Is Job Title an Accurate Indicator of Where You Are in Your Security Career?
Your job title is not always a good indicator of where you are in your career. We have conducted a wide variety of recruitment projects around the world for our clients. One consistency is that there is no consistency. At least insofar as security job titles are concerned.
Our completed projects cover many industries. So, it is not surprising that we have seen well over a hundred different variations of the title that describes the senior-most security position in an organization. Especially when you factor in global norms and company structures.
We have chaired the ASIS committee that developed – and then updated – the ANSI standard for the Chief Security Officer position, commonly held out as one of the top security jobs in companies today. And we work closely with the Foushée Group each year as they update job descriptions relevant to the security profession.
So, it is always a concern when we see security practitioners who limit their career success to the title on their business cards rather than what a job really is. What the compensation might be and what career advancement opportunities will present themselves. It is common for candidates to tell us they are at a manager level and their next career move must absolutely be to a director level role.
Job titles are complicated things. Large organizations apply complex thinking to the management of positions, titles and compensation within their structures. Many components factor into their comparative analyses. They consider degree of supervision, impact, influence and scope of responsibility. The size and scope of the organization and the geographic area that will be served by a position are also considered.
It is not uncommon for companies to seek parity across departments by standardizing job titles. Examples of ones we see are Senior Associate; Specialist; Manager I, II or III; Leader; Senior Advisor. Leveled across an organization, the operational titles and functional titles can be very different.
However, we regularly see compensation packages for manager-level positions within multinationals that greatly exceed total compensation packages for other jobs with bigger titles.
Curious to know more about naming conventions for job titles in the security profession? Contact us! If you are a candidate, sign up for SMR’s job announcements and have the latest security jobs delivered to your in box. If you haven’t already, join our security talent community so we can reach out to you directly.