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You’ve probably heard this expression before: “April showers bring May flowers.” But we really don’t care about flowers right now, do we? Especially since Mother’s Day is over? No. You’re recruiters. You care about making placements. And collecting recruiting fees.

Really, who can blame you? So when we talk about showers, what we really want to talk about are money showers.

Showers of value . . . and cash

This dovetails nicely into our current Pinnacle blog post. That’s because this post deals with the Largest Split Fee of the Month in Top Echelon Network. And it might look familiar, since we highlighted this particular deal in a recent blog post listing Network split placements.

Let’s try an exercise. Let’s take one of the recruiter’s portion of this $56,250 fee and see how long it would take for them to use that portion to pay their monthly Network membership fee.

Okay, so that portion is $26,437.50. The monthly membership fee for Top Echelon’s split network is $130. So 26,437 divided by 130 equals . . . a little over 203. Now we divide 203 by 12 (representing the months in a single year). That equals 16.9.

In other words, one recruiter’s portion of this fee would pay for their Network membership for almost the next 17 years. Now THAT is what you call a return on your investment.

Congratulations to Lisa DeBenedittis and Gail Williams for winning the Largest Split Fee of the Month Award!

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Largest Split Fee for April:

Lisa DeBenedittis of Elite Executive Search

Lisa DeBenedittis

Gail Williams of Williams Recruiting

Gail Williams

Lisa DeBenedittis of Elite Executive Search and Gail Williams of Williams Recruiting

The position for this split placement was a Director, Research – Immuno-Oncology. Lisa was the job order recruiter and Gail was the candidate recruiter.

The action that stimulated this split placement was listed as “Discussion Forum.”

The fee for this split placement was $56,250.

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Top Echelon determines the monthly and quarterly winners of its Network split fee recruiting awards in four distinct categories:

1.) Recruiter of the Month
2.) Largest Split Fee of the Month
3.) Recruiter of the Quarter
4.) Largest Split Fee of the Quarter

We only announce the winners of these awards in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog. We do so usually (but not always) in the issue following the conclusion of each month and/or quarter.

One of the ways you make more money as a recruiter is by giving yourself more opportunities to make money. In other words, by generating money in different ways. You guessed it: one of those ways is through contract staffing.

BUT you certainly do not have to let the direct hire part of your desk suffer. Not at all. In fact, you can run what is called a blended desk. However, then you must market your blended desk. How do you accomplish that? I’m glad you asked. We have a webinar video that explains it all.

The title of that video is “Marketing a Blended Desk, Part 1 – WHY?” by renowned industry trainer Bob Marshall of TBMG International.

The market for contract staffing

This is a desk that combines direct hire services (the foundation of a recruitment desk) with contract staffing services (the foundation of a contract staffing operation) with the added bonus of contract-to-direct conversions!

In the first part of this two-part video series, Bob will discuss WHY:

  • Working a blended desk makes sense.
  • It is important for recruiters to add the staffing arrow to the quivers of products and services they offer to their current clients.
  • It is important for recruiters to use everything at their disposal to become more profitable while adding negligible business expense to their balance sheet.

In closing, Bob will talk about facing the “elephant in the room,” the dreaded recruitment back office. He will share the best workaround for this seemingly insurmountable dilemma.

If you have additional questions, we encourage you to contact us. You can reach us by telephone at 888.627.3678. Stop leaving money on the table! Ask your clients for contract job orders, fill them, and make more money.

Watch this FREE training video!

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Remember: Top Echelon also offers FREE training sessions as part of our “Recruiter Coaching Series” of webinars. We offer these webinars on the second Tuesday of every month.

In addition, Top Echelon offers an extensive library of recruiter training videos. We invite you to browse through these videos, which are presented by some of the leading trainers in the recruiting profession.

Today is Mother’s Day. It’s also the Network anniversary of recruiting agency Fred W. Smithson.

Why is that significant? Because Michael Smithson, CPC is the Executive Vice President of both Fred W. Smithson and JobCareers.

And Michael is the Recruiter of the Week in Top Echelon’s recruiting network!

There are three main reasons why Michael is the Recruiter of the Week:

  1. His agency is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a member of the Network today.
  2. His agency is on two nationally recognized lists that were recently published.
  3. Michael has made three split placements in Top Echelon Network already this year.

Michael Smithson: in retrospect

Michael Smithson, CPC of JobCareers

Michael Smithson, CPC

We recently announced that Network agency Affinity Executive Search is ranked on two lists published by Forbes magazine. Those lists are “America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms” and “America’s Best Professional Recruiting Firms.” Affinity is ranked #43 and #75 on those lists, respectively.

Fred W. Smithson, meanwhile, is ranked #218 on the list of “America’s Best Professional Recruiting Firms” and #90 on the list of “America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms.”

Ironically, one of the three TE splits that Michael has made this year was with Steve Kohn, the President of Affinity Executive Search.

We asked Michael to say a few words about his time as a member of Top Echelon Network. As you can see below, he focused on his split recruiting partners and the tremendous experience that he’s enjoyed. And of course, he mentioned his recent split with Kohn.

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“It has been a great ride with TE throughout the years. I have greatly enjoyed the partnerships, camaraderie, stories, and all-around great people that can be found in the Network. Though quiet for a few years, I have increased my importing/exporting activities and have been on both sides of the job recruiter and candidate recruiter list this year. I look forward to continue the trend throughout the remainder of this year and beyond. And to have made a split with Steve Kohn, I feel complete. Muchas gracias!”

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Congratulations to Michael Smithson on his agency’s Network anniversary, being on two Forbes lists, and for being named Recruiter of the Week!

In a previous blog post, we declared that April was a great month for Network membership. And now we can officially confirm that, because 19 agencies became new Top Echelon Network firms during the month!

Ten of those 19 new firms are listed below. We’re pleased to welcome so many new agencies into the fold, and we’d like you to welcome them, too.

New Top Echelon Network firms

The new agencies listed below work in a variety of industries and niches. Specifically, they specialize in the following areas, among others:

  • Healthcare
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Engineering
  • Software Technology
  • Human Resources

As I’ve mentioned before on numerous occasions, these agencies became Top Echelon Network firms so they could work with other recruiters. They want to share job orders and candidates. I, on the other hand, want YOU to reach out to these new members.

And if they reach out to you, react accordingly. That means returning their email and/or their telephone call. It does not mean putting them off. And it certainly does not mean ignoring them.

Make these new Top Echelon Network firms and recruiters feel welcome! It’s great to have them in TE, and we want to do everything we can to help them start making placements.

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Date joined: April 19
Location: Houston, Texas
Industries: Accounting & Finance, Banking, Medical, Insurance, Sales & Marketing, Light Industrial, Engineering, Manufacturing, and Oil & Gas
Agency members: Debbie Edlen

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Date joined:
April 23
Location: Spring, Texas
Industries: Technical and Human Resources
Agency members: Jen Scardino and Britney Johnson

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Date joined: April 24
Location: Richland, Washington
Industries: Consulting Engineering, Construction, and Construction Management
Agency members: Brian Wurdeman

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Date joined: April 25
Location: Canton, Ohio
Industries: Healthcare
Agency members: Deborah Postlewaite

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Date joined: April 25
Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Industries: Manufacturing, Plastics, Molding, Automotive, and Appliance
Agency members: Frank Raley and Corey Raley

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Date joined: April 26
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Industries: General
Agency members: Bruce Swartz and Stephanie Chandler

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Date joined: April 26
Location: Dumfries, Virginia
Industries: Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Logistics, Trades, and Information Technology
Agency members: Lucas Berg

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Date joined: April 26
Location: Homewood, Alabama
Industries: General
Agency members: Terri Davis and Mallorey Carey

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Date joined: April 27
Location: Woodbridge, California
Industries: General
Agency members: Danielle Carson

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Date joined: April 27
Location: Burlington, North Carolina
Industries: Software, Software Technology, Hosted Services, Pre-Sales, and Post-Sales
Agency members: Charles Rein

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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

Have you considered adding staff for your office so you could grow your business? Did you hesitate because of all the hassles and liability tied to paying workers, doing taxes, and providing benefits?

The easy solution is to outsource the employment of that worker to Top Echelon Contracting (TEC) and take advantage of our In-House Clerical and Administrative Program (ICAP) service. And the good news is that TEC recently expanded this service to include recruiters.

Basically, TEC will hire the worker and become the W-2 employer of your short-term staff and handle all of the employment tasks. These include background checks, weekly payroll processing, taxes, unemployment, workers’ compensation, year-end reporting, benefits, etc.

Grow with Top Echelon’s ICAP

ICAP generally costs $1.75 per hour over and above the pay rate, plus the employer’s payroll taxes and insurance. Below is an example based on an Ohio worker:

Employee’s Hourly Pay Rate $15.00 + Employer Taxes and Liability Insurance $2.94 + Top Echelon Contracting $1.75 = Your Hourly Bill Rate $19.69

The hiring process is simple:

  • Call our office for an ICAP quote.
  • You recruit and select the candidate.
  • You complete the ICAP set-up form on our website.
  • We will send you a Client Services Agreement for In-House Staffing.
  • We will email the candidate a link to their secure online employment paperwork.
  • After the paperwork is completed, your new in-house employee can begin work!

The weekly timesheet and payroll process is streamlined:

  • An electronic timesheet will be completed by the worker and approved by you.
  • Payroll is processed weekly, and paychecks/direct deposit notices are sent every Thursday.
  • You will receive a Statement of Debit each Thursday. (We will auto-debit the total amount owed from your bank account, as specified in the Client Services Agreement for In-house Staffing.)

Plus, if the candidate works at least 30 hours per week, they will be eligible for Aetna healthcare, dental, vision, and life insurance, as well as 401(k). Please note, however, that we do NOT contribute to the healthcare premium for ICAP participants. If your in-house worker elects health insurance, we will invoice you an additional $188.56 per month. Due to healthcare reform (ACA) requirements, the worker must be paid at least $15.00 per hour to ensure that healthcare coverage meets the affordability requirement.

Workers eligible for this program include administrative assistants, bookkeepers, researchers, recruiters, clerks, receptionists, and data entry personnel. We can NOT employ agency owners, partners, etc.

For more information or an ICAP quote, call 888.627.3678 and ask to speak with a Contract Administrator.

We recently published the “Top 20 Contract Placement Recruiters in TE for 2017.” We published the names of these contract earners for a few reasons:

  1. We wanted to recognize the top 20 contract placement recruiters in TE for 2017. (With me so far?)
  2. We wanted to introduce a new series of blog posts in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.
  3. Every direct hire recruiter should at least consider adding contract staffing to their agency’s business model.

So we will now release a list of the top contract earners in the Network every month. The cash-in production indicated in each list will be as of the last day of that month. And the month we’re addressing in this particular blog post is . . . April! (But you probably guessed that already.)

And if that’s not wordy enough for you, here’s an official description:

This report lists the Top 20 Top Echelon Network members by contract placement earnings through Top Echelon Contracting. The report is provided to Network members for informational purposes. Top Echelon Network and Top Echelon Contracting utilize two different reward programs. Top Echelon Contracting recognizes and awards recruiters through its Frequent Contract Placement (FCP) Program. This program gives recruiters the opportunity to earn “cash back” points on recruiter commissions. Once a recruiter has $20,000 in earnings, he or she will begin earning cash back. Click here to learn more about the FCP program.

Top 20 Contract Placement Recruiters: April 30, 2018

Recruiter and Agency2018 Earnings
Keith Adams of PediaStaff$349,654.45
Jim Brown of Galileo Search, LLC$286,022.36
Cindy Stephens, CPC/CTS of Stephens International Recruiting, Inc.$30,672.06
Cindy Ridley of HRtechies, Inc.$26,626.70
Donna Carroll, CPC of Systems Personnel$11,799.39
John F. Hope, CPC of Tri-Force$10,229.79
Maria Hemminger of MJ Recruiters, LLC$9,887.19
Philip Bartfield of Analytic Search$9,519.12
Pat McCombs, CPC of KB Search Team, LLC$7,431.57
Bill Young of EPC Recruiters, Inc.$6,887.27
Chuck Sissom of Sissom & Associates$6,322.29
David M. Sgro, CPC of True North Consultants, Inc.$5,783.60
Mike Duke, CPC of Career Development Partners$5,624.48
Mike Niedbalski, CPC of Integritas Search$5,545.31
Jamie Rule of JTR Recruiting/TalentConnect$5,161.51
Debbie Reiger of Reiger Technical Search$4,844.85
Michael Stuck of Gables Search Group$2,700.48
Jack Mylott of Flagship Management$2,337.09
Katy Moses of Top Hire Recruitment$2,180.80
Kristy Fitch of$1,309.24

All of the recruiters on this list are direct hire recruiters. They run a direct hire desk, in addition to making contract placements.

You do NOT have to stop making direct hire placements to offer contract staffing services to your existing base of clients. All you have to do is two things:

  1. Ask your clients if they have contract job orders. (If they do, there’s a good chance they’ll give them to you.)
  2. Use Top Echelon’s recruitment back office solutions. We’ll take care of all the financial, legal, and administrative details associated with employing the contractors.

Once the candidate is placed, you kick back and collect contract placement checks. Correct that: you also continue making direct hire placements. There’s no kicking back in this current candidates’ market.

And if you have any questions about this whole process, we have answers.

Click here to get the straight scoop about contract placements and schedule a walk-through of TEC’s services.