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Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search has a lot to celebrate.

After all, Steve started recruiting 1989, which one was year after Top Echelon was born. (Of course, at that time, it was known as Nationwide Interchange Service.)

Steve and his agency, Affinity Executive Search, joined Top Echelon Network five years later, and he’s been a member ever since. Not only that, but he is one of the most successful recruiters in the history of Top Echelon.

Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search

Steve Kohn

Steve is currently sitting at 399 placements in the Network, so his next split will be his 400th. Not only that, but his cash-in total for those placements is also $3.3 million. With the use of some simple math, we can determine that Steve has earned an average of $8,270 for each of those placements.

In light of all of these impressive achievements, Steve’s recent accomplishment also belongs on the list. That’s because, after many years of finishing second in the Network standings behind Trey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group, Steve Kohn is now the #1 recruiter in Top Echelon Network!

“After over a decade in the top 10, and 8 consecutive years as #2, reaching #1 is a wonderful feeling,” said Steve. “Getting to #1 has been an unusual path, because it didn’t play out as a ‘battle between sluggers.’ Instead, the determining factor was commitment.”

Steve’s high level of commitment started when he first joined the profession. When he entered the world of recruiting and staffing, Steve did so during an economic downturn. His experience helped mold and shape his mindset for years to come, and has been instrumental to his success in Top Echelon’s recruiting network. And that has especially been the case during the course of the past 12 months.

“The VP who trained me, when I was starting during an economic downturn, said ‘I choose not to participate in this recession,’” said Steve. “I’ve have always taken that attitude to heart, and when the COVID-19 crisis hit, rather than following my emotional reflex to pull the plug, I instead increased my commitment to our profession and fellow recruiters, ultimately increasing year-over-year billings in the network by about 40%.”

While other recruiters may have been “hunkering down” to weather the storm, Steve instead “doubled down” on his Network membership. As a result, he has received a more than suitable return on his investment.

After all, the numbers speak for themselves. During the past 12 months, Steve has billed more than $450K through the Network. That’s not too bad, considering the fact that the country has been dealing with a pandemic for the vast majority of those 12 months.

“For the last 27 years my Top Echelon membership has been the cornerstone of my business. Those who know me know my motto is that “there is always more money to be made via co-op-etition than competition.”

And Steve is not done by any means, and that includes not done as a recruiter and not done as a member of Top Echelon Network. Regardless of economic conditions or other circumstances that promise to negatively affect his agency or his desk, Steve will continue to hold fast to his commitment to the profession and to his split recruiting partners.

“Reaching #1 is not the end game by any means,” he said. “It’s just a sign that our industry and Network is and has remained alive and well, that trust and teamwork pays off, and that there is always a winning strategy to be found if we remain persistent and patient in our pursuit of it.”

Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search has a lot to celebrate . . . and we at Top Echelon want to celebrate with him.

So join us in recognizing and congratulating Steve Kohn for becoming the #1 recruiter in Top Echelon Network!

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. New Advanced Search Fields

We’ve added two new search options for further filtering of your search results:

  • The ability to search within Pipelines
  • The ability to search People, Company, and Job Memos by keyword(s)

2. Monster Organic Job Postings

We have a new free organic offering from which allows you to get some additional exposure for your open positions without having an active Monster account.

3. Advertising Revamp: Card Changes

With our newly updated Job Advertising card, it’s easier than ever to get jobs advertised where you want to quickly and easily. Select and manage venues more effectively with a clearer card layout, individual venue statuses, and dynamic posting options.

4. Advertising Revamp: Add Page Changes

We’ve updated the Job Add page to improve your ability to advertise a job at the time of entry. This includes updating mandatory and optional fields depending on your selected venues, an information panel showing everything you need to know about posting to each venue, and even showing which fields will be visible to your candidates.

5. Tag Management Enhancements

We made some changes to the Manage Tags interface to improve the overall user experience and simplify the workflow when reviewing your agency’s existing Tags, creating and managing aliases, and taking mass actions.

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.

With the market recovery beginning to heat up, you might be wondering how you’re going to fill all of those open job orders on your desk.

It’s a common problem these days, since candidates typically drive the market. Talent—top talent—is still difficult to find and difficult to recruit.

That’s why THIS is how TE recruiters fill their open job orders:

By participating in a Virtual Core Group (VCG)!

During Virtual Core Group (VCG) teleconference calls, Network recruiters share the following:

  • Hot job orders and candidates
  • Information about the activity they’re seeing
  • Ideas for increased production on their desk and within their agencies

Sharing open job orders = making placements

There are recruiters on these calls who have candidates. They have quality candidates who they’re looking to place in your quality job orders. They just need to know about them. That means YOU must share what you have to offer.

I conduct Virtual Core Group calls within specific industries during the second week of each month. Near the end of every month, you should receive an email detailing the next month’s VCG schedule. The schedule is also available on the Main Dashboard calendar within the Network software.

If you’re a newer member of Top Echelon’s recruiter network, I especially encourage you to join an existing Virtual Core Group. You can even start a new one!

I have been holding VCG conference calls for well over a decade now. I can say without a doubt that the recruiters who participate in these calls make split placements because of these calls. It happens all the time.

These groups work, they’ve always worked, and they’re working right now. The only thing missing is YOU.

THIS is how you fill open job orders. Virtual Core Groups, along with other recruiter networking events, is how you make placements.

To join an existing Virtual Core Group or to start a new one, contact me at 330.455.1433, x156 or via email at

There are many “cardinal sins” that you can commit as a member of Top Echelon’s recruiting network. Although many times, recruiters aren’t even aware that they’re committing these sins, they still have an effect on other Network members.

Perhaps the biggest of all cardinal sins is this one: wasting other recruiters’ time.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of ways that a recruiter can waste another recruiter’s time in a split placement situation. However, the one I want to address right now pertains to what might be called a “pre-split placement situation.”

It’s your JOB to remove your job

In a nutshell, the way in which to NOT waste another recruiter’s time in that situation is as follows:

When one of the job orders you have posted on Top Echelon Network gets filled, please remove that job order from the Network immediately.

That’s because there could be recruiters working that job order, even as your client extends an offer to another candidate that you’ve presented. If you’re lax in doing this, then you greatly increase the chances that you’re going to waste the time of another well-intentioned recruiter. And that recruiter just wants to help you fill your open order!

But it goes even beyond that. You have to remember that you brand yourself with everything you do within the Network. If you brand yourself as somebody who doesn’t remove job orders as soon as they’re filled, then other recruiters are going to be less likely to work your orders when they see them.

This is especially the case for those recruiters who have been burned by your job orders in the past. The last thing you want to do is alienate somebody who could have a perfect candidate for you. You might not get a whiff of that candidate—or the placement fee that went along with placing them.

So avoid this cardinal sin. Instead, fill your job orders and then remove them from the Network. Do NOT waste the time of other members. That’s the first step in making more split placements in our recruiter network.

If you have any questions about this blog post, I encourage you to contact me. You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

At Top Echelon, we’ve found that the best way to communicate the trading partner benefits associated with Network Membership is to use real, live case studies.

Recruiters love placements, and they love stories about recruiters making placements. (The only thing they would love more is a story about them making placements.)

With that being said, there is no case study in this blog post. Psych! Instead, what we’re going to do is draw upon past case studies to compile a list of the trading partner benefits that are available to Top Echelon Network recruiters.

Okay, no more fooling. Below is our list of four trading partner benefits in Top Echelon’s recruiting network:

#1—Quality candidates

This is what it’s all about, isn’t it? These days, highly qualified, quality candidates are in short supply.

That’s why companies are enlisting your services in the first place, but even you are having trouble finding these candidates. However, when you leverage the resources of your trading partners, you have access to quality candidates you could not access before.

#2—Smoother hiring and placement process

One of the best reasons to enlist the help of a trading partner is because you can’t seem to fill the position yourself, for whatever reason: a picky hiring manager, a bloated and convoluted hiring process, El Nino, you name it. Your trading partners can help “smooth out the rough edges.”

#3—Enhanced onboarding

The placement is not done once the candidate starts work. They have to stay at work (usually until after the guarantee period has elapsed). Once again, two heads are better than one, as your trading partners can assist in the onboarding process and offer advice and expertise based on their experience.

#4—A more effective teamwork approach

This is more a culmination of #1 through #3. Being a recruiter is not an easy job, and for some searches, the job seems just about impossible.

However, when you team up with another recruiter and tackle the job order as a team, you double your brainpower, double your resources, and Doublemint, Doublemint, Doublemint Gum. No, wait a minute. Scratch that last one.

Do YOU want to maximize your Membership and experience more trading partner benefits in Top Echelon’s split network?

Then contact Top Echelon Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS at 330.455.1433, x156 or via email at