So you’ve advertised a position for a role in your company, you’ve got a set of key selection criteria you need filled and are looking over the applications flooding into your inbox.
You notice one person who has operated their own business, successfully sold it, and is now looking at entering paid employment. Before you slip the application to the bottom of the pile, or worse still, delete it from your inbox, consider what hiring an entrepreneur could mean for your company.
Whereas the majority of potential applicants might fit comfortably into the job description that you wrote and you can sit back and let them dutifully fulfil their role, entrepreneurs will go above and beyond what you expected with their natural disposition to solve problems and create solutions to problems that other employees are unlikely to even consider. Sometimes hiring someone who ticks the boxes is a limiting strategy.
One entrepreneur I know sold a business he’d grown from nothing to achieving a multi million dollar turnover, yet once on the job market couldn’t get an interview. He had no ‘formal qualifications’ (apparently what employers are looking for) yet everything he’d built for himself had turned to gold. After months of searching he gave up trying to convince employers to hire him and instead launched another business which is currently on track to establish him as an industry leader. By not hiring him, companies have missed out on the opportunity to be the leader themselves.
Another woman I spoke to has launched and sold two successful marketing companies yet was told that she “didn’t have enough experience” that the marketing firm was looking for.
When are employers going to realise the benefits of bringing entrepreneurs into their teams and acknowledge the skills that entrepreneurs have to drive unprecedented growth?
As I search for a job myself, I am confronted with the same biases. I don’t fit into a nice little box. One recruiter recently commented “you are amazing, but I just don’t know how to sell you to an employer given your wide range of skills of marketing, training, business development, content creation and educational background”.
Whilst my journey to find a new job continues I hope to find an employer that recognises that innovative and entrepreneurial thinking, a desire to kick goals, a broad skill set, and an unrelenting drive to succeed is of great benefit and should be snapped up.
About the Author
Bronwyn Eager has a passion for all things entrepreneurial.
With a hunger for learning, self-development and finding solutions to complex problems, Bronwyn believes that you can become anything you want with access to the right information.
With the successful sale of a small business under her belt, Bronwyn is now studying towards a PhD (examining how entrepreneurs can effectively cope with stress to buffer themselves against burnout), writes, and consults to business owners throughout Melbourne in marketing, stress management and growth strategies.