How to Attract Candidates With an Entrepreneurial Spirit

by Michael Haberman on April 6, 2016 · 4 comments


Entrepreneurial employees can bring big value to your organization

Entrepreneurial employees can bring big value to your organization

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Research by global performance management consulting company Gallup in 2015 found the best entrepreneurs are born with innate characteristics that drive them toward outperforming their peers and achieving success. Not everyone born with entrepreneurial spirit goes on to form their own businesses, though, and many are perusing job sites in hopes of making a difference as part of larger, already-formed companies.

Attracting them to your business provides myriad dividends. Inc. Magazine reports just a few of the assets those with an entrepreneurial spirit bring to a job include that they’re constantly innovating on how to make processes and products better, they love aggressive challenges and big-picture goals and they work autonomously and decisively, taking calculated risks when they deem them necessary. Candidates with entrepreneurial spirits are the future leaders of a business. Here’s how to get them to want to work for yours.

Make It Obvious You Want Them

From your company mission statement to your jobs posting page, use copywriting, photography and videography that showcases your business’ desire to work with those who have an entrepreneurial spirit and foster growth in those who do. Live Nation Entertainment uses the actual words “entrepreneurial spirit” in its LinkedIn job descriptions, as does global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company on its jobs page.

There are other ways to convey an entrepreneurial spirit beyond the actual term. For example, on its jobs page, DriveTime uses imagery depicting smiling employees coupled with employee testimonials giving examples of how the company has helped shaped their careers. The words “journey,” “continued learning” and “big picture” are prominently featured, which indicates to candidates that the company invests in its employees and wants to help them achieve long-term goals. When writing copy or using video testimonials from employees, focus on content related to meaningful advancement and constant innovation to draw entrepreneurs in.

Gauge Their Entrepreneurial Spirit During the Interview

The interview stage is another crucial opportunity to spell out the company’s desire to work with those with entrepreneurial spirits and gauge the candidate’s strengths in that area. Tailor questions in the interview to learn about the candidate’s drive and ambition, how they measure personal and professional success, and how independent they can be in producing amazing work.

Ask them about their short-term and long-term goals, ask how they’d handle specific situations to get a better idea of their problem-solving capabilities and find out their leadership style, what motivates them and how they gauge success. If they’ve worked for startups or small businesses in the past, ask questions that allow you to learn more about how their role affected the company. By asking questions focused on entrepreneurial spirit, you’re priming the candidate to associate qualities related to it as ones the business values.

Garner Strong Referrals From the Inside-Out

Candidate referrals are adored in human resources because they often deliver qualified candidates straight to the application department. Work with everyone from CEOs to lower-level managers to encourage them to foster a company culture that thrives on supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of every single employee, no matter what their rank is, so they’re more likely to refer exemplary candidates to apply. Outline action plans that allow all employees to work toward a path of growth in their careers that leads them on the path to obtaining their dream position if they fulfill requirements.

Gallup found factors that keep employees engaged are reliable open-door communication, clear expectations and performance reviews that occur beyond annual meetings. The poll also found a company focused on strengths produces and retains more productive employees. All higher-ups should focus on their subordinates’ strengths, and then create the best work environments for them to utilize those to better contribute to and expand company vision.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jobs April 11, 2016 at 8:12 pm

Great post! Developing Entrepreneurial skills are very important. Job seeker are more then the Jobs in India. So in future it would become mandate to have such skills.
HR or employer should always give this push and motivate to realise and achieve.

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Michael Haberman April 14, 2016 at 11:26 am

Thanks, I agree, especially with smaller company HR.

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