Welcome to Meet Checkr! This series will give you an inside look into the driven folks who make Checkr happen. From Applicant Support to Sales, our diverse, dynamic employees have their own interesting stories to tell.
Our employees at Checkr come from a variety of background and past careers, but not many can say they managed a busy coffee shop for the better part of a decade. Edwin Morales, our Office Manager, spent 9 years running a San Francisco outlet of Peet’s Coffee and wasn’t interested in looking for a new job. But now he uses his skills to keep our office of more than 80 running every day.
We sat down with Morales to talk about the challenges of coordinating a busy startup, and his leadership in the San Francisco LGBT community.
How did you come to Checkr?
Funny story, I was helping a friend look for a job. I wasn’t actually looking for a job – my friend had a lot of admin experience, so I was looking through office admin listings. There was something about the description of the culture, talking about how Checkr was a cohesive organization and everyone worked together to accomplish tasks.
So I applied, and then I found out a friend of mine worked there! He helped me get some attention and got me the interview.
Could you give me an overview of what it’s like managing the office?
I think the biggest thing is that I have to expect every day to be different. Normally, my day starts with coming in and completing a to-do list of everything I haven’t completed the day before. Then it goes from there.
Yesterday I came in and I worked on getting ready for a couple IT updates that will be happening, little bits of planning for our office, and a couple of accounting items. But on another day, I spent a day planning a group outing to the SF MoMa and our Wi-Fi went down, so that took plenty of focus.
It’s all over the place!
How do you feel being a coordinator of the office’s wellness?
I look at my job as a customer service position, and every Checkr employee is my customer. The highest priority in customer service is anticipating needs. I get to know everyone in the office and although it may seem like I’m just having a casual conversation, I am trying to identify their needs. I try to see what I can do to meet those needs, and do it in a way that eventually I will just have those things for them at the right time.
What do you think is the biggest challenge of running a fast-growing startup’s office?
The biggest challenge is being able to keep up with that customer service. We have more than 80 people here, and that number is growing so fast. Scaling that growth doesn’t just mean finding new homes for everyone to sit or increasing how much lunch we’ll have every afternoon. It also means finding out what every single person’s individual needs are and scaling that, because I know that when Checkr has 400 employees, I won’t be able to do it alone.
I want to scale that experience and make sure Checkr employees experience the same care they have now – it’s something that I think about every day.
You are an important person in the San Francisco LGBT community. Can you tell me about that?
I am the President of the Board of Directors for Folsom Street Events, which is the second-largest LGBT event in the city. We are definitely the largest street fair in San Francisco, and one of the largest in the country. We’re also one the greenest street fairs in the world, and we raise about $350,000 every year for direct service and arts nonprofits throughout the country.
It’s a giant, really fun and kinky LGBT event with lots of crazy dance music going on and all kinds of exhibitors, but it’s also raising money for organizations that contribute to breast cancer research, AIDS research, transgender advocacy, legal advocacy for HIV patients, homeless youth empowerment and so much else. It’s an opportunity for me to contribute significantly to social justice in a way that feels more than working with just one non-profit.
It’s also amazing to throw this giant, 250,000-person party with just a group of 10 people.
How do you feel about Checkr’s openness in terms of identity and diversity?
It definitely is open. I really like that we have a fair amount of LGBT people in the office and we haven’t felt the need to create a separate group. It meant a lot to me that our CEO called for a moment of silence after the attacks in Orlando, and it’s great to have such a friendly work environment in that sense.
What I love about Checkr, especially coming from a mixed-race background, is that the company really hires the best, and a truly great team is inherently diverse. It’s great to see so many people from so many different backgrounds come together and move the company forward meaningfully. It’s really inspiring.
Interested in joining our team? We’re expanding rapidly and building a product that matters. Check out our current listings on our jobs page.