Entrepreneurship has become one of the key buzzword in many circles. Whether it’s at a university and they are creating courses, programs, and minors in entrepreneurship, or in big corporations and labeling it as innovation centers, and even at the municipality level when cities and regions are looking to create co-workspaces or incubators for entrepreneurs and emerging companies. The desire for attracting and developing entrepreneurial spirit is all around us.
So what are the keys to attracting entrepreneurial talent to these programs, organizations and regions regardless of their sector or industry?
1. Understand Their Needs
Entrepreneurial individuals are wired a little different, so their motives are often different than those of a traditional employee. There are often certain emotional needs that they desire in a role within an organization. Many times this comes in the form of a certain title, special arrangement, or ability to focus on those skills that they are most comfortable with and competent doing.
2. Ask Questions to Understand Their Compensation Desires
By asking questions around what motivates them, you will begin to understand how to structure compensation. Entrepreneurial environments are very focused and highly productive, yet give an atmosphere of working when you want, where you want on what you want. By covering a person’s basic needs and creating some type of compensation around those needs will create success. An added bonus for most entrepreneurial individuals is some form of incentive-based compensation with no ceiling, it tends to be pretty interesting and a win-win scenario for all parties involved.
3. Work When They Want, Where They Want, On What They Want
Now this may seem counter intuitive to having them be part of the team, yet, in the long term the entrepreneurial candidate will be more focused and productive. By creating clear outcomes and deliverables for them that allow them to be innovative and creative while executing, will create a very productive environment. Also, many of these people enjoy the ability to travel, work remotely and operate in a fashion that can seem very independent to a more traditional office culture. The key is to create a way for them to be part of the organization or program and have a sense of independence with productive alternatives will attract and keep entrepreneurial talent.
The entrepreneurial spirit in its purist form is about how we can collaborate, how individuals can empower each other. So ask questions about what this would look like to your entrepreneurial candidate. The opportunity to work together, to brainstorm, to problem-solve as a group are things that are important to these types of individuals. Having group activities, or projects, or even book clubs are all items that can be intriguing to them. Therefore, it is important to find out what type s of things would motivate each candidate. And, if you don’t currently offer what they suggest, they may be the person to empower to establish these protocols within your organization.
5. Learn The Rules So You Can Break Them
For most HR departments, as with any General Counsel, when they read this they begin to worry. However, breaking the rules should not be thought of as violating, rather think of it as innovation and creativity. The entrepreneurial spirit, the thought process, their mind, is always creating, innovating, and looking for new and better ways to do something. Which to most organizations results in efficiency, and effectiveness. Although many times these suggestions may seem wild or abstract or unreasonable. Once the organization takes a step back and really thinks through it, what they’ll find is the innovative and creative solutions are great for the company in all areas, not just financially, but also from a productivity and culture standpoint as well.
6. Understand Their Vision
The ultimate key to ensuring an entrepreneurial candidate will be a long term fit is in understanding their vision and where this opportunity fits into their life goals or career outcomes. When you begin to understand their ‘why’ and what makes them tick, and what exactly this opportunity means to them, you can really understand if they will fit into your organization, and how they will fit in. So long as you can work within your organization’s parameters to bring this person in, over a period of time, you will have a match made in heaven.
What is very interesting is that entrepreneurialism is a lot like the cycle of life. We all start out as entrepreneurs as every business in America at some point started out with an entrepreneur and an idea, and over time it grew into an organization with a large team and a certain culture. For most organizations, at some point, there is a shift in their culture, which moves them from the entrepreneurial spirit that got them to their growth, and into a corporate culture to maintain the processes and systems necessary for their continued and ongoing success. So, if we historical journalism, we will find the roots of all our programs, organization and regions success goes back to a few men and women who had a vision for the future.
What we are finding now more than ever is that people are leaving organizations because they want that entrepreneurial spirit. It is a big challenge for organizations to find ways to attract this entrepreneurial talent and keep the existing entrepreneurial talent they currently employ. By asking the right questions of potential team members and candidates, an organization can find individuals to join their team to assist in their entrepreneurial innovation and creativity.
Remember, the thinking that got you here, will not get you there.