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One of the most common arguments against making split placements is just that—they’re split.

Here at Top Echelon, we take the stance that “Half a loaf is better than no loaf.”  In other words, half a placement fee is better than no placement fee at all.

However, what if a split placement fee was larger than a typical full placement fee?

That happens more often than you might think in Top Echelon, and we’re highlighting one such instance in this issue of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.  Why this particular split placement fee?

Well, because it was $78,750.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Two recruiters in Top Echelon Network—Mary Anne Buckley, CPC of Interstate Recruiters Corp and Richard Connors of Vista Technology—split a placement fee of nearly $80,000.  Of course, TE also received a 6% brokerage fee on the placement, but the two recruiters involved still received close to $35,000 apiece.

It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that this placement will garner the Largest Split Placement Fee Award for 2015.  Not only that, but it may very well be the largest split fee in the history of Top Echelon!  (Records from the early days of the Network are rather sketchy on the subject.)

Regardless, there should be NO debate as to whether recruiters can earn sizeable placement fees as part of a split network.  They can, and they are.

Congratulations to Mary Anne Buckley and Richard Connors from everybody at Top Echelon!

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Richard Connors of Vista Technology

Richard Connors

Mary Anne Buckley, CPC of Interstate Recruiters Corp

Mary Anne Buckley, CPC

“It’s wonderful working with Rich again!  He found a great candidate for my client!”

Submitted by Mary Anne Buckley, CPC of Interstate Recruiters Corp regarding her Network split placement with Richard Connors of Vista Technology


Fee Percentage—25%

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

We recently conducted a poll of Top Echelon Network recruiters by posting a question in the Members’ Area.

That question was as follows:

What is the #1 worry on your desk right now?


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

  • Inability to find qualified candidates — 50.8%
  • Lack of job orders — 15.3%
  • Uncooperative clients — 11.0%
  • The U.S. and global economies — 4.2%
  • Some other worry — 9.3%
  • I have no worries. — 9.3%


There were few mildly surprising aspects about the results of this poll, starting with the fact that 11.9% of participants indicated that client negotiations are “a little easier” than they’ve been.  Not only that, but another 2.0% were the opinion that negotiations are “a LOT easier.”

In addition, 48.5% of recruiters chose “about the same” as their answer.  One might think that number would be higher.

On the flip side of the coin, 29.7% indicated that negotiations are “a little tougher” and 7.9% selected “a LOT tougher” from the answers offered.  While the economy appears to be good overall, challenges still do exist.


Overall, the state of the recruiting industry is a positive one. Job orders are up, and there appears to be a sense of urgency on the part of companies to find and hire the best talent available in the marketplace.

More importantly, there’s also a willingness on the part of organizations to PAY recruiters for their ability to find and recruit this talent.  However, the manner in which they pay them varies from company to company—and that manner can change from year to year.

Based on the results of this poll, despite the positive state of the economy and the recruiting industry, overall client negotations are getting tougher for recruiters.  Not by a lot, mind you, but enough to be noticeable.

As for those recruiters who are finding it easier to negotiate with clients?  They apparently work in an industry or niche that’s currently experiencing a glaring lack of talent, which means that companies have very little leverage with which to negotiate.

Either that, or the recruiters are providing value above and beyond their clients’ wildest expectations.  Or perhaps it’s both.

At Top Echelon, we like to recognize recruiters for their production in the Network, especially those who have been very successful with little fanfare.

I am here to provide that fanfare!

The recruiter for whom I am providing it has been a Network member since November of 2007.  Since that time, she has been extremely productive, making a total of 87 TE placements.

Perhaps the first sentence of her Top Echelon Network profile says it best: “Providing trusted service through honesty, integrity, and hard work, I offer 17 years of experience as a national recruiter for direct-hire and contract positions.”

Those of you familiar with her work may already know that I’m talking about Angela Marasco of A. Marasco Recruiting, LLC.  Of course, you may also know because you read the headline of this blog post.  Just a guess.

Below are five reasons why Angela Marasco is the Recruiter of the Week in Top Echelon Network:

#1—She’s split minded.

Like countless other recruiters who are successful in Top Echelon, she does NOT view the Network as a last resort.  Instead, she chooses to view it as a first option.  She fully understands and endorses the Top Echelon philosophy of “Half a loaf is better than no loaf” when it comes to placement fees.  Adhering to this philosophy has also allowed her to build some great professional relationships and friendships along the way.

#2—She attends networking events.

Over the years, Angela has been a fixture at events like our National Convention and Fall Conference.  Not only that, but she also regularly attends other networking events, such as Regional Core Group meetings, where recruiters meet face-to-face, albeit it at smaller venues.  The Ohio Regional Core Group, of which she is a part, has been one of the most successful and longest running Core Groups in the history of the Network.

#3—She’s an excellent exporter.

Just look at the comments below made by her trading partners after completed split placements.  They start their comments in almost identical fashion: “Thanks, Angela, for having a great candidate!”  Although she operates as both an importer and an exporter in Top Echelon, Angela has branded herself in TE as somebody who has great candidates.  As an exporter, it doesn’t get much better than that.  She doesn’t stop there, though.  She also works well with her trading partners during the recruiting and hiring process, doing what’s necessary to bring the deal to successful completion.

#4—She makes contract placements.

In fact, Angela has made a TON of contract placements in Top Echelon.  She understands the value of contract staffing, not only non-split contract placements, but also split contract placements.  This underscores the fact that she’s split-minded (#1 on our list).  Angela is open to splitting her fee in just about every situation, and she’s also open to making contract placements, and those two reasons alone account for a great deal of her success within TE.

#5—She’s resilient.

Angela made six Network placements in 2013, but NO Network placements the following year.  Did that deter her?  Absolutely not.  She’s made three placements in Top Echelon so far in 2015, and she supplied the candidate in all three of those placement situations.  Angela believes in the system, she knows that it works, and she knows that if she does the things she’s supposed to do, the placements will happen.

So congratulations to Angela Marasco from everybody here at Top Echelon.  Thanks for your hard work and commitment as a member of the Network!

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Angela Marasco of A. Marasco Recruiting, LLC

Angela Marasco

David M. Sgro, CPC of True North Consultants, Inc.

David M. Sgro, CPC

“Thanks, Angela, for a great candidate!  We had him interview at three of our clients, resulting in two of them wanting to hire the candidate.  Any time you get good candidates who want to come to Cleveland, send them my way, and I’ll market them around and we’ll make another split!”

Submitted by David M. Sgro, CPC of True North Consultants, Inc. regarding his Network split placement with Angela Marasco of A. Marasco Recruiting, LLC

Position Title—SQL DEVELOPER

Fee Percentage—25%

(Editor’s note: This is the third Network split placement that Sgro and Marasco have made together in Top Echelon.)

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Melinda O'Neil of Enterprise Search Associates, LLC

Melinda O’Neil

“Thanks, Angela, for having a great candidate!  And a special shout out to Debbi Reiger for your help on this one, as well!”

Submitted by Melinda O’Neil of Enterprise Search Associates, LLC regarding her Network split placement with Angela Marasco of A. Marasco Recruiting, LLC


Fee Percentage—20%

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

PICTURE PERFECT: Top Echelon Network member and top producer Sean Napoles, CPC of Career Brokers, Inc. holds a tablet device that holds the image of fellow Network Member Catherine Reynolds of OnBoard Recruitment Advisers.  Napoles and Reynolds placed a Project Manager recently and decided to take a “split placement selfie” to celebrate the occasion.

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We at Top Echelon Network are continually emphasizing that members should engage in face-to-face networking efforts.  But if you can’t do that, why not take a “split placement selfie” once you close a deal together?

As you can see by the photo at right, our latest “selfie” involves Top Echelon recruiters Sean Napoles, CPC of Career Brokers, Inc. and Catherine Reynolds of OnBoard Recruitment Advisers.

They recently placed a Project Manager and thought it would be the perfect time to join the growing number of TE members who mark such an occasion with a “split placement selfie.”

Napoles is a veteran of Top Echelon, having made 218 Network placements since joining TE in October of 2000.  Reynolds has made 14 placements in her short time in Top Echelon, making at least once split every year since she joined in 2012.

The two recruiters took advantage of the convenience afforded by technology, since Napoles is located in Plano, Texas and Reynolds is in Columbus, Ohio.  However, distance is no object when it comes to a “split placement selfie.”

All you need is a mobile device, a great trading partner, and a split placement!

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If you’ve taken a “split placement selfie” with another Top Echelon recruiter and you’d like to share that “selfie” with the rest of the membership, send your photo and any accompanying information to!