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If you’ve read the news lately, you’ve probably seen quite a few headlines about the possibility of a recession. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. The trade war that current exists between the United States and China
  2. The recent inversion of the yield curve
  3. The fact there hasn’t been a recession in years, and if history repeats itself, we’re due for one

In case you’re confused by the second reason, the inversion of the yield curve is a phenomenon in the bond market in which longer-term interest rates fall below shorter-term interest rates. Historically, this has been a warning sign that a recession could be on the way.

As a result of these developments, the Stock Market has been all over the place in recent weeks, swinging wildly in both directions. Does this mean that a recession is “just around the corner”?

Keep in mind that I am by no means a financial expert, nor can I predict the future. However, I do like history, and I believe that we can learn from the past. Not only that, but I’ve also been the President of Top Echelon Network for more than 20 years. After going through the 2000 and 2008 recessions, I know a thing or two about them and their impact on the recruiting profession.

During the last recession, the Great Recession, I knew recruiting agencies that went out of business because they weren’t prepared. And before they could properly adjust to what was happening, it was too late. But before I discuss preparing for the inevitable, I’d like to present the second quarter statistics in Top Echelon’s recruiting network. The first piece of good news is that split placements in the Network through the first six months of the year are up over 10% over the same time frame in 2018.

The second piece of good news is that placements have risen in the Network in four of the past five years, with one small aberration. We expect that placements will continue to outpace last year’s totals throughout the rest of 2019. One reason for the increase in splits is the shortage of qualified candidates in the employment marketplace and the fact that members are leveraging the reach of those candidates through the Network. Employers can not find the talent they want, so they will continue to hand out job orders to executive recruiting agencies. So right now, times are good, for both the Network and also for recruiters in general.

There’s a funny things about good times, though. They sometimes mask inefficiencies and imbalances in a business, including in a recruiting agency. Placements solve a lot of problems . . . or at the very least, they make you not notice those problems. Now as I mentioned above, I’m not a financial expert and I don’t know exactly when the next recession will begin, but how would you run your desk or business if you know a downturn would happen in the next couple of months?

More than likely, you’d run your desk and/or business with a sense of urgency, doing everything you can to make as many placements as you could. This includes looking at your recruiting process and working to improve and refine it, eliminating inefficiencies, and leveraging the relationships and resources that you have as a member of Top Echelon Network. “May hay while the sun shines” is a saying that you probably recognize. So when (and not if) a recession does hit, you’ll be more prepared to weather the storm. And the reason that you’ll be more prepared is because during each recession or downturn, the Network has always had recruiters who had jobs that needed filled and always had recruiters who had candidates to share.

What does this mean in terms of your membership in Top Echelon Network? Recently, Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS wrote a blog post titled “Why You Should Share ALL of Your Jobs with TE.” In that post, Drea listed four reasons to share all of your jobs:

#1—Many of the top producers in the Network make it a habit to post all of their job orders.
#2—You increase the chances that another recruiter is going to see your job order and help you fill it.
#3—The more you share, the more you network, the more you bill.
#4—You can still run your business exactly the way you’ve always run it.

I’m going to add a fifth reason to this list:

#5—You can fill job orders and service your clients more quickly.

Success in recruiting is all about “speed to hire.” It’s all about how quickly to you meet your client’s hiring needs. If your clients know that you can help them fill their most important positions as quickly as possible with top candidates in the market, then they’ll be more likely to continue giving you job orders. And build client relationships and client loyalty is always a good idea, especially during the late stages of a bull market, if not during all times.

Since it’s about speed to hire and if your mindset is to prepare for a possible downturn, then share all of your job orders. Create every opportunity to fill your clients open positions as quickly as possible with the most qualified candidates. This will lead to repeat business and help solidify you as the “go to” source for talent for their company. It’s the same with candidates. Share the ones you aren’t using.  Help you split partners fill their job orders.

So the recession might start three years from now. It might start tomorrow. Whatever the case, prepare and set yourself up like it could be tomorrow. Then, if it happens sooner rather than later, you’ll be prepared. At best, it holds off for a couple years and your preparation will help you make more revenue during that time than you would have made if you simply kept the status quo.

So invest more in your Top Echelon Network membership and reap the benefits of what the Network can provide for you and your recruiting agency!

Second Quarter Statistics

DisciplineJob OrdersCandidatesPlacements
Accounting (00)6.6%10.0%3.1%
Finance & Banking (05)7.9%2.8%2.5%
Engineering (10)27.4%30.6%18.2%
Scientific (15)6.1%2.2%3.8%
IT/Information Systems (20)7.4%7.1%7.2%
Industry & Manufacturing (25)32.7%46.3%28.5%
Sales & Marketing (30)11.4%11.2%6.9%
Insurance (35)9.1%1.3%0.3%
Technology & Technologists (40)13.7%3.7%5.6%
Personnel & Human Resources (45)7.8%4.9%1.9%
Construction (50)6.4%1.7%0.9%
Real Estate (55)3.9%0.4%0.3%
Healthcare (60)17.9%2.3%18.8%
Service (65)3.4%1.1%1.6%
Retail (70)7.7%2.0%0.3%
Miscellaneous (99)2.9%1.0%0.0%

If you’d like to generate more revenue as a result of your split network membership, I encourage you to 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

Once again, the Largest Split Fee of the Month is also the Largest Split Fee of the Quarter in Top Echelon’s recruiting network.

Last month, we chronicled the fact that John Ricciardi of the Afton Consulting Group and Brad McMillan of RPM Search were responsible for the former. (For the month of June, in case you were wondering.) And as it turns out, they’re also responsible for the latter!

Below are some other facts about the largest recruitment fees in Top Echelon Network for the second quarter of 2019:

  • Three of the fees were over $40K.
  • All 10 of the fees were over $30K.
  • All 10 of the fees were at least $34K.
  • The recruiters involved with the split placements were roughly a mix of newer members and more tenured members. Once again, this illustrates the fact that you can be a newer member in the Network and earn bigger fees.

So there you have it: the 10 largest recruitment fees in Top Echelon Network for the second quarter. As you can see, there is money to be made in a split placement network of recruiters.

You just have to know where to look!

Congratulations to everybody who scored the largest recruitment fees in Top Echelon’s split network during the second quarter of 2019!

— — —

Largest Recruitment Fees of the Quarter
First Place:

Brad McMillan of RPM Search

Brad McMillan

John Ricciardi of the Afton Consulting Group

John Ricciardi

John Ricciardi of the Afton Consulting Group and Brad McMillan of RPM Search

The position for this split placement was a Group Leader, Bioanalytical. John was the job order recruiter and Brad was the candidate recruiter.

The action that stimulated this split placement was listed as “Offline communication with a member.”

The fee for this split placement was $50,000.

— — –

Second Place:

Greg Fisher of Odell Medical Search (job order recruiter)
Brian McMahon of Brian McMahon & Associates (candidate recruiter)

Position Title: Cardiothoracic Physician Assistant
Fee percentage: Flat
Split Fee: $43,143

Third Place:

German Armenta of AB Recruiting & Staffing, LLC (job order recruiter)
MaryAnn Genovese of the Edgecumbe Group (candidate recruiter)

Position Title: HR Director
Fee percentage: 20%
Split Fee: $41,000

Fourth Place:

John Peterson of Sun Recruiting, Inc. (job order recruiter)
Gary Elias of Elias Associates, Inc. (candidate recruiter)

Position Title: Safety Manager
Fee percentage: 25%
Split Fee: $38,750

Fifth Place:

Michael Stuck of the Gables Search Group (job order recruiter)
David Sadd of Ives & Associates, Inc. (candidate recruiter)

Position Title: CFO – Real Estate
Fee percentage: 25%
Split Fee: $37,500

Sixth Place:

Tom Christensen of C.H. Thomas Search, LLC (job order recruiter)
Nakita Gates of Executive Search, Recruit (candidate recruiter)
Position Title: Senior Director Operations Support
Fee percentage: 25%
Split Fee: $37,500

Seventh Place:

Nick Hope of Hope and Associates (job order recruiter)
Mark Hyman of The River Group (candidate recruiter)
Position Title: Plant Manager
Fee percentage: 22%
Split Fee: $37,400

Eighth Place:

Suzanne Griffith of Ives & Associates, Inc. (job order recruiter)
Anthony Shulik of Executive Directions & Pinnacle, Int’l (candidate recruiter)

Position Title: Key Account Director
Fee percentage: 25%
Split Fee: $35,000

Ninth Place:

Herman Bruno of Corps Partners (job order recruiter)
Gary Nashif of SMB Recruiters, LLC (candidate recruiter)

Position Title: International Area Manager
Fee percentage: 20%
Split Fee: $35,000

10th Place:

Todd Porter of Southeast-Recruiters/Bio-Partners Search Group (job order recruiter)
Michael Mabry of the Sora Resource Group, LLC (candidate recruiter)

Position Title: Auto Parts – Plant Manager
Fee percentage: 20%
Split Fee: $34,000

— — —

Top Echelon determines the monthly and quarterly winners of its Network split recruiting awards in four distinct categories, which are listed below:

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

The winners of these awards are only announced in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog, usually (but not always) in the issue following the conclusion of each month and/or quarter.

Recently in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog, we combined the Recruiter of the Week and the Recruiter of the Month in one blog post. We’re doing something similar this week.

That’s because we’re combining the Recruiter of the Week and the Recruiter of the Quarter!

Leader of the leading members

Once again, Trey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group is the Recruiter of the Quarter. (Just like he’s the Recruiter of the Month.)

This time, though, the Recruiter of the Week is Gary Schultz of Work 22, Inc. Gary’s agency joined Top Echelon’s recruiter network in May of 2017, which means he’s been a member for a little over two years.

However, Gary has made 15 split placements in the Network during that time. And as you can see below, he was ranked 10th in Top Echelon for the second quarter of the year.

We wanted Gary to say a few words about the success that he’s enjoyed so far in TE. Thankfully, he agreed to do so:

— — —

“The success of my placements were based on the following importers: Jeff Duell, Jeff Katz, Herman Bruno, Marty Stan, Matt Allred, Marcus Strothers, Steve Schroeder, Ben Brown, Al Katz, Pat McCombs, Michael Stuck, Christina Martins, and Steve Moore.

“These importers explained the job descriptions in a lucid fashion and granted permission to work the advertised jobs.

“The Top Echelon presented the opportunity to meet the importers.”

— — —

So congratulations to Gary for being named the Recruiter of the Week in Top Echelon Network!

Do you need to make a ton of placements to enjoy a healthy return on your Network investment? Of course not! You only have to make one TE placement per year for that.

So congratulations to Trey, Gary, and all of the leading members in the Network during the second quarter of 2019. Let’s keep the momentum going!

— — —

Recruiters of the Quarter
First Place:

Recruiter: Trey Cameron
Agency: Cameron Craig Group
Placements: Forty-one (41)
Commission: $305,517

Second Place:

Recruiter: Melissa Truax
Agency: Premier Health Careers, Inc./Premier Paths
Placements: Nine (9)
Commission: $16,389

Third Place:

Recruiter: Kristy Staggs
Agency: Byrnes & Rupkey, Inc.
Placements: Eight (8)
Commission: $59,067

Fourth Place:

Recruiter: Hank Winters
Agency: HPS Talent, Inc.
Placements: Eight
Commission: $8,761

Fifth Place:

Recruiter: Steve Kohn
Agency: Affinity Executive Search
Placements: Seven (7)
Commission: $51,669

Sixth Place:

Recruiter: Robert Alexander
Agency: Systems Technology International, Inc.
Placements: Six (6)
Commission: $59,065

Seventh Place:

Recruiter: Nancy Hastings
Agency: The Hastings Group
Placements: Six (6)
Commission: $44,532

Eighth Place:

Recruiter: Mike Loftus
Agency: Beacon Professional Search
Placements: Six (6)
Commission: $37,267

Ninth Place:

Recruiter: Michael Agen
Agency: New Solutions Group, LLC
Placements: Six (6)
Commission: $35,663

10th Place:

Recruiter: Gary Schultz
Agency: Work 22, Inc.
Placements: Six (6)
Commission: $34,466

— — —

Top Echelon’s split network determines the monthly and quarterly winners of its 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 split placements during a given month or quarter, the recruiter with the largest cash-in total for their placements is deemed the winner.

— — —

If you’re looking to make more placements with your Top Echelon split fee recruiting membership, then contact Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS at 330.455.1433, x156.

Okay, by now you should know about the dates of the 2019 Top Echelon Fall Conference. You should also know that Early Bird Registration for the Fall Conference is already underway.

And you might even know that a representative from the Haley Marketing Group will be the keynote speaker at the conference. But even if you know all of that, I’m here with new information.

That new information involves the name of the Haley Marketing representative who will be on hand at the conference, as well as the sessions that he will be conducting.

— — —

Haley Marketing representative: Aaron Eastlack
Title: Social Media Marketing Advisor

Aaron Eastlack is a Social Media Marketing Advisor at Haley Marketing Group, the nation’s largest marketing firm dedicated to servicing the staffing and recruiting industry. As a social media consultant and marketing coach, Aaron works with recruiters and staffing companies to align their values, business goals and marketing initiatives. With a focus on affordable, sustainable and results-drive digital marketing tactics, he partners with local firms as well as national brands to bring their goals into focus and target the best strategies to reach and exceed them.

Aaron is a frequent contributor to Haley Marketing’s educational blog and is focused on refining integrated digital marketing plans for businesses that will help them best reach their goals.

— — —

Date: Tuesday, October 22
Session Title: “Positioning 101: Make Your Recruiting Agency Stand Out”

Here are a few of the most common (and overused) positioning messages in the recruiting industry. Such as:

  • “Our service is better.”
  • “We take time to ask the right questions.”
  • “We dig deeper to find the right fit candidates.”

In recruiting, differentiation is hard…really hard. But it is not impossible, especially if you start with the right framework for developing your messaging. This session will teach you how to best convey what makes your staffing firm different than all the others to your clients and candidates.

— — —

Date: Tuesday, October 22
Session Title: “Marketing Smart: Strategic and Measurable”

Is your staffing company’s marketing STRATEGIC, MEASURABLE and based on ANALYTICS?

In recruiting, great marketing isn’t about spending more…it’s about getting more ROI from the money you spend. In this session, we’ll look at the big trends going on in marketing, and we’ll show you what they mean for recruiting agencies.

Buckle up…and get ready for lots of ideas to dominate the web, differentiate your services, radically improve your recruiting, and fill more of your open job orders. In this session you’ll learn:

  • 5 essential upgrades for your website
  • 6 trends in SEO . . . and one thing you MUST start doing
  • 7 strategies to make your content marketing work better
  • The latest insights on using social media for sales and recruiting

— — —

Date: Wednesday, October 23
Session Title: “6 Essentials for Engineering a Complete Lead-Gen Strategy”

Leads are the lifeline for many businesses. In the recruiting and staffing space, we live and breathe leads.

The problem for 2019 (and near future): How do we generate job orders with new and reactivated clients, when many businesses are hiring at the same time we are experiencing a severe talent shortage across almost every industry and skill level?

The solution: You – learning to, and being, strategically agile in your lead gen strategies – complemented by a strong brand.

Whether your goal is to pull in leads on your sales side or pulling in the right leads that convert into great placements there are some effective ways to bring them in.

So, what do we need to pull together a solid and cohesive lead gen strategy? Find out in this session.

— — —

How and where to register

Now . . . how can you register for the Fall Conference? Once again, we have a special website for conference registration. Click here to visit that website, which contains the following information:

  • The preliminary agenda
  • A link to register for the conference
  • A link to book your room at the Sheraton O’Hare Suites

Or, if you want to “cut right to the chase,” you can click the link below to register for the Fall Conference:

Yes, I want to register!

It’s a proven fact that attending our events helps recruiters enjoy more success as members of Top Echelon’s split network. This event will be no different. I can promise you that there will be sessions and activities specifically designed to help increase your billings. And I don’t mean just your TE billings. I mean your overall billings, as well.

So sign up, save some money, and make some placements!

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

The second quarter of 2019 has come and gone. Actually, we’re way more than halfway done with the year. That’s because we’re already halfway through August!

The halfway point of the year is a good time to take stock of where you are as a recruiter. Although we’re not recruiters, we do run a split network of recruiters. So we thought we would take stock of them (you) instead. Makes sense, right?

After all, we believe that our Network members are trustworthy. If we didn’t, then we would not have allowed them to become Network members in the first place. Surely they would be honest and forthright regarding the following:

  • Their recruiting desk production during the first six months of 2019
  • Their attitude regarding their recruiting desk production for the second six months of 2019

Still not following us? Well, we have answers, specifically in the form of the answers that Network members provided to recent poll questions. We posed these poll questions in the Members’ Area of the Top Echelon Network software.

So please enjoy the latest poll results from Top Echelon’s recruiting network.

— — —

As we near the halfway point of the year, are you on track to meet your 2019 billing goals?

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

  • Absolutely! — 21.5%
  • Uh . . . maybe. — 21.5%
  • It’s better if I don’t think about it. — 5.1%
  • No. The answer is no. — 44.3%
  • Billing goals? I don’t need no stinkin’ billing goals! — 7.6%

— — —

What’s your attitude regarding the second half of the year on your desk?

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

  • I’m going to kick the second half of this year’s butt! — 51.4%
  • I’m ready for a white-knuckle ride. — 12.2%
  • I’m a great second half team. — 20.3%
  • It’s better to burn out than fade away. — 5.4%
  • I need a hug. — 10.8%

More than halfway to more placements!

You might be asking yourself, “How can I poll these poll results in real time?” Well, the answer is easy.

We post a poll question in the Members’ Area every week. Once you participate in the poll, you can see the results as other Members cast their votes. We usually post a new Members’ Area poll question on Monday. We usually do that, but we don’t always do that. We don’t like to be predictable.

If YOU want to make more split placements and increase your production, then contact Director of Network Operations, Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS. You can reach Drea by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to