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Today’s the day! That’s right, 29 years ago to the day, Top Echelon founder Mike Kappel sent out the first Pinnacle newsletter. (You can see the top of the issue in the photo above.)

That date—March 8, 1988—is considered the official birth date of Nationwide Interchange Service (NIS). If you don’t know what the heck NIS is, then check out “27 Little-Known Facts About Top Echelon on Its 27th Anniversary” that we published a couple of years ago.

As riveting a read as that might be, we have another riveting read. That would be Mike Kappel’s first note to Network—I mean, NIS members in the first Pinnacle newsletter. That note is listed below in it entirety.

Sure, Top Echelon Network turns 30 next year, and that will be a big milestone. But as anybody who’s over the age of 30 knows, it’s better to be “29 forever” . . .

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A newsletter will be published periodically to inform our members of recent happenings, current events, and future happenings. We anticipate the format of the newsletter will change drastically and improve as the network grows.

The first order of business is to welcome you, our first twenty members, to the Nationwide Interchange Service. We anticipate that this will be the beginning of a long lasting and profitable business relationship for all of us!

A membership directory is being prepared and will be distributed to you as soon as possible. Occasionally you will receive revised editions of this directory as new members are added. For now, however, an abbreviated list of the new members is included.

Membership enrollment is one of our top priorities at this time. We are looking to build the enrollment to at least 100 members with broad coverage in the disciplines we serve. As always, we are very concerned about the quality and integrity of our members and will not compromise in that area. We receive a suggestion from one of our members on how to build the network will high caliber, high producing members. He suggested that we offer one month of free network service to any member that bring to us an agency wanting to join, which he has conducted business with in the past. We feel this is an excellent way to build the enrollment with agencies we know are ethical, as well as save you money.

Therefore, for the month of March 1988 we are offering our members ONE MONTH OF FREE SERVICE for each agency they send to us requesting to become a member which we grant membership to. For example, if you convince six agencies that you conduct business with to call us for more information before April 1 and they are accepted as membership, we will grant you six additional months of free membership! That is, we will waive your $85 monthly service charge for those months. These potential members must specifically mention (up front) that you have directed them to us, and must meet all our requirements for membership and be accepted.

If we find this method works well, we many extend our offer in the future. Please help us and help yourselves by making a few well placed phone calls. Remember, the type of agencies you direct to us is a reflection on you, so only refer “top notch” organizations.

As was mentioned, we are in the process of developing a computerized “PICK-LIST” so our members will only receive the resumes and job orders they are interested in receiving. It is to our advantage as well as yours, to have this network feature implemented as soon as possible. More about this later . . .

Again, welcome aboard and good luck making placements!

Okay, there’s been a not-so-subtle theme that has been running through the articles in this week’s issue of The Pinnacle. That theme: our 29th birthday! (I would say you only turn 29 once. But we all know that’s not the case.)

We recently resurrected our “Recruiter of the Week” feature, and we’re continuing with it this week. In fact, there might be no better selection for our birthday issue than Jeff Katz of JSK Recruiting in Park Ridge, Illinois (NOT pictured above). That’s because Jeff is an old school, dyed-in-the-wool, split-minded recruiter. Check out these stats:

  • JSK Recruiting joined Top Echelon Network on September 2, 2016.
  • Since that time, Jeff has made 12 split placements in the Network.
  • In those 12 placements, Jeff had the job order nine times and the candidate three times.
  • Jeff has made those 12 split placements with six different trading partners.

Jeff Katz: skeptical?

But believe it or not, before Jeff joined the Network, he had heard unsavory things about split placement networks.

Jeff Katz of JSK Recruiting

Jeff Katz

“I came from a firm where I knew about the split networks,” he said. “My boss knew about them, but he always bad-mouthed them. He always said that split networks don’t screen, so he didn’t want anybody in the firm doing splits.”

Of course, one of Top Echelon Network’s Four Pillars is Quality. (The other three are Communication, Trust, and Active Participation.) Top Echelon also employs a four-step screening process for recruiters who apply for Network membership.

So needless to say, when Jeff joined, he was more than a little skeptical. However, that skepticism evaporated in the face of successful split placement deals.

“I thought if I made a couple of placements, it would more than pay for itself,” said Jeff. “But it’s worked out great. I’m floored by how many placements I’ve made.”

Trading partners: the key to success

One of the keys to Jeff’s quick success in the Network: finding the right trading partners. “I found good TE partners who work in my specialty area,” he said. “Before, we were competitors, but now we’re working together. It’s nice to have people in the market who do exactly what I do.”

Jeff recruits in the Manufacturing industry, specifically the Supply Chain niche. The six trading partners with whom he’s made Network splits include Tom Bower, Nancy Phillips, Trey Cameron, Matt Scheihing, Steve Kohn, and Robert Alexander.

In a shameless plug for the upcoming National Convention, Jeff met both Phillips and Sheihing at the 2016 Fall Conference. “Nancy approached me when I was talking about Supply Chain, and I met Matt as I was leaving the conference,” he said. “I’ve had a good working relationship with both of them. I’ve also met a couple of other good recruiters during the monthly Virtual Core Group meetings.”

Jeff is what we like to call a “ticker-tape TE member.” That means if every new member embraced the Network and split placements like Jeff, we’d hold a ticker-tape parade through the streets of Canton, Ohio. So what advice does he have for new Network members?

Advice for new members

“First, get your jobs up on the Network ASAP,” said Jeff. “Show other recruiters what you have. Trey and Steve and other members want to work with recruiters who have good jobs. If you have quality candidates, you can make quick placements.

“Second, get on the phone and talk with recruiters in your specialty area. Sometimes I get a little annoyed when other members just email me when they send a candidate. You need to get on the phone and talk with other recruiters. That’s how you make things happen.”

Jeff Katz has definitely made things happen since joining our split recruiting network a little over five months ago. He’s made 12 placements happen. And he’s looking to make more happen.

“I’m always looking for more good TE partners,” said Jeff. “I started my company in July, so I’m still fairly new at this as an owner. I’ve made 10 placements so far this year, and seven of those have been splits. I’m excited. This is a good time to be a recruiter.”

Congratulations to Jeff Katz of JSK Recruiting, the Recruiter of the Week in Top Echelon Network!

(Editor’s note: Top Echelon Network recruiter Joe Noto of Regency Search Group wrote the following to educate Network members about the value of attending recruiter networking events. What events, you ask? Events like the upcoming National Convention in Orlando, smart acre. Noto has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success during his recruiting career. He has also been a regular attendee of TE events since joining the Network. The above photo was taken at a TE regional meeting in 1996, proving that Joe Noto does not age. This blog post was originally published sometime during the year 2013. But don’t hold me to that.)

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This recruiter has been in the industry for almost 30 years.

He built up his firm to the point where he was able to sell it.

He’s been a Top Echelon Network member for over two decades.

He once successfully placed a candidate despite the fact that candidate was kidnapped by the Mexican drug cartel on his way to start work at the company. (No, really . . . he was.)

Who are we taking about? None other than the esteemed Joe Noto of Regency Search Group, of course! Take it away, Joe!

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First of all, people must attend with the understanding that they are working, not on vacation. As such, they will need to be proactive and set some objectives for themselves. That said, here are a few key reasons for attending Top Echelon conferences and conventions:

Joe Noto of Regency Search Group

Joe Noto

1. Being a former accountant, I tend to look at most things from a cost/benefit perspective. I have yet to attend a TE event where the cost has exceeded the benefit. Too often, people just simply look at the cost side (probably because they expend that immediately). They fail to consider the significant upside of long-lasting benefits. Most of these benefits can be realized over and over, resulting in benefits which ultimately greatly exceed the cost of attending.

2. I always attend conferences and conventions with a couple of specific objectives in mind. That way, I do not simply attend and go back to the office wondering what I accomplished. Examples of some of these objectives are as follows:

  • Meet specific recruiters who work the same industries or disciplines as I do or have candidates or job orders that are close to what I work.
  • Identify at least two (probably more) recruiters I can add to my core group of individuals I could probably do a split with. Then I make it a point to get consensus with them on some type of ongoing communication.
  • Identify at least one (preferably more, but at least one) “nugget” of information from other recruiters that I take back to the office and implement immediately.
  • Identify at least one (preferably more, but at least one) “nugget” of information from the speaker(s) that I take back to the office and implement immediately.

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Joe Noto knows, you know?

Below is all the information you need to know about the 2017 Top Echelon Network National Convention! (Well, MOST of all the information, anyway.)

  • The dates are Tuesday, April 25, and Wednesday, April 26.
  • The location is the DoubleTree Hilton, located at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
  • Jordan Rayboy of Rayboy Insider Search will be the keynote speaker for the convention.
  • Regular Registration for the convention ends on March 31.
  • The cost of Recruiter Registration is $465 per person.

You can read the full descriptions of Rayboy’s sessions for the convention by accessing the online agenda in the Members’ Area. Speaking of the Members’ Area, that’s also where you can register for the National Convention with a credit card.

Why are you still here? Why aren’t you registering right now? Are you ignoring Joe Noto?!

As you may already know, Top Echelon’s 29th birthday is this week! And since that’s the case, we thought a poll question that gauged TE’s value in the eyes of Network recruiters would be a good idea.

Well, we didn’t know for SURE that it would be a good idea. After all, when you float a question like this one out there, anything can happen. But the good news is that the vast majority of Top Echelon recruiters believe that the Network provides a lot of value.

Here was the question that we posed:

How would you grade the value that Top Echelon Network provides for your recruiting agency?

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

  • A — 44.1%
  • B — 31.2%
  • C — 19.4%
  • D — 4.3%
  • F — 1.1%

Value here, value there, value everywhere

As you can see, there’s plenty of good news associated with the results of this poll. Let’s start with the fact that nearly half of members (44.1%) gave our recruiter network a grade of “A.” Then, on top of that, nearly another third (31.2%) gave the Network a grade of “B.”

Let’s put that together. Three-fourths of Top Echelon recruiters participating in this poll (75.3%) gave the Network a grade of either “A” or “B.”

Even the bad news is good news . . . sort of. That’s because of the remaining 24.7% of recruiters, 19.4% of them issued the Network a grade of “C.” Hey, that’s better than the alternative! Speaking of which . . .

Let’s just strip the band aid off quickly, shall we? There were 4.3% of recruiters who assigned Top Echelon Network a grade of “D.” Another 1.1% gave the Network a failing grade of “F.” Low percentages, to be sure, but what the hey?

After 29 years, we still want to make sure that we’re providing as much value as we possibly can. Do you believe the Network provides enough value for you and your recruiting firm?

If not, please contact Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS. You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

And have a piece of birthday cake, why don’t you?

So far, this year has been a great one for Top Echelon Network! Placements are up over last year, and they show no immediate signs of slowing down. Not only that, but Network membership is also on a hot streak. That’s because over the last few weeks, TE has averaged one new member firm per day!

Now you might be asking, “Is that one new member firm per every work day or one per every day of the week, including Saturday and Sunday?” Well, strictly speaking, it’s one new member firm per every work day. BUT it’s almost one per every day of the week.

Pick a member firm, any firm

Okay, enough with the celebrating. For now, at least. There are six more new Network firms listed below. They work in a variety of industries, including the following:

  • Information Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Medical and Medical Device
  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing

Once again, these agencies all wanted to join Top Echelon Network because they believe in the value of split placements. They want to make splits, and we applaud their decision.

With that in mind, reach out to the owners of these recruiting agencies. Introduce yourself, welcome them to our split placement network, and ask about the biggest need on their desk. These could be your future split trading partners!

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Date joined: February 13
Location: Alpharetta, Georgia
Industries:  LifeSciences, Healthcare, Medical Device, Food, FDA, and Pharmaceutical industry
Agency member: Jaya MK

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Date joined: February 13
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Industries: Medical, Information Technology, and Manufacturing industries
Agency members: Erik Galstad and Mike Lowe

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Date joined:
February 15
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Industries: General
Agency members: Renee Ray, Tori Marco, and Doug Erickson

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Date joined: February 16
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Industries: Analysts, Developers, Designers, Marketing and Sales professionals, Executives, and Administrative Support
Agency member: Christopher Painter

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Date joined: February 16
Location: Hon, Hawaii
Industries: Technology
Agency member: Andy Natusch

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Date joined:
February 20
Location: Punta Gorda, Florida
Industries: General
Agency member: Michael Neufeld

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It doesn’t matter if you’re a newer Network recruiter or an established member. If you want help making more money in Top Echelon Network, then contact me! You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to