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Melissa Hooven

Global Talent Acquisition

Santa Monica, CA

I was about to walk into my dream or walk away from my dream.

There's a moment where a door opens in someone, and that's when you can see what's inside. Most people are busy approaching people with their own baggage, judgements, wants/desires, etc. But I get to see real people for exactly who they are—and that's what's shaped my career.

I've been recruiitng and building teams for tech companies for nine years. Early on in my career, I had an opportunity to go back to the dream I always wanted: broadcast journalism. I began a series of interviews for a broadcast production. After my first meeting, I had a break and looked down at my phone. I had a missed call and I went to check my voicemail. It was a well-known colleague saying: "Melissa Hooven? I am starting an incubator and I heard you are the person to buld it." My second interview started, and in the middle of it I found myself curious about the voicemail.

After the interview, I called my colleague back and arranged a meeting. A few days later, I was walking into the Hulu building where they were setting up shop until they could find office space.

I walked in and was asked, "When do you want to start?" I said, "I don't know if I want to do recruiting anymore." The response? "You are the best in this market."

I was about to walk into my dream or walk away from my dream.

I leaned in and built Newscorp's $30M well funded incubator, Slingshot Labs. At the end of my stay, I started my own recruiting firm, After that, I built a gaming company in LA and SF. After that, I worked in an Executive Search firm. During that time, I built over 300 careers.

At the end of my stay at the Executive Search firm, a top software company asked me to join. Now I run a global talent acquisition department and am mentoring a recruitment team. I look at my recruiters and realize they will have the same opportunities I had to build something bigger than themselves.

There's a purpose in my life. I love when people smile and get excited when my candidate is eager to join my company. At the end of the day, I have changed people's lives—and they have forever changed mine.