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You don’t really have to be a race horsing fan to know what the Kentucky Derby is. Just like you don’t have to know about the value of a split placement network to know how important sourcing candidates is for a recruiter.

So . . . we decided to combine the two!

No, we’re not traveling to Churchill Downs this weekend for the Kentucky Derby. We’ll probably just watch it on television, like most of the rest of you. Instead, we have three case studies below that illustrate how sourcing candidates in Top Echelon Network leads to placements.

Here are just some of things said about these candidates and these placements:

  • “Two excellent candidates”
  • “Our client absolutely LOVED [the] candidate”
  • “Great candidate”

And of course, there was also a horse reference thrown in for good measure. That’s because sourcing candidates, presenting candidates, and making placements IS like a horse race. With the help of your split partners in Top Echelon Network, you can ride grade-A thoroughbred candidates all the way to the Winner’s Circle.

Not only that, but one of the recruiting firms listed below, Compton & Associates, is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky: the site of the Kentucky Derby every year. (So how’s that for closing the Great Circle of Life and Placements?)

So if you’re looking to get in the race, don’t “hold your horses.” Contact Top Echelon Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS at 330.455.1433, x156 or via email at

Because you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him dri . . . you know what? I think that’s enough for today.

— — —

Stacey Boyer of Bienville Recruiting

Stacey Boyer

Ron Sunshine of Ron Sunshine Associates, LLC

Ron Sunshine

“Stacey sent two excellent candidates, and it was horse race to the finish. Thanks, Stacey!”

Submitted by Ron Sunshine of Ron Sunshine Associates, LLC regarding his Network split placement with Stacey Boyer of Bienville Recruiting


Fee Percentage—25%

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

— — —

Pat McCombs, CPC of KB Search Team, LLC

Pat McCombs, CPC

Trey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group

Trey Cameron

“Our client absolutely LOVED Trey’s candidate and gave her an excellent offer. Thanks, Trey!”

Submitted by Pat McCombs of KB Search Team, LLC regarding her Network split placement with Trey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group


Fee Percentage—25%

(Editor’s note: This is the sixth Network split placement that McCombs and Cameron have made together in Top Echelon.)

— — —

Kristy Staggs of Byrnes & Rupkey, Inc.

Kristy Staggs

“Thanks, Jim, for the great candidate! I appreciate you working my jobs! Our first placement together with many more to come!”

Submitted by Kristy Staggs of Byrnes & Rupkey, Inc. regarding her Network split placement with James Compton of Compton & Associates


Fee Percentage—20%

(Editor’s note: This is the second Network split placement that Staggs and Compton have made together in Top Echelon.)

We publish Top Echelon anniversaries every month in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog. However, we do NOT always have a situation like the one we have this month.

That’s because we have:

  • Two firms celebrating 24-year Top Echelon anniversaries
  • Solo operators running both firms
  • Both firms totaling over 100 placements for their Network careers
  • Both firms joining Top Echelon Network on the same day

That day was May 26, 1992. Now James Heilman of Discovery Personnel, Inc. and Dave Hirsch of Professional Dynamics, Inc. are both celebrating their 24th anniversary!

But that’s not all. We also have long-time members like Fred W. Smithson, Southern Recruiters, Elias Associates, and Wick Jobs celebrating an anniversary this month. The recruiters in these agencies have made hundreds of placements down through the years, and we’re certainly appreciative of their hard work, dedication, and commitment to the Network.

Congratulations to everybody celebrating Top Echelon anniversaries this month!

(Editor’s note: Top Echelon recognizes firms celebrating five, 10, 15, and 20-year anniversaries, plus any firm celebrating an anniversary in excess of 20 years.)

— — —

24-Year Anniversary

Discovery Personnel, Inc. in Burnsville, Minnesota
Staff Members: James Heilman
Agency Join Date: May 26, 1992
Placements: 102 placements

Professional Dynamics, Inc. in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Staff Members: Dave Hirsch
Agency Join Date: May 26, 1992
Placements: 127 placements

— — —

23-Year Anniversary

Fred W. Smithson in El Paso, Texas
Staff Members: Michael D. Smithson, CPC and Michael Herrera
Agency Join Date: May 13, 1993
Placements: 38 placements

— — —

15-Year Anniversary

Southern Recruiters in Aiken, South Carolina
Staff Members: Ray Fehrenbach, CPC and Carey Towe, CPC
Agency Join Date: May 9,  2001
Placements: 68 placements

Elias Associates, Inc. in Cranbury, New Jersey
Staff Members: Gary Elias
Agency Join Date: May 16, 2001
Placements: 144 placements

Wick Jobs (Career Center of Cincinnati) in Cincinnati, Ohio
Staff Members: David Wick, CPC and Bob Wick
Agency Join Date: May 16, 2001
Placements: 139 placements

— — —

10-Year Anniversary

Five Star Consulting in Clinton, Utah
Staff Members: Joseph Cunliffe and Aimee Steil
Agency Join Date: May 3, 2006
Placements: 1

— — —

5-Year Anniversary

TeamLink Global in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Staff Members: DeAnna Metcalf
Agency Join Date: May 3, 2011
Placements: 2

At Top Echelon, we have always stressed the importance of recruiting certification and continuing education for recruiters. That was the case before I became the Director of Network Operations, it’s true now, and it will be true well into the future.

As such, we encourage Network members to earn an industry certification (or multiple ones). These include the Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC), Certified Temporary Staffing Specialist (CTS), and the Certified Employee Retention Specialist (CERS).

But how many Network recruiters have earned one of these? How many hold more than one of them . . . and how many don’t hold any of them?

To find out this information, we polled the membership by posting the question below:

Do you have a recruiting certification?


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

  • Yes, I have the CPC — 22.0%
  • Yes, I have the CPC and the CTS — 2.7%
  • Yes, I have the CPC and the CERS — 2.0%
  • Yes, I have the CPC, the CTS, and the CERS — 0.0%
  • Yes, I have a certification other than these — 4.7%
  • No, I don’t have one. — 68.7%


As you can see, approximately one-third of the Membership has a recruiting certification of some kind (or multiple ones), and two-thirds does not. The majority of those who answered in the affirmative own the CPC (22.0%). Another 2.7% possess the “CPC and the CTS,” and 2.0% have the “CPC and the CERS.” (I fall into the latter category, having earned both the CPC and the CERS.)

Another popular answer was “Yes, I have a certification other than these.” So while the ones we have listed here are certainly the most common within the industry, there are other ones available to recruiters.

Analysis and Conclusion:

Of course, having a certification is no guarantee of success in the recruiting industry. Not only that, but there are countless recruiters who don’t have one, but they’re doing just fine for themselves.  Without a doubt, the choice to pursue a certification is a personal one. Preference plays a large role, although it seems logical that even if you’re already a great recruiter, going through the certification process would help you to become even better.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a certification? If you don’t have one, do you feel the need to pursue one . . . or are you just fine without it?

There are now four generally recognized generations in the workforce, each with its own attitudes and approaches to work. But they all have one thing in common: contract staffing works for ALL of them, even if it may be for different reasons.

By knowing what’s important to candidates of every generation—AND why they like contracting—you increase your chances of connecting with those candidates, giving them what they want, and most importantly, placing them in the right contract assignment.  To that end, here is a quick snapshot of each generation and why contract staffing works for EVERY generation.


This group encompasses anyone 65 or older.  For members of this group, lifetime employment with one company was the rule, not the exception, so they value loyalty, respect, and sacrifice, and they believe you must pay your dues to get ahead.  Many of these people haven’t retired, either because they can’t afford to or because they don’t want to.  Contracting gives them the flexibility to “semi-retire,” working only when they need or want to.  Companies are taking advantage of this by retaining or bringing in the expertise of older workers on a contract basis in a trend known as “retiree restaffing.”

Baby Boomers

This group, which includes those born between 1947 and 1964, is comprised of career-focused “optimistic workaholics” who have a love-hate relationship with technology.  Although some members of this group are reaching retirement age, many are not ready to or can’t afford to retire, just like the Traditionalists.  But most don’t want to work full-time and instead want to find a better balance between work and their families and hobbies.  The flexibility of contracting helps them achieve that balance.

Generation X

This group, made up of those born between the years 1965 and 1977, values independence and autonomy.  Plus, they’re wary of the corporate world, a combination that makes them prime candidates for contract work.  They often consider themselves free agents and enjoy various opportunities to learn and build their portfolio of skills through contract assignments.

Generation Y

“Millennials,” as members of this generation are often called, were born between 1978 and the present and love information and technology.  They’ve grown up assuming they won’t work for the same company for their entire lives.  They crave variety, different experiences, and non-stop learning, along with the newest technology.  They often view contract assignments as challenging and exciting and use them as an opportunity to travel.

Not every candidate you meet will fall into these generational molds, but being aware of the probable thought patterns, perspectives, and points of view of each generation may help you to make the best fit possible between your candidates and client companies.  And that fit could be a contract, rather than direct, assignment.