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(Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of guest blog posts about contract staffing, courtesy of Top Echelon Contracting, the recruiter’s back-office solution.  Similar posts will appear in future issues of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.)

Debbie FledderjohannThe recent practice where employers specifically state in job postings that they will not accept unemployed candidates has ignited a firestorm and has some crying “discrimination.” Some lawmakers are even moving to make banning unemployed job candidates illegal.

In fact, New Jersey has already passed a law forbidding job ads that are found to discriminate against the unemployed, according to The Employer Handbook, a blog by attorney Eric B. Meyer. The law states that job advertisements can’t include provisions stating that current employment is a job qualification, that the company won’t consider applications submitted by unemployed candidates, or that they will only consider applications from currently employed candidates, according to the blog.

On the federal level, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently held a hearing to determine how prevalent banning unemployed candidates is and if it is discriminatory, according to employment attorney Lisa Yankowitz’s weekly Informed Workplace video.  While unemployed individuals are not specifically protected under any federal anti-discrimination laws, these practices could be considered discriminatory if they create a disparate impact against a protected class.

Disparate impact occurs when a policy that seems neutral on its face disproportionately impacts members of protected classes. Considering that certain protected groups, such as African-Americans, Hispanics, and the disabled, have a much higher unemployment rate than the national average, it is quite possible that a company policy against hiring the unemployed could create a disparate impact, Yankowitz says in the video.

According to Yankowitz and the Huffington Post, unemployed individuals will be specifically protected under federal law if Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) has his way.  He has introduced The Fair Employment Act of 2011 which would amend the Civil Rights Act to make it illegal for companies to make hiring decisions based on a candidate’s employment status.

It will be interesting to see where this goes.  Will more states pass laws banning ads discriminating against the unemployed? Or will federal legislators beat them to the punch and make the unemployed a protected class? Either way, it appears this is a topic that will be sticking around for awhile and could result in more legal restrictions for employers.

While most of your clients have probably not published job ads specifically banning the unemployed, chances are you may have encountered situations where a client has told you not to present unemployed candidates.  You may want to make them aware of the growing legal movement against his practice and remind them that there could be very good candidates out there who happen to be unemployed, particularly now in the wake of “The Great Recession.”

And you can offer to let them try your currently unemployed candidates by starting them on a contract basis before they “buy,” or extend the direct-hire offer.  Not only will they keep themselves out of potential legal hot water, but they may also find that some of the best employees are still on the unemployment lines.

For all the latest contracting news and information, subscribe to the Top Echelon Contracting blog!

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We’ve said this before . . . but we’ll say it again, because it bears repeating.

Recruiters who attend Top Echelon Network conferences and conventions are more likely to make split placements.

There’s evidence of this all the time, everywhere, after every event that we hold. No matter how many recruiters attend, split placements result from the meeting.  And why is this important?

Amy Recker, CPCWell, because the 2011 Top Echelon Network Fall Conference will be here before you know it.  In fact, the conference is scheduled for Thursday, October 20, and Friday, October 21, at the Embassy Suites in Chicago.  Even though that seems like it’s a long time away, it isn’t.  That’s why we’ll be releasing the preliminary agenda for the conference in the near future, maybe even as early as next week.

In the meantime, we’re going to highlight one of the many split placements that resulted from a recent Top Echelon Network event.  In this case, that event was the regional conference we held in Tampa, Fla., at the beginning of 2010.

Of the over 30 recruiters who attended the event, two of them were Amy Recker of Bridgeway Professionals, Inc. and Frank Gregg of Gregg & Associates.  Recker and Gregg met each other for the first time and discussed their business and their firms.  Those conversations eventually led to a split placement when Gregg saw a job order that Recker had posted in the Network’s Split Jobs Database and contacted her about one of his passive candidates.

Because Recker met Gregg at the regional conference in Tampa, she gave his candidate an extra bit of attention, and that investment of time paid off in the form of a split placement.

Recker and Gregg eventually placed a VP of Operations for a VERY substantial fee.  (While it’s our policy to not publish placement fees in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog, since it’s on the World Wide Web, I recommend logging into the Members’ Area to view the details associated with this placement.)

Frank Gregg“This is proof that it pays to post your most recent job orders on the TE site,” said Recker.  “Having met Frank at the regional meeting in Florida last year, I knew enough about his opinion of the candidate he shared.  The candidate gets a great new job, our client gets a sharp new VP, we get more job orders from this client, and Frank gets a free round of golf!”

The bottom line: if Recker and Gregg had not attended the regional conference in Tampa, they would not have made this split placement and earned a large fee in the process.  When it comes to Top Echelon Network conferences and conventions, sometimes you just have to find a way to get there . . . the rest seems to take care of itself.

That’s why we want you to find a way to get to the 2011 Fall Conference in Chicago.  Meeting one recruiter at one conference could be the first step to a new Trading Partner relationship and significant split placement revenue.

So, we’ve said it before . . . and there’s no doubt we’ll be saying it again.

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330.455.1433, Ext. 125
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'Comments' and ComplimentsWe’ve long espoused the firm belief that adhering and practicing The Four Pillars of Top Echelon Network will lead to split placements—and we have the proof in this week’s installment of “Comments and Compliments.”  That’s because both of the placements we’re highlighting are the result of recruiters’ commitment to The Four Pillars, which happen to be Quality, Communication, Trust, and Active Participation.

When you read the comments below, you’ll notice how the four elements were present during the process leading up to these split placements.  The Pillars are Pillars for a reason: they serve as the foundation of Top Echelon Network, and they’re instrumental to enjoying success as a Preferred Member recruiter.

If you’ve made a split placement with a Trading Partner and would like to compliment them for their efforts, send your compliments to  That would be a great way to actively participate.

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Mike Cirner, CPC“Carolyn was a pleasure to work with.  What I really like about working with her is her proactivity in working with our candidates.  Carolyn is always interested in many of the quality candidates that we have and in engaging them.  She is somebody who works very closely with the candidates and keeps us updated on their status.”

Submitted by Mike Cirner, CPC of Fowler Placement Services, Inc. regarding his split placement with Carolyn Barcus of Barcus Associates

Position Title—New Business Sales Executive
Fee Percentage—20%

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Mike EhlersJeffrey Gilbert“Jeff consistently sends me well-screened, quality candidates.  We just need some BIGGER splits.”

Submitted by Mike Ehlers of Ehlers Recruiting Partners regarding his split placement with <a href=”” title=”Jeff Gilbert of Kingfish Technology, LLC” target=”_blank”>Jeffrey Gilbert of Kingfish Technology, LLC

Position Title—Account Executive
Fee Percentage—20%

(Editor’s Note: This is the third split placement that Ehlers and Gilbert have made together in the Network.)

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Remember, if you have comments for a Trading Partner regarding a split placement, please email those comments to