Avoid Job Title Inflation in a Tight
Job description software
research into real-world job
postings has revealed a recent
hiring trend regarding job titles.
During competitive job markets,
tech companies are using title
inflation in an attempt to attract
more candidates. According to
Datapeople, this can diminish the
quality of their applicant pools.
Title inflation is the practice of leveling up a
job title without leveling up the associated
responsibilities and requirements along
with it. It’s often a well-meaning attempt to
add value to a job so it can attract a larger
applicant pool, according to Datapeople.
Title inflation can deter potential
candidates, though. Job titles that don’t
quite match the requirements can
intimidate or confuse job seekers. By
inflating titles, hiring teams may actually
deter qualified job seekers while attracting
Datapeople has been collecting and
analyzing real-world job postings and hiring
outcomes since 2015. In a recent analysis of
job postings from over 10,000 employers, the
company found that applicant pools for tech
jobs attracted around 120 applicants in 2019
but only 77 in 2021.
In response, hiring teams have turned to title
inflation. According to Datapeople, a quarter of
the tech jobs considered junior in 2019 now carry
senior titles. Also, twice as many junior tech jobs
today include the word ‘Lead,’ and 20 percent
more mid-level tech jobs include the word
Yet adding the word ‘Senior’ to
a job title can have adverse
effects, as Datapeople
discovered in a separate study
of financial analyst titles.
Jobs with ‘Senior’ in the title
attract on average 29% fewer
applicants, 39% fewer
qualified applicants, and 27%
fewer female applicants.
The trend seems to go
primarily in the direction of a
senior title with junior- or mid-
level requirements, but it can
go the other way too.
According to Datapeople, if the
responsibilities seem senior but
the title is junior, that can also
deter an otherwi