When it comes to growing a business, Gary Vaynerchuk knows a thing or two. The renowned entrepreneur, you're no doubt already aware, is famous for turning a simple liquor story into a $60 million dollar business in just seven years using the magic of social media.

But this impressive accomplishment, he wrote on Medium recently, isn't just down to incredibly savvy marketing. It's also based on a great team, and as is always the case, a great team is all about smart hiring. So what does smart hiring look like at VaynerMedia?

Jack-of-all-trades...

According to Vaynerchuk his hiring strategy rests on one simple idea--in general, hire the jack-of-all-trades over the specialist. Which isn't to say that there are absolutely no occasions when you need someone with a single, incredibly deep expertise (if you're building a rocket, you should probably steer clear of the engineering generalist in favor of the candidate with exceptional aeronautics skills, for instance), but most of the time, Vaynerchuk, writes, the guy or gal who can do lots of different things is probably a better bet.

... master of none?

But don't generalists spread themselves too thin, you might object. By trying to learn too much they end up knowing nothing well, this line of thinking goes. But Vaynerchuk calls BS on such reasoning.

"I don't buy it. I don't believe in trying to strengthen weaknesses, but I do believe in working hard to be good at many things. In life you will be required to take on many different tasks. You might be really good at something now, but don't let that stop you from finding out what else you can dominate," he writes.

That goes for hiring, but it also goes for your personal development, he continues. Not only should you hire that jack-of-all-trades, but you should probably also strive to become one yourself. "We adapt and evolve our skill-sets depending on our particular situation in life. We do it all the time, so to consider yourself a specialist is limiting. And no excuses. When I hear people make the excuse that they can't do other things because they've gone so deep in one focus, it bothers me," Vaynerchuk continues.

"There's always room to get better in as many things as possible. Expand your arsenal because you'll never know when you'll need to tap into more than one skill. It'll speak to your agility and your ability to offer a number of benefits to a certain situation when the time calls for it," he concludes.

Do you agree with Vaynerchuk (not everyone does) about the merits of generalists?

Published on: Mar 25, 2015
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