What Is a Hybrid Role? Definition, Benefits and How To Create One

Updated July 21, 2022

While companies have traditionally designated one role to one person, hybrid roles are becoming more prominent. These roles incorporate multiple positions and responsibilities into one job, allowing for enhanced communication and teamwork in the workplace. Companies benefit from hybrid roles because they can increase productivity and employee morale. In this article, we define hybrid roles, discuss their benefits and outline how you can create one for your organization.

What is a hybrid role?

A hybrid role is a position that assigns two or more jobs to one person. The position can be exclusive to a department, but it often comes with responsibilities that span departments like IT, marketing and customer service. Professionals who succeed in hybrid roles are often fast learners who are comfortable working with little guidance.

Other useful skills for these positions include:

  • Verbal communication skills: Hybrid employees often communicate with many colleagues and customers. Developed verbal communication skills allow them to maintain relationships and ensure everyone understands each other.

  • Writing skills: Communicating successfully in written formats is just as important as verbal communication. When employees write clear emails and memos, they facilitate good communication within their organization.

  • Search engine optimization: Having a basic knowledge of search engine optimization can help hybrid employees work on websites and better understand their audiences.

  • Coding: When hybrid employees are familiar with coding, they can understand and operate the backend of products they work on, like websites and apps.

  • Adaptability: Because a hybrid role doesn't come with a comprehensive job description, it's important for employees to adapt to an organization's evolving needs.

  • Teamwork: Hybrid employees often work with colleagues from multiple departments, meaning they can benefit from collaborating on projects.

One example of a hybrid role is a graphic designer. These professionals use their artistic talent to create effective designs, but they may also spend a lot of time talking to clients. Productive communication allows them to create a design that appeals to their audiences. Most times, they also rely on technical skills to use advanced graphic design tools and financial literacy to manage their budget.

Related: How To Write a Hybrid Resume (With Template and Example)

Why is a hybrid role beneficial?

Here are several reasons why a hybrid role might work for your organization:

Attract top talent

Many talented professionals want careers where they can apply their skills to multiple responsibilities. Completing various tasks keeps them engaged and helps build their skill set to support professional development. When you can offer a flexible role, candidates may find your company more desirable than competitors who only offer traditional roles.

Improve productivity

When a company hires employees for a combination of roles, it may lead to an increase in productivity. Employees may become more interested in their job when they can stay busy and complete different tasks every day. This variety allows them to perform well and become more passionate. Having hybrid roles can also increase company productivity by building stronger connections between multiple departments. By understanding various parts of a project, teams can streamline communication and meet deadlines promptly.

Related: How To Improve Employee Productivity

Prevent layoffs

While layoffs can affect a company's morale, hybrid roles may help prevent them. Employees can refocus their efforts to more relevant positions if one of their positions suddenly becomes unavailable or unnecessary. The organization benefits by maintaining employee morale and reducing the costs of training new employees.

6 steps for creating a hybrid role

If you want to create a hybrid role within your organization, consider these steps:

1. Determine whether a hybrid role is right for your company

Some companies may benefit from traditional roles where professionals have a narrow set of responsibilities. Others find it's preferable to incorporate many responsibilities into one position. To determine whether a hybrid role can benefit your company, start by evaluating its needs. For instance, if your company wants to save on salaries or requires constant teamwork between different departments, a hybrid role may be an effective solution.

2. Write a job description

Once you decide on the hybrid role, define the position. Consider the employee's expected duties and write a thorough job description with these details. Hybrid role job descriptions often include duties categorized by department, clarifying what the employee can expect. While these descriptions may not be exhaustive because of the flexible nature of hybrid roles, ensure that you're including the major responsibilities.

Related: Job Profile vs. Job Description: What's the Difference?

3. Look internally

Current employees might be a good match for new hybrid roles because they're already familiar with how your organization works and can use the skills they've developed to fulfill multiple responsibilities. Consider informing employees about the new position to gauge interest. If employees contact you about the role, you can evaluate their skills to determine whether they're qualified. You can also contact employees who you feel would succeed in the new role and would enjoy a change of routine. They may appreciate that you considered them for the position.

4. Look externally

If you look for candidates outside of your organization, you may benefit from targeting candidates with a specific job history or qualifications. However, consider widening your search because ideal candidates for hybrid roles often have experience with problem-solving, communication and teamwork. These essential skills are important for succeeding in a flexible hybrid position. When you choose candidates who possess these skills, they may be more likely to adapt to ever-changing business needs and remain with your organization for several years.

5. Conduct experiential interviews

As you interview candidates, consider using an experiential approach. You can present situations the candidate might encounter in the position and ask how they would respond. Their answers can help you understand whether they can manage your organization's flexible needs and whether they're qualified to handle multiple responsibilities.

Related: 5 Situational Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

6. Provide support

After hiring an employee for a hybrid role, give them the support they need to succeed. You can offer training on all related positions to ensure they know their responsibilities and understand how your organization operates. You can also encourage them to ask questions if they're ever uncertain about their duties or tasks. Also, consider assigning them a more experienced employee as a mentor. This relationship can help new employees feel more comfortable as they adjust to their role and learn new processes.

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