From Sales to Recruiting – An Inside Look at Ali Dugger’s Experience

Ali Dugger, Executive Recruiting

Ali Dugger is an Executive Recruiter for Guild Talent, and one heck of one at that! Not only has Ali achieved so much during her first three months with the company, including the assistance in 3 job placements made within the first 90 days in business, but has also been a significant part of the company’s growth.

As an expert Executive Recruiter with 7 years experience, Ali has many goals and aspirations both personally and professionally. When she’s not scouting the perfect candidate for one of our partners, she’s diving into podcasts on start-ups, her kitchen and the pool where she swims a mile… every day!

Ali is a badass. Read more about her experience working in recruiting for start-ups and more below.

1. Why did you choose recruiting over any other job?

Recruiting chose me! I was working at a SaaS startup in Austin, TX as a sales executive and before I knew it several of my referrals had joined the team and were outperforming the vets! The company asked if I would consider shifting from sales to recruiting. It was a no brainer 🙂

2. Describe your first 30 days at Guild Talent – goals achieved, challenges, exciting news, etc.

I’ve seen projects last months to fill roles. I was astounded when we closed our first two projects right off the bat! It’s been such an exciting time deep diving into the tech industry with Guild Talent. I feel I’ve landed right where I’ve worked so hard to be, and now I get to help others find themselves right where they will thrive too! The future is bright for Guild Talent.

3. What are your short-term and long-term goals within the company?

In the short term, I’d like to fill as many roles as possible and establish the beginnings of long lasting relationships with my candidates and clients. In the long term, I’d like to have witnessed the growth of not only Guild Talent, but the placements I’ve made throughout the years and help them to build their own teams and companies. I hope to be a partner at Guild Talent and see it become the number one retained recruiting agency for Ops/Finance/Growth roles in the startup space.

4. What do you love most about working for Guild Talent?

I love the positive reinforcement and driven culture Jamie has begun cultivating since day one. The retainer focused projects really allow me spread my wings when it comes to the skills I have developed as a recruiter over the years. Developing a deep understanding of what client’s needs are, really getting to know candidates and their lifetime goals, and being able to assist in molding the best future for the client and company gives you the same feeling as playing the perfect game.

5. Any advice you have for someone looking to get into recruiting?

Recruiting is about listening. Make sure you enjoy learning about the industry you focus in because you’re going to learn a lot about it. You’re going to need to be able to do more than just find the right people on paper, but understand the nuances of what makes someone the right fit.

6. What’s the difference between retained/contingent?

You see, the retained recruiter takes time to get things precisely right using collaborative, unique processes, knowing they will eventually fill the position with the perfect fit thanks to their exclusivity terms. Retained recruiting goes beyond blindly reaching out to prospective candidates. In order to know who truly is the best fit, retained recruiters are constantly studying the market, new companies, struggling companies, closing companies, and how a specific industry’s environment is evolving. The contingency recruiter is handling a ton more roles across several industries. In order to fill as many of those roles as possible, they will most likely deliver more, less vetted candidates to increase their odds of making a placement. Contingency recruiters will simply move on to the next role when they feel they can fill it more quickly as their payday depends on it. A retained recruiter, because of their focused attention, is able to see who needs what, where, and when. For example, they are able to develop deep relationships enabling them to follow careers, wins, and failures and they know where best to place talent based on where they thrive best and in turn, enabling companies to be their best.

7. What sorts of roles are you focused on?

I’m focused on Operations, Finance and Growth Managers through Executives.

8. Is it what you were expecting?

The first 90 days are SO MUCH BETTER, our clients love us and we have a great niche in market!

Furthermore, I had no clue what recruiting was when I was in school. If it weren’t for joining a startup SaaS tech company, OutboundEngine, in Austin, TX a decade ago I would have never discovered the importance of building a team from the ground up. People shape the future of the culture. If you have a healthy culture, you will thrive; an unhealthy culture, and you will die – it’s just that simple. Recruiting is about knowing on a deeper level, beyond the pen and paper, who fits where. Just like gardening, we know where to plant candidates where they will thrive, enabling the company to grow to its healthiest potential.

If you’re looking for assistance in staffing across BizOps, RevOps, Finance or Chief of Staff, visit our homepage for more information on what we do and how we can help!

Picture of Jamie


Founder & Managing Director

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our Newsletter!