The Wall Street Journal offers an article about companies combining 2 jobs into 1 and then hiring based on the lower level job.  The author explains it better than me:

Some job hunters have been encountering a new kind of downsizing: companies that aren’t eliminating positions entirely, but are combining a mid-level position with a more junior one — then advertising it as a junior slot and offering a lower salary.

I’m not sure this is the best approach to hiring in that you often get what you pay for.  One of my suggestions would be to assess the candidates if you go this route.  There are many talented, young candidates who could grow into a larger role quickly since they have the talent to succeed.  However, if you are not assessing, you may get caught over-relying upon your gut.  Or biases.  Or blind spots.

Recruiters say the trend is accelerating as earnings sink and companies scramble to cut costs any way they can. “Throughout every economic downturn, there’s a contraction in the U.S. economy and firms rethink how they organize themselves,” says Clark Beecher, managing director of Magellan International, an executive-search firm based in Houston. “They will bring in one person to do three people’s jobs and stretch their assets.”

We see the world through sales-colored glasses, but this trend is in the sales world too.  More and more companies are looking for salespeople to “manage the relationship.”  That is code for customer service.  I’m ok with that approach as long as the expectations are set properly.  One thing is for sure, hunters often make bad customer service reps.

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