What's the difference between a Title and a Role?

We all know that the titles people have don't always accurately reflect the work they do within an organization, so we need a way to show this on an org chart.


What is a Title?

When you first add people to your org chart you will be asked to add a Title for them which is what you can consider to be someone's "official" Title. In some cases this might be more of a pay banding indicator e.g. "Junior Engineer" vs. "Senior Engineer", and doesn't necessarily give much detail about the actual work that they're doing. In other cases the Title may be a general description which acts as a catch all such as a Chief of Staff, and again, it doesn't necessarily provide accurate detail on the actual responsibilities the Chief of Staff has. With these two examples in mind, a person's Title might not change much except when they're promoted or if they change to an entirely different functional area.


What is a Role?

Roles are intended to provide a more accurate picture of the actual work a person does within an organization. To continue with our previous examples, our Junior Engineer might have a Role of "Frontend Developer" and with this Role they will have the expected Responsibilities that come with it. If we think about small, early stage organizations where people often wear many hats, and look at our Chief of Staff example again, then they may have multiple roles like "Talent Acquisition Specialist", "Operations Manager" and "People Operations" depending on how lean the organization is running. So, while people can only have one Title, they can have many Roles and those Roles provide the true insight into how your organization works.


Need to know how to hide and show Roles and Titles?