Too many companies are stuck in a 20th century mindset when it comes to their employees. People who come to work, do what they’re told, hit their targets and go home are all very well, but are they really what modern tech companies need?
Increasingly successful tech companies are driven by highly motivated, entrepreneurial individuals who push the boundaries of their job roles and do much more than just fulfil the basic terms of their contract. These “intrapreneurs” possess the dynamic qualities of high-achieving entrepreneurs but rather than starting their own enterprises, they use their skills within a company to push it forward in new and surprising ways.
This spirit of intrapreneurship is revolutionising the way tech companies work and is one of the main factors behind the success of many leading technology businesses.
So, just how do you recognise a potential intrapreneur and how are these highly valuable individuals making such a difference to the tech industry?
How to spot an intrapreneur
Like entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs tend to be very driven with a strong focus on success. They are good at spotting opportunities, developing creative strategies to take advantage of those opportunities and motivating others to help implement their strategies. Intranpreneurs are thought leaders and tend to be the ones others come to for help and advice about running their own projects.
Intrapreneurs may not be at management level, but they will usually be the driving force in any team they are in, being highly persuasive and becoming a hub that the rest of the team organises itself around. Intrapreneurs can sometimes clash with more traditionally-minded managers who want people to “know their place”, but their very refusal to know their place and to keep doing things the same way they have always been done are what make intrapreneurs so valuable.
How intrapreneurs benefit tech companies
The tech industry never stays still, so employees who are content to keep doing things the same old way day in, day out can quickly become anchors on your business’s progress. Intrapreneurs are the opposite: they are the ones running out in front, finding new and exciting opportunities to take the company forward in surprising ways.
Intrapreneurs take real ownership of their job roles and tend to go above and beyond to make a success of their areas of responsibility. They have high levels of creativity and initiative and will often produce big results using minimal resources. This means intrapreneurs can bring high levels of innovation to your company but without requiring you to spend a lot of money on developing their ideas before you know whether they are likely to be a success or not.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages to hiring and keeping intrapreneurs in your company is that these are otherwise the people who would be out there creating the new ideas and technologies that could threaten your own business. New Facebook employees are given a handbook laying out the company’s mission, history and culture. Famously the handbook states:
“If we don't create the thing that kills Facebook, someone else will.”
This is the key to intrapraneurship. By incentivising clever, creative, highly motivated people to work for you, rather than to branch out on their own, you are making your company more resilient and adaptable, meaning you are less likely to find yourself put out of business by some clever new idea that your company could have been the one behind.
How to foster intrapreneurship in your business
One way to create a spirit of intrapreneurship is to make sure you are creating space for this kind of thinking in your organisation. Google famously used to allow its employees to spend 20% of their time working on their own projects not directly related to their everyday responsibilities. This has recently been replaced with a more focused approach, but crucially, Google employees are still allowed time to work under their own initiative on potentially game-changing ideas.
It is also highly worthwhile working intrapreneurial characteristics into your hiring criteria when looking for new employees. By providing enough scope and flexibility in your job roles to attract intrapreneurs and then screening potential candidates for their potential as intrapreneurs, you can start to stack your team with the right kind of employees. Intrapreneurship breeds intrapraneurship, so the more of the right kind of people you get on board, the more they will feed off each other’s energy and help to keep pushing your company forward.
Take the 'Next Step' to find future intrapreneurs
Next Ventures are a world leader in technology recruitment, helping some of the top names in tech find the very best employees who can take their businesses to the next level. Our graduate academy, “The Next Step”, produces exceptional technology recruitment professionals who know just what companies are looking for and how to connect them with the right candidates.
If you are a graduate who wants to learn how to become a truly elite technology recruitment consultant or a tech company looking to find superior candidates in the tech industry and intrapreneurs to add to your talent pool, Next Ventures is the clear choice.
To find out more about taking recruitment to the next level, please contact us today.