Do Job Titles Really Matter in Logistics?

Do Job Titles Really Matter in Logistics?

Published on - 11/15/2019


Looking for a job can be overwhelming, especially in today’s logistics industry where there are a slew of new positions, thanks to the introduction of technology, new titles and constantly changing needs and demands within the industry. If you’ve recently looked for a job in logistics, then you’ve probably noticed that there could be two, three, four or even more titles for the same job position. For example, recruiting experts at CS Recruiting have found that a director of logistics could also hold the title of brokerage manager, branch manager, transportation manager, general manager or logistics manager.

Navigating job boards, LinkedIn and other hiring platforms can be difficult and time-consuming enough, but with the introduction of a plethora of new, yet similar, job titles, this process has been made much more time consuming and tricky for prospective employees and employers. This process can be similarly time-consuming for companies looking to hire because varying job titles oftentimes confuse candidates, leaving them to apply for jobs that they are either overqualified or not experienced enough for. In reality, is there a real difference between all of these differentiating titles? Today, CS Recruiting, the experts in logistics recruiting, explores this question.

Why do Job Titles Vary in Logistics?
Why are we given job titles in the first place? Whether an individual is speaking to someone who works in the same business or with an outside company, job titles give people a way to describe the work that they do for their employer, adding a sense of worth to the work that they perform. On the other side, job titles help others understand what an individual does for a company and who to reach out to when they need assistance.

However, not all companies give titles out the same way. For example, think about this job description: “these individuals decide how to transport their products. These employees arrange for the movement of raw materials into their factories and for the transportation of finished products to the markets where the goods are sold.” What do you think their job title is?

Well, depending on the company that’s hiring, this job can have many different names, ranging from industrial traffic manager, traffic manager, traffic supervisor, industrial traffic strategist, traffic clerk, network operations manager – the titles are endless. Individuals in these positions may be doing slightly different things, but at the end of the day, they have the same overarching goal: Deciding how to transport products.

Factors such as company size, status, and age have a major influence on the types of job titles that individuals are given. For example, at a young and small startup logistics company that employs less than 50 people, the individuals in that company are more likely to be given more senior titles and are more likely to be young, according to The New York Times. Conversely, when looking at a major logistics company that employs more than 1,000 people, job titles are more likely to vary, and commonly, in accordance to age with the older individuals being paid higher salaries and having more superior job titles.

Can Your Title Affect Your Compensation?
The simple answer to this question: Yes. Logistics Management’s 28th Annual Salary Survey reports that job titles matter in the logistics industry and executive roles most often get compensated more generously, a trend that has been increasing over the past few years. A Corporate or division manager’s average salary in 2012 was about $152,320 while an assistant traffic analyst’s average income was much lower, totaling about $62,700. Although these jobs don’t necessarily perform the same duties, this demonstrates that individuals with more superior and corporate-sounding titles do get paid more on average.

Similarly, more specific job titles oftentimes get compensated better too. For example, individuals with the title logistics manager earned an average salary of $95,479 according to this same report. However, individuals with the job title supply chain manager paid on average $128,335. This demonstrates that creating more specific and spot-on job titles may mean a higher yearly salary for logistics employees.

What Does This Mean for Me?
This discovery can mean different things for job seekers and hiring companies. For job seekers, this demonstrates the importance of examining the job titles that you are responding to on job boards or postings. If a posted position has a more superior title and is with a large company, yet you are an entry level-employee, then this job most likely wouldn’t be the right fit for you, as this company is probably looking for a more experienced professional. Examining job titles as part of background research when looking for jobs is essential and can save job seekers time because they won’t be applying for jobs that they won’t be considered for from the get-go.

For hiring managers posting jobs, this demonstrates the importance of being specific when posting jobs in terms of titles. If you’re looking to hire an entry-level position, then give the job title a less superior sounding name like “assistant” or “analyst.” Conversely, if you’re looking to hire a more experienced professional, then add a more superior sounding title like “VP” or “Director.” This can help weed out candidates from applying for the wrong jobs, which in the end will save you time because you won’t need to sift through unqualified resumes.