Releasing Emsi Open Titles

Published on Mar 30, 2021

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

Releasing Emsi Open Titles

Read the press release

The problem: a mess of internal job titles

We’re excited to announce the release of Emsi Open Titles, a new open-source library designed to help companies clean up their job-title chaos and transform the way they benchmark their talent.

Employers frequently wrestle with three problems when it comes to their own job titles:

  1. Hyper-specialized job titlesMaster Jedi of Cleaning. Cyberspace Policy Analyst. Feral Iguana Trapper. Mystery Shopper. Multiple Launch Rocket Fire Direction Specialist. Yes, these are all actual job titles! Problem is, they communicate…almost nothing. The workers still need to explain what they actually do. In fact, with over-specific titles like these, employers themselves often can’t tell what their own employees do or the skills they have!

  2. Repetitive job titles – Job title bloat: different titles for nearly identical roles. Product Specialist, Product Marketer, Product Analyst, Product Ninja, etc. Thanks to repetitive titles, employers can’t tell exactly how many of their employers could fill the same roles or possess similar skills—or even if the organization has too many people doing the same job. 

  3. Vague job titles – The opposite problem occurs when the same job title is used to describe different roles. For example, Software Engineer 1 tells you precious little because the title describes very different jobs, depending on the company or industry.

Bogged down by this confusion, employers struggle to find, recruit, and communicate with the talent they need to hire. 

That’s why Emsi created Emsi Open Titles

The solution: Emsi Open Titles

Emsi Open Titles distills over 20 million real-world jobs titles (collected from over a billion job postings, resumes, and profiles) into 75,000 standardized titles. Through a process called normalization, Emsi Open Titles uses these standardized titles to translate employers’ internal titles into the language of SOC codes. Each internal job title is tagged with the appropriate real-world title. For example, Product Ninja equals Product Manager. Bottom line, with the help of Emsi Open Titles, employers can now discover the real-world names for all their internal roles—while keeping their own titles if they so desire.

“Job titles can get weird and out of control,” said Andrew Crapuchettes, CEO of Emsi. “I once talked to a company that had 9,000 employees and 7,000 job titles. So we created Emsi Open Titles because we wanted to help employers normalize their job titles, get on the same page as everybody else, and grow their organizations.” 

Emsi Open Titles, updated every two weeks, is a free API that allows organizations to compare their internal roles with trends in the broader labor market in a matter of seconds. Until now, such a comparison has required manual research—a process that is onerous, expensive, and often too lengthy to offer relevant information in a fast-moving economy.

The free API includes the ability to:

  • Download the full library and machine readable IDs

  • Search and autocomplete within the library

  • Test job title normalization up to 50 times

Our adopters

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will support the use of Emsi Open Titles in training US employers on how to build talent pipelines. The Chamber Foundation plans to put the new tool to use as part of its workforce efforts across the country. 

“Better signaling about in-demand jobs starts with the job title,” said Jason Tyszko, vice president, Center of Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “While many companies want the ability to differentiate their positions and opportunities with creative names and descriptions, it helps to have a shared approach for how we title them so that we know which jobs are roughly comparable and which are different. We experience this firsthand when supporting our employer networks in addressing their talent needs. Having employers develop a shared language for describing their in-demand jobs is a critical step in improving how they signal their needs to prospective job applicants and the partners they source talent from.”

Credly is enhancing their offering by adopting Emsi Open Titles to drive better alignment with the labor market and drive upward mobility through credentials. Emsi Open Titles will improve the credential authoring process, offer enhanced searching, and discovering of credentials for professionals, and highlight credential signals based on job titles.

“As verified skills and credentials have become the common currency for what people know and can do, the need for a common understanding of what those skills ‘buy’ in terms of actual jobs in the labor market has become more important,” said Jonathan Finkelstein, CEO of Credly. “Partnering with Emsi on a new approach to job titles will help employers and professionals remove needlessly complex barriers to connecting the right talent to the right opportunities and unlock upward mobility at scale.”

Visier, the recognized leader in people analytics, is another early adopter of Emsi Open Titles. “Many people’s analytics teams struggle with messy and inconsistent job names,” said Ian Cook, VP of people analytics at Visier. “Comparing jobs is at the core of the most critical and high-value questions related to people. Having an easy way to standardize job names removes this core challenge and brings incredible value to the business.” 

The Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) is also supporting Emsi in the announcement. Brian Fitzgerald, CEO of BHEF, said: “Together, BHEF’s business and higher education members develop diverse, competitive, ready-to-work talent. Emsi’s job-title data helps our members map career pathways and increase their skills-based practices. When data is widely available and open-source, higher education can better advise students, and businesses can find and hire the right talent.”

“Job titles play a crucial role in the search for a new job,” said Shannon Block, chief digital officer at Markle. “If a job title clearly reflects the skills a person has and how they interact with their colleagues, it helps jobseekers understand what is needed for the role. This is particularly helpful when comparing roles across different sectors. Employers should ensure a job title clearly defines the role they are hiring for and is aligned with the skills-based interview questions and assessments. Emsi’s work to promote alignment across job titles is very promising in creating more transparency for jobseekers, and I’m excited to share this work with the Rework America Alliance as we work to help low income and unemployed workers move into good jobs.” 

“Emsi Open Titles is a game-changer,” said Johannes Wedenig, convener of the Youth Agency Marketplace at Yoma, a digital marketplace that connects youth, employers, and social impact organizations. “Emsi Open Titles will allow our user base to communicate their current and past responsibilities in a standard way, making it easier for potential employers to understand the skillsets and experience of our young people.”

About our adopters

About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.

About Credly

Credly is helping the world speak a common language about people’s knowledge, skills, and abilities. Thousands of employers, training organizations, associations, certification programs, and workforce development initiatives use Credly to help individuals translate their learning experiences into professional opportunities using trusted, portable, digital credentials. Credly empowers organizations to attract, engage, develop, and retain talent with enterprise-class tools that generate data-driven insights to address skills gaps and highlight opportunities through an unmatched global network of credential issuers.

About Visier

Visier‘s purpose is to help people see the truth and create a better future—now. Visier was founded to focus on what matters to business people: answering the right questions, even the ones a person might not know to ask. Questions that shape business strategy, provide the impetus for taking action, and drive better business results. Visier delivers fast, clear people insight by using all the available people data—regardless of source. With best-practice expertise built-in, decision-makers can confidently take action. Thanks to our amazing customers, Visier is the market leader in Workforce Analytics with more than 6,000 customers in 75 countries around the world.

About the Business-Higher Education Forum 

The Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) is a 40+-year-old nonprofit membership organization of C-suite executives and college and university presidents committed to the creation of a skilled, diverse and inclusive workforce. BHEF convenes business and higher education leaders to create workforce solutions. Using a data-driven approach, we align industry with colleges and universities on talent development, surface in-demand skills, and foster the future of credential development. BHEF’s business-higher education partnerships enable organizations and individuals to adapt to an increasingly digital and rapidly changing economy.

About Markle

Today, as millions are unemployed and advanced technology and automation are changing the very nature of work, Markle‘s priority is advancing solutions toward a labor market that will enable workers in America to move into good jobs in the digital economy. Most recently, Markle formed the Rework America Alliance, a nationwide collaboration to enable unemployed and low wage workers to emerge from this crisis stronger. The Alliance aims to help millions of workers, regardless of formal education—particularly people of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the crisis—move into good jobs in the digital economy by accelerating the development of an effective system of worker training aligned to jobs that employers will need to fill.

About Yoma 

Yoma, powered by Atingi, is a digital marketplace for youth across the world to build and transform their futures by actively engaging in social impact tasks and learning-to-earning opportunities. Developed by and for young Africans to increase youth agency, Yoma is an ecosystem that connects youth, potential future employers, and social impact organizations. Using ethical and privacy-preserving machine learning algorithms, Yoma provides youth participants with individualised opportunities for engagement and skills acquisition.

Read the press release

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