With his decade long experience, Jamie Ceglarz decided to take recruiting of top-talent to another level by starting his own venture. His focus is on ‘business’ roles where he leverages on his network to build a great client experience.
We had a chance to interview Jamie and asked about his start-up, how he started his business and the future of Guild Talent.
Tell us your story. Why did you start your business?
I’ve been in recruiting for a decade now with a healthy balance across both sales & delivery. In the recruiting world those are the two main buckets & while it’s always a risk-taking the leap and going off on your own I had the main fundamentals down. Eventually I started getting asked by folks in my network to help them with projects & had to make the decision, which I did earlier this year. It was a game-changer for my life, with a wife & small son & bills to pay it was definitely one I took seriously, but any so glad that i made the decision!
How did you come up with your business name?
I run a professional community in tandem to my retained search recruiting firm. The community is called the Operators Guild. When I decided to go off on my own and start my recruiting firm I wanted something that was aligned, but not the same. Guild Talent seemed like a good fit so that’s what we went with!
Tell us about your products and services. How do you help clients?
In recruiting there are lots and lots of lower-level placement firms, and lots of executive recruiters that focus on the C-suite, but not meant that focus on the management-level. That’s where Guild Talent focuses. We’ve got a great understanding of the Director level roles within an organization: it’s a combination of domain experience & “rolling up the sleeves” work, as well as a senior/leadership roles requiring someone to be strategic & scalable. Guild Talent knows that level well, and we focus on what we call ‘business’ roles (Business Operations, RevOps, Strategy, Finance, etc). We’ve got a deep network, and deep domain in that space & at that level. We know what we’re good at as well as what we’re not.
What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
Many recruiters have a different focus & everyone will say that they have a database of candidates, but not many at all have the overlay of a network of thousands of those folks that are a part of a group like the Operators Guild. Since it’s inception, the Operators Guild has hosted hundreds of events/focus sessions on dozens of different topics that an Operations Executive would be interested in. Given that we’re running & often moderating these sessions, we’ve acquired a unique understanding of the thought process that a ‘best in class’ operator has for solving different problems at different stages of their careers. Given our focus on these specific roles, it’s a tremendous advantage to engage that domain experience when vetting candidates and deciding if they are right for a given job.
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?
We’re growing, fast. I expect that we’ll continue to evolve as a company & expand our offering to both larger & smaller companies. I think we will stay within the core skillsets that we currently focus on, and as our client base grows it will provide us the opportunity to engage with different size/stage of clients. We will have a more formal Sales & Marketing team as well as more structure around what will be an every increasingly more tenured recruiting/delivery team, and an even longer roster of happy and referenceable clients that we have now!
Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs and business owners?
Take the plunge! It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it. Every day provides a new project & new focus, but if you’ve got the itch you’ll have fun scratching it. And get ready to wake up in the middle of the night and rush over to your computer to write down an idea that you thought of while asleep! Last – don’t sweat the small stuff, realize that if you’re trending in the right direction & building, that things may go awry but try to focus on the bigger picture so you don’t go crazy in the weeds.
What is your favorite business quote and why?
It’s a long one but folks should look up “the man in the arena” quote by Teddy Roosevelt. it’s about the glory & defeat of those who strive valiantly. The idea is that in either success or failure, either is better than never trying in the first place. With the risk of jumping into entrepreneurship, & the pride of ownership I feel for making my business a success, I’m a huge believer in the glory of striving valiantly, regardless of outcome.
What have been some of your achievements that you are most proud of? Why?
We got off to a great start as a business. In the first few months we made a number of placements for our clients & it was tremendous to see our client roster grow along with our reputation & momentum of the business starting to pick up. A big aspect of the success of those early clients was just getting the opportunity to work on those recruiting roles in the first place, and a number of those opportunities came from my personal network to start. With that, I’m quite proud of the strength of the relationships I had with folks in marketing & grateful of those early supporters. The traction of the business is an achievement, but as is the strength of the network supporting it.
Something equally as strong are the 2 recruiters on my team. I couldn’t be more proud of the folks I’ve hired early on & what they have been able to accomplish. If it wasn’t for them we would be in a different place & so much of our success is due to how awesome they are.
Anything else additional you want to tell our readers?
Professionally speaking the cadence of ‘firsts’ is awesome – the first client, the first employee, the first invoice, etc. As you grow as a business & as a leader the key is evolving from the thrill of the ‘firsts’ into the satisfaction of empowering the team & setting a foundation for scale. One of the keys is to notice where you are & pull yourself up into the next level!