When i hire a hireling, I choose the kind of hireling based on what I want them to do, and usually filling a gap which my current character doesn't do very well.
Sometimes, I take a cleric. For teh hjeals. Sometimes I take a bard for teh buffness. And sometimes I take a fighter or a barbarian for the smashing of things, be they monsters or just general smashing.
So why can't they smash? When I have a feeble Str10 arcane caster, and I take a Barbarian hireling into a dungeon, say, Co6, when I reach the two locked doors which cannot be picked or knocked because first you have to go into the side rooms where the levers are, and those side rooms have doors that need to be broken down.... well, I want my barbarian to smash them down for me.
And he can't. Actually that's not true. If he happens to have cleave I can stand him next to the door and hit cleave, then wait for the cooldown, then tell him to hit cleave again. That usually does it. But I can't tell him to 'attack' because on selecting the door the icon changes to 'interact'. If I click 'interact' nothing happens.
Ditto my artificer's pet. There was a time when the damn robot wouldn't leave boxes alone... but wooden doors? No. Sacrosanct.
Please sort this out. Barbarians like to smash stuff. You are stopping them. Please Devs, improve the working conditions of members of the Barbarian Hireling Guild and give them back their smashies?