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Looking to Hire? Know Who Are T-Shaped Employees and Why You Should Hire Them!

Looking to Hire? Know Who Are T-Shaped Employees and Why You Should Hire Them!

“You’re not just hiring employees, but are sowing the seeds of your reputation.” The employees an organization hires are the driving force behind organizational growth and success. The cost of a bad hire is more than you can imagine, in addition to a monetary loss, it’s also the loss of an employee.

When you hire right, you -

1. Save Time and Costs :

It’s no secret that the hiring process is an expensive process – both in terms of time and money. Not only do the hiring/line managers have to take time out for it, but you also have to spend money on things like running ref-checks, skill tests, psychometric tests, etc. When you hire a wrong candidate, you have to go through the same hiring exercise all over again, , doubling the cost & time. A goodwill help you avoid this?? Hiring right is like a good investment made towards creating a happy, productive workforce, dedicated to learning and growing for years to come.

2. Avoid The Damage a Bad Hire Bring Along:

Bad hires tend to have a negative impact on a lot of different reasons. They can pose a risk of losing customers/can hurt your client relations through incompetence, create a negative environment at the workplace, etc. Bad hires will almost always damage your business in ways more than you can envisage.

3. Protect Your Employer Brand:

If your employees aren’t happy with their jobs or are not saying good things about your business – these reflect poorly on your company as an employer. Hiring the right people will protect your reputation and credibility as a competent employer.

“I” Shaped of Employees

I-shaped employees have deep knowledge and experience in one area but haven’t applied those skills to other areas. I-shaped people are specialists. Specialists have a single specialty or focus. They do not have much knowledge of different disciplines and prefer to work in one single type of job. Although the depth of experience is highly valuable, effective collaboration of different disciplines is also very vital these days. I-shaped people can excel in many workplaces, but typically not at places that demand high levels of collaborative working.

“X” Shaped of Employees

X shaped employees are employees who evolve into management and leadership positions and may work less on their original area of specialization, as they begin to deal more with strategy, etc. Usually these people are more about strategy and team management, The depth of their skill set is less important than their emotional intelligence, and their leadership qualities.

“T” Shaped of Employees

And finally coming to “T” shaped employees a T-shaped employee, in the context of human resources, is an individual who has deep knowledge and skills in a particular area of specialization, along with and the desire and ability to make connections across disciplines. The horizontal bar of the T symbolizes a breadth of general knowledge and soft skills, while the vertical stem of the T symbolizes the depth of technical hard skills. Essentially, a T-shaped individual is both a niche-topic specialist and a generalist with people skills.*

Why hire T-shaped employees?

Unlike an expert in one thing (I-shaped) or a “jack of all trades, master of none” generalist, a “t-shaped person” is an expert in at least one thing and additionally is also somewhat capable in many other things. An alternate phrase for “t-shaped” is “generalizing specialist”.

• They can offer wider support

Having an expert on your team is great, but having someone capable of picking up work from other people when they need support is even better. Someone with a lot of interests and experience such as a T-shaped person is the preferred choice as they can amend their style to fit the mold.

• They’re always flexible

They are flexible enough to take up new tasks & initiatives as well as help their team members to make sure that the overall goals and objectives are met.

• They can share experience and skills

As they stretch across a range of areas, they can encourage others to dabble in new skills too. This can lead to a stronger and more efficient team. They ace both hard and soft skills Hard skills, such as programming or design are the desirable core traits you’re looking for but softer skills such as critical thinking and networking make up the whole package.

How can you identify your T-shaped employees?

Seeking out T-shaped candidates can be somewhat tricky since they don't show up for job interviews with ''T-Skills''. Consider these personality traits when you're hiring:


T shaped employees are are quick to share the limelight. They won't speak only of their accomplishments, but those of people who have worked around them.


Candidates that may possess T-Skills will be able to clearly see how the role they're applying for dovetails with other roles inside the organization. They will be able to see the big picture of what the company is trying to accomplish and how different pieces of the organization fit into that overall picture.


Workers with T-Skills not only understand their roles but know how to communicate and work with individuals in different departments and teams. You'll observe them talking about facilitating those relationships in previous jobs, and they'll likely possess a desire to learn everything about an organization across the board.


Tools like personality assessments, pre-employment tests or employment screening tests, etc are used by employers to identify candidates that will be a good fit for their job roles. These tests help predict a new hire’s behavior, traits, on-the-job performance, retainability, etc. Such talent assessments will give the company an indication of how close a match the candidate taking the test will be to the company's hiring specifications.

Conclusion –:

Talent Search is difficult and having T-shaped individuals onboard can help ease out the difficulty. A T-shaped employee skill set is to rule in the future of work.

T shaped employees are assets to any company when mixed with experts and experienced employees.

The future of work will bring continue to as dynamic as ever, and therefore having a multidisciplinary team that is able to learn how to learn is essential. Consider looking for candidates with a variety of interests and skills to broaden out your team and ensure everything is covered.


1 : What are T-shaped employees, and why should businesses consider hiring them?

Answer : T-shaped employees are individuals with deep knowledge and skills in a specific area of specialization, combined with the ability to make connections across various disciplines. Businesses should consider hiring them because they offer broader support, flexibility, and the capability to share experience and skills.

2 : What distinguishes T-shaped employees from I-shaped and X-shaped employees?

Answer : T-shaped employees possess both depth in their specialized area and breadth of general knowledge and soft skills, making them generalizing specialists. In contrast, I-shaped employees are specialists with deep expertise in one area, while X-shaped employees focus on management and leadership roles.

3 : How can T-shaped employees benefit a company?

Answer : T-shaped employees can provide wider support to teams, offer flexibility in taking up new tasks, and encourage skill sharing among team members. They excel in both hard and soft skills, making them valuable assets to any organization.

4 : How can businesses identify T-shaped candidates during the hiring process?

Answer : To identify T-shaped candidates, businesses should look for traits such as collaboration, perspective, and strong communication skills. Personality assessments and pre-employment tests can also help in assessing candidates' suitability.

5 : Why is having T-shaped employees crucial for the future of work?

Answer : T-shaped employees are essential for the future of work because they can adapt to the dynamic nature of the workplace. Their multidisciplinary skills and ability to learn make them valuable contributors to a company's success.