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Rockstars, Gurus, and Ninjas: Companies Rebrand Their Jobs to Attract Millennials

Hoping to cultivate Millennial talent, companies try out alternative titles to common jobs

Today’s job landscape looks a lot different now than it did twenty years ago. The rise of entirely new industries and technology has introduced new jobs to the workforce, offering Millennials the opportunity to apply their new and specialized skills. With hip tech companies offering seemingly more exciting jobs, some traditional companies might find a shortage of applicants for their Human Resources or financial job openings.

What’s the solution?

Human Resources and financial jobs, for example, are still crucial to a company’s success, no matter the industry or age of a company. The answer could be rebranding these positions.

Instead of calling a job “Human Resources Manager,” JUUL Labs in San Francisco calls it a “People Operations Generalist.” Instead of hiring a “Legal Consultant,” Palantir in Palo Alto, California is hiring a “Legal Ninja.” And instead of hiring an accountant, Automattic in San Francisco is hiring a “Tax Wrangler.”

“Companies like to play ‘dress up,’” Ladders CEO Marc Cenedella told Business Insider. “By adopting the lingo, and mimicking the behavior of companies they want to be like, they hope to have some of the magic rub off on them.”

How does this look in practice?

Take the tech company SCVNGR, for example. Whereas once someone might apply to become the Chief Operating Officer, a job title with little question as to what it means, they are now applying for a job called “Chief Rockstar.”

Changing a job title will not likely change anything about the job description, but perhaps rebranding it will attract a different kind of talent. Of course getting applicants and hiring someone for the position is just the first step. It will still be up to companies to figure out how to best nurture the talent these Millennial employees bring to the table, and retain them long term.

Beyond a flashy title, companies will need to offer competitive salaries, comprehensive benefits packages, and paid time off to retain their “rockstars,” “gurus,” and “ninjas” and keep them working at their highest level.

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We lead national and international Gen Z, Millennial, and generational studies for our clients every day. We also keynote events around the world, helping businesses better understand their customers and workforce.

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