Job Hunting

Congratulations on Your Promotion?

Most employees see through the new-title ploy, says a new survey.
Stephen TaubOctober 27, 2006

Call it a stealth promotion. Nearly half (46 percent) of executives who were recently promoted concede that their responsibilities have remained roughly the same despite their new titles, according to a new survey from search firm Korn/Ferry International.

Why do companies do this? Apparently as an inducement to retain top talent. That’s what 42 percent of the 279 respondents reported. They should know: more than a third (36 percent) of the executives interviewed for the survey reported receiving a promotion from their current employer within the past two years. Most of them insisted that they see right through the ploy: according to the survey, 85 percent asserted that a more prestigious job title would not entice them to stay at a job they would otherwise leave.

Some companies have gone to greater creative lengths to keep good employees. Korn/Ferry found that when promoting people, some have concocted rather unique titles to make their executives feel more important. Among the oddest cited by those who participated in the survey: chief cheerleader, chief inspiration officer, director of decisions, director of first impressions, process change manager, and general manager reporting to the general manager.

None of them, however, was apparently promoted to director of title assignments.

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