Joan Walters: 50 Split Placements . . . and Counting!

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 ongoing series in The Pinnacle blog, we’re going to interview some of the Top Producers in the Network and ask them what they’ve done to achieve success.

Joan WaltersRecruiter: Joan Walters, CPC

Agency: J.R. Walters Resources

Accomplishments within the Network:

Joan is currently ranked #7 in the Network in terms of the top-producing recruiters during the past 12 months.  She’s made five placements in the Network during the past eight months, and all five of them were split placements.  (To view a complete list of the top-producing recruiters in Top Echelon Network, please visit the Members’ Area.)

Joan’s Key to Success: Communication!

For Walters, her success in the Network is all about one of the Four Pillars of Top Echelon Network.

“Communication, communication, communication,” said Walters, who started in the recruiting industry in 1988.  “My success is all because of communication and keeping in contact with other recruiters and Trading Partners.”

Network 'Success Stories'Walters, who’s made a total of 50 placements within the Network, works in all Engineering, Architectural, and Construction Management fields.  She indicated that establishing a pattern of consistent communication with other recruiters is extremely important in the formation of productive Trading Partner relationships.

“I’m very committed to keeping the other recruiter informed from the get-go,” said Walters.  “When recruiters submit a candidate to me, if I talk to the person, I’m going to let the other recruiter know everything that happens, right down the line.  I can’t stress follow-up enough.  You have to follow up with your Trading Partners.”

According to Walters, she takes the same approach with her Trading Partners that she takes with her client companies.

“I get on the phone with my clients and I talk with them,” she said.  “I don’t just ask for job orders.  I talk with them about what’s going on in the industry, and we trade information.  I’ve had clients for 10, 12, 15 years . . . if I don’t make a bunch of placements with them, I don’t write them off.”

One of the things that Walters communicates with other recruiters is the way in which she likes to work during the placement process.  This up-front communication goes a long way toward ensuring a smoother and more timely process.  Walters works the client side of the equation within the Network, while her partner and significant other John Bolger works the candidate side.  For Walters’s part, she doesn’t have a problem shouldering more of the responsibility during the interviewing and placement process.

“I don’t care a whole lot about pre-screening,” said Walters.  “Just send me the resume and let me take it from there.  I’m always open to other recruiters providing me with good applicants.  I’m hoping to do some more international work, and I’m gathering quite a few applicants and working both sides there.  I’m a little bit of a control freak in that regard.”

The Network: use it!
Walters has had two stints in Top Echelon Network.  She first became a Preferred Member in 1993 (when Top Echelon Network was called Nationwide Interchange Service) before leaving briefly in 2002.  She returned in 2005, and incidentally, the date she returned was June 9, 2005, making today the fifth anniversary of her return.

When it comes to dispensing advice to other recruiters about how to experience success within the Network, Walters alluded to another of the Four Pillars–Active Participation.

“What it boils down to is talking with Trading Partners, sharing job orders, sharing candidates, and following up,” she said.  “You should also attend the conferences and attend the Core Group meetings–both the Regional Core Groups and the Virtual Core Groups.  If you do those things, you can be successful.  If you don’t, you’re just wasting your time and money.  If you’re going to be part of it . . . use it!”

Although not all the recruiters in her Regional Core Group work in the same industry or niche, Walters still finds tremendous value in attending the meetings.

“There’s always something to learn from the other recruiters,” she said.  “You can pick up a variety of things about all sorts of topics and open up the lines of communication better.”

Ultimately, Walters’s success within the Network goes beyond just quality communication, but to the result of that communication: great relationships with other recruiters.

“You need to treat your Trading Partners just like you would your clients or your customers,” she said.  “That’s the key, really.  You should treat them all equally, and you should treat them the way that you would want to be treated.”

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