When you create a delicious recipe, you mix different ingredients and spices together, and you end up with flavors that blend well for the perfect end result.
The same is true of your team members. Your cross-functional hire can create a full-bodied, diverse product for your business. Cross-functional employees can make better decisions, work faster, and provide an overall better customer experience for your business.
Generally, cross-functional teams are a group of people with different functional expertise who are working towards one common goal.
Who can be part of this team? It may be people from marketing, human resources, finance, sales, and operations. It could include people from outside your business as well.
Or, because you may need to run a little lean, a cross-functional employee at your start-up may mean several people wearing multiple hats.
In this article, we look at the five benefits of making a cross-functional hire. We look at the value and the benefits, and how they can work for you.
#1: It is a Growth Opportunity
Your employees will appreciate the chance to learn new skills.
They also will relish the career growth opportunity. When you offer an employee cross-functional duties, they can become more multi-faceted. This in turn not only helps them, but it helps your startup.
#2: It Uncovers New Strengths
By giving your staff new responsibilities and making them part of a cross-functional team, you’ll find they offer new perspectives. They can show you a different way of looking at or doing new things.
Not only do you uncover new strengths you didn’t know they had, you’ll find the offer a fresh perspective when problem-solving and working to grow your startup.
#3: It Builds Relationships
A cross-functional hire can bring teams together. They build camaraderie between team members and your startup group as a whole.
You’ll find that your staff develops new relationships among themselves, but also with your vendors, and your customers.
#4: It Encourages Collaboration
A cross-functional team member provides extra value for your startup because they encourage teamwork and collaboration.
You can transition employees to another role, add to a current one, and even transition them to another department. This provides an opportunity for two departments to work together.
For example, your marketing team and your human resources team will find a cross benefit.
#5: It Helps Fill in the Gaps
As a startup, funds may be lean, so cross-functional employees allow you to fill in the gaps and allow others to handle tasks when you aren’t able to.
Bottom line: cross-functional hires help your startup grow while getting you more value for your money.
Startup employees tend to take on more responsibilities as they scale depending on the stage of on-boarding. Being proactive in creating a cross-functional role and hiring a cross-functional employee can mitigate frustration, confusion and work overload while creating a recipe for success by filling a need, increasing employee happiness, providing career growth, promoting team collaboration, uncovering new ideas and getting things done.
Hiring a cross-functional team member is a clever way to navigate more effectively and more efficiently towards a single goal.
A Cross-functional hire may mean one person with multiple skill sets, or it can be one person fulfilling two roles. Whichever way works for your startup, you have the opportunity to get more value for your dollar.
You can broaden your employees’ skill sets so they can take on more tasks. They will save you money, learn more, and potentially help out another department.
This is a great time to put a cross-functional team into place as many startups are running lean during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consider doubling up staff positions. Here are some suggestions:
One person can take on operations and finance responsibilities.
Or someone can take on human resources and operations.
You could put sales and marketing together.
Give someone the jobs of project manager and office manager.
Join marketing, communications, and operations.
Have one team member take care of operations and project management.
The possibilities are endless. Working with the strengths of your team members can also help you put tasks together in the appropriate way for your startup.
It is important to note two things when making a cross-functional hire: Cross-functional hires should not be expected to carry the workload of two full time positions. It is imperative the new hire’s strengths and aptitude for the skill-set required are aligned with the functions and responsibilities of the position. If not, it could be very damaging to the company or team, causing bad moral and unhappy employees.
If you want to hire a cross-functional role or have hiring needs, Carbon 3 Recruiting can provide you with qualified candidates who align with your culture and values.