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Too Many Chiefs: The Growing Risks of ‘Title Fluffing’

by on
in HR Soapbox

Check out the signature lines on emails you receive. Are you seeing more “chief” this or “senior” that or “VP” of whatever?

Title inflation—or “uptitling” or “title fluffing”—has been around forever, but it traditionally picks up speed during recessions. That happened in the 1980s and it’s happening now.

Still-skittish employers are loosening the purse strings a bit. Salary budgets are set to rise about 3.0% this year, up from about 2.7% in 2010. To compensate for the slow rate of pay raises, some employers turn to job-title promotions instead of cash.

Most organizations don’t take title-pumping to the extremes of, say, North Korea, where dictator Kim Jong Il has more than 1,000 titles, including “guardian deity of the planet.”

An OfficeTeam survey last month of 500 HR managers reported that only 14% of organizations don’t engage in the practice at all. Twenty-two percent of employers do offer promotions without salary incre...(register to read more)

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