Question: It has always been clear that jobs fix the economy. What strategies have you employed company-wide that have resulted in job creation?
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Sectors: Financial Services and Technology
In 2015 I made a decision for our family of companies to bring all employees home here, to Arizona. Several of our companies, like Brokers Alliance and Launch Financial, provide services across the United States, in all 50 states, and at one point had 40 remote employees. Through the renewed vision of local employees, and having expanded our campus into a 24,000-square-foot facility here, we have successfully brought 85 percent of our employees back to Arizona. We plan to continue our campus expansion into 2016, providing space for 85 new employees.
Additionally, we have dedicated ourselves to pursuing local alliances. For example, Outlook Advisors partnered with both Rio Salado Community College and Arizona State University to build in both accredited and non-accredited course work to help students achieve a career path before they even graduate, and WiredUp Installation continues to acquire local and out-of-state technology companies, relocating talented people to Arizona. I believe the culture of local residents in an exciting, national workplace provides the best that an Arizona business has to offer.
David Racich is founder and CEO of WiredUp Installation, Outlook Advisors and Launch Financial in addition to Brokers Alliance. He began his career as an entrepreneur during his freshman year in college. Racich earned a Bachelor of Science in Network and Global Communications Management with a focus in Business Entrepreneurship and Electrical Engineering here in Arizona.
Chief Executive Officer
Our strategy for job creation is pretty simple. The core of our business is building a great product for our customers. We’re helping small businesses turn website visitors into customers with our live chat software. Generating leads and driving sales is a critical challenge for small teams, and we’re thrilled to provide a ridiculously easy way to help solve that problem.
We acquired thousands of users, which helped us raise a $1.5-million seed round of funding. That investment has helped us hire a team of 12 and fuel even more growth. We’re investing heavily in building the best product we can for our market. Customer-driven development is really key. Building a product that’s not only easy to use but also very affordable for small business has contributed to our growth. When a customer closes a deal worth hundreds or thousands in sales from our product, they share that great experience with their communities. When our product delivers results for our customers, not only are they growing but we’re also able to continue to hire.
Hamid Shojaee is addicted to the high of making products that people love to use. Sometimes, the users even pay for them, which is how he funds more great products. Along the way, he’s founded a couple of companies, which include Pure Chat and Axosoft, and has helped Arizona’s tech scene create its voice with AZTechBeat.com.
VP People Operations
Clearly defining our mission — to radically shift the global economy toward small businesses by empowering people to easily start, confidently grow and successfully run their own ventures — has led to growth. We are all focused on helping small-business owners succeed. We are all aligned to this goal. We empower our colleagues to support our customers, and, by giving our teams the permission to act independently, they are that much more motivated to serve our customers, which in turn grows our business — and when we grow, we hire more people to join the team.
Another strategic move is establishing a culture by identifying values and communicating them to our teams. We incorporate our GoDaddy values into everything we do and are attracting colleagues who live those values, which are to be extraordinary, work fearlessly, live passionately, join forces and own outcomes. This aligns our teams, so it’s more than what we do or accomplish, but also how we get it done. We think it helps people do their best work, which in turns grows our business and allows us to create new positions.
Katee Van Horn is VP of People Operations with GoDaddy, the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses. GoDaddy has grown to serve more than 13 million customers in 37 countries and 17 languages. Now employing more than 4,500 people — a majority of them here in Arizona — Scottsdale-based GoDaddy has 14 locations around the world, including Phoenix, Gilbert and Tempe.