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We love to highlight members of Top Echelon’s recruiting network who are enthusiastic about making split placements. And Marcus Strother of Bridgeway Commerce Group, LLC is one such member!

Marcus has made three Network splits within the past three months. His first split was with Gary Schultz of Work 22, Inc. Gary is another new member who has enjoyed success since joining Top Echelon Network.

Marcus made his second split with Jennifer Beckman of Higher Level Match. Coincidentally, that was Jennifer’s very first placements in our split network!

Marcus made this third split recently with Joe Pelayo of Joseph Michaels International. Joe is a veteran of Top Echelon Network, having been a member since 2012.

For being a new member who has enjoyed such success in a short amount of time, we’re pleased to announce that Marcus Strother is Recruiter of the Week in Top Echelon Network!

Marcus Strother: the secrets to his success

We wanted Marcus to say a few words about the success that he’s enjoyed in TE. Thankfully, he agreed to our request!

“I owe my recent success to the power of working the Network. The three TE partners I’ve enjoyed split-placements with—Gary Schultz, Jennifer Beckman, and Joe Pelayo—were incredible to work with and have made TE proud! I recommend them to anyone. Without their expertise and commitment to being a good partner, my clients would not be the ‘happy campers’ they are today. Looking forward to more split placements with these outstanding recruiters. Thanks, TE partners!”

Marcus routinely compliments his split recruiting partners when submitting Completed Placement Forms. In fact, we have two such compliments below.

So congratulations to Marcus Strother for her production and success in the Network and for being named Recruiter of the Week! And congratulations to Jennifer Beckman for making her first Network split!

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Marcus Strother of Bridgeway Commerce Group, LLC

Marcus Strother

Jennifer Beckman of Higher Level Match

Jennifer Beckman

“Jennifer Beckman was absolutely outstanding! She quickly found great candidates and most importantly, the ‘right’ candidate. My client had been trying to fill this position for quite a while, and once Jennifer got involved, that was all it took. I highly recommend Jennifer to other TE partners that need expert help–not only with HR-related positions, but also for any other type of positions. She’s a real pro! Going forward, I will gladly use Jennifer again and again. Thanks, Jennifer!”

Submitted by Marcus Strother of Bridgeway Commerce Group, LLC regarding his Network split placement with Jennifer Beckman of Higher Level Match


Fee Percentage—Flat

(Editor’s note: This is the first Network split placement that Marcus and Jennifer have made together in Top Echelon.)

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“Joe Pelayo is a professional recruiter who is dedicated, relentless, and of high character. I heartily recommend him. My client is hard to please, and Joe found an amazing candidate. From submittal to accepted offer was less than one week! Thanks, Joe, for making my client and your candidate very happy! Definitely looking forward to future split placements with you!”

Submitted by Marcus Strother of Bridgeway Commerce Group, LLC regarding his Network split placement with Joe Pelayo of Joseph Michaels International


Fee Percentage—Flat

(Editor’s note: This is the first Network split placement that Marcus and Joe have made together in Top Echelon.)

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The selection process for the Recruiter of the Week Award is based upon multiple criteria, including production within Top Echelon Network, adherence to the Network Policies and Golden Rules, the spirit of networking that the recruiter displays while interacting with other members, and the level of commitment that the recruiter exhibits in regards to their Network membership overall. The Recruiter of the Week is a true embodiment of The Four Pillars of Top Echelon Network—Quality, Communication, Trust, and Active Participation.

Let’s get something out of the way. There IS going to be a recession in the future. In fact, it’s probably going to be the near future.

Does this make a doomsayer? A naysayer? A problem child? No, just a pragmatic student of history. You don’t have to be an economist to know that a recession hits in this country roughly every seven to 10 years.

I also have a calendar. I have more than one, actually. All of them tell me that the most recent recession started roughly 10 years ago. You remember that one, correct? It was great! That’s why they labeled it as “The Great Recession.”

So I’m not claiming to foretell the future. I’m claiming to know how to add and subtract.

Important characteristics of a recession

If you’ve been in the recruiting profession for any length of time, then you know what’s going to happen when the recession hits. Direct hire job orders are going to dry up. And it’s not just the fact that they dry up that’s so devastating. It’s the length of time that they remain dried up.

There are two important characteristics of an economic downturn: how sharp it is and how long it lasts.

A recession could be shallow, and the economy could recover quickly. It could be sharp, and the economy could recover quickly. It could be sharp, and the economy might NOT recover quickly. That was, in fact, what happened with The Great Recession. That’s why the recovery that followed it was dubbed “The Jobless Recovery.” That’s because even though the economy was technically in recovery mode, companies still did not issue direct hire job orders.

However, those same companies did issue contract job orders. In fact, The Great Recession helped to usher in a dramatic shift in the employment marketplace. Because of that recession, contractors are now a permanent part of companies’ workforce staffing plans. In other words, they’re always hiring them to supplement their direct hire staff. Not only that, but they’re always ready to hire more.

The opportunity hidden in adversity

So what does all of this mean? It means there is a tremendous opportunity for recruiters who only place candidates on a direct hire basis. That’s because:

  • Employers are willing to hire candidates on a contract basis right now.
  • They’ll be even MORE willing to hire candidates on a contract basis once a downturn begins.

Both the recession in 2001 and the recession in 2008 were similar in nature. They were sharp recessions typified by long recovery times. [Opinion Alert]: With all of the monetary mistakes and financial lapses in judgment that the U.S. government has committed during the past decade, it’s a safe assumption that the next recession will be just as severe. (Could it be more severe? Let’s hope not, shall we?)

The bottom line is that offering contract staffing can save YOU from a recession. It can save your recruiting desk, and it can save your recruiting firm.

During every recession, recruiters go out of business. During The Great Recession, it was estimated that roughly 40% of independent recruiters “bit the dust.” That’s a fairly high percentage. Will that many recruiters go out of business during the next recession? Survey says . . . there’s a darn good chance.

Yes, we incessantly promote contract staffing services. That’s because you can be the beneficiaries. We want to help you make more placements—all kinds of placements. During the next recession, direct hire placements will be difficult to come by. That’s why we want to help you make contract placements.

3 easy steps to making contract placements

And doing so is NOT as difficult as you might think. There are three main steps:

  1. Get the contract job order.
  2. Find a contract candidate.
  3. Call us so that we can do everything else.

Sounds easy, right? That’s because it is. Forget about the administrative details. Forget about the financial details. Heck, forget about the legal details. Let us handle all of that for you.

Look, we still want you to make direct hire placements. We’re not crazy, after all.

However, we want to help you make contract placements while you make those direct hire placements. And then, when a downturn arrives, you’ll be well positioned to do more than just survive it. You’ll be positioned to thrive during it.

Which will be a lot more than what 40% of the profession will be able to say.

Are YOU ready to offer contract staffing solutions or contract placement services to your clients?

Then call us! You can do so toll-free at 888.627.3678.

Recently, I wrote an article about how recruiters can get started in contract staffing. In that article, I outlined three specific ways recruiters can do so. Now we turn our attention to the subject of speed. Specifically, how quickly can you get started in contract staffing?

When it comes to contract staffing, the mechanics of getting a job order and finding a candidate are the same as making direct placements. What’s different about contract staffing is that you must have a back-office to handle the legal, financial, and administrative issues.

You have two options for a back-office: outsourcing it or doing it in-house. Let’s examine the differences between these two methods for getting started in contract staffing.

Outsourcing: the express method of contract staffing

You can outsource the back-office tasks to a contract staffing back-office. This back-office will become the legal W-2 employer of record for your contractors. A quality back-office should already be set up to employ all of your contractors.

If you select Top Echelon Contracting, there is NO enrollment process for recruiters. As a result, you can literally go from a 100% direct hire recruiter to one who can also place contractors in a matter of hours, not months.

In-house back-office: the slow boat with contract staffing

If you plan to run your own back-office, you should expect the ramp-up process to take at least one to three months. This is due to all of the tasks you must complete to become the employer of record for your contractors. These tasks include:

  • Getting a line of credit to fund your payrolls
  • Getting sufficient liability insurance, as you will be required by most clients to show a valid certificate of insurance
  • Deciding how you are going to process payroll (in-house or outsource) and getting that set up
  • Registering to withhold state, city, and local income taxes in all of the required jurisdictions
  • Getting set up to do the required withholdings, deposits, and filings
  • Registering for unemployment, Workers’ Compensation, and disability insurance, if applicable, in each of the states in which you will have contractors
  • Setting up a method to provide contractors with paid leave/sick time if required in the states where you will have contractors
  • Finding an insurance company that can provide coverage in each state where you will have contractors

This is just a small sampling of all the tasks that must be completed before you can place contractors. Visit the Top Echelon Contracting website for additional information.

Which method will you choose?

This list is tailored to recruiters who are already doing contracting and want to expand outside of their home state. However, most of the steps also apply to direct hire recruiters who are just adding contract staffing to their business models.

You can see from our small sampling above how time-consuming and complicated running your own back-office can be. So it’s up to you.

Do you want to take the express method or the slow boat to contract staffing?