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The Value of Transferable Skills and Multitasking


It’s useful if your administrator can pinch hit at the front desk if the receptionist is sick or if your sales rep can fill in their own forms if the administrator is away on vacation, but trying to kill two birds (or more) with one stone in your hiring is not a solid way to approach human resources! Just because someone CAN do two very different things does not mean that they SHOULD, within the context of a specific role.

Would you ever go to a family doctor for a cavity filling? Would you ever call your accountant to schedule a massage? Would you ever ask the cashier at the grocery store to cater an event you are hosting? Of course not!

This may sound ridiculous but, believe it or not, I see this every day in my business. Some clients will want to hire a graphic designer that they hope can double as a bookkeeper. Some will hire a deal secretary thinking they will also make a great listing coordinator. Some will hire a real estate salesperson to become an office administrator. Whether as an attempt to minimize overhead or lessen the staffing burden that they then have to manage, this kind of cross-role hiring usually doesn’t work out. Instead of doing one job and doing it well, they are hiring people to do several jobs and none of those roles will be fulfilled very well.

Now granted, there is a very small percentage of the population that can cross over from one set of skills to another, daily. They are sharp, quick learners who have a proven record of picking up new skills and some enjoy the challenge very much. But that’s not most people. For the majority of people, they fall into a personality type that does well in one type of job function.

Although in any small business, hiring someone who is versatile and able to wear many hats seems like great value, it sometimes comes with the price tag of “the jack of all trades and master of none”.  Someone who can do many things well, may not be exceptional at any one particular function.

Wherever your business is at, AGENTC can help guide you through the recruitment and selection process. For a complimentary assessment of your hiring needs, please contact us at

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