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We have big-time anniversaries in Top Echelon Network during the month of May! But don’t take it from me. Let the names and the numbers speak for themselves:

  • James Heilman and Discovery Personnel, Inc. is celebrating 27 years in TE. Discovery Personnel has been responsible for over 100 placements.
  • Michael Smithson and JobCareers is celebrating 26 years in the Network.
  • Not only is Al Daum celebrating 20 years as a Network member, but he’s also close to 100 placements and $1 million cash-in. Go, Al, go!
  • Gables Search Group is not only celebrating 15 years in TE, but the agency has also made over 100 placements during its tenure.
  • Byrnes & Rupkey is perhaps the most successful agency in Network history during a member’s first five years. The agency has racked up 123 split placements. That’s a ridiculous amount of production in a short amount of time.

In addition to making splits in the Network, Michael Stuck of Gables Search Group has also added contract staffing to his agency’s business model. As a result, he’s made 15 contract placements since 2015, further adding to his agency’s revenue.

Michael sent the following comments to Top Echelon regarding his agency’s anniversary:

Michael Stuck of the Gables Search Group

Michael Stuck

“We just hit our 15 year anniversary with Top Echelon. I am sure you are aware of our anniversary, but I am very excited to hit this milestone with Top Echelon and wanted you guys to know my appreciation. Joining Top Echelon Network 15 years ago was one of the best decisions I ever made for my business. What a great experience it has been.”

Top Echelon would like to congratulate and thank Michael Stuck and every agency and every members celebrating Network anniversaries during the month of May!

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

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27-Year Anniversary

Discovery Personnel, Inc. in Burnsville, Minnesota
Staff Members: James Heilman
Agency Join Date: May 26, 1992
Placements: 104
Career cash-in: $652,428

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26-Year Anniversary

JobCareers in El Paso, Texas
Staff Members: Michael D. Smithson
Agency Join Date: May 13, 1993
Placements: 45
Career cash-in: $382,028

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20-Year Anniversary

Alan N. Daum & Associates in Hilliard, Ohio
Staff Members: Al Daum
Agency Join Date: May 5, 1999
Placements: 91
Career cash-in: $913,001

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15-Year Anniversary

Gables Search Group in Willoughby, Ohio
Staff Members: Michael Stuck, Lee Fierman, and Michelle Daniels
Agency Join Date: May 1, 2004
Placements: 105 placements
Career cash-in: $711,071

Rowe Henderson & Associates in Clemson, South Carolina
Staff Members: Rowe Henderson
Agency Join Date: May 5, 2004
Placements: 39
Career cash-in: $390,868

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5-Year Anniversary

Visron Technical Recruiting in West Henrietta, New York
Staff Members: Joel Cummings
Agency Join Date: May 2, 2014
Placements: 0
Career cash-in: $0

Byrnes & Rupkey, Inc. in Waterloo, Iowa
Staff Members: Kristy Staggs, Sara Gallagher, Katy McCracken, Hannah Dettwiler, and Sienna Becker
Agency Join Date: May 28, 2014
Placements: 123 placements
Career cash-in: $795,591

Accurate Hit Solutions in Fremont, Ohio
Staff Members: Shawn Hoffman
Agency Join Date: May 29, 2014
Placements: 3
Career cash-in: $33,605

Phillips Staffing Solutions in Bend, Oregon
Staff Members: Nancy Phillips
Agency Join Date: May 29, 2014
Placements: 17
Career cash-in: $151,863

Membership is brisk in Top Echelon’s recruiting network. A total of 14 new member agencies joined the Network in March. And as you can see below, we topped that number in April. A total of 15 recruiting agencies joined the Network.

We run the names of recruiting agencies applying for membership in the Members’ Area of the Top Echelon website. We also list the names of new members in the Members’ Area. (Because the Members’ Area is, of course, for members.)

However, we also list our new members in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog. This list typically includes the name of the agency, the date that it joined, the geographic location of the agency, the agency’s specialties, and the members of the agency. These agencies work in a variety of industries and niches.

I invite you to see who the new members are and welcome them to Top Echelon Network. You can give them a call or send them an email . . . or both! If they work in your area of specialization, you could end up making split placements with them.

If you have any questions about reaching out to new members or about your membership in general, please contact me. My contact information is at the end of this blog post.

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Date joined: April 1
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Industries: General
Agency members: Michael Lebowitz

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Date joined: April 1
Location: Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
Industries: General
Agency members: Paul Freeney

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Date joined: April 5
Location: Nicholson, Georgia
Industries: Engineering
Agency members: Charlie Schrauth

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Date joined: April 8
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Industries: Developers & Engineers. IT, Emerging Tech (Blockchain, Robotics, A.I., IoT, Autonomous Vehicles, AR / VR
Agency members: Swift Burch III

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Date joined: April 8
Location: Richardson, Texas
Industries: General
Agency members: Trey Hugley, Melissa Feste, Yemi Branaman, and Andrew Cahn

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Date joined: April 12
Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Industries: Automotive
Agency members: Dana Cosby

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Date joined: April 16
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Industries: General
Agency members: David Cuozzo

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Date joined: April 16
Location: Miami, Florida
Industries: Accounting & Finance
Agency members: Albert Blandon

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Date joined: April 16
Location: Kanata, Ontario
Industries: General
Agency members: Chris Thain

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Date joined: April 18
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Industries: Technical: scientific, engineering, IT, software products, automation, green jobs, programming, etc.
Agency members: Pamela Jones

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Date joined: April 23
Location: Dickens, Iowa
Industries: General and Agriculture

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Date joined: April 24
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Industries: Information Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing and Finance/Accounting.
Agency members: Charles Ward

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Date joined: April 30
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Industries: Operations, Financial Services, and Management Consulting positions in the specific fields of Health Care, Information Technology, Engineering, and Supply Chain & Logistics
Agency members: April Platis

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Date joined: April 30
Location: Bedford, New Hampshire
Industries: General
Agency members: Bill Broder and Ch’toya Zanella

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Date joined: April 30
Location: Mentor, Ohio
Industries: General
Agency members: Vince Velotta and Mark Coulter

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It doesn’t matter if you’re a newer Network recruiter or an established member. If you want help making split placements with other Top Echelon members, then I encourage you to contact me.

You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

There’s nothing quite like getting a large direct hire placement fee check.  But have you ever stressed out about the chance of a fall-off?  Have you lost sleep worrying whether your candidate will accept a job offer that will give you a much-needed placement fee?  If so, you know the stress that comes along with running a direct hire desk exclusively.

You have probably accepted this stress as part of the job, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  By simply adding contract staffing to your business model, you can generate consistent income to sustain you in between the inevitable direct hire dry spells.

With contract staffing, you are paid for every hour your contractors work.  Rather than receiving payment in one lump sum check like you do with direct placements, you are paid on a weekly or monthly basis over the course of the contract assignment.  Consistent contract staffing income can improve your business AND your personal life in a number of ways, including the following:

#1—Provide peace of mind.

If you don’t know when your next direct hire check is coming, it can negatively impact every facet of your life.  The worry invades the time you spend with friends and family.  No matter how many placements you made the previous month, you always start the next month back at square one.  When you have contracting in your back pocket, you have peace of mind knowing you will have the money to cover your overhead.  Since you don’t have to worry so much about when the direct hire placements are coming, you can enjoy your work and life again.

#2—Make your business more recession-proof.

Stress hits its peak for most recruiters during recessions, when direct hire placements typically take a dive.  During these times, contract staffing income can truly be your lifeline.  Contract assignments often increase during recessions because companies still need to get work done.  Your contract income can give you enough to at least cover your overhead.  You may even be able to completely make up lost direct hire placement income by taking on more contract placements.  In fact, many recruiters have told us that contract staffing income kept them from closing their doors during the last recession.

#3—REALLY take time off.

Work-life balance isn’t just for your candidates.  You have a life outside work, too . . .  or at least you would like to have one.  If you are like a lot of recruiters, you “time off” comes with a ball (your laptop) and chain (your cell phone) because you can’t afford to not be working on direct hire deals.  With contract staffing, you can leave that ball and chain behind.  You can take a day off in the middle of the week.  You could even take a REAL vacation.  Clients and candidates love contract staffing because it provides flexibility.  Contract staffing can do the same for you.

#4—Be selective about clients.

Many recruiters we work with pride themselves on maintaining a select group of clients and only working job orders that they know are good business.  How can they afford to be so picky?  Because they know they will still have money coming in from their contractors even if they don’t make direct hire placements.

#5—Create an exit strategy.

Whether you want to switch careers in five years or you’re planning to recruit until you are 80, at some point you may want to sell your firm.  The consistent income your contractors generate for your firm makes it much more attractive to buyers than a firm that only has a name and a list of direct hire clients to sell.

The best part is that creating this consistent revenue source is EASY.  If you utilize a contract staffing back-office service to handle the employment of the contractors, your process for placing contractors is essentially the same as it is for direct hires: You get the job order, you recruit the candidate, and you negotiate the rates.

There is no upfront financial investment, no additional overhead, and no ramp-up time.  When you utilize a full-service contract staffing back-office, they should handle ALL of the legal, financial, and administrative aspects of the contract placements.  You can start accepting contract staffing job orders immediately.  All you have to do is let your current clients know that you have the ability to place contractors.

You don’t have to lose sleep over your direct hire placements.  Contract staffing income can help you reap the rewards of recruiting without the stress.