When it started out in 1998, MrWeb's job advertising set out a number of levels and functions for candidates to select between, narrowing down their job search according to their wants and experience. About a third of these relate to specific areas such as fieldwork, IT and data processing or sales; the remaining two thirds are typical stages in a market research career. They were very appropriate in 1998, and they're not bad now, so we'll take them as a starting point.
There are six levels of seniority in the hierarchy, one of which we split into two depending on whether jobs are on the supply or client side.
Here they are set out with UK and US job titles / descriptions:
|Junior Research Exec / JRE / Trainee||Research Assistant / Entry Level Associate|
|Research Exec (RE)||Junior Analyst|
|Senior Research Exec (SRE)||Analyst|
|Project, Research or Account Manager
Research or Insight Manager (client side)
|Associate Director / (Junior) Research Director||Vice President / VP / Director|
|Director Level (and above, incl MD, CEO etc..)||Senior Vice President (plus, EVP, CEO etc..)|
The following section gives a quick summary of the way a traditional research career progresses (yes, still does, in many cases), and of what we look for when we code a job as one or more of the above, with the aim of getting it to roughly the right level of candidate. Note that there are 1,001 ways to do this (we've counted) and this is just one - but it's worked fairly well (lots of good feedback from candidates about how the links we send are more appropriate than other job sites), it will illustrate a possible career path, and it's a darn sight better than just looking at job titles, letting advertisers choose their own codes, or using keywords alone (whether analysed and coded by machine or human). We spend around 40 seconds on each job, which is long enough to scan a description and come to an informed view - and which when you multiply it by 135,000 jobs so far, is a lot of seconds.
A comprehensive guide to what we do, how it's changing, and who else does similar stuff.
The supply side: revenues, rankings and company info, full listings.