How to Hire for a Role that Requires a Blend of Skills

Jobs are evolving. Businesses change and as a result they need to adapt their workforce. As a result, many businesses are looking for employees who demonstrate a blend of skills – skills that would traditionally be thought of as belonging to different disciplines.

For example, HR departments may begin looking for IT-savvy candidates confident using databases and the latest HR software. Or perhaps a customer service department will be looking for someone with fantastic customer-facing skills whilst also being analytical and numerate to allow them to analyse customer trends.

Anne CorderPerhaps one of the most common examples is in marketing. More and more organisations are looking for marketing personnel that combine both traditional, offline skills in PR, marketing strategy, advertising or similar alongside digital marketing skills that demand expertise in social media, content marketing, web development and more.

If you want to know more about hiring employees with digital skills, have a read of my blog: 5 tips to help you find employees with digital skills

Unique recruitment challenges

As these jobs are unique to each organisation, and they demand a range of skills, they can also raise unique recruitment challenges. Not only are you looking for candidates who exhibit the right cultural fit for your organisation, you’re also looking for someone who demonstrates expertise in different disciplines – and they’ll likely be highly sought after for their flexibility.

So how can organisations still hire right for these ‘hybrid’ roles? At Anne Corder Recruitment we’ve seen a real increase in the number of businesses who have approached us regarding these types of roles – and we’ve been able to successfully find them some great candidates. Hopefully this blog post with impart some of what we’ve picked up whilst searching for the perfect hybrid candidate!

Hiring for hybrid jobs

To start with, we define a hybrid job as:

“A job that combines two or more job roles, requiring a blend of skills. A hybrid job offers employees diversity and the opportunity to develop across a broader range of disciplines.” You can find out more about hybrid jobs from the candidate’s perspective in our jobseekers blog.

For many employers, this type of job will strike a familiar note. Many jobs in today’s market require candidates to demonstrate a range of skills – you just may not have applied the term ‘hybrid’ to that type of role.

To help the recruitment process go smoothly employers should clarify their objectives, focus on the potential of candidates and get their job description right from the word go:

Clarify your objectives

Before you start looking for candidates it’s important that you assess your objectives and what you hope to achieve through the introduction of the role.

Start by asking why are you hiring for a hybrid job? Is it for cost-cutting purposes, to merge two roles into one? Or is it due to a change in organisational structure or out of business necessity to allow you to bring in a new skillset?

By establishing why you’re beginning the recruitment process you’ll be able to understand exactly what you want to see in a candidate. You’ll have a clearer idea of how the role will impact the department and team. When you’re looking for someone with a broad skillset it can be difficult to focus your objectives, so taking time at the start to clarify these can really help.

Equally, by understanding what you want the final hire to bring to your organisation you’ll also be able to pinpoint the skills you deem an absolute necessity. Hence you’ll have a level of flexibility when it comes to hiring but you won’t cut corners on the skills that really matter.

CollaborationRemember the benefits for the employee

Hybrid roles don’t just benefit the employer; they can also offer some great opportunities for employees. To start with, those in hybrid roles often experience a lot of job satisfaction from being able to vary their day across different tasks and multiple disciplines. They’ll gain experience across different areas and hence could possibly specialise at a later date.

With all this in mind it’s important that you offer the right progression opportunities for the right candidate. If they develop a particular interest in one area, would they have the opportunity to progress solely into that discipline? Or can they continue to progress into new roles that require the same range of skills?

Look for potential

Due to the nature of hybrid jobs it’s important that you don’t restrict yourself too much. It may be that you need to offer training opportunities to a candidate who demonstrates an eagerness to develop new skills and looks to be a great cultural fit. Go back to your objectives and remind yourself of what skills were absolute necessities and look at how you could help the right candidate develop the other skills too.

Get your job title and description right

When it comes to advertising your job opportunity it’s key that you make it as clear as possible what you’re looking for. Hybrid jobs have the potential to be confusing to candidates. Without full explanation in the job description a candidate may not be sure where the job role will sit within an organisation, what skills are an absolute priority or whether they would be a good fit.

Choose the job title for the role carefully and clearly establish what you’re looking for in potential candidates. Explain as much as you can about the role whilst still keeping your job description punchy.

Finally, speak to your recruitment agency about all of these factors – they can help you understand more about the type of candidate you need whilst also writing a job description that catches the attention of the right jobseekers. Not only that but they can dip into their pool of candidates, who they already know demonstrate the skills you’re looking for. Good luck!

About the Author

Anne Corder

Anne Corder

Owner

Whilst still actively handling recruitment assignments, Anne specialises in Human Resources with many years of experience in that sector. She blogs on wider recruitment issues affecting both candidates and clients, commenting and offering tips and advice to help achieve the right outcomes.