Tag Archives: EO Arizona


Purposed-Based Recruiting Increases Employee Retention

Ask any entrepreneur to explain his or her biggest struggle, and you’ll hear one answer more often than any other – finding and retaining the best talent.  Let’s face it, at the end the day, the only real competitive advantage amongst all businesses is the people.

Of course, finding and keeping star employees has always been a struggle. However, the problem is more prevalent than ever as younger generations enter the workforce. Gone are the days of joining a company as an entry-level employee and staying at that same company for their entire career. Instead, today’s workforce is choosing to climb the career ladder by switching companies more frequently.

This shift in workforce behavior is actually a positive thing for employees looking for a wide range of experiences and avenues to hone their knowledge and talents. However, it also creates an undesirable predicament for business owners. High turnover can wreak havoc on a company and create oodles of problems that quickly spiral out of control: weak company culture, negative impact on productivity, and loss of the company’s investment in employees.

This trend isn’t going to disappear any time soon. So, entrepreneurs are basically left with two options: 1. Fight the trend. 2. Leverage the trend.

Numerous studies are showing that both the younger generation of workers, as well as many of the workers who were forced into career change during the recent economic fallout, are seeking companies and opportunities which offer a well-defined purpose. Many professionals are no longer satisfied with simply earning a paycheck. They no longer view work as somewhere they must be for a good portion of their day, but instead a place that allows them opportunities to make a difference in the world—a difference that has meaning to them.

How can entrepreneurs leverage this trend?

I call the solution “purpose-based recruiting.” When communicated correctly during the interview process and any recruitment efforts, purpose-based recruiting not only reveals that your company cares about an individual’s success, shows opportunities for growth, and empowers people to hone their passion. It also filters out potential hires who might be simply looking for just a quick paycheck.

As the owner of a business that is focused on purpose-based recruiting, I see how businesses are missing the big-picture element when hiring new employees. The great thing is most businesses already have a strong vision of how they hope to make an impact in the world; they simply need to fine-tune and communicate that message more effectively to new recruits.

Follow the below steps for successful purpose-based recruiting:

1. Start with the founder. For nearly all businesses, the founder’s original vision serves as the fabric of what the company is today.  If the founder is no longer in the picture, go to the owner/CEO or executive team. Establish what the business stands for and what the future looks like. Write down key messages, and use these as talking points when hiring.  In essence, find a unique purpose that the team can align with professionally.

2. Recruit based on goals. When companies post for job openings, it’s usually a laundry list of skills a person must possess in order to apply for the position. Why not take a different approach and hire based on what that person hopes to accomplish professionally? As small business owners, we are so focused on finding the right person based on skillset and forget some of the most important elements – finding someone who is a perfect culture fit, has the potential to grow, embodies the company brand and shares the business’ mission. While finding individuals like this may seem impossible for many entrepreneurs, it’s much more manageable if the company has clearly defined purpose.

3. Ask the right questions. A company’s and individual’s goals must be synchronistic. The next step is to uncover as much information about the individual during the interview beyond the skillset. What are their career goals? What are they looking for in a company? What motivates and excites them? Discovering their professional passion and purpose can help you determine if they will be a good ambassador of your brand.

4. Communicate the company’s vision. Knowing that today’s employee cares significantly about making a difference, it is important to outline the company’s purpose and goals early in the interview. It must be made clear that finding individuals who align with a company’s purpose and believe in their goals is essential as well. Job candidates will hopefully make a decision early on if they will be satisfied working at your company.

5. Foster growth after hiring. Communicating a company’s grand vision should not be limited to the interview process. All employees should feel like they have a stake in the company’s success and are working toward a common goal. As a part of the post-hiring process, managers should stay in close contact with new employees to be sure they are working toward their professional goals and in turn, keeping with the overall company goals. Existing employees can use refreshers too. Communicate big wins for the company, be transparent about new opportunities and challenges and provide check points – quarterly or annually – to show how the company is achieving goals.

Like I mentioned before. Companies have the option to either fight the new trend, or leverage it. I strongly encourage hiring managers and entrepreneurs to evaluate the recruiting process and make sure it aligns with this behavior shift we’re seeing in the workforce. Purpose-based recruiting will help your business enormously. Not only will you see higher retention, but employees will be more productive and happy because they are working toward their professional purpose.

Max Hansen is the CEO and co-owner of Y Scouts, a recruiting firm that focuses on helping individuals discover their professional passion and connect them with a like-minded company. Hansen is also the membership chair for Entrepreneurs’ Organization Arizona, a dynamic group of 150 of Arizona’s most successful entrepreneurs. To learn more about EO Arizona and its mentorship program, visit www.eoaz.org.


Seven Habits of Seven Successful Arizona Entrepreneurs

Everyone wants to know the secrets to succeeding in business. Most agree hard work and intelligence are a given.  But what about those attributes that cannot be taught in school or by working long hours?

Entrepreneurs are a breed who typically embody qualities that make up a successful business person. They tend to be risk-takers, passionate, altruistic and confident. They avoid getting stuck in a rut. Entrepreneurs turn what other see as obstacles in to challenges, and ultimately, opportunities. They are relentlessly positive.

In addition to possessing some of these qualities, entrepreneurs usually have a rule, philosophy or ritual they live and breathe each day. This can be anything from beginning the day in a positive way to how they treat anyone the come into contact with. As an entrepreneur myself, I have learned the importance of working “on” my business and not just “in” the business.  By this I mean you must treat your business like we treat our clients and must make time to focus on our strategic planning and growth.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a leading professional organization designed to offer entrepreneurs additional resources, support and collaboration, has an extremely successful Arizona chapter. Some of our state’s most recognized small business owners are EO Arizona members, ranging from well-known restaurateurs to real estate moguls.

What are their secrets to success? Here is insight from EO Arizona’s most established entrepreneurs (hint: Their habits are less about what you know and more about achieving the right mindset):

Paul Dembow, Arizona Natural Resources, Inc.

I wake up early everyday and meditate for 15 minutes with positive thoughts and deep breathing. I exercise for an hour, then start my business day. I also study, read, research, etc. but the mental attitude that my morning routine gives me is the winning edge. Attitude is everything!

Dan Sager, Civil Search International

If I hold myself 100 percent accountable for all my work/relationship problems, then all issues can be quickly rectified.

Derek Greene, Get Your Move On

The most impactful habit I have practiced is meditation. With this hour of “me” time, I afford myself the time to enjoy a calm cup of coffee, read the news online, do a brain teaser and most importantly sit quietly for 10 to 12 minutes and breathe. I do not miss a day most months and I do the same thing before bed. I find myself, among many other things, as serene as I have ever been in my life.

Max Hansen, Y Scouts and Job Brokers, Inc.

The rule I live by that has been a big contributor toward my success is summed up in a quote by Theodore Roosevelt.  “People don’t care about what you know, until they know about how much you care.”  As with anything in life and business, people follow people they trust and care about them.  Once you genuinely care, you just have to show them and tell them.

Robert Clinkenbeard, Integrated Landscape Management

Discipline is one of my biggest rules in business which also translates into my Ironman training. Unless you have a vision or goal, develop a plan and have the discipline to execute day after day then it is very easy to become distracted, lose focus and not achieve anything. Every year I prepare my business and personal goals for the year ahead and then every month and week I review them and figure out how I am going to execute them.

Steve Levine, Steve LeVine Entertainment

At Steve LeVine Entertainment and Public Relations, we have 2 rules that we use in our office on a daily basis.

1. Never assume anything.  When we assume we are taking a chance to get something wrong. If we never assume, and double check our work, we are less likely to have mistakes and the final product is always better.

2. Take responsibility for your actions. If you know and admit your mistakes, I have found that this helps future mistakes. Also, a client wants to hear us take responsibility rather than pass the blame on to someone else.

Jonathan Rosenberg, Levrose Commercial Real Estate

Over the years, I have learned when to say “yes” and when to say “no”.  When I was younger, I said “yes” to every client or potential business opportunity and soon found that it was impossible to be as effective when trying to please everyone.  Determining where to draw the line between these two responses has allowed much greater focus and clarity.

Every business person is different and their own personal formula for success depends on so much more than one daily ritual or philosophy. But, by using the advice from the above local entrepreneurs as a starting point, you are sure to be on the right path.


David Anderson is the communications chair for Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Arizona chapter, a professional group of Arizona’s most successful entrepreneurs. He is also the managing partner and CEO of Off Madison Ave + SpinSix, a marketing and communications firm in Phoenix. 


Mentor your way to the top

We often hear about success stories that begin with some type of mentorship. Whether it be through a formal program or casual guidance from someone more experienced, thriving entrepreneurs usually can point to someone who coached and encouraged them along the way. Long story short, it ultimately contributed to their success.

For small business owners, a strong mentor relationship is an undeniable necessity. Choosing to venture into entrepreneurship is rewarding, but it comes with handfuls of challenges that only another entrepreneur can understand. For many, having the support system could be the difference between giving up too early and finding a way to flourish. Some of the most widely known benefits of enlisting a mentor include:

  • Gaining better understanding of your industry
  • Growing your professional network
  • Receiving candid and constructive advice

As entrepreneurs – especially those of us who have been doing it for years – it is important that we collaborate with others to share our successes and challenges, and one great way to do that is making yourself available as a mentor. In Arizona, where the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, the new generation of entrepreneurs is passionate and eager to grow. These individuals will benefit from hearing what worked for you, what didn’t, how you survived hard times, your advice and support.

Participating in a mentorship program should not be viewed as only a pay-it-forward move toward the younger generation. Many mentors are surprised that they take away several lessons from the relationship that can be applied to their company. For example, if a mentee is fresh out of college, he or she may be able to provide valuable insight into what they’ve learned in school, providing a casual way for the mentor to sharpen his or her skills.

Recognizing the career-boosting value that a mentorship can provide, EO Arizona recently launched a mentorship program that pairs its members – Valley entrepreneurs with businesses generating more than $1 million a year – with Arizona State University and Thunderbird School of Global Management. The first-of-its-kind program here in the Valley provides student entrepreneurs with networking, mentorship, experience sharing, thought leadership, internship, joint events and classroom presentations.

Most importantly, the mentor-mentee relationship ensures entrepreneurs have a trusted network, which I believe is essential to success. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely path, and it is important to find other similar entrepreneurs like the ones I have found through EO Arizona.


Paul Dembow is an entrepreneur and school mentorship chair for Entrepreneurs’ Organization Arizona, a dynamic group of 140 of Arizona’s most successful entrepreneurs. To learn more about EO Arizona and its mentorship program, visit www.eoaz.org.