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On Wednesday, April 15, we at Top Echelon conducted our first series of Virtual Business Development Discussions for Today’s Climate.

The objective of these meetings, which were based upon different niches, were to allow you to share what you are experiencing with your clients and candidates in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each attendee briefly shared with the group the following:

  • What they’re hearing from clients and candidates
  • One thing they’ve been doing in their business during the past few weeks
  • One thing they’re doing to prepare for when their clients are ready to move

During this meeting, a number of Network members presented suggestions for what recruiters should be doing right now. I have since turned these suggestions into the following 15 directives:

  1. Spend time identifying top candidates now and connecting with them.
  2. Help clients and candidates alike both understand how to conduct a video interview, as well as how to operate one (Zoom, Google Meet, Skype).
  3. Stay in front of your clients. (Figuratively, of course.)
  4. Stay on the phone.
  5. Get training. (Like this training, for instance.)
  6. Find what information and help you can offer to your clients and candidates at no charge. Share your expertise and “pay it forward.”
  7. Build your network in Top Echelon and connect with more split recruiting partners.
  8. Be creative with how you can help your clients.
  9. Upgrade your agency’s website and your LinkedIn profile.
  10. Spend time posting relevant expertise on social media.
  11. Go back to contacts you have not spoken to in some time and re-connect.
  12. Do not “sell,” but just ask how people are doing and start a conversation. Do not call or market and use the COVID-19 subject as a reason for reaching out and connecting.
  13. Have “virtual coffee” with a client.
  14. Spend time sharpening your skills.
  15. Share all your jobs with Top Echelon Network. This will help you get talent in front of your clients, which is more important than ever right now.

Will we have more Virtual Business Development Discussions in the future? There’s a good chance we will, but you’ll need to read The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog for more information and updates.

In the meantime, keep “churning and burning” and make sure to leverage the resources of Top Echelon Network to help make more split placements.

If you have any questions about these Virtual Business Development Discussions, including ideas for future sessions, please contact me. You can do so by sending an email to

Earlier this month in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog, I started a series of posts: “Networking Tips.”

The first blog post dealt with filling as many of your job orders as quickly as you can and how Top Echelon Network can help. (After all, who doesn’t want to do THAT?)

Anyway, my series continues with “Networking Tip #2,” which is absolutely crucial when it comes to enjoying more success as a Network recruiter. The Top Producers in the Network are big advocates of this tip.

It relates directly to one of The Four Pillars of Top Echelon NetworkActive Participation. So now I present to you the second tip in our series:

Share your candidates freely in the Network and don’t try to withhold quality candidates from other members.

Our logic:

Experience shows that those recruiters who freely contribute and share quality candidates to the Network are more likely to make split placements than other members.

The business of recruiting is a “numbers game.” One way to increase your odds for success is to share more quality candidates with other recruiters.

If you withhold your good candidates from the Network, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If you’ve been holding back your best candidates, then you should count the number of these superstars you’ve NOT placed over the past few years, resulting in tens of thousands of forfeited dollars.

Of course, we at Top Echelon put an end to the Split Candidate Database last year in favor of the more powerful Network Candidates sourcing tool.

To adhere to this tip, every Network member should be opted in to this tool. There are nearly 5 million recruited candidates available through this tool, so it is an excellent resource for members.

And of course, some Network members send candidates directly to trusted trading partners via email for one of their open job orders. This is a standard and acceptable practice for those recruiters who have already built a solid and proven split partner relationship.

Steps to freely share candidates:

1. Increase your odds for success.

As I mentioned above, recruiting is a “numbers game.” So with that in mind, opting into the Network Candidates sourcing tool is a “no brainer.”

2. Adopt a sense of urgency!

When you find a Network-able candidate, you should obtain their permission and share their resume to the Network immediately! (As outlined above, you can do this through the Network Candidates sourcing tool or by sending it to a trusted trading partner for a specific job opening.)

This way, if your own marketing attempts are unsuccessful, then you’ve “covered all the bases” by sharing the resume with other recruiters who may have a need for this candidate.

3. Develop a reputation among your peers in the Network.

What kind of reputation? One of being a recruiter who offers good, quality candidates to the system. You want to be known as somebody who offers educated, employed, and skilled candidates that most clients would love to hire.

In addition, make sure that you include up-to-date contact information (including email address and cell phone number, if possible). This way, your split recruiting partners are able to contact the candidate.

4. Be relentless and don’t give up.

All it takes is one placement per year to earn a significant return on your investment in Top Echelon Network. Don’t “bail” on your membership if you don’t see any action in a matter of weeks or even months. Be relentless, be persistent, and be patient!

If you have any questions, please contact me by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the employment marketplace has been a progression, much like the spread of the virus throughout the world population at large.

As such, it was only a matter of time before employers took steps to deal with the virus. This is especially the case in regards to face-to-face interviews. In order to shed some light on what employers have been doing, we posed a poll question to Top Echelon Network members.

That question was as follows:

How many of your clients have instituted a hiring freeze?

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

  • None of them — 9.4%
  • One or two — 24.5%
  • Three or four — 11.3%
  • More than four — 28.3%
  • All of them — 26.4%


As one might expect, answers were spread across the board. Unfortunately, “None of them” was the least popular answer, at least in terms of the number of votes, at 9.4%.

On the other hand, the most popular choice was “More than four” at 28.3%. Right behind that answer was “All of them,” checking in at 26.4%. “One or two” also garnered a fair share of recruiters’ attention, as nearly a quarter of them (24.5%) chose that as their answer.

While “Three or four” was next-to-last at 11.3%, it’s still not a good day as a recruiter if three or four of your clients have instituted a hiring freeze.

Analysis and Conclusion:

We have the answers to two questions here. First, are clients instituting hiring freezes? The answer that question is overwhelmingly in the affirmative. In fact, less than 10% of the Network members participating in our poll indicated that none of their clients are doing so.

The second question is how many clients are instituting hiring freezes? Once again, judging by the results of this poll, quite a few of them are doing so. At the very least, it would seem like the majority of them are opting to hit the “pause” button on their searches.

As this pandemic continues and the economy is adversely affected by it, more employers might decided to do the same. And of course, the trend is unlikely to reverse itself until the COVID-19 virus is under control and the economy—and society at large—more or less goes back to normal.

Whatever version of normal that might be.

If you have questions about your Top Echelon recruiting network membership, 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

Now that we’ve identified and explored the five stages of a networker, we’re going to apply these stages to the nine essential elements for success in Top Echelon Network.

Specifically, we’re going to examine the attitudes that Network recruiters in each of the five stages have about these elements. In short, their networking mindset.

Why? Because it’s these attitudes that determine Network recruiters’ ultimate level of success in Top Echelon. (In other words, how many split placements they make.)

The first of the essential nine elements that we’ll address is mindset.

The networking mindset in 5 stages

Below is an examination of that element through each of the five stages of a networker.


They’ve heard that networking is a good way to go, but they’re extremely skeptical. In most cases, they want networking to work for them, but many times they’re not prepared to give it the initial time investment required for it to work.


They also feel that networking can help them, but they still need to see results before they’re a true believer in split business.


These recruiters know networking should be a steady percentage of their business. In addition, they know split business can make a good year a great year and a bad year survivable.


They have the frame of mind that split business is a percentage of their business that is no longer optional. They expect split placements and work to make them happen.


Not only do they take their split business very seriously, but they also even enjoy splitting. They’re good at it, and they like it!

What is YOUR networking mindset as a Top Echelon recruiter?

In my next blog post in this series, I’ll examine the essential element of Trust, which also happens to be one of The Four Pillars of Top Echelon Network.

If you have any questions about your split network membership, please contact me by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

I’m not going to mince words. We want agencies just like YOURS in Top Echelon’s recruiting network!

In fact, we’re willing to pay you for them through the Top Echelon Network Referral Program. Well, we don’t actually pay you cold, hard cash.

But we DO credit your agency with a FREE month of Network membership. (And hey . . . that’s $130 you didn’t have before, right?)

Let’s move to the ground rules for the Top Echelon Network Referral Program.

Refer as many agencies as you’d like

Our logic is simple. If we think that your agency is a good fit for Network membership, then you probably know other recruiting agencies that would also be a fit. So the program is as follows:

  • There’s no limit to the number of referrals that you can provide. For instance, let’s say you submit 12 referrals that eventually become members. Then essentially your split network membership dues for one year will be paid.
  • If you’re the main contact for your agency, then we will credit your agency’s account $130. On the other hand, if you’re NOT the main contact, then we will credit the account of the Network agency for which you work $130.
  • When we say a “free month of membership,” that does not include the brokerage fee. If you refer somebody and you make a split placement during the same month that we credit your agency’s account $130, your agency still owes a brokerage fee for that split. (You can’t avoid paying the brokerage fee. Ever.)

So if you know a recruiting agency that you believe would benefit from the value that Top Echelon Network offers, please send the following information to

  • The name of the agency
  • The name of the agency owner or main contact
  • The email address of the agency owner or main contact
  • The agency’s phone number

OR you can simply send the Network application page to the agency and have the owner fill it out themselves. (Of course, they will have to mention that they were referred by you.)

Send us your referrals so that we can credit YOUR agency $130!