Intrapreneurship is a growing trend in the business world – employees who apply their entrepreneurial instincts to their roles within a company, rather than a new venture outside of it.

While it’s every recruiter’s goal to find candidates with leadership potential, organizations are looking for the next level. Namely, they want employees who take ownership of their own space within the organization by solving problems, creating projects, and finding new and better ways to fulfill their role.

Why intrapreneurs?

  • They have purpose. Intrapreneurs don’t just work for the paycheck. Intrapreneurs are incredibly self-motivated because they find joy and purpose in creating something new that doesn’t currently exist.
  • They’re innovative. Intrapreneurs are eggs-pert problem-solvers. They are naturals at spotting the pain points within an organization and coming up with unique ways to address them.
  • They’re committed to their company. When employers give their talent something to focus on and projects to own, they are more likely to stay with the company and help them move forward.

Now you might be thinking: intrapreneurship sounds great, but where exactly do I find these kinds of individuals? Fortunately, if you’re recruiting students and grads, the answer is right in front of you. Gen-Y job seekers are eager to find employment that allows them autonomy in their role and the ability to make an impact with their careers so naturally, they make egg-ceptional intrapreneurs.

However, to find the right intrapreneurs, you need to know the right qualities, skills, and experience to look for. To help you find the perfect fit for your team, here’s a step-by-step guide to recruiting top Gen-Y intrapreneurs.

Step 1. Rethink the job description

It might feel counter-intuitive, but to find someone willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, you need to set some clear expectations. For example, incorporate items like “problem-solving” and “proposing new ideas” right into the responsibilities section of the job posting. This will ensure that candidates know what they’re getting themselves into from the get-go, and helps you screen out the ones who aren’t interested in working outside of their job description.

Step 2. Showcase your company culture

If you want Gen-Y intrapreneurs, you can’t just talk the talk, you need to walk the walk. Telling potential candidates about the culture of innovation at your company is nowhere near as effective as actually showing it in action. A great way to demonstrate this is by hosting a TalentEgg Challenge. This innovative platform gives companies the chance to gain a fresh perspective on real business issues they may be facing, and students and grads the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to solve these problems. It’s a win-win for your talent pool and your employer brand.

Employer Spotlight: This editorial about new grads at TTi really puts the spotlight on the company’s entrepreneurial culture.

Step 3. Find candidates that “think like owners.”

To see if a candidate has what it takes, evaluate their resume through an entrepreneurial lens. For example, does the candidate have a history of reducing costs or increasing revenues for their employers? Have they started their own clubs, businesses, or side projects in the past? These types of experiences highlight a candidate’s ability to think outside the box, and their ability to follow through on their vision from concept to completion.

Employer Spotlight: Freedom 55 appeals to intrapreneurial types by highlighting that a career at their company is like “running your own business.”

Step 4. Offer support and recognition for their work.

No man or woman is an island. If you want a potential intrapreneur to produce good work, you need to show them that you have the resources to help them make it happen. For example, highlighting your in-depth training and mentorship opportunities will show them that you have their back in case they make a mistake. On the flipside, discussing your opportunities for career growth and advancement will illustrate that their successes will be greatly rewarded and recognized.

Employer Spotlight: Reynolds & Reynolds cultivates a continuous learning environment to help employees stay intellectually challenged, self-motivated and professionally rewarded.

If you want students and new grad intrapreneurs to succeed in your organization, you need to give them the right tools. Show them how their innovation will be encouraged, supported, and rewarded and you will have the top candidates rushing to apply to your roles!

Discussion: How does your company cultivate a culture of innovation?