It’s the age-old conundrum, do you hire someone who has experience in one area so you know they are good at it (depth) or do you hire someone who can wear many hats who can cover many aspects of the project (breadth)?
First, let’s go over some pros of both.
Pros – Specialized
- Guaranteed knowledge of tasks within the role
- Most likely will have experience with similar projects
- Will be able to educate other members on the team
- Solid understanding of best practices
- May be able to help overall current process to be more efficient
Pros – Well-Rounded
- May have a better understanding of how the pieces of the project work together
- Will be able to relate with multiple members of the team based on diverse background
- Willing to learn new functions or skills as it pertains to the job
- Eclectic job history may allow for an understanding of possible pitfalls of the project
- May come in with “fresh eyes” to help overall project or process
So, which one is best?
The short answer: neither. Every project is going to be different and will require different talent and skill sets.
That’s not much of an answer, now is it?
Which one I think is best…
Before anyone tries to put me on the stake, this is based off my own experiences and what I have seen. This is not law and is one person’s opinion.
I think that it is more important to be well-rounded. My logic is that in my career it has allowed me to fill multiple roles and has largely kept me employed very frequently.
There was a period were I was laid off and the recruiting agency that was trying to place me said that it was not hard to find gigs for me because I had such a great background.
I will say this, I think it is very important to hone in on two or three related things. For me that was digital design, marketing strategy and PPC. All of them are closely related and have positioned me as a digital marketing consultant.
I also think it is helpful to have an industry that you are specialized in. I have been in education/training and IT for as long as I can remember and it has been very important for my career and as an entrepreneur.
That’s a lot of words, what are you actually saying?
Great question, I am saying that I think it is important to have three things you are good at that are somewhat related and to have an industry that you are experienced in.
For me, this has yielded great results. That’s not to say there is not another way.
So, what do you think? Depth or breadth?
Recruiting friends, I would love to hear your two cents.