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I have been here at Top Echelon Network for almost 16 years; 14 of those years has involved managing and directing Top Echelon Network. I have been asked so many different questions about recruiting, partnering, alerts, etc.

Who should I work with? How should I work best in TEN? How is this policy interpreted? What are the Golden Rules? The list goes on and on.

This is the first in a series of Pinnacle Newsletter Blog posts covering the topic with which I receive the most questions. A topic asked of me by both first-year recruiters and those who have decades of tenure in the profession: the “But For Rule.”

The concept of split placements is simple. However, with simplicity there is also underlying complexity. What is the “But For Rule,” exactly?

In its simplest terms, it’s “what caused your interest to take action.” In Bernard Frechtman’s Employment Agency Law, the “But For Rule” is defined as “But For the particular act, would the employer have hired the applicant?” Here is a version used which is more encompassing: “But For what particular piece of information caused interest and/or actions?”

Aside from regularly implementing the concept of reciprocity (the true spirit of the Network) to your membership activity, the “But For Rule” is key to being a successful and excellent productive partner, as well as keeping you in alignment with the TE Policies. The “But For Rule” is woven through the fabric of the TE Policies very tightly, providing proper membership guidance.

In the upcoming weeks, I will be breaking down the Policies in Top Echelon Network which have the “But For Rule” as a key component.

Let’s start with a simple scenario to warm up this series. We have Elaine the Exporter and Irene the Importer. (Exporter = candidate supplier, Importer = job supplier).

Let’s say that Elaine submits a candidate (Carl) to Irene for a job that she has posted on TEN.

Before we go any further, let’s define the action word “submits.” In order to do so, we have to understand the tools that are being used. They include email, Network Candidates Database Requests, direct submittals to split jobs, and TEN Job Feed Nominations.

So to clarify the “submittal” of the candidate in this scenario, the candidate (Carl) is coming to Elaine from Irene by any of these means.

So Elaine sees Carl’s information and realizes that she knows Carl. She has been recruiting in her niche for a long time and has actually tried to place him a few times over the years. (A history of having success, or lack thereof, with Carl is irrelevant). Elaine did not think of Carl for this position. Instead, Irene brought Carl to Elaine’s attention for the job in question.

What does the “But For Rule” dictate in this situation? By using TE Policy 15a as a guide, the opening line for Policy 15a is as follows:

“As a general rule, once a recruiter accepts and acknowledges acceptance of candidate information from another Top Echelon Network recruiter, they must honor that candidate referral no matter if or whether they later determine they ‘already had the candidate.'”

The simplicity of this policy shows that Elaine is to honor Irene’s submittal of Carl for this job because it was Irene’s presentation of Carl that caused Elaine to be interested.

Let’s take another step forward with this scenario. Let’s say that Elaine realizes that Carl is not a fit for the job for which Irene had submitted him. However, Carl is a perfect match for another job she is working. At this point, the question to ask is, “What caused Elaine to consider Carl for Job#2?”

Was it because Elaine worked with him in the past and he was in her database, or because Irene brought Carl to her attention for Job#1? If not the former, then she is acting on the information that was sent to her by Irene.

What does the “But For Rule” dictate in this situation? We will jump into TE Policy#9a, which states:

“Top Echelon Network adheres to the industry’s ‘BUT FOR RULE’ when determining how long a recruiter owns a candidate. If a Top Echelon Network member receives a record/resume in 2010 from another Top Echelon Network member and later finds and begins working from that same candidate record in their database in 2011, then the recruiter should split the placement with the originating member that first brought the candidate to their attention.”

Irene would also be honored in the split on Job#2, again because it was Irene’s presentation of Carl that caused Elaine to be interested.

When you find yourself in a situation where you are not sure what to do or who is due credit for a split, look at the Top Echelon Network Policies. Be honest when you ask yourself “What caused my interest?”

If you are not sure, call me. I will be glad to help bring a clearer understanding to your situation, which in turn, will make you a more successful and reliable partner in Top Echelon Network.

Keep an eye out for the next Pinnacle article relating to the “But For Rule” . . .

At Top Echelon, we’re constantly upgrading both the Big Biller recruiting software and our split placement network software. So we’re pleased to announce the following updates:

1. Job Overview Enhancements – The Jobs Overview tab on Company records received several updates, including the addition of new columns, View Preferences, Record Preview, and an action menu.

2. Notification Email Revamp – Our Notification emails have a fresh, new look! In addition, they should be more helpful, as they now include next steps and additional tips (when applicable).

3. Saving Filter Selections on All Notifications Page – The All Notifications page will now remember your Filter selections each time you navigate back to that page so you can quickly get your hands on the types that are most important to you.

4. Copy a Job from CATS to Top Echelon Network – CATS customers who are also members of Top Echelon Network now have the ability to quickly copy a Job within the CATS database to share with their Network trading partners.

5. [BETA TESTING] Monster Organic Job Postings – We are currently BETA testing a brand-new free organic offering from which allows you to get some additional exposure for your open positions without having a Monster account. Want to try it out? Email us at

Remember, you can always stay informed by visiting the official Top Echelon Product Updates page. You can see current and past updates, as well as which updates and upgrades are next.

If you have questions about these updates or about any other aspect of your Top Echelon Network and/or Big Biller software account, you can:

→ Send an email to

→ Contact us via chat during regular business hours.

→ Visit our Help Center.

Here at Top Echelon, we’ve seen quite a bit during our over 30 years of existence.

We’ve seen just about everything that can happen to a recruiting agency. And we’ve seen what works well for recruiters . . . and what doesn’t.

The bottom line: a recruiting agency that makes both contract placements and direct hire placements is better positioned for long-term success. Why is that?

Simple: multiple revenue streams AND recurring revenue. That gives you better leverage as an agency owner. When and if one revenue stream dries up, you still have the other stream to sustain you.

But enough of the build-up. Below are two BIG reasons to start making contract placements:

Reason #1—The market is still unsteady.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown everything into disarray during the past 12 months, and that includes the employment marketplace. Yes, the Stock Market is up, but I think we can all agree that at this point, the Stock Market is not tied in any real way to reality.

Not only that, but there is also still the very real threat of a double-dip recession. We had a recession last year and we are currently recovering from it, but we could dip back into another one.

During a recession, companies stop hiring on a direct basis. However, they do hire on a contract basis. So if you’re already making contract placements, then you’ll be able to switch gears relatively easily.

Reason #2—You can sell your business for a LOT of money.

If you retire with only a direct hire business, you know what you can sell it for? Next to nothing.

You might view that as unfair, considering how long and hard you’ve worked to build the business. But when you run a direct hire firm, the most valuable part of the business is YOU. Once you’re gone, the value is gone.

However, when you have a stable of contractors, they become the value when you retire and you want to sell the agency. So the more contractors you have working, the more valuable your agency becomes and the more money you’ll be able to get for it.

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to know anything about contracting to make contract placements. That’s because our sister company, Foxhire (formerly Top Echelon Contracting) is here to help.

They can tell you what to do and how to do it. You just make the placements, and they’ll handle all of the paperwork as the back-office. No fuss, no muss, just money.

Contact Foxhire to get started!

Keep making those direct hire placements. (And if you don’t mind, split placements, as well.)

But consider how much stronger and better positioned your recruiting agency would be if you added contract staffing solutions to your business model!

Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the nature of the employment marketplace. And yes, the National Unemployment Rate is not as low as it was two years ago.

However, job candidates are still “ghosting” employers in certain industries. In other words, they are simply disappearing during various stages of the hiring process. Those stages include the following:

  • Phone screen
  • Face-to-face interview
  • Offer of employment
  • First day of work
  • After lunch on the first day of work

Not only has the pandemic not erased the reasons why top candidates are “ghosting,” but it’s also simply added another reason. Now one of the reasons that candidates are “ghosting” IS the pandemic!

These candidates enter the hiring process and then at some point in that process, they decide that the pandemic makes it too risky to continue exploring other opportunities. So they drop out!

Once upon a time, renowned industry trainer Barb Bruno, CPC/CTS of Good as Gold Training conducted a webinar as part of Top Echelon’s Recruiter Coaching Series. The title of that webinar was “Recruiter Ghostbusting – Who You Gonna Call?”

During that webinar, Barb presented the top 10 reasons why candidates ghost during the hiring process:

#1—They’re too nervous and panicked, so they don’t show up.

#2—They’re not sure they’re qualified for the opportunity.

#3—The company or organization is not one that they prefer.

#4—They have other interviews lined up that interest them more.

#5—They’re close to accepting another offer.

#6—They saw negative reviews about the company or organization on the Glassdoor website.

#7—They feel that the opportunity is a lateral move.

#8—They don’t see advancement potential.

#9—They’re not sure of the company culture.

#10—They used the interview to secure a counter-offer from their current employer.

From a recruiter’s perspective, of course, none of these are good reasons. They’re just the top 10 reasons.

That being said, how do you prevent this from happening? The answer lies in the recorded version of Barb’s webinar, which is available on the Top Echelon website. Below is the official description of this training video:

— — —

It’s not that uncommon for a candidate to ghost their interview with you, or worse yet, no-show an interview with your client.

Or how about candidates who ghost a final interview or just don’t show up for their first day of employment?

Then there are candidates who show up on the first day, go to lunch, and don’t bother to come back to work.

You can write this off to bad behavior of candidates or you can become a GHOSTBUSTER!

Barb conducts weekly calls for hundreds of job seekers and can provide great insight, to help you solve these issues. During this session, she will discuss the following:

  • WHY candidates GHOST interviews with you – and Ghostbusting Solutions
  • WHY candidates GHOST interviews with your clients – and Ghostbusting Solutions
  • WHY candidates GHOST their first day of employment – and Ghostbusting Solutions
  • WHY candidates GHOST their job after lunch – and Ghostbusting Solutions

It’s time to become a PROACTIVE Ghostbuster so you can close more placements and fills!

— — —

Click the link below to watch this training video:

Watch this FREE training video!

Remember, if you have questions about this training video, your Top Echelon Network membership, or about how you can enjoy more success in the Network, 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

Every relationship needs a great foundation in order to succeed. It doesn’t matter what kind of relationship it might be.

It could be the one you have with your parents. Or your children. Or maybe even your spouse. If that relationship has a great foundation, then it’s more likely to flourish and be successful.

And the split partner relationships that you have in Top Echelon’s recruiter network are NO different.

The split placements that Top Echelon Network members make with one another represent examples of that foundation. That’s because you can clearly see why the split partner relationship works.

This formula can be summed up as follows:

The recruiters involved took the time to learn about their partner, how they work, and what they needed.

Let’s break that formula down, shall we?

#1—Take the time.

Success in a split network like Top Echelon requires an investment of time. (It also requires an investment of energy, but that doesn’t speak specifically to this point.)

There’s no way around the fact that your Network membership is an investment in your recruiting desk and your agency. Top Echelon Network is not a “magic money-making machine.”

#2—Learn about your split partner.

There are many things about which you must learn. These things include your partner’s background, their business, and in some cases, even their family, hobbies, and personal pursuits.

You can become friend with your split partners, you know. It’s happened before.

#3—Learn how your partner works.

As you well know, not everybody works their recruiting desk the same way. In fact, recruiting desks are like snowflakes: no two desks are exactly alike.

As a result, you must find out some things. What is your partner’s recruiting process like? What is their preferred method of doing things?

#4—Learn what your partner needs.

What they need might depend upon whether they are an importer or an exporter in the Network. What do they need in the candidates that you present? What details do they need about the job?

Even if this is the only thing that you really figure out about your split partners, you can still be successful and make placements with them.

Are you looking for a better foundation for your Top Echelon recruiting network membership? That’s the first step. The second step is contacting Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS.

You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to