Al Daum + Split Placements = Top Producer in Top Echelon Network

So . . . just how can you be successful as a Preferred Member of Top Echelon Network?   What are the keys? How do you do it?   In this new series in The Pinnacle newsletter, we’re going to interview some of the Top Producers in the Network and ask them what they’ve done to achieve success in Top Echelon.

Agency:  Alan N. Daum & Associates, Inc.
Recruiter:  Al Daum

Accomplishments within the Network:

Ranked #27 in the Network in 2009 in terms of the top-producing recruiters.   All of that was the result of split placements Daum made with his Trading Partners.   He is currently ranked#10 in the Network. (To view a complete list of the top-producing recruiters in Top Echelon, please visit the Members’ Area.)

Al’s Keys to Success: Relying on Trading Partners

Daum is a steadfast believer in relying on his Trading Partners in both good times and bad times.   In fact, he indicated that he’s been more dependent on his Partners during this most recent recession.   Unfortunately, there are some recruiters who shy away from making splits during recessionary times because they’re more focused on trying to ensure that they collect a full fee.  They figure that if placements are going to be scarce, they’d better receive a full fee on the ones they do make. Unfortunately, that approach doesn’t always pan out.

“When things tighten up, I need more resources,” said Daum. “It’s a good way to do business. It’s kind of my business model, if you will. When things get tighter, I get together with my Trading Partners more, and it helps me get through the tough times.  Of course, they’re a valuable resource during good times, as well.”

“If I relied on them as much during good times, I might increase my production by 50%,” he added with a laugh.

According to Daum, whose specialty is Automation Engineers with pharmaceutical experience, he tends to be more of an importer than an exporter in split placement situations.  He joined the Network in 1999 and has made a total of 41 placements, all but one of them split placements. He’s made a substantial amount of placements with Preferred Member firm  In fact, Daum has made over half of his Network placements with the recruiters from (22).

The recruiters from that office who have made splits with Daum include Alan Carty (14 placements), Michelle Johnson (four placements), Krista Nielsen (three placements) and David Alexander (one placement). The relationship that Daum has with Carty is a true representation of one of the Four Pillars of Top Echelon Network—the Pillar of Trust.

Carty and joined the Network in 2002, three years after Daum joined Top Echelon.  It didn’t take long for the two of them to hit it off—they made three split placements together during that year.

“When Alan joined, he contacted me because he saw my stuff out there on the Network,” said Daum.   “This was back in 2002, when Eli Lilly was hiring automation engineers like crazy, and they called me to do some recruiting.  After Alan and I started working together, they also called Alan, and Alan said, ‘We’re working Al Daum’s job orders, so we’re already working for you.’

“As soon as Alan said that, I knew our relationship was cemented.”

Daum actually found himself in Carty’s shoes recently.  He’s made a few placements with Rich Connors of Vista Technology; the two made three splits in 2009 and are working on closing another couple of deals at the moment.

“Connors’s client called me a month ago and said, ‘We want to do business with you,’” said Daum. “I said, ‘I’m already working your jobs through Rich.’  That’s the way to do it, and that’s why we have a good relationship.”

As with Carty, the Network database was the initial catalyst for the Trading Partner relationship that Connors and Daum have built and continue to cultivate.  In the case of Connors, Daum is an exporter rather than an importer.   Connors posted on the Top Echelon Network Discussion Forum that he had Delta V job openings, so Daum picked up the phone and called Connors directly.

“What he posted on the Forum caught my eye and got me going,” said Daum. “Since then, we’ve made three splits, and we’re working on the fourth and fifth right now. We have an offer coming and somebody interviewing today.”

According to Daum, all it took was one phone call for him to start a relationship with Connors that could potentially result in five split placements in less than a year’s time.

“I’m usually more of an importer, except in the case of Rich,” he said. “I’m finding people for him, and I’m not adverse to doing that. Again, it’s hitting me right in my sweet spot—Automation Engineers with pharmaceutical experience. That’s right where I want to be. I think it’s a good arrangement, and it’s definitely good for my business.”

Daum’s relationship with Connors is built upon the same Network Pillar as his relationship with Carty and the recruiters at—Trust.   It’s been proven time and time again in the Network that it’s only when two Preferred Member recruiters trust each other completely that they can maximize the potential of their relationship, and that includes the amount of business they can do together and the number of split placements they can make with one another.

“If you don’t trust one another, you’re just dancing around the issues or whatever topic you’re discussing,” said Daum.   “If you trust each other, you call up the other recruiter and say, ‘I have this candidate who’s name is so-and-so.  I know you’ve talked with them in the past, so what do you think about them for this job?’ I know they would call me and do the same thing.

“In fact, that happened with Rich Connors.   We were sharing some names early on, and he said, ‘I’m trying to reach that guy, so don’t contact him.’  The conversations I have with these recruiters aren’t guarded. Therefore, they’re more helpful to everybody.  I’m glad that these kinds of people are part of Top Echelon.”

When it comes to dispensing advice to other recruiters who want to enjoy the kind of success that he has in the Network, Daum advocates not only the Pillar of Trust, but also the Pillar of Quality, specifically in terms of job orders and Resume Data Sheets (RDS’s).

“For importers, I would encourage you to post good, complete job orders in the database,” said Daum.   “Include any sizzle that enhances it; that makes a big difference. For exporters, put all of your candidates out there and also reach out to other recruiters.   Give them a call and say, ‘Hey, I have this person and I have a feeling this might be what you’re looking for.’   Don’t just put the candidate in the database and then forget about them.   Put them in and then follow up with recruiters who might use the person.

“I think if you do these things, you’ll increase your chances for success.”

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