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Last week in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog, we presented “2 Great Split Placement Stories from the TE Trenches.” Well, we’re back with more stories!

The fact of the matter is that great placement stories happen in the Network all the time. That’s because there are hundreds of split-minded recruiters in TE who trust each other enough to make great things happen.

And that’s what we want at Top Echelon. We don’t want recruiters to just make split placements with each other. We want them to make split placements in extraordinary situations and circumstances. That way, they’ll remember the splits long after they’ve spent the placement fees.

Sure, a run-of-the-mill, vanilla-flavored split placement still generates the same 6% brokerage fee that a split placement generates. However, we want our Network members to enjoy an exemplary experience when making splits in our Network.

Because when members enjoy an exemplary experience making a split placement with another recruiter, they’re more likely to make more splits with that recruiter. They look for opportunities to make splits with that recruiter.

Making split placements in extraordinary circumstances accelerates the process of building trading partner relationships. You trust the other recruiter more easily, and that trust is repaid with even more split placement revenue.

We want your great split placement stories! If you have such a story and you’d like to share it with us, you can do two things.

First, share the story on the Completed Placement forms when you submit them. Second, email the story to

Third, if you’re looking to make more split placements in TE, then contact Top Echelon Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS. You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

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“KLA has always fostered open communications about their clients, and I have enjoyed a trust level for sharing my client information. This placement was made by normal conversation with Zach Ernest about what was on my radar. He happened to be filling a position in the same space, and one of his top candidates as not excited about moving his family. So I leveraged a personal contact and the placement was made in just over a week (from submittal to acceptance)!”

Submitted by Dan Funke, CPC of Flexible Recruiting regarding his Network split placement with Zach Ernest, CPC of KLA Industries


Fee Percentage—25%

(Editor’s note: This is the third Network split placement that Funke and Ernest have made together in Top Echelon.)

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“This was my first international search with a focus on candidates living in Europe who will continue to reside in Europe. Ann provided me with several very strong candidates, with the selected candidate clearly being the unanimous choice of my client’s entire leadership team. Thanks, Ann! It is always such a pleasure partnering with you.”

Submitted by Pat McCombs of KB Search Team, LLC regarding her Network split placement with Ann Boland of the Boland Group


Fee Percentage—30%

(Editor’s note: This is the third Network split placement that McCombs and Boland have made together in Top Echelon.)

SHere’s the unsurprising part: Trey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group is Recruiter of the Month for January.

Here’s the semi-surprising part: we have some new names in our top five!

Those new names include Jeff Katz of JSK Recruiting and Mark Diamond of Diamond Executive Search. JSK Recruiting joined Top Echelon Network in September of 2016. Since that time, Jeff has made 10 placements in the Network. That is top-level production!

Mark has made four placements in the Network, two during the month of January. Those two placements commanded hefty fees of $31,250 and $33,000.

JSK Recruiting works Supply Chain and Manufacturing. Diamond Executive Search focuses on corporate and plant leadership roles in Auto, Building Products, Food & Beverage, and Packaging.

January: placements up 19.4%

These are two new recruiting firms in the Network that believe in split placements and doing what is necessary to make splits. That’s why their recruiters are in the top five in Top Echelon Network for the month of January.

And here’s more good news: placements in January were up 19.4% over the same time period in 2016. This is further evidence that the job market is solid and employers are willing and eager to hire at the start of 2017. This is further evidence that the job market is solid and employers are willing and eager to hire at the start of 2017.

So congratulations to everybody else who made placements in Top Echelon Network last month! Below are the top five top-producing recruiters in Top Echelon Network for the month of January 2017:

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Recruiters of the Month:

1st Place: Trey Cameron
Agency: Cameron Craig Group
Placements: 5
Commission: $37,507

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2nd Place: Jeff Katz
Agency: JSK Recruiting
Placements: 3
Commission: $23,100

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3rd Place: Justin Bidwell
Agency: Bidwell & Associates, LLC
Placements: 3
Commission: $21,502

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4th Place: Mark Diamond
Agency: Diamond Executive Search
Placements: 2
Commission: $30,197

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5th Place: Pat McCombs, CPC
Agency: KB Search Team, LLC
Placements: 2
Commission: $30,125

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If YOU are looking to make more placements with your Top Echelon Network membership, contact Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

Top Echelon Network recruiters have opinions aplenty. And they’re not shy about sharing them. That’s why our Members’ Area poll questions are so popular.

But do they have opinions about . . . themselves? Of course they do!

And to prove that, we asked we asked a series of two poll questions recently. The first question was as follows:

What is your biggest strength as a recruiter?

The choice of answers that we provided is listed below, along with the percentage of Network recruiters that selected each one:

  • Sourcing — 25.0%
  • Marketing — 20.8%
  • Screening/interviewing — 29.2%
  • Negotiation — 6.2%
  • Closing — 10.4%
  • Some other strength — 8.3%

And then on the heels of that question, we asked THIS one:

What is your biggest weakness as a recruiter?

The choice of answers that we provided is listed below, along with the percentage of Network recruiters that selected each one:

  • Sourcing — 16.2%
  • Marketing — 51.2%
  • Screening/interviewing — 5.0%
  • Negotiation — 3.8%
  • Closing — 0.0%
  • Some other weakness — 23.8%

Strength vs. weakness

Okay, let’s point out the obvious first (obviously). Overall, TE recruiters believe their #1 strength lies in “screening/interviewing” with 29.2% of the vote. However, that was just one of three responses that garnered at least 20%. The other two were “sourcing” at 25.0% and “marketing” (20.8%).

Interestingly enough, only 10.4% of recruiters identified “closing” as their biggest strength. That’s interesting because closing is one of the most important parts of the placement process. You can make placements unless you’re able to close and close consistently.

So let’s “flip the script,” so to speak. When it came to the biggest weakness, not one single recruiter identified “Closing” as their biggest weakness. So while it’s not their biggest strength, it might be their second or third-biggest.

What IS TE recruiters’ biggest weakness, at least according to them, is “Marketing.” More than half of poll participants (51.2%) chose that as their answer. After that, there was a big drop-off. In fact, 23.8% of recruiters indicated that “Some other weakness” is their biggest weakness. (Once again, illustrating the limitations of a poll question as opposed to a survey.) The only other category in double digits was “Sourcing” at 16.2%.

So the biggest strength? Screening and interviewing candidates.

The biggest weakness? Marketing.

First and foremost, recruiters are recruiters. They are not marketers. Recruiters recruit well, that’s how they make money. They don’t market well, even though that might make them more money.

And judging by the results of these polls, TE recruiters are also honest and objective. (Which is why they’re Network members in the first place.)

If you want to maximize your strengths and improve your weaknesses within TE, then contact Top Echelon Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS. You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

When adding contract services to your existing direct hire recruiting business, you must first decide if you are going to handle the back office tasks in-house. These tasks include payroll, benefits administration, employment paperwork, invoicing, etc. The alternative? Outsource them!

Many small firms or “one-man shows” choose the latter. After all, it can take the average recruiter one to six months to get set up to handle contract staffing issues in-house.

Not only that, but it also takes one or two days every week to keep up with the timesheet, payroll, and invoicing issues. By outsourcing these tasks, recruiters can take on contract opportunities without taking away from their direct hire business.

Contract services with a back office

A contract staffing back office can handle all of the administrative, financial, and legal details associated with contract placements. The back office should also handle all of the weekly tasks and actually become the contractors’ legal employer.

If you decide to outsource these tasks rather than handle them in-house, then you will want to find an experienced contract staffing back office with a well-documented history, an impeccable reputation, and positive referrals and testimonials. Remember that your back office is a reflection of you, the recruiter.

Below is a partial list of the critical tasks that should be provided by a contract staffing back office:

  • Bill rates and pay rates assistance
  • Contract generation
  • Employee paperwork
  • Payroll funding and processing
  • State and federal taxes
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Unemployment
  • Invoicing and collections
  • Background checks
  • Certificate of Insurance
  • Benefits: medical, dental, vision, 401(k), etc.

If you use a quality contract staffing back office, you can easily offer both direct and contract services to your clients, regardless of the size of your firm. You can enjoy the extra income and client loyalty that come with contract staffing without having to worry about all of the administrative details tied to a blended service business model.

In short, you will be able to focus on what you do best—recruiting!

For more information about the benefits of offering contract services to your clients, visit the Top Echelon Contracting website.