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Matt DeutschWe’re back!  From the Top Echelon Network National Convention, that is!

I might be biased, but this convention was one of the better ones we’ve held in recent memory.  In fact, we had several recruiters who expressed those same sentiments to us when the convention ended.  (So if I’m suffering from a delusion, it’s a GROUP delusion.)

That’s the good news.  Here’s the even better news: we documented the whole thing!

We documented the convention in the form of photos and videos, of course.  Membership Development Coordinator Drea Codispoti and I handled the documentation duties, employing two cameras (plus my iPhone) to capture all of the action.  I even posted a series of photos through my Twitter account while I was at the convention, sort of a blow-by-blow timeline of events.

You can still view the photos in question by visiting my Twitter profile.  Remember, you don’t have to “follow” me to view these photos.  All you have to do is look through my “recent images,” which are located on the left-hand side of my profile, about halfway down the page.

Although, if you do have a Twitter account, I would encourage you to “follow” me.  That way, you don’t have to visit my profile all the time to see my latest tweets, not to mention the fact that it would be a huge ego boost for me.

Anyway, these Twitter photos are going to be posted to the Top Echelon Network Fan Page eventually.  Not right away, but eventually.  That’s because I’m going to post the photos that I didn’t tweet during the convention to Facebook first.

In fact, I’ve already posted some photos!  They’re in the “2012 Top Echelon Network National Convention Photo Album” on the Network Fan Page.

Click here to visit the “2012 Top Echelon Network National Convention Photo Album.”

Now here’s the fun part—I’ll be updating the Fan Page with photos every day, three or four or more, from now throughout the month of April.  I’ll also be adding photo descriptions and tagging recruiters in the process.  I whole-heartedly encourage you to visit the page as often as you can, “like” the photos, and comment to your heart’s content.

In the meantime, if you attended the convention, took some photos, and wouldn’t mind seeing them added to the photo album, send them to me at

The convention has ended . . . but the fun doesn’t have to!

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It’s a “split placement party” this week—and everybody’s invited!

We have Top Producers in Top Echelon Network making split placements.  Not only that, but some of the Network’s veterans have shown up, as well, and there’s a fair amount of new blood represented, too.

Recent PlacementsIt all adds up to a rather balanced sampling of split placements made by Preferred Member recruiters.  Not only that, many different industries and niches are also represented, not to mention a variety of actions that caused this week’s split placements:

  • Regular communication with another Top Echelon Network Preferred Member recruiter
  • The job order or candidate was found by searching Top Echelon Network’s Split Databases.
  • The job seeker or client was found through my Hiring Hook Website.

As far as we’re concerned, though, the “split placement party” is never big enough!  We want YOU to join us!  It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the Network, how successful you’ve been to this point, or the industry and niche you work—you can make a split placement.

And when you do, we’ll party!



Mario FidanziTrey CameronJob order recruiter: Mario Fidanzi of MedTeam Staffing, Inc.

Candidate recruiter: Trey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group


Fee Percentage—25%

Action causing split placement: The job seeker or client was found through my Hiring Hook Website.


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Bob FerrisEd NathanJob order recruiter: Ed Nathan of Systems Search

Candidate recruiter: Bob Ferris of Ferris & Associates, LLC


Fee Percentage—Flat

Action causing split placement: Regular communication with another Top Echelon Network Preferred Member recruiter


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Roger Malatestadescribe the imageJob order recruiter: Roger Malatesta of Prof’l Recruiting Consultants

Candidate recruiter: Brian Courtney of The Courtney Group


Fee Percentage—22%

Action causing split placement: The job order or candidate was found by searching Top Echelon Network’s Split Databases.

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Mike HelffrichBob WickJob order recruiter: Mike Helffrich of Helffrich International

Candidate recruiter: Bob Wick of Career Center of Cincinnati, Inc.


Fee Percentage—25%

Action causing split placement: Regular communication with another Top Echelon Network Preferred Member recruiter

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Betsy HarperDenise DeLongisJob order recruiter: Denise DeLongis of ICONSTAFF

Candidate recruiter: Betsy Harper of Sales and Marketing Search, Inc.


Fee Percentage—25%

Action causing split placement: Regular communication with another Top Echelon Network Preferred Member recruiter


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Rowe HendersonRay Fehrenbach, CPCJob order recruiter: Rowe Henderson of Rowe Henderson & Associates

Candidate recruiter: Ray Fehrenbach, CPC of Southern Recruiters


Fee Percentage—20%

Action causing split placement: The job order or candidate was found by searching Top Echelon Network’s Split Databases.


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Mike Niedbalski, CPCCynthia StrzeleckiJob order recruiter: Mike Niedbalski of Integritas Search

Candidate recruiter: Cynthia Strzelecki of Spyglass Search, Inc.


Fee Percentage—20%

Action causing split placement: Regular communication with another Top Echelon Network Preferred Member recruiter


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If you’d like to see the amount of the fees associated with each of the split placements listed above, login to the Members’ Area and click on the profiles of the recruiters involved.  The fee totals will be included along with those split placements.

Remember, you can opt out of having your split placement highlighted.  Just send an email to indicating your desire to be left out.  Once you do so, you won’t be included in future installments of this feature.

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Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERSYes, it’s that time again . . . time to reveal the Virtual Core Group schedule for the new month!

And I have some good news: I’m starting a new VCG for the month of April.  That would be the Aerospace/DOD Virtual Core Group.  The conference call for that group—as you can see by referencing the chart below—is scheduled for noon, EST on Thursday, April 12.

I’m glad that we could add another Virtual Core Group to the rotation.  If you’d like to be part of this group and participate in the conference call on that day, please contact me as soon as you can.  We’ll get you set up and ready to go.

Remember: participating in Virtual Core Groups is one of the things that leads directly making more split placements . . . and we want you to make more split placements!

As I’ve mentioned before, Virtual Core Group meetings are regularly scheduled conference calls for Preferred Member recruiters who work in the same industry or niche.  During these calls, recruiters share information about the activity they’re seeing and they also bounce ideas off one another.

Below is the Virtual Core Group conference call schedule for the month of April (all times listed are Eastern Standard Time):


Date Core Group/Time Core Group/Time Core Group/Time
Thursday, April 5
Manufacturing, Engineering
noon to 1 p.m.
Accounting, Finance
1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Biotech, Pharma, Medical Device
3 to 4 p.m.
Thursday, April 12
noon to 1 p.m.
Software Sales
1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Information Technology
3 to 4 p.m.
Thursday, April 19 Open for New Group Open for New Group Open for New Group
Thursday, April 26
Open for New Group Open for New Group Open for New Group


The first two Thursdays of the month are filled with conference calls and the third and fourth Thursdays are wide open.  If you don’t see your industry or niche represented in the chart above, I am ALWAYS open to starting a new group (like Aerospace/DOD).

If you think you’d like to start a new Virtual Core Group—or join an existing one—please contact me!

Participating in Virtual Core Group conference call meetings is just one of the many things that leads directly to making split placements.  I’d also like you to contact me if you have questions about other things you could be doing to maximize your Network Membership.

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Mark DemareeAt Top Echelon Network, we practice what we preach!  That’s why you’ll see us at a lot of recruiting industry events in 2012.

What we preach, of course, is networking.  How we’ll practice it is by attending a number of recruiting conferences and conventions around the country.

In fact, we’ll be in attendance at six industry events in 2012, and I wanted to take a moment to promote these six events in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.  In the interest of brevity, though, three will be included in this blog post, and the other three will be included in next week’s issue of the newsletter.

All three of the events in this blog post will occur during the month of May.  Those three are as follows, and I’ve included the name of the event, the date, the location, the website address, and the names of the Top Echelon employee (or employees) attending the event:

Illinois Search & Staffing Association (ISSA) Midwest Conference

Date—Thursday, May 3
Location—CareerBuilder offices in Chicago, Illinois
Top Echelon employee in attendance—Internet Strategies Manager Todd Bossler

New England Association of Personnel Services (NEAPS) Annual Conference

Date—Thursday, May 3, through Saturday, May 5
Location—Sheraton Harborside Hotel in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Top Echelon employee in attendance—President Mark Demaree (yes, that’s me)

Ohio Association of Executive Search Professionals (OAESP) Spring Workshop

Date—Monday, May 14
Location—Embassy Suites-Columbus Airport in Columbus, Ohio
Top Echelon employees in attendance—President Mark Demaree and Hiring Hook Salesman Mike McCrae

I wholeheartedly encourage you to check out the websites of the above associations, and if you’re already a member or live in the area, to attend these upcoming events.  We believe in the value that these events offer, including the networking opportunities they present, and that’s why we’re proud to sponsor them.

We also hope to see you there!

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ALL split placements are satisfying, but the argument could be made that some are more satisfying than others.  An example: when a Preferred Member recruiter makes a split placement that’s outside of their niche or area of expertise.

'Comments' and ComplimentsThat’s the overriding theme in this week’s edition of “Comments and Compliments.”  In two of the three split placements we’re highlighting, the recruiter with the job order had an order that was outside of their niche.  Rather than turn it down, though, they accepted it and shared it with the Network.

That was the best move they could make, since it resulted in a split placement.  They took a job order they weren’t equipped to work on their own and turned it into a placement.  Not only that, but they also set the precedent for making more placements outside of their niche in the future.

Now . . . that’s satisfying.

If you’d like to recognize another recruiter for their efforts in a split placement situation, send your information to  Your comments might be included in an upcoming issue of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.

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Joe NotoDonald Walker, CPC“Don was my first call when I got this JO since it’s something out of my area of expertise.  Within a short time, he sent one candidate, who he had thoroughly screened and interviewed, and she was right on target.”

Submitted by Joe Noto of Regency Search Group regarding his split placement with Donald Walker, CPC of Search Team One

Fee Percentage—25%

(Editor’s note: this is the second split placement that Noto and Walker have made together in Top Echelon Network.)

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Cynthia Woods“Cynthia did a great job of understanding the need of my client and sent me candidates that were spot-on.  It was fun working with her, and I look forward to doing it again.”

Submitted by Ron Sunshine of Ron Sunshine Associates regarding his split placement with Cynthia Woods of Woods & Paolino Recruiting Solutions

Fee Percentage—20%

(Editor’s note: this is the first split placement that Sunshine and Woods have made together in Top Echelon Network.)/strong>

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Chris Ramsay, CPC“Ram provided me with several good candidates, and IT is not an area I work, so I greatly appreciated his help.”

Submitted by Chris Ramsay of Corporate Resources, LLC regarding her split placement with Ram Kola of Stewart Cooper & Coon

Fee Percentage—25%

(Editor’s note: this is the first split placement that Ramsay and Kola have made together in Top Echelon Network.)

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(Editor’s Note: This is the next in a series of guest blog posts about contract staffing, courtesy of Top Echelon Contracting, the recruiter’s back-office solution.  Similar posts will appear in future issues of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.)

Debbie FledderjohannThese days, you may not have to talk candidates into taking contract assignments because more candidates are actually seeking out contract work.  But if you do encounter a candidate who is reluctant to consider contract staffing, you may want to point them to a column titled “Why Temporary Work is Worth It” in Forbes magazine.

According to the column by Kerry Hannon, more than a third of American companies are operating with smaller staffs than before the recession.  No surprise there.

But what might surprise your candidates is that 36 percent of companies plan to hire contract/temp workers this year.  For candidates who have been out of work for a long time, this represents a whole new crop of job opportunities . . . IF they are willing to think outside the normal direct-hire box.

Hannon’s column gives candidates plenty of reasons to consider contract staffing (nine of them, to be precise):

1. Try different careers, industries, and companies.

2. If a candidate is unemployed, contract staffing gives them something to do, which builds confidence.

3. Contract work may eventually lead to a direct-hire position (temp-to-direct).

4. Make good money.  Hannon says many companies pay generously for contractors because they can solve a problem quickly without the usual “hand-holding and learning curve.”

5. Build a professional network.

6. Get new references.

7. “Keep resume alive.”  Contract work can fill the gaps in a candidate’s resume in between direct-hire jobs.

8. Keep skills current.

9. Get excited about a project without long-term expectations.  Hannon points out that knowing the job is temporary “can be tremendously freeing.”


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