Photo: Morgan Missen via About.me
When Morgan Missen moved to Silicon Valley in 2006, she ran into a problem.As a Michigan State graduate, she didn’t have an Ivy League degree; none of the big tech companies took her resume seriously.
“I realised right away I was a step behind,” Missen recalls. “I didn’t have a lot of great experience and I was competing against Stanford students for Google receptionist jobs.”
That didn’t stop Missen, who has since been recruited by Google, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare.
Instead she found a workaround. “I realised there were many more people like me than there were of top engineers. I started consulting; I helped regular people in tech negotiate offers and find out what the right matches for them were.”
Missen, who was an English major, became a recruiter and helped place engineers at companies like Yahoo, EA and Cisco. She fell in love with recruiting back in college when she was the rush chair of her sorority, Sigma Kappa.
“It was highly strategic and strictly choreographed. I realised then how the people you pick affect the success of every organisation,” says Missen.
Before long, Google asked her to work in-house. She was shocked. “I always thought I wouldn’t be able to get a job at Google because I knew they were so strict around pedigree and hiring,” she says.
Missen became a highly desirable candidate in her own right. She turned down an offer from Facebook and had discussions with Instagram.
Twitter finally convinced Missen to jump ship and she became its first recruiter.
Foursquare was Missen’s next stop. “I really, really liked the Foursquare team,” she says of her decision to join the startup one year ago. “It was such a unique challenge to build a San Francisco office from scratch, found a team and figure out what roles people would play. It was almost an entrepreneurial apprenticeship for me.”
This week, Missen announced her resignation from Foursquare to try her hand at her own startup.
“It’s a really great time for the company,” Missen says of Foursquare. “It just hired a Chief Revenue Officer. I guess I kind of recruited myself out of the job. I don’t want to say they don’t need me anymore, but I am leaving at a good time.”
Missen’s new company, Main, stays true to her recruiting roots. Main, named after the function at the beginning of code, will be a recruiting resource for engineers and tech companies.
Missen will be advising engineers and other tech talent about their careers and helping companies like her former employers obtain great people.
“I love, love, love building startups, but I can help so many more people if I am on my own,” says Missen. “Main will be a new way to look at talent in tech.”
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