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It was less than three years ago that we were lauding Top Echelon Network member Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search for reaching the $2 million plateau in TE.

And now Steve has billed $3 million through the Network!

Steve started recruiting in 1989 and Affinity Executive Search joined Top Echelon in July of 1994, so he just recently celebrated his 26th anniversary as a Network member. Not only that, but we recognized Steve for making his 300th Network placement in June of last year.

Steve has consistently been a top producer for several years. He’s currently #2 in the Network in terms of cash-in during the past 12 months with over $323,000.

Steve currently has 366 placements as a member of Top Echelon Network. He is still cranking out the split placements, despite a global pandemic and recession.

Below is what Steve had to say about his accomplishment:

“Passing $3 million split placement fees, while a great personal milestone, is a potent testament to the tangible value of trust, teamwork, and co-op-etition. When you consider that this $6 million in total fees was billed after the job order recruiters failed to produce the winning candidate, the value that the Top Echelon Network brings is obvious and substantial

“The lesson is clear: if you want to make more money, then make all of your jobs available for split candidates from other recruiters. Your portion of an individual placement fee might be smaller, but you’ll make more of them and will be a more valued partner to your hiring clients.”

Everybody at Top Echelon would like to recognize and congratulate Steve on reaching this milestone and lofty achievement!

— — —

Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search

Steve Kohn

“Steve always does a great job of finding top notch candidates and he did again! Thanks Steve!”

Submitted by Russ Hovendick of regarding his Network split placement with Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search


Fee Percentage—25%

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

Recruiting is not easy under the best of circumstances. So it’s definitely not easy during a pandemic.

However, the members of Top Echelon’s recruiting network have done what they’ve always done. They’ve relied upon each.

And because they’ve trusted each other and relied upon each other, they’ve continued to make split placements. The Network is a tremendous resource during not only the pandemic, but also during the recession that the pandemic has spawned.

That’s because, as stated above, recruiting is NOT an easy profession. And it’s even less so right now.

However, when you place a priority on teamwork to get the job done, that’s exactly what happens.

The job gets done. Placements get made.

Just like THESE placements . . .

— — —

Pat McCombs, CPC of KB Search Team, LLC

Pat McCombs, CPC

Rose Langhals of Bridgeway Professionals, Inc.

Rose Langhals

“Thanks, Rose, for sending me such a GREAT candidate for this search. Due to COVID-19, we had a very delayed physical start date, which delayed our billing. Your patience was greatly appreciated! Thank you!”

Submitted by Pat McCombs, CPC of KB Search Team, LLC regarding her Network split placement with Rose Langhals of Bridgeway Professionals, Inc.


Fee Percentage—25%

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

— — —

Keith Cornelison of Personnel Resources

Keith Cornelison

Michael Stuck of the Gables Search Group

Michael Stuck

“Thanks for the great candidate, Michael! Hopefully, this is the first of many splits together!”

Submitted by Keith Cornelison of Personnel Resources regarding his Network split placement with Michael Stuck of Gables Search Group


Fee Percentage—25%

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

— — —

Sherry Umpleby of Innovative Search Solutions

Sherry Umpleby

Terry Rhodes of NewCareers

Terry Rhodes

“Thanks, Terry, for another great candidate!”

Submitted by Sherry Umpleby of Innovative Search Solutions  regarding her Network split placement with Terry Rhodes of NewCareers


Fee Percentage—22%

(Editor’s note: This is the fourth Network split placement that Sherry and Terry have made together in Top Echelon.)

At Top Echelon, we’re constantly upgrading both the Big Biller recruiting software and our split placement network software. So we’re pleased to announce the following updates:

At Top Echelon, we’re constantly upgrading both the Big Biller recruiting software and our split placement network software.

And with that in mind, we have good news! You now have the ability to designate full and partial Remote Jobs in Big Biller.

This means that information will not only be searchable, but also viewable by job seekers who visit your Job Board, as well as your trading partners within Top Echelon Network, if applicable.

This update includes:

  • The ability to search your agency and Network Jobs based on Remote designation
  • The ability for job seekers to view a Job’s Remote designation on the Job Board
  • A new “Allow for Searching by Remote” option when managing your firm’s Job Board
  • The ability to view and sort by Remote designation in Job lists within the software

Remember, you can always stay informed by visiting the official Top Echelon Product Updates page. You can see current and past updates, as well as which updates and upgrades are next.

If you have questions about these updates or about any other aspect of your Top Echelon Network and/or Big Biller software account, you can:

→ Send an email to

→ Contact us via chat during regular business hours.

→ Visit our Help Center.

Last week in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog, I examined the Stage 1 Networker as part of my analysis of the Five Stages of a Networker. In that blog post, I asked you to compare the attributes of a Stage 1 Networker to yourself in terms of where you believe you are as a recruiter in Top Echelon Network.

So as you might imagine, I’m going to ask the same of you this week . . . although this time I’m taking a close look at the Stage 2 Networker. This networker is further along in their development, but they still have some work to do before they can reap the full benefits of TE membership. (That means making multiple split placements.)

As you read each of the points below, start thinking about how you would rate yourself in these areas. Are you a Stage 2 Networker? Are you ready to take the next step as a Top Echelon Network recruiter? This exercise will help you determine the answers to these questions.

Below is a description of recruiters who think and act like a Stage 2 Networker in Top Echelon:

Stage 2 Networker

This stage of networker is now “sending out roots” to attempt to establish themselves in a recruiting network.


The Stage 2 Networker feels that networking can help them, but they still need to see results before they’re a true believer in split business.


They are willing to share to some degree, but they’re still cautious and will hold back their best candidates and best job orders. They will reluctantly share the name of a client with another recruiter.


They will submit some candidates and job orders to the Network and will let the results of those items determine if they will make more of a time investment.


They’ve found that running simple searches in the Network software is relatively easy. They also understand that the Members’ Area offers other features, but they haven’t explored those yet.


Their expectations are normally high. They can see the potential, but they expect other recruiters to respond to their job orders and to place their candidates.


If they generate a flurry of activity, they may get lucky and make a placement. If they only share a limited number of candidates and job orders, they most likely will not make a placement.  Many Stage 2 Networkers will submit some candidates and job orders a few times. If the response is less than their expectations, they will stop altogether.


Although their intentions are good, they still hold back their excellent candidates and job orders. They will share their mediocre candidates and job orders, but they try to keep the best for themselves.

Trading partners:

They’ve had contact with many Top Echelon Network members. Although most of these contacts have been pleasant, they’ve contacted enough people to have a few “not so good” experiences, as well.

Network billings:

Typically $0 to $10,000 in a 12-month period. In a strong economy, the Stage 2 Networker does not recognize the value of the Network to their bottom line.

Network satisfaction:

They are somewhat pleased with Top Echelon Network as a service company. However, if expenses need to be cut, Top Echelon would be one of the first to go.

If you that believe that you’re thinking and acting like a Stage 2 Networker and you want to evolve as quickly as possible, please contact me. You can do so at 330.455.1433, x156 or at

We can discuss how you can take the next step in your development in our split fee recruiting network.

Now that we’ve addressed the second stage of networking as a recruiter in TE, we’ll turn to the third stage next week.