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It’s one thing to have one person in the top 10 have a career year in Top Echelon Network.

It’s another to have two or three people have a career year. But almost ALL of them?

We don’t have to imagine what that would look like because it did happen in Top Echelon’s recruiting network in 2021. Specifically, nine of the Top 10 recruiters in the Network for the year enjoyed their best year in TE. (So far, we should say . . .)

To refresh our collective memories, below are the top 10 recruiters in the Network for 2021, along with their agency name and cash-in totals for the year:

#1—Michael Stuck of Gables Search Group ($1,014,100)
#2—Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search, Inc. ($673,696)
#3—Trey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group ($536,189)
#4—Terry Rhodes of NewCareers ($372,543)
#5—Gary Schultz of Work 22, Inc. ($271,131)
#6—Amy Chapman of Key People Staffing ($270,029)
#7—Jim Strickland of BioSource Recruiters ($229,982)
#8—Maria Hemminger of MJ Recruiters, LLC ($215,470)
#9—Larry Gallin of Gallin Associates ($190,484)
#10—Keith Cornelison of Personnel Resources ($189,928)

The only person on this list who did not enjoy a career year in Top Echelon Network was Trey Cameron. Trey, of course, has billed over $1 million through the Network on multiple occasions. After seeing his production dip during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, he billed over $500K in TE last year.

Michael Stuck of Gables Search Group

Michael Stuck

Speaking of billing $1 million through the Network, that’s exactly what Michael Stuck did in 2021. Now he and Trey are the only two recruiters in Top Echelon history to reach that mark within a calendar year. Michael joined Top Echelon Network in 2005, but he changed the way he viewed his membership and worked within TE two years ago, and that change has yielded big dividends.

According to Michael, success in the Network is all about networking and building relationships with other members.

“This past year has been truly amazing with all of the relationships I built, some new and some I have worked with for years,” he said. “I can’t really say that any have been better than others because every recruiter I have made a split with I feel I have developed a bond that will carry over into this year. TE is made up of some really good recruiters with all different kinds of styles.”

Not only was 2021 a career year for some of these recruiters in Top Echelon Network, but it was a career year for them as a recruiter overall. Steve Kohn is counted among their ranks. Steve, who has been a member of the Network for more than 25 years and is a perennial Top Producer, enjoyed a stellar 2021 all the way around.

“I smashed every personal record,” said Steve. “Over 300 interviews, 109 accepted offers, and $1.2 million in gross billings. Most recruiters I know also had their busiest and most green year, too.”

According to Steve, the COVID-19 pandemic may have had much to do with the record performances of many recruiters.

Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search

Steve Kohn

“After COVID really hit in March of 2020, all search activity instantly died,” he said. “We all know that a lot of times companies keep jobs open thinking they’ll hire if someone perfect comes along or just that they regularly hire certain types of people. All those jobs disappeared. Once they started reappearing in May and June of 2020, we had the unprecedented circumstance where every job order was a quality one.

“It was the same for candidates. Once they started reappearing, almost all of them were very serious and not kidding around. Because a lot candidates were happy working from home and/or didn’t want to relocate, we have a lopsided market where demand for talent is far outpacing supply.

“Quality job orders + serious candidates + talent shortages = a lot more placements and at higher salaries. Hooray for us. Let’s enjoy it and exploit it while it lasts!”

Not everybody in the Top 10 for 2021 is a long-time Network member, although the majority of them are. For example, Gary Schultz joined the Network in August of 2019. Despite being a member for less than three years, Gary has already made 87 split placements.

As another example, Amy Chapman joined top Echelon Network in February of 2018. Since then, she has made a total of 42 splits. According to Amy, who is 100% a job order recruiter in TE, only six of the placements she made last year were not split placements. She indicated that, like Michael Stuck, she changed her approach to using the Network.

“I stopped putting the focus on finding my own candidate, which means I would get 100% of the fee,” said Amy. “I switched from utilizing TE to fill the gaps of positions I couldn’t find on my own to utilizing TE to fill all my positions, and I only researched if I had a position lacking good candidates. It resulted in less down time researching candidates and more time spent aggressively processing candidates through interviews that were pipelined in through TE partners. And that is what makes you more money and equals more placements!”

Amy also stated that she experienced a 64% increase in gross sales last year over 2020. And of course, she was grateful for the role that her split recruiting partners played in her success.

Amy Chapman of Key People Staffing

Amy Chapman

“I want to thank ALL the many split partners I had last year that made 2021 possible,” she said. “All your hard work behind the scenes makes a small company like mine be able to deliver results Fortune 500-style. I look forward to many more splits this year.

“But I also want to thank Top Echelon itself for providing a platform that has enabled me to expand my business in ways I didn’t think possible. The best way to end the year is increased sales, increased net earnings, decreased expenses, and more me time. I’m looking forward to more growth in 2022!”

We at Top Echelon are looking forward to more growth this year, as well . . . perhaps in the form of another top nine (or even 10) recruiters enjoying a career year in the Network.

Before joining Top Echelon Network, some recruiters have made split placements before. However, that is not always the case.

Sometimes, a recruiter joins the Network despite the fact they’ve never made a split before. (Or they’ve made very few.)

Robert Litton of the Litton Resource Group

Robert Litton

You can count Robert Litton of the Litton Resource Group in the latter category.

According to Robert, he wasn’t inclined to do split placements before joining Top Echelon’s recruiting network.

“I was looking for an opportunity to find more candidates for my job openings,” he said. “Prior to joining TE, I always did my own deals and very few splits.”

Robert, who recruits in the Healthcare industry, has done more than just a few splits lately. In fact, he’s made 20 split placements since the fall of 2019, placements that have brought him an additional $83K in revenue for his agency.

According to Robert, below are four takeaways that have been instrumental to his success as a member of the Network during the past two and a half years:

#1—It’s all about the candidates!

As mentioned above, Robert joined the Network for the expressed purpose of finding more job candidates. There has been a lack of quality candidates in the job market for the past few years, and he was interested in sourcing more candidates for his clients’ job orders.

According to Robert, he had heard good things about Top Echelon and its split fee recruiting network, so he decided to find out for himself how TE’s system worked.

“Before I joined, I wasn’t really sure how it operated, other than it presented an opportunity to do some split placements,” he said. “I knew Top Echelon had a good reputation and I have found that to be true. The benefits to my agency are definitely the ability to access more candidates and make more placements.”

#2—Post ALL of your jobs to the Network.

Top Echelon Network encourages Network members to post all of their jobs to the Network. The more jobs you post, the better the chances that you will fill the job order with a quality candidate and make a placement more quickly than you would have otherwise.

Robert is in full agreement with this philosophy.

“I post all my jobs on the Network, as opposed to holding some jobs back and trying to fill them on my own,” he said. “I always try to offer feedback to my partners, as well.”

#3—You can provide more value to candidates and clients.

Another benefit of Top Echelon Network membership is the opportunity to provide more value to the candidates and clients with which you work. Some members choose to proactively market their membership to both groups of people to emphasize the vast resources at their disposal.

While Robert is more low-key in his approach with clients and candidates, he acknowledges the additional value that Network membership provides.

“There are benefits to both, as it give me more opportunity to find candidates for my clients and find jobs for my candidates,” he said. “They are not really aware of the benefits, per se, but they do benefit from TE.”

#4—The ATS integration and training are beneficial.

Not only is Robert a member of Top Echelon Network, but he also uses Top Echelon’s recruiting software. Top Echelon’s ATS integrates with his membership, providing synergy and a more streamlined experience on his recruiting desk.

As a result, Robert recommends that newer Network membership check out Top Echelon’s applicant tracking system and also the extensive training that Top Echelon offers.

“If you want to make more placements, this is the place to be,” he said. “In addition, you get to use a great ATS and you can take advantage of the available training.”

I have blogged numerous times about the benefits of attending Top Echelon recruiter networking events like the upcoming Top Echelon Network National Convention. While I could go over them again in this blog post, I am NOT.

That’s because there’s really only one reason why you should go: because that’s where the action is!

What do I mean by that? That’s where the Top Producers in Top Echelon’s recruiting network are. They’re all in one place, all together, all talking about how they can grow their business.

When you login to the Network Dashboard, the current Top Producers are located on the left-hand side of the screen. You can see the top 12 Network recruiters, as ranked by their cash-in totals for the past 12 months.

I’m looking at them right now, and the vast majority of them have attended Top Echelon events.

The wisdom of Top Producers

Now . . . what does that tell you?

I’ll tell you what it tells you. It tells you four things:

#1—Top Producers attend Top Echelon events.

THAT is why events like the upcoming Top Echelon Network National Convention (TE Connect 2022) are where the action is! These are successful recruiters, both inside and outside of the Network. They bring with them their experience and their expertise, as well as a desire to share both with other attendees. Why would you not want to be part of that?

#2—Top Producers became Top Producers BY attending Top Echelon events.

Attending events like the National Convention can help take you to the next level of production in the Network. Meeting other recruiters face-to-face and building personal relationships holds the key to this growth, and you can’t replicate that over the telephone.

#3—Top Producers continue to attend Top Echelon events even though they are already Top Producers.

If these recruiters did not believe there was value in attending these events, they would NOT continue attending these events. After all, they’re making split placements in the Network right now—a lot of them. Do they need to attend? They certainly seem to think they do.

#4—YOU need to attend Top Echelon events.

The writing is on the wall (of the Network Dashboard). If you want to be a Top Producer, then you should do what Top Producers do. That applies to the world of recruiting in general, as well as within Top Echelon Network. Top Producers will be at the National Convention. You should join them.

Ready, and . . . action!

Below is information to help you get started:

  • The dates of the 2022 Top Echelon National Convention are Thursday, March 24, and Friday, March 25.
  • The keynote speaker for the convention will be Greg Doersching, president of Next Level Coaching.
  • The site of the convention will be Harrah’s Las Vegas.
  • Our room rate for Harrah’s is $79 per night.

Do what the Top Producers do. If you want to be a Top Producer, what is important to them should be important to you.

Attend the National Convention in March, and you’ll see exactly what I mean!

You have many tools, services, and resources that you use as a recruiter and/or agency owner in your quest to make more placements. Membership in Top Echelon Network is just one of them.

But perhaps, since we’ve just started 2022, you’ve been wondering about what kind of return on investment (ROI) you’re receiving on your Network membership. That’s a valid question. (Although I hope you’re asking that question about every tool, service, and resource, that you use.)

Let’s cut right to the chase: you do NOT have to make a ton of split placements every year to earn a huge ROI in our Network. In fact, you only have to make one split placement to receive that huge ROI.

How huge is huge? I’m so glad you asked . . .

How the TE ROI is so high

Let’s start with cost. The monthly membership dues for Top Echelon’s recruiting network is $130 per month. Over the course of an entire year, a recruiting agency would pay $1,560 in Network membership dues.

Let’s say that a member agency makes one placement in the Network during that year. We’ll start with the fact that the average TE placement fee in recent years has been around $20,000. So let’s say this one placement brings with it an average TE placement fee.

Okay, so then Top Echelon takes 6% of that total as its brokerage fee. In this case, that fee is $1,200. That means each recruiter associated with the split placement will now split $18,800. Some quick math tells us that’s 9,400 per recruiter (or per agency).

Theoretically, the member agency with which we started paid $1,560 in membership dues over the course of a single year. That was the agency’s monetary investment. The return that it received on that investment is $9,189.

Pay $1,560, receive $9,400. That sounds like an acceptable return on investment (ROI).

That’s because you are more than doubling your money. That represents a 500% ROI for each agency involved in the split placement.

Maximize your 2022 return

So that’s the ROI of making just one split in Top Echelon Network in 2022: 500%. Of course, some member agencies make far more than one split per year.

However, as you can see, the Network does not have to constitute a major part of your business or recruiting desk for you to receive a huge return on your investment. The Network is meant to supplement your business and your desk, to maximize it, so to speak.

One split placement is all it takes. If you have yet to make your first split in Top Echelon Network, then we want to help you do so in 2022. We want you to receive your 500% ROI.

That’s why I encourage you to contact our Director of Network Operations, Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS. You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to drea@topechelon.com.

A few weeks ago in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog, we invited you to follow Top Echelon Software on LinkedIn.

And sure, LinkedIn has been around for nearly two decades, but are you using LinkedIn to your full advantage? LinkedIn can be about more than just sourcing candidates. (Although I must admit, that is pretty important.)

With Top Echelon’s LinkedIn Group, Recruiting Tips and Training, recruiters can connect and share advice with other recruiters. Think of it as a space where you can share your recruiting experience and simultaneously learn from others. Not bad, eh?

We invite you to join this group and share blog posts you’ve written or ones that you’ve found on the Internet (about recruiting, of course). Also, be sure to read what others have contributed.

Currently, our Recruiting Tips and Training Group on LinkedIn has over 1,000 members, with more people joining all the time!

You like recruiting tips? You like us?

Now that we’ve hit 1,000 members in this group, help us to reach 2,000! Join our LinkedIn Group and share recruiting tips, advice, and information that could help you (and others) make more placements.

Click HERE to join Recruiting Tips and Training!

(Editor’s note: Don’t forget that Top Echelon provides FREE recruiter training webinars on the second Tuesday of every month. To join the mailing list for these webinars, send an email to marketing@topechelon.com.)