In this economy even more so than it has been in the past, executives think they can save some money by combining jobs and only hire one person instead of two or even three. This is false economics for a number of reasons.
1. Unless the positions are similar from a skill set and behavioral competencies perspective, you are setting both the person and the company up to fail. Trying to get someone to handle the company finances and sell a product is just foolhardy. A finance person, while liking numbers is usually less extraverted than is needed to be successful at selling. In contrast, a good salesperson will not be good at the finer details, they are typically BIG picture people and not oriented to micro details.
2. If people are working on more than what ‘fits’ into the normal eight hour day, then you need to hire more people or automate some of the processes. People will soon become burnt out and you will find sick days on the rise. Unplanned time away from the business is one of the easiest issues to resolve.
3. Companies can spend much more time ‘looking’ for this person due to the fact that the person won’t naturally exist. What is the opportunity cost of not having someone doing the job while you are looking for that hybrid?
If more company executives focused on building people and not companies, they would be more successful. Unless you are in manufacturing and machines do the work, then PEOPLE are your business. In the age of public companies and results driven by the share price, businesses have suffered.