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#5 Effective Ways to Find Intrapreneurs for Your Startup Intrapreneurs are valuable team members of your startup, who apply the essential principles of entrepreneurship to whatever tasks you assign to them

By Devika Majumder

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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I'm a very curious soul and plagued with an unquenching thirst to know the growth stories of businesses. After talking to many startup owners and analyzing the growth of my own ventures, I have realized that having intrapreneurs on board boost the success rate.

What are intrapreneurs?

Intrapreneurs are valuable team members of your startup, who apply the essential principles of entrepreneurship to whatever tasks you assign to them.

In other words, they are entrepreneurs within your startup. As intraprenuers are self-motivated, free thinkers, they can transform your startup more quickly than others can. Therefore, your prime objective should be to hire intrapreneurs when you need to scale up your startup.

Here are five surefire ways to spot intrapreneurs:

1- They're Problem Solvers

This is one of the most visible traits of intrapreneurs — all of them are problem solvers. When you are conducting interviews to hire people for your startup, look for the candidates who are genuine problem solvers. Now you must be thinking how can you hunt problem solvers?

Here are the top seven characteristics of people with high problem-solving ability:

  • They challenge their limits and always go beyond their conditioning
  • They search for an opportunity in every problem
  • They can clearly define a problem (cause and effect analysis)
  • They connect with other people at an emotional level
  • They never create any problem for others
  • They focus on prevention rather than intervention
  • Their expectations are reasonable

Keeping these points in the mind while hiring increases the chances of finding intrapreneurs.

2- They're Self-starters

Being an entrepreneur means you need to be a self-starter. You need to motivate yourself daily to do better than the previous day. This is how you grow. Renowned Internet marketer Neil Patel says, "Motivation is like jet power propulsion. It transforms individuals from passive participants into active leaders."

Like entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs are self-starters and know what they are meant to do in life. Intrapreneurs don't need to be told what they should do daily. They prepare themselves mentally for each day and their motivation never runs low. You should never escape such people from your eyes when you are on talent hunt.

3- They're Innovative

All intrapreneurs are highly innovative. Not only will they provide you with their innovative solutions but also they are good at nurturing ideas. When you share an intriguing idea with them, they incessantly think about that idea and try to find out ways to make it work. And if you ask them about that idea later, chances are you will get a plan to turn that idea into reality.

How can you hire innovative people?

Here are the top five characteristics of innovative people:

  • They understand creative process
  • They are always ready to learn and execute their learning
  • They are proactive
  • They take risks and make mistakes
  • They remove self-limiting boundaries

4- They're Growth Drivers

Intrapreneurs are crazy to grow. They don't wait for you to tell them how to grow. They have their own plans to succeed. And the best thing about them is they are always ready to change their course to accommodate any sudden change in an organization to propel the growth.

In other words, intrapreneurs create a growth-driven culture in an organization. It is easy to spot growth drivers while interviewing people - they're in control of their ego, they are never satisfied, and they are focused.

5- They've Higher Integrity

According to a Harvard Business Review's article, "Intrapreneurs demonstrate the attributes of confidence and humility, not the maverick-like behavior often associated with successful corporate innovators. They all, however, exuded high self-awareness and sense of purpose."

Though higher integrity is a common trait of intrapreneurs, it is not easy to judge someone integrity in an interview. The only way is to ask the right questions about their past professional life and check the references to ascertain their integrity.


At a time when finding good employees for a startup is a difficult task, it is an uphill battle to spot intrapreneurs. However, most intrapreneurs have telltale signs, such as they are problem solvers, self-starter, innovative, and growth drivers. Also, they have higher integrity. Look for these characteristics, and there are high chances that you will find entrepreneurs for your startup.

What about you? Do you want to share any secret tip to hire intrapreneurs?

Devika Majumder

Founder and CEO, Youngpreneurs India

A business visionary and a serial entrepreneur with a deep technical background and has a proven talent for identifying core business needs, developing sustainable operating infrastructures, and delivering measurable results.Started her own consulting firm right after graduation and then while on the consulting jobs, founder mobileSPA – the first mobile day spa concept in the US. She has been featured in Wall Street Journal. Presently, she is spearheading ‘Youngpreneurs’ a strategic initiative to introduce entrepreneurial education to high schoolers in India.

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