Why You Should Recruit Entrepreneurs

Young colleagues in office meeting by the window

The rise of the gig economy, the desire for ultimate flexible working and the Uber-isation of everything has ushered in a tidal wave of entrepreneurs.

Janine Chidlow, MD EMEA & Americas at Resource Solutions, reveals why recruiters should take the time to consider candidates with entrepreneurial experience.

Now more than ever, being your own boss has never been more on trend. As more and more “influencers” are monetising their lives on social media, I recently came across a group of young entrepreneurs who are trying to influence social good and change lives. 

Enactus is a leading youth action and youth enterprise education charity supporting 72,000 budding young entrepreneurs globally. By developing a network of socially minded future-leaders, Enactus helps transform communities through real-life social action and environmentally responsible enterprise.

I had the honour of being a final-round judge at Enactus’ UK Nationals competition, alongside other senior leaders from some of the world’s best known brands. University students from across the country pitched their business ideas to empower individuals using sustainable business and sound economic practices to develop innovative business models.

Presentation after presentation, I was blown away by their ingenuity, passion and professionalism. Whether the students progressed to the next stage of the competition or not, all the finalists would be valuable additions to any of the supporting organisations in the room. This led me to think about how entrepreneurs like these talented students would fare in traditional candidate selection processes.

Many talent acquisition professionals may look at a CV and see stints of entrepreneurial efforts and place them on the ‘no’ pile because they weren’t working in a comparable role in a similar working environment.

More and more organisations are opening up to the practice of ‘recruiting for potential’, which focuses on assessing potential employees on their tested ability and perceived potential, rather than on past experience alone. Here are just a few reasons why recruiters should take the time to consider potential candidates with entrepreneurial experience:

  • Entrepreneurs are innovative by nature
    Running your own operation with lean resources forces entrepreneurs to be innovative. They have experience in maximising shoe-string budgets to achieve the biggest possible impact. Solutions to business set-backs are devised from a place of resourcefulness and ingenuity—traits valued by any business looking to stand out from its competitors.

  • Entrepreneurs understand the value of building relationships
    Any entrepreneur knows that you cannot grow a business without spreading the word and making meaningful connections in the process. This means that they can also come into a new role with established vendor relationships, industry contacts, and other go-to resources that could be useful when delivering future projects.

  • Entrepreneurs are resilient
    Whether their last venture was a success or not, every entrepreneur will have a story about how they were tenacious in tough times. Their ability to fail fast and get back up faster can save companies time and resources.

  • Entrepreneurs can empathise
    At one point in their previous ventures they were the CEO, CMO, CFO, and COO. They have been both the queen bee and the worker bee. Wearing so many different hats at one time can provide a unique perspective that can be beneficial in a leadership role. They can get into the details but also think about the big picture, keeping in mind their employer’s bottom line.

Candidates with entrepreneurial experience can add massive value to companies. However, some may fear that they may not adjust well to structure and set processes. For the benefits of hiring an entrepreneur to offset the potential risk, employers must first assess the importance of cultivating innovation and diversity of thought within their organisations.

Having the freedom to make decisions and grow your own part of the business makes for a rewarding career. At Resource Solutions, entrepreneurialism is key to our strategy for growth, and we hire people with independent mindsets who can spot opportunities for growing the business. We’re proud that many of our senior management team have been with us for over 13 years and have grown the business across the globe as they’ve grown their own careers. Find out more about careers at Resource Solutions.
 

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