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Mark DemareeRECRUITING NEWS: A few years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice became privy to allegations that several Silicon Valley tech companies had been colluding among themselves since at least 2006 to drive down salaries.  How were they allegedly colluding?  By agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees!

While not conceding the illegality of the agreement, seven of the companies—Lucasfilm, Intuit, Pixar, Adobe, Apple, Google, and Intel—admitted they entered into such an agreement.  In addition, three of those seven companies—LucasFilm, Pixar, and Intuit—will pay $20 million to workers as part of a recent legal settlement.

ARTICLE: “Steve Jobs’ Scheme Costs Disney and Intuit Penalties of $20 Million in Non-Recruitment Collusion Scandal” via

ANALYSIS: When was the last time a company official told you to quit calling into their company in an attempt to recruit their employees?  How soon will it be before another company official tells you the same thing?

How might this news story change the nature and course of that conversation?

In light of these events, the argument could be made that not allowing recruiters to call into a company (or to actively recruit company employees in some fashion) conceivably violates anti-trust laws.  Here’s a passage from the Department of Justice’s civil suit against the companies:

“These no cold call agreements are facially anticompetitive because they eliminated a significant form of competition to attract high tech employees, and, overall, substantially diminished competition to the detriment of the affected employees who were likely deprived of competitively important information and access to better job opportunities.”

The results of this investigation and the civil and legal suits that were filed could eventually have ramifications in regards to how companies handle efforts to recruit their employees.  The possibility of a lawsuit could curb company officials’ enthusiasm for telling recruiters to “cease and desist” those efforts.

They could instead re-channel that enthusiasm into retaining their top employees . . . which is probably where their energies should have been all along.

FEEDBACK: What are your thoughts?  Is this possibly the beginning of a new trend in recruiting?  Regardless of whether or not it’s a new trend, do you plan to arm yourself with this information the next time a company official tells you to “back off” its employees?

Please comment below.

Drea Codispoti, CERSA couple of weeks ago, I announced that the next meeting of the Central Ohio Regional Core Group was scheduled for Wednesday, December 11.

I’m back to announce that there’s been a change, specifically that the meeting has been moved up by one week, to Wednesday, December 4.

Please note that all other details regarding the meeting are the same.  I’ve listed those details below for quick reference.

During Regional Core Group meetings, Top Echelon recruiters have the opportunity to network with each other on a face-to-face basis (the best type of networking), as well as trade hot job orders and candidates and share strategies for increasing productivity.

The details regarding the next meeting of the Central Ohio Regional Core Group are as follows:

Regional Core GroupsDate: Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Location: Catering by Design

Address: 6465 Busch Blvd., Columbus, OH 43229

Phone number: 614.436.1234

Speaker: TBD (an announcement will be made once the agenda is released)

Cost: $25 per person, payable at the door OR we can add it to your Top Echelon invoice

If you’d like to attend the upcoming meeting of the Central Ohio Regional Core Group, please RSVP to me by sending an email to

I also encourage you to contact me at 330.455.1433, x156 if you’d like to join another existing Regional Core Group or if you’re thinking about starting a new one.


Okay, let’s just face facts.  With less than two months left in 2013, nobody is going to catch Trey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group.

Top ProducersNot only has he won just about every Recruiter of the Month award in Top Echelon Network during 2013, but he’s also well on his way to winning the Recruiter of the Year award for the third straight year.  As of the writing of this article, he held a substantial lead on the second-place recruiter, Sean Napoles, CPC of Career Brokers, Inc.  (It should be pointed out that Napoles, one of the most consistent producers in the history of Top Echelon Network, is enjoying yet another banner year.)

However, attention should also be drawn to Mary Anne Buckley, CPC of Interstate Recruiters Corp and Stephanie McGinty of Ives & Associates, Inc., who shared the award for the Largest Split Fee of the Month in October.  Buckley and McGinty have made four Network splits with each other, all involving very substantial fees.  In fact, two of those splits occurred this year, and the fees for BOTH were over $30,000.

One, of course, stood out above the other.  (Check their respective recruiter profiles to find out by exactly how much.)


At Top Echelon Network, we recognize recruiters for both monthly and quarterly performance in four categories—Recruiter of the Month, Recruiter of the Quarter, Largest Split Fee of the Month, and Largest Split Fee of the Quarter.

For more information about the recruiter awards listed below, login to the Members’ Area and view the profiles and placement details of the Network recruiters who won them.

 — — —


Trey CameronTrey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group

Cameron has been consistently raising the bar as far as what it takes to earn Recruiter of the Month honors in the Network.  That bar is now between five and seven split placements per month.  The latter is what he produced during the month of October, as he captured yet another award.

Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search was next with five placements, while Michael Stuck of Gables Search Group finished third with four placements.  Those figures both represent excellent production . . . but not enough to win the Recruiter of the Month Award.

 — — —


Mary Anne BuckleyStephanie McGintyMary Anne Buckley, CPC of Interstate Recruiters Corp and Stephanie McGinty of Ives & Associates, Inc.

The position for this split placement was an Associate Director of Medical Communications.  Buckley was the job order recruiter, and McGinty was the candidate recruiter.  The action that stimulated this split placement was listed as, “Regular communication with another Top Echelon Network recruiter.”

 — — —


Top Echelon Network determines the monthly and quarterly award winners 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.


We recently posed a question to the Top Echelon Network Membership in the form of a survey in the Members’ Area.

That question was as follows:

How many Network split placements do you think you’ll make in 2014?


The choice of answers that were offered is listed below, along with the percentage of recruiters that selected each answer:

  • One or two — 20.0%
  • Three or four — 31.2%
  • Five or six — 17.5%
  • Seven or eight — 11.2%
  • More than eight — 20.0%


recruiter surveysMore recruiters chose “three or placements” more than any other answer in the survey, with 31.2% of them doing so.  Both extremes tied for second place at 20%: “one or two” placements and “more than eight” placements, displaying quite a balance between conservative and aggressive.

That put “five or six” and “seven or eight” in the middle at 17.5% and 11.2%, respectively.

The Network recruiters who participated in this survey clearly have enjoyed past success in making split placements in Top Echelon.  They’re also clearly confident that they can enjoy success making Network splits in the future, some of them supremely so.

That bodes quite well for the Network—and its recruiters—in 2014.


How many Network placements do you think you’ll make next year?  One or two?  More than eight?  Somewhere inbetween?


Top Echelon Network recruiters are always looking to make split placements with a new Trading Partner.  That’s because where one split placement is . . . many split placements could be.

Comments and ComplimentsOne of the quickest and easiest ways to make split placements with new Trading Partners in the Network is through a Hiring Hook recruiting website.

With Hiring Hook, other Network recruiters’ jobs can be posted to your website.  Then, when qualified candidates apply for those jobs—and are eventually hired—you split the placement fees with the job order recruiter.

How well has this worked?  Well enough that the percentage of split placements made in Top Echelon Network due to Hiring Hook websites has increased every year for the past six years.

If you don’t have a Hiring Hook website, call us today at 330.455.1433 to get started.

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Steve KohnGeorgette Sandifer“I’m getting some great candidates from Steve, and he’s willing to do follow-up on his website candidates when necessary.  Nice split!”

Submitted by Georgette Sandifer of Gallman Consulting 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 Sandifer and Kohn have made together in Top Echelon.)


— — —

Steve KohnSteven C. Brandvold“Steve, good job!  [The candidate] is an ideal fit for the company and is doing well.”

Submitted by Steven C. Brandvold of Executive Connection regarding his Network split placement with Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search


Fee Percentage—25%

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

We’ve presented stories from Top Echelon Network Top Producer Michael Stuck before!

And then we presented some more Stuck stories!

Now we’re back with the third part of the exciting trilogy!

Okay, okay . . . so maybe we’re blowing things out of proportion a little bit.  It’s NOT a blockbuster movie.

But can you blame us for being a bit exuberant?  After all, Stuck made split placements with four of his trusted Trading Partners, he’s climbed to the #4 spot overall in the Network, and his three-part series of stories has included nine of the 17 placements he’s made in Top Echelon so far this year (with two months still to go).

All of that is still way better than most Hollywood blockbuster sequels.

If YOU have a great recruiting story regarding a recent split placement with another Network recruiter, send your comments to, and they’ll appear in a future issue of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.

— — —

Michael StuckAngela Marasco“Angela and I first met at one of the TE conventions a long time ago and have worked together for a while at making a split.  We both attended the last National Convention in St. Pete and told each other we would make a split before the upcoming Chicago [Fall Conference].  This split was our first one, and we got it right before the conference.  Not bad.  Goes to show you how valuable the conventions can be.  Thanks, Angela, for your hard work on this one.  What a gem you are to Top Echelon Network!”

Submitted by Michael Stuck of Gables Search Group regarding his split placement with Angela Marasco of A. Marasco Recruiting, LLC


Fee Percentage—20%

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

— — —

Michael StuckColleen Switala“Finally, Colleen and I made our first split.  We’ve had our fair share of turndowns, that’s for sure.  I think this is our third or fourth offer we’ve had together this year, and finally someone has accepted the offer and has an official start date.  It’s so nice working with Colleen.  I can’t say enough about how her candidates are a great match for my client’s jobs.  Now that we got this first one, Colleen, I know there will be many more.  Thanks!”

Submitted by Michael Stuck of Gables Search Group regarding his split placement with Colleen Switala of Database Search, Inc.


Fee Percentage—15%

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

— — —

Brenda RichardsonMichael Stuck“Brenda and I strike again!  [This is] our second placement together in less than a month.  Nice job.  What a great Trading Partner you are becoming.  I always know your candidates will have what it takes for my clients.  Let’s keep this going.  Thanks again!”

Submitted by Michael Stuck of Gables Search Group regarding his split placement with Brenda Richardson of Stewart Cooper & Coon


Fee Percentage—20%

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

— — —

Michael StuckHarry C. Anderson“Harry is the best to work with.  We got our second placement together, and I expect many more.  He’s always spot-on with his candidates.  Great work, Harry!”

Submitted by Michael Stuck of Gables Search Group regarding his split placement with Harry C. Anderson of Andex Executive Search


Fee Percentage—15%

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

When it comes to social media and recruiting, LinkedIn is no longer the only game in town. Recruiters are finding ways to use nearly every social network to improve their recruiting processes.  (Even Pinterest! See blog post.)

Erin OsterhausThe 2013 Recruiting Channels Survey, conducted by Software Advice, found that 80% of recruiters are using social media to source hires.  Perhaps more surprisingly, recruiters reported that social media delivered the hightest quality candidates, second behind only employee referrals.

On its blog, Software Advice specifically focused on Twitter, discussing how Twitter as a company uses its own network to get the best candidates.  The article provided many useful tips, but the majority were aimed at corporate, in-house recruiters.

So to find out how independent recruiters can use Twitter, we interviewed Software Advice’s HR Analyst Erin Osterhaus, whose job it is to provide advice on the best recruiting, talent management, and leadership techniques.

TEC: Independent recruiters don’t have the advantage of being able to use other employees and company culture to help them market their open jobs, as was suggested in the article.  What unique techniques can they use?

Osterhaus: Social media is still a useful tool, even if you don’t have a large pool of employees from which to expose a company’s culture and open positions.  Independent recruiters can have social profiles targeted specifically at job seekers.  For instance, on Twitter, you could advertise the positions for which you’re hiring.  And in the case of Twitter, be sure to use hashtags that are industry-specific in order to get your tweets in front of as many potential candidates as possible.

TEC: What are some tips for recruiters just getting started with Twitter who may be a little intimidated?

Osterhaus: Don’t be afraid! There are plenty of guides out there to help you ease into the Twitterverse.  Just realize that your Tweets are public and should conform to the voice of your organization.  Then go from there.

TEC: Hashtags were discussed extensively in the “5 Strategies” article.  In my experience, this is the thing that intimidates new users the most.  They wonder how they know which hashtags to use.  Any advice?

Osterhaus: There are certain standard hashtags that are frequently used by job seekers on the job hunt.  For instance, #hiring, #tweetmyjobs, #jobopening, etc.  (For a more extensive list, click here.)  If you want to get your job postings in front of these candidates, all you have to do is include the hashtagged phrase in your tweet.

And if you want to get your Tweets in front of a specific audience, for example, software developers, you can use hashtags such as #hadoop, #linux, #ubuntu, etc.  This strategy can work for all types of positions.  You just need to think of keywords related to the job, and then put a # in front.

For reference, there are also useful tools to help you discover which hashtags are trending in certain industries. is one such tool.  Just type in a keyword in the search box, and you’ll get a list of trending words to use in your posts.

Erin Oster­haus is the HR Analyst at Soft­ware Advice, a free resource for software reviews and comparisons.  She focuses on the HR mar­ket, offer­ing advice to indus­try pro­fes­sion­als on the best recruit­ing, tal­ent man­age­ment, and lead­er­ship tech­niques.  Feel free to con­nect with her on LinkedIn.