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How Hiring “Secret” Entrepreneurs Will Boost Your Business

“Entrepreneurial” is the latest buzzword in recruitment. Seems every company wants their own Richard Branson or Elon Musk. When combing through job descriptions, it is amazing how many companies are looking for “individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit.” However, the true question is: are they really? Many of our clients want people with an entrepreneurial spirit, who are hardworking and proactive. And you know what we say to them? That the most entrepreneurial people are…actual entrepreneurs! People who’ve proven they really go for it in their private lives as well as their careers. The working world’s real risk takers.

Is it a Risk?

The reality is that most companies, however, are reluctant to hire true entrepreneurs. They are worried about the employee’s “double life,” that the person’s entrepreneurial activities will conflict with their work. That they will be less committed to the company. We, on the other hand, believe hiring entrepreneurs is not any riskier at all, because the defining traits of an entrepreneur is the ability to take an idea and make it better. Isn’t this what we actually look for in our employees? It’s true, entrepreneurs tend to lead a double life, helping someone else build their dream while pouring their nights and weekends into their private goals. Even Superman had a day job. But is it true that entrepreneurs are less committed? We say…that it depends on how you define commitment. If you look up the word “commitment” in the dictionary, you’ll find two different definitions: 1) The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity. 2) An engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of actions. At Seuss, we prefer the first when defining our relationship with our team members. We’re happy to say that this definition is working for us—we’ve been seeing measurable benefits!

Concrete Benefits

Our team of entrepreneurs have already demonstrated their dedication—and we know we can count on them for creative ideas and hard work. Furthermore, the skills these self-starters are building off the job can help your business, too! Take, for instance, our account manager Jessica Kundapur, who co-wrote a book to help young people with lupus (Fabulupus). She’s also put those same writing and marketing skills to work for Seuss, too, helping us drive sales and growth! Recruitment consultant Lola Kawa, meanwhile, is able to directly apply the skills she’s built in her life as a psychologist (under the name Kawa Praktijk) to her work in getting to know candidates, uncovering their real motivations and finding their perfect professional fits. Even when one’s private work may not seem directly applicable to their job title at your company, entrepreneurs offer a variety of benefits. They’re simply happier, more confident, and wiser. Gyöngyvér Lukács may not get as much opportunity to put her pattern-making and clothing design skills to work while rocking out as one of our pharma recruitment consultants, but she can and does bring to work the passion and energy she accrues working toward her dream. When she coaches her candidates on working toward their own goals, they know that she knows what she’s talking about. Finally, employees who feel engaged and supported at work, also in their personal endeavors, are less likely to jump ship. In fact, they tend to be more dedicated to their employers, appreciative of the unique environment that’s allowing them to thrive on and off the job.

Coming Out 

The bottom line is that, if you are looking for the “entrepreneurial type,” you should look for actual entrepreneurs. If you interview a promising candidate with the entrepreneurial drive and energy that you are looking for, chances are that they may have a side project of their own. They might just be hiding it. Encourage them to “come out” about it, letting them know they’re in a safe space where they can and should talk about all their various passions. You might just discover skills that they can passionately put to use in their day job, above and beyond your expectations.

Written by Sabine Hutchison, co-founder of Seuss Consulting. Want to learn more? You can watch Sabine’s entire Power-UP presentation from the Drug Information Association (DIA) conference in June 2015 here.