It often happens that jobs are confused due to lack of information or knowledge about that. In many cases it is assumed that jobs are exactly the same thing because they belong to the same job “family”. As said, this misunderstanding depends on the knowledge and the exposure that you have (or not) to that work activities; if this “confusion” happens in your organization, then there is a clear lack in communication and information sharing.
Among the various job families that suffer of that generalization there is my world: Human Resources. For example, people tend to confuse the work of HR Business Partners, HR Operations, Compensation and Recruiting teams, just to name a few; as we will see later, I’m not saying that these worlds are totally apart but surely there are substantial differences that you need to consider or being aware of.
The first difference is related to the knowledge and technical expertise that professionals have of that specific subject. For example, a recruiter is not necessarily expert in labour law as a HR Business Partner; or they both are not the major experts in payroll technicalities. In addition to this, the organizational processes which guide the action of a specific function could be totally different to the processes of the other one. Then, we must not assume that regarding a specific situation/case (i.e. a candidate interview or a promotion) all the HR functions are aware of that; in fact, due to a correct information segregation only certain type of information is shared.
Apart from what just said, for a HR professional which should be the “border” of expertise between a function and another? No limits, the maximum expertise possible. Someone might say, “Okay, now you are contradicting yourself”. Not really. There is the need for external differentiation of the HR roles for people who are not part of that “job family”. In other words, for a correct positioning towards external stakeholders (people who are not part of the HR department.) these jobs need to be clearly separated and being perceived as different. For a HR professional the extensive knowledge of HR practices is related to personal growth and need to reach the maximum extension possible. In addition, of course, as natural consequence of the personal growth there is also the organization one; regarding the latter, one of the overall HR function goal is improving the collaboration between the different jobs of the family.