A new hire feels like a bait-and-switch victim.
Q: I have become somewhat skeptical about my new job. One week after I was hired, the woman I was replacing decided not to leave. My manager said she was moving me to a marketing communications position, which she felt was a better match for my abilities.
However, when I received the paperwork from human resources, my job was listed as “customer relations specialist.” When I tried to correct this, the HR manager said that was just the official title in the system. Now I’m totally confused. Can they hire me for one job and then just put me anywhere they want?
A: While your skepticism is certainly understandable, this does not appear to be a “bait-and-switch” operation. When circumstances change unexpectedly, new hires will sometimes be placed in a different position. In the absence of a contract prohibiting such a move, your manager’s decision was probably legitimate.
As for your shifting job title, your manager appears to be using a “working title” that is more specific than the official payroll designation. When diverse positions are grouped together in the classification system, working titles can communicate someone’s actual duties more accurately.
For example, employees grouped under “human resources representative” might specialize in compensation, training, employee relations or a variety of other disciplines. A working title such as “compensation specialist” would more precisely convey their specific area of expertise.
So while the payroll system may consider you a “customer relations specialist,” you can still put “marketing communications” on your business card.