Why Companies (Should) Hire Entrepreneurs

The entrepreneurial spirit is becoming more and more attractive to today’s hiring managers because they know they’re getting a motivated, self-starter when they hire someone with a proven track record. Still, many HR departments remain leery of hiring someone they feel may be a one-man band control freak.

What those companies miss is the fact that they’re wasting their time trying to simply fill open positions with just another body. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, bring tangible and intangible assets to an organization that will promote growth… versus someone who comes in and follows their job description without looking for opportunities to go above and beyond.

The challenge is as old as mankind: most leaders are afraid of welcoming in someone they feel is smarter or more capable than they are. It’s a power struggle in most cases, but the greatest leaders will realize that having smarter people around them only makes the whole organization stronger. Entrepreneurs may challenge the status quo, but that’s what drives growth. While growth should be the ultimate goal of any hire, there are several more reasons to hire an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs know when to lead… and when to follow.

Businesses need leaders who show they can bring innovation and new ideas to reality. The world is changing quickly, and companies need to be able to match that speed with their product and service innovation… but it’s not always wise to be the first to market. Entrepreneurs know how to walk the line between jumping on an opportunity and capitalizing on new ideas and holding back to see if iterating may be better than innovating.

Entrepreneurs understand the big picture.

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A smart entrepreneur understands all aspects of a business and how a decision in manufacturing will directly affect purchasing, shipping, merchandising, marketing, etc. That’s why they’re so good at timing (i.e. being first to market with a new product or waiting to launch a “knock off” that fixes the mistakes of the original). Entrepreneurs are used to wearing every hat within an organization, which can be very beneficial to large, complex businesses that need an outsider’s comprehensive take from within its own walls.

Entrepreneurs are driven by mission and vision.

According to LinkedIn.com, “entrepreneurs tend to care very little about titles, daily responsibilities, and ‘on-paper’ job descriptions…. They’re more interested in the ‘why’ of a job, as well as the ability to make the biggest possible impact.” As a result, entrepreneurs will work hard to seek out new ways to improve the overall efficiency of a company because he or she identifies strongly with the overall mission. This is a unique perspective the average employee does not bring to an organization… one that can not only help improve processes and boost profit, but one that can also see into the future to help the company avoid costly mistakes.

Entrepreneurs love ambiguity.

This may not sound like much of a selling point, but consider large organizations that may be considering expanding a department or launching a new program. In many such cases, job descriptions are vague at best because the company doesn’t quite know yet what that expanded department, new program, or new product looks like. They need someone with an entrepreneurial spirit to come in, take on a leadership role (often without being told to do so), and help define the vision of that new team.

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There are many reasons a confident leadership team should consider bringing on board someone with an entrepreneurial background. They’ll challenge the way things are done, they’ll seek out leadership roles, and uncover new ways of thinking and doing that could lead to dramatic growth. The challenge for CEOs and managers is to set aside their ego for the sake of their company’s future.