Choosing the right employee title

There are so many decisions that business owners have to make to establish and grow their business.  One of those decision is choosing the right employee title once you are ready to bring assistance into the business.  I have noticed some people having difficulties filling job positions for a variety of reasons, however today we will deal with employee titles.

When working in a small company, it may be tempting to empower your employees through their titles but you are actually doing them a disservice if they ever leave your company.  Let’s say, your best friend has a few years of marketing experience and you can’t afford to pay him over $30,000 so you decide to compensate by labeling him the Director of Marketing.  This title is out of line with his experience and salary level and will make it difficult for him to find a comparable position at another company.  Although him leaving and looking for work elsewhere really isn’t your problem, you should always be setting yourself and others up for success.

Let’s take a look at a few job titles:

  • Assistant: as the title implies this person will be assisting someone with some things; the position will generally have more administrative tasks assigned and they will report to someone on a regular basis; the salary range for this position ranges between $24,000 and $36,000 depending on the size of the company and the scope of responsibilities
  • Manager: again, as the title implies this person will be responsible for managing a part of your company, they will generally have the responsibility of ensuring projects are complete and may have employees and/or assistants reporting to them; the salary range for this position is typically between $30,000 and $60,000 depending on the size of the company and scope of the projects they are responsible for overseeing
  • Director: these persons will assist in directing the organization toward the mission and/or goals, they spend a great of time strategizing, meeting with other directors to ensure  a cohesive plan for the organization is established and providing directives to the Managers to carry out, Director can also imply someone who sits on a Board of Directors (typically only Directors of for-profit organizations are paid while most Directors of not-for-profits work as volunteers); the salary range for Directors usually starts around $60,000 and escalate depending on the size of the company and scope of operations they are responsible for directing
  • Vice-President: a company will not typically have very many Vice-Presidents unless it is large and there is a need for the Directors to have someone to report to; the salary range is generally near or in the six-figure range and the scope of their responsibilities will vary depending on the overall needs of the organization
  • President: this person is responsible for the overall operations of the company; typically the Vice-Presidents or Directors will report to the President and they will create the mission, vision and goals for the organization; the President is often the Owner of the business, however, larger corporations may hire someone to fill this position; if the position is a hired employee the salary will normally be in the six-figure range but business owners sometimes take a lower salary so that they can reinvest in the business

Obviously there are more variations however these are the most common and caution should be taken when hiring people using these titles.  The job title implies many things and part of finding the right employees is making sure they can live up to your expectations.


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