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You can register for the 2017 Top Echelon Fall Conference!

That’s because Early Bird Registration for the conference is now live. You can sign up for just $235 per person.

We strive to keep the cost of attending our recruiter networking events as low as we possibly can. From our perspective, there is no good reason to raise the price, regardless of inflation.

That’s because we want you to attend. When you attend, you meet other recruiters and build trading partner relationships. And when you do that, you make split placements.

Conference details and information

Early Bird Registration for the Fall Conference will be available until August 18. Regular Registration for the Fall Conference will run from August 18 until September 29. The price of Regular Registration will be $285 per person.

This year’s Fall Conference is scheduled for Tuesday, October 17, and Wednesday, October 18. The site of the conference is the Sheraton O’Hare Suites (formerly the Sheraton Gateway Suites).

The main speaker for this year’s Fall Conference is Mike LeJeune of Simple Leadership. Mike has presented a number of webinars as part of the Top Echelon Recruiter Coaching Series.

Our room rate with the Sheraton O’Hare Suites is $189 per night. That rate is good for Top Echelon split network members attending the conference for the dates of Monday, October 16, through Wednesday, October 18.

How and where to register

To make hotel reservations at the Sheraton O’Hare Suites, call 1.847.699.6300. Be sure to reference the “Top Echelon conference” and its dates when you make the reservation. Please note there are a limited number of rooms available at that rate for our group. As such, they will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Sheraton O’Hare Suites is located near the Chicago O’Hare Airport. A courtesy shuttle will be available for your transportation. Also keep in mind that you do not have to stay at the Sheraton O’Hare Suites. You also have the option of staying at any hotel of your choice and traveling to the Sheraton.

To register for the Fall Conference, login to the Members’ Area of the Top Echelon website. The registration links are located on the left-hand side of the main page under the placement forms.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

A few weeks weeks ago, we announced that Network agency Adel-Lawrence Associates, Inc. was recently named one of “America’s Best Professional Recruiting Firms” by Forbes Magazine.

Then a week after that, we announced that TE firm Affinity Executive Search was named one of “America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms,” also by Forbes Magazine.

Now we’re pleased to announce that TE agency Professional Recruiting Consultants also cracked one of the Forbes lists! That list happens to be “America’s Best Professional Recruiting Firms,” on which the agency was #243.

(To recap, the first list ranks 250 professional search firms, which place candidates in roles with less than $100,000 in annual income. The second list ranks 250 executive search firms, defined as companies that place candidates in positions with at least $100,000 in annual pay.)

Professional Recruiting Consultants: history of success

Professional Recruiting Consultants has a rich history of success in Top Echelon’s recruiter network. The firm and its owner, Roger Malatesta, joined the Network in September of 1992. (That means the agency will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in TE later this year.)

However, the firm is about more than just longevity. Professional Recruiting Consultants has accounted for 146 placements during its time in TE’s split network. Judy Kaplan has made 88 of those placements, while Roger has made 17, and Carol Calvano has made 15.

And clearly, Professional Recruiting Consultants exemplifies quality both inside and outside of our split fee recruiting network. Otherwise, it would not have been honored with such an award.

We asked Roger to say a few words about his firm’s achievement. He was good enough to provide us with the following statement:

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Roger Malatesta of Professional Recruiting Consultants

Roger Malatesta

We were surprised to get the recognition, and I found out through Carol after she saw your announcement that Larry was on [the list]. In searching, she found us there, as well. Apparently to get the list, they asked recruiters to share their expertise with them, as well as HR managers working in large companies across the U.S.

They researched contacts from more than 4,000 recruiting firms and 500 companies from different industries. They also consulted with sources like trade organizations and company databases, identifying about 4,000 recruiters in each of the two categories. Then they invited thousands of recruiters and HR managers to take an online survey.

The survey asked them to recommend up to 10 recruiting firms, excluding their own. It gathered a total of 20,000 recommendations. I’m certain many other TE members should also be on the list. I must say it has already helped me get one high-level search that I might not have gotten if not for the listing.

— — —

We want to congratulate Roger and the rest of the recruiters in his firm on this achievement and their success in Top Echelon’s recruiting network. Like Adel-Lawrence Associates and Affinity Executive Search, Professional Recruiting Consultants has been an integral part of our Network for more than 20 years. We very much appreciate the agency’s professionalism, integrity, and commitment to excellence during that time.

Congratulations to Roger Malatesta and everybody at Professional Recruiting Consultants!

This week’s installment of “The Power of the Network” involves a more intangible form of value. Placements are all fine and good, but what about a friendship or two? That’s right: a friendship.

When you work with trading partners all the time, sometimes they become a good friend. Does it happen overnight? Of course not. But it does happen, and it happens more frequently than you might think.

You might also think that it only applies to new Network members. Or at the very least, recruiters who have been members for a short amount of time. Not so.

No “time limit” on friendship

In fact, recruiters who have been in the Network for many years have forged a new friendship. There is no “time limit” on becoming friends in Top Echelon’s recruiting network. Take, for instance, the trading partner relationship below:

  • Larry Radzley has been in the Network since 1991. Steve Kohn has been in TE since 1994.
  • Larry has made 74 Network placements. Steve has made 235 such placements.
  • These two recruiters have a combined total of 60 years of experience in the recruiting profession.
  • They’ve made six splits together since July of last year.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a recruiter. It’s doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a TE member. You can build a new friendship with another recruiter in the Network at any time. And when it’s a trusting friendship like the one described below, it almost always results in multiple placements!

If you’re looking to make more split placements in TE, then contact Top Echelon Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS. You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

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Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search

Steve Kohn

Larry Radzely of Adel-Lawrence Associates, Inc.

Larry Radzely

“I believe this is our sixth split placement with Steve in less than a year. We have developed a wonderful working relationship, as well as a trusting friendship. We look forward to many more split placements as the relationship between our companies continues to grow.”

Submitted by Larry Radzely of Adel-Lawrence Associates, Inc. regarding his Network split placement with Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search


Fee Percentage—20%

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

Once again, the top five recruiters in Top Echelon’s split network billed quite a bit last month. True, it’s down slightly when compared to recent months, but the top five billed a total of nearly $200K!

Okay, let’s dispense with the formalities first. As you can see, Trey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group is once again Recruiter of the Month. That’s not news. What IS news, though, is that Trey is closing in on another Network record.

Sure, he made his 600th TE placement a couple of months ago. But in the very near future, he will reach $5 million cash-in for his Network career. Nobody has ever billed that much through the Network in the nearly 30-year history of Top Echelon. (In fact, nobody has billed $4 million.)

Trey is currently the #1 top producer in the Network, with more than $1.3 million cash-in during the past 12 months. At that rate, he’ll be close to $6 million for his career by the time the end of the year arrives.

But enough about Trey. What about YOU? How was the first half of the year on your recruiting desk? Are you happy? Optimistic? Giddy? None of the above? Feel free to share with us.

In the meantime, congratulations to everybody on the list below and everybody who made Network split placements last month!

— — —

Top Five Recruiters in TE for June:

1st Place: Trey Cameron
Agency: Cameron Craig Group
Placements: eleven (11)
Commission: $76,943

— — —

2nd Place: Ron Sunshine
Agency: Ron Sunshine Associates, LLC
Placements: three (3)
Commission: $38,393

— — —

3rd Place: Nick Stoia
Agency: ASAP Search & Recruiters
Placements: three (3)
Commission: $33,840

— — —

4th Place: Bob Millman
Agency: AutoPro Technical Recruiting
Placements: three (3)
Commission: $14,477

— — —

5th Place: David Austin
Agency: Austin Technology Resources
Placements: two (2)
Commission: $30,843

— — —

Top Echelon determines the monthly and quarterly winners of its split recruiting awards based upon two criteria, which are listed below in order of importance:

1.) The number of split placements made
2.) The amount of “cash-in” dollars earned as a result of those split placements

This explains why, when multiple recruiters are tied with the same number of placements during a given month or quarter, the recruiter with the largest “cash-in” total is deemed the winner.

— — —

If you’re looking to make more placements with your Top Echelon recruiting network membership, 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

During the past couple of years, the Stock Market has experienced dramatic ups and downs, often yo-yoing from one extreme to the other.

That might be an appropriate way to describe the typical recruiting desk. You just don’t know what’s going to happen next. There will ups and downs for sure, but what should you do when there’s more downs than ups?

In the financial world, experts recommend that those investing in the Stock Market have balance in their portfolio. With such an approach, investors don’t have “all their eggs in the same basket,” so to speak, and they minimize their risk. What risk would that be? The risk that the Stock Market will eventually go down and usher in a new recession.

Let’s face it: recessions happen from time to time. Anybody who’s been in the recruiting profession for any length of time has endured at least one recession. Battle-tested veterans of the industry have persevered through many more than that.

In the same fashion that a balanced investment portfolio of both stocks and bonds can minimize risk, running a balanced recruiting desk with both direct-hire and contract staffing services can also minimize risk. Why is that?

Because during recessionary times, companies are less likely to hire employees on a direct hire basis. Instead, they choose to utilize contractors to help complete projects and meet deadlines. As a result, a recruiting firm that offers just direct hire services will suffer much more than a firm that offers both direct hire and contract staffing.

Just like people who only invest in stocks suffer more when the Stock Market drops than those who have more balance in their portfolio.

Is there a recession on the way? While it’s almost impossible to predict when a recession will strike, history suggests that one is inevitable. In fact, recent market cycles suggest that a recession hits roughly every seven to eight years. (Which means . . . maybe we’re overdue?)

The most recent recession—dubbed “The Great Recession” due to its severity—began in 2008, nine years ago. Based on this fact alone, it could easily be argued that another recession could begin as early as this year or next year. How prepared are YOU for a recession? How prepared are you for a recession at least as severe as the most recent one?

These aren’t pleasant questions to consider. However, they’re necessary questions for any business owner and any recruiting firm owner to consider. Those firm owners who are proactive about preparing for an economic slowdown will be in a better position to deal with such a situation, and contract staffing can play a pivotal role.

In fact, there are five main ways that contract staffing helps balance your recruiting desk during a recession:

#1 — Off-set the loss of direct hire business.

As mentioned above, direct hire placements typically take a dive during a recession. However, contract assignments often increase due to the fact that companies still need to get work done. If you offer contract staffing solutions, your contract income gives you enough to at least cover your overhead. You can even make up lost direct hire placement income by taking on more contract placements. Over the years, countless recruiters have told us that contract staffing kept them in business during recessionary times.

#2 — Make placements even with a hiring freeze.

Just because a client has instituted a hiring freeze, that doesn’t mean you can’t still make placements with that client. Once again, as mentioned above, companies still have deadlines to meet and projects to complete. If there’s a hiring freeze, how are they going to do that? They’ll do that by hiring contractors for a specified amount of time because traditional contractors come out of a different budget than direct hire employees.

#3 — Close more deals.

In some instances, a company might be hesitant about bringing a candidate on board on a full-time basis. Perhaps they’re not 100% sold on the candidate. Maybe due to budgetary constraints, they want to make sure that this candidate is the one they want. Whatever the case, offering to place candidates on a contract-to-direct basis could be the answer your clients are seeking.

This will give the client the opportunity to “try before they buy.” In this type of deal, you’ll earn hourly income during the contract period. Then, if the client decides to hire the contractor on a full-time basis, you can also earn a conversion fee. More companies are choosing this option because if the contractor isn’t a fit, they can simply end the assignment.

#4 — Make contract placements with the same client base.

The good news is that you do NOT have to market your contract staffing services to an entirely new client base. That’s because you can just use your existing client base (even if they’ve instituted a hiring freeze)! The only thing you really have to do is let your clients know that you can place contractors. Since you already have a relationship with them, it will increase the chances that they’ll also turn to you for their contract staffing needs.

#5 — Build more cash flow consistency and flexibility.

Have you considered the advantages of more cash flow consistency and flexibility on your desk right now? How much more could you use them during a recession? Not only can you make a substantial amount of money by adding contracting to your business model, but you can also earn it in a steady fashion. You continue to earn money each hour that your contractors are working, and since most clients pay invoices on a weekly basis, you’ll be able to enjoy weekly cash flow.

Believe it or not, we’re halfway through 2017. Have you been proactive about preparing for whatever uncertainly might lie ahead? What would you do if direct hire job orders started to dry up? Are you in a position to offer contract staffing to your base of clients? If not, what steps do you need to take?

Top Echelon Contracting recently rolled out a new recruitment back office service called TEC Express. This new Express model is designed for contractors who are “office professionals” and would qualify for the Workers Compensation Code 8810 (or equivalent).

The good news is that since the Express model is targeting only office professionals, Top Echelon Contracting can pass more profit along to recruiters!

We have a Profit Calculator on our website that will tell you the bill and pay rates for TEC Express. (Click here for more information about Express.)

Try out the Profit Calculator!

For more about how contract placements can balance your desk, call (330) 454-3508 and press “1.” Or request a demo from one of our contract staffing specialists.

One day in the near future, a recession will be here. It’s an economic and historical certainty. Don’t get caught flat-footed. Reduce risk and vulnerability by building a recruiting desk that has balance.

Contract staffing helps recruiters achieve balance . . . and it could help YOU, too.

The weather is heating up . . . and so are our Big Biller recruiting software best practices! That’s because, as you can see below, we have even more of them. There is almost no end to the power and flexibility that Big Biller offers to recruiters. Almost.

And to illustrate that, we have three more “Did You Know?” tips associated with our recruitment software. As always, accompanying each of these recruiting practices is a link to a Help Center article and/or video that explains the feature in more detail.

(Remember, the Help Center is available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide assistance. That’s 24 hours a day, seven days per week. That’s . . . pretty much all the time.)

Anyway, the next three tips for users of the Big Biller online applicant tracking system are listed below. And if you’ve missed our previous entries in this series of blog posts, then track them down. Because knowledge = power.

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Did You Know . . . You Can Change a Candidate’s Status?

Ever wanted to find a list of just your “Active” candidates or hiring authorities? Want to exclude people who you’ve placed or designated as “Do Not Use”?

You can easily search on these within Big Biller’s search function IF you’re consistent in updating the status on People records. Changing a candidate’s status allows you to designate someone as Active, In-Active, On Assignment, Placed, or Do Not Use.

Click HERE for a Help Center article about how to change the status of a candidate in the Big Biller recruiting software!

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Did You Know . . . You Can Write Emails Faster in Big Biller?

Write emails faster! Increase your productivity with email templates within Big Biller.

You can create templates for emails that you send frequently so that you can quickly populate those messages moving forward.

Click HERE for a Help Center article about about how you can create email templates in the Big Biller recruiting software!

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Did You Know . . . Big Biller Handles Email Unsubscribes?

Did you know . . . that Big Biller handles the unsubscribe management for all mass emails sent out of the database?

In an effort to increase the deliverability of email sent out of Big Biller and also to comply with the CAN-SPAM ruling of 2003, an “Unsubscribe” link is automatically added to all emails sent to 11 or more recipients in a single message.

By providing an unsubscribe link in all mass emails, Big Biller is taking one of the many steps to meet industry guidelines and to ensure your emails are being delivered.

Click HERE for a Help Center article about email unsubscribes in the Big Biller recruiting software!

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Check future issues of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog for another installment of “Did You Know?”

Are you ready to save time with the Big Biller applicant tracking software and see what it can do for your agency? Then click HERE to sign up for a LIVE demo!