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There’s a reason why communication is one of the The Four Pillars of Top Echelon Network. That reason: communication with a trading partner is the number-one way in which split placements happen between members.

This is true both statistically and philosophically. However, it’s not just communication between members that’s important, either. That’s what I’d like to address in this blog post.

It’s also essential that communication with another member’s candidate is handled properly and in line with Top Echelon Network Policies.

With that in mind, take the following three steps when contacting another recruiter’s candidate:

1. Identify yourself (your name and your firm’s name).

2. Explain that you’re working with the recruiter who sent you the candidate. That way, the candidate will have a better idea of who you are and why you’re calling. Make sure to identify the other recruiter by their name and their firm’s name.

3. Let the candidate know what your role in the process will be and what they can expect from you.

Another recruiter’s candidate AND that recruiter

While all of the above steps are crucial when communicating with another recruiter’s candidate, there’s something even more important you must do after that. You must keep the other recruiter apprised of the situation!

Why is all of this important? For two main reasons:

1. It eliminates confusion—A split placement involves more people and moving parts than a regular placement. As a result, confusion is more likely to occur. This is the case in regards to both the candidate and the recruiter who submitted the candidate to you.

2. It builds trust—Quality communication leads to the type of trust that can result in not just one placement, but multiple placements. Forging a split recruiting partner relationship that leads to multiple placements should be the goal of every Network member.

If you’re part of a recruiting agency with multiple recruiters, make sure that every recruiter in the office is aware of the importance of this practice and that they follow this practice.

In addition, make certain that adequate notes have been taken regarding each candidate. This way, all recruiters within the agency will know where the candidate originated.

If you have any questions about this issue or about your Top Echelon recruiting network membership, I encourage you to contact me. You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

It is with a heavy heart that we at Top Echelon deliver the news that Deb Simmons of Continental Search & Outplacement, Inc. passed at the end of September after bravely losing a brief battle with ovarian cancer.

Deb Simmons of Continental Search and Outplacement, Inc.

Deb Simmons

Deb was married to and worked with Top Echelon Network member Dan Simmons. Dan and Deb have been mainstays in Top Echelon since their agency joined the Network in October of 1996, frequently attending TE events and building long-lasting friendships and relationships with other Network members.

Deb worked as the Business Manager for Continental Search during the past two decades. With her help, Continental Search became one of the most successful agencies in the history of Top Echelon Network, making close to 200 placements and billing nearly $1.4 million.

After living close to Baltimore, Maryland for several years, Dan and Deb moved to the Seagrass Plantation Community in Dagsboro, Delaware in May of 2013.

“All of us here at Top Echelon are saddened by Deb’s passing,” said Top Echelon President and CEO Mark Demaree. “I’ve talked and met with Deb on many occasions, and she was a warm, friendly, and caring person. She always greeted me with a hug and a big smile. We’re going to miss her, and we send our warmest condolences and sympathies to Dan during this difficult time.”

Having been a breast cancer survivor, Deborah’s favorite charity was the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition in Sussex County.

Contributions, in lieu of flowers, can be made in her name by clicking here or contributions can be made to the Brandywine Valley SPCA in Georgetown by clicking here.

Click here to read the full obituary.

At Top Echelon, we love to share the great recruiting stories that happen in our split network virtually every week. And we have another such story in this issue of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog!

Previously, we shared a story in which two Network members placed a candidate 12 years after the exporter had presented the candidate to the importer.

That’s a story that illustrates the true “Spirit of the Network” in Top Echelon.

This week, we have the story of a recruiter who had been working a job order for months—eight months, to be precise. That’s almost an entire year!

However, this recruiter did not give up and did not despair. Instead, she relied upon her split recruiting partners in the Network to find suitable candidates. And she DID find a suitable candidate, and she DID successfully place that candidate.

The result: a $26,250 placement fee.

But wait, there’s more! In another story, the details of which are also listed below, a Top Echelon recruiter made her first placement in the Network. And she did so with one of the Network’s top producers, a recruiter who has made 68 split placements in Top Echelon during the past five years.

So the bottom line is that there are Top Echelon recruiters who are experiencing success in the Network in the form of cold, hard cash. They are doing what is necessary to be successful, and as a result, they ARE successful.

We want every member of Top Echelon’s recruiting network to enjoy success and make placements like the members shown below. It can be done, and we want to help YOU do it!

Perhaps more accurately, Top Echelon Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS wants to help you. If you want to make more splits in TE and get a bigger and better return on your investment in Network membership, I encourage you to contact Drea.

You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

— — —

Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search

Steve Kohn

Lisa Reitz of

Lisa Reitz

“Thanks, Steve! I have been working on filling this for eight months!”

Submitted by Lisa Reitz of regarding her Network split placement with Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search


Fee Percentage—25%

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

— — —

Kristy Staggs of Byrnes & Rupkey, Inc.

Kristy Staggs

Pamela Dimarzio of Pamela M. Dimarzio

Pamela Dimarzio

“Thanks, Pamela, for working this HR job and sending me this great candidate! Happy to make your first split placement with you! Cheers to many more together!”

Submitted by Kristy Staggs of Byrnes & Rupkey, Inc. regarding her Network split placement with Pamela Dimarzio of Pamela M. Dimarzio

Position Title—HR MANAGER

Fee Percentage—Flat

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

Ever since Top Echelon Network was founded in 1988, the number-one way in which we’ve gained the best split-minded recruiters that the industry has to offer is through referrals from current members.

And that hasn’t changed!

We STILL need and want your referrals for the Network . . . and we are willing to pay for them.

Below are the ground rules for Top Echelon’s referral program in regards to Network membership:

  • There’s no limit to the number of referrals that you can give us. For instance, let’s say you submit 12 referrals that become members. Then essentially your split network membership dues for one year will be paid.
  • If you’re the main contact for your firm, we will credit your agency’s account $130. On the other hand, if you’re NOT the main contact for your firm, then we will credit the account of the Network agency for which you work $130.
  • When we say a “free month of membership,” that does not include the brokerage fee. If you refer somebody and you make a split placement during the same month that we credit your agency’s account $130, your agency still owes a brokerage fee for that split. (You can’t avoid paying the brokerage fee. Ever.)

And all you have to do is forward them a link to the application page for Network membership. Where is that link? We’re glad you asked.

Send THIS link to your Network referrals!

Once your recruiting colleagues apply and are accepted for Network membership, we’ll credit your Top Echelon account $100.

If you have a referral for the Big Biller software, please send an email to with the relevant information.

Send us your referrals! And you might earn $100!

Everybody in Top Echelon’s recruiting network wants to be a good trading partner. (At least . . . we hope that everybody in the Network wants to be a good trading partner.)

But how do you go from being a good trading Partner to being a great trading partner?

As you might imagine, it takes more than one thing. Fortunately, we’ve been keeping track of those things just by seeing the comments that Network recruiters submit with their Completed Placement Forms. These recruiters almost invariably have good things to say about their split recruiting partners. Those good things have formed a pattern—a blueprint, if you will.

That blueprint basically shows how a recruiter can work with their trading partners in the best way possible and make more split placements. As part of that blueprint, we’ve uncovered some common behaviors of recruiters who do an excellent job of working with their partners to bring the placement process to a successful and satisfying conclusion.

Good to great as a trading partner

Based on these case studies, below are six behaviors that make a good trading partner a great one:

  1. They screen and qualify their candidates.
  2. They don’t just communicate, they over-communicate.
  3. They’re proactive.
  4. They’re responsive.
  5. They consistently follow up.
  6. They bring quality to the process.

As you can see, being a great trading partner is NOT a passive activity. You must be proactive in your approach, and you must invest in your partners. Invest your time, energy, and effort. If you don’t invest, then you can not justifiably expect a return.

There are recruiters in this Network who are receiving a return on their investment on a weekly basis. YOU could be one of them.

How many of these behaviors do you and/or your trading partners exhibit? Would you agree that these are integral to great trading partner relationships and making more split placements and more money? What other behaviors would you add to these six?

If you have any questions or if you need more information, call Top Echelon Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CERS at 330.455.1433, x156.