spend time evaluating a candidate that lacked a marketing manager title? Probably not.
But what if you didn’t remove them? What if, instead, you evaluated their skills and they scored higher than any of the other candidates you’re considering. Would you still discount them? Of course not!
At the end of the day, past job titles matter a lot less than a candidate’s ability to do the job.
Today, job titles carry a lot of weight in the hiring process. They’re featured as a requirement in countless job descriptions as well as being used in applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter out candidates that, seemingly, don’t fit the bill. The theory is, if a candidate has done that job before, then they can do it again (maybe with additional responsibilities), and well.
But when you really stop to think about it, this line of thought doesn’t really make sense—and it may be hurting your hiring efforts.
Titles don’t equal experience
For one, different companies use different titles for the same job. One company’s marketing manager is another’s VP—or brand evangelist.
If your ATS doesn’t recognize these titles as synonyms, they might slip through the net, even if the person behind the title is a perfect fit. And not everyone who has held a certain title is guaranteed to be good at the job.
Then there’s bias to consider. As we discussed in a previous post, unconscious bias can make it harder for women and people of color to move up the career ladder at their company, rendering titles significantly less meaningful. That doesn’t mean they won’t excel in the role. It just means their skills are superior to their title.
The answer to all these disconnects is simple: stop relying on job titles when deciding which resumes make the cut. In fact, we say stop relying on resumes at all during the earliest stages of the process. Instead, adopt a blind hiring process that tests a candidate’s skills and lets you objectively compare how they stack up, regardless of past experience or titles.
This is the approach we’re pioneering at career.place. Our intuitive software solution takes resumes off the table until the final stages of the hiring process. By that point, you know the candidate is capable—so you don’t have to play the title guesswork game.
Don’t let a flashy title blind you. Discover the career.place way today.