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Okay, we’ve just announced that we’re heading to Nashville, Tenn., for the 2012 National Convention.  And since you might be wondering whether or not you should attend, we thought we’d clear that up for you.

Yes, you should attend—and the following case study will illustrate exactly why you should.

If there was a Top Echelon Network “Hall of Fame,” Sean Napoles of Career Brokers, Inc. would be voted into it on the first ballot.  Why is that?

  • Sean Napoles11 years as a Preferred Member recruiter
  • 156 Network placements
  • $1.3 million cashed in during his Network career
  • Has won more Top Echelon Network awards and hardware than would fit in your car

Napoles is a split placement machine.  He’s seen it all and done it all, including attending Top Echelon events like the National Convention and the Fall Conference.

On the other hand, Kaleb Dumot of the Emerald Resource Group is about as new a Preferred Member as you can be.  Although the Emerald Resource Group has been a Preferred Member firm for nearly 14 years, Dumot wasn’t added as a recruiter until September 12 of this year . . . a little over two months ago.

With Napoles and Dumot, you couldn’t have two recruiters who are more at opposite ends of the Preferred Member spectrum in terms of experience within the Network.

And yet . . . the two of them recently made a split placement together.  And why did they make a split?

Because they BOTH attended the 2011 Top Echelon Network Fall Conference.

Kaleb Dumot“But for me attending the conference, I never would have met Kaleb,” said Napoles, who is currently the number-two recruiter in the Network in terms of production during the past 12 months.  “He gave me a job order [for a C# Developer] at the conference, and I just filled it.”

If it sounds that simple, that’s because it is.  Dumot gave Napoles a job order at the conference . . . Napoles filled it with a great candidate that Dumot’s client liked . . . and now the two will split the placement fee.  Not only that, but the two of them are also more likely to work together in the future and more likely to split more fees.

So . . . it doesn’t matter who you are.  You could be a tenured recruiter with over a decade in the Network and countless placements.  You could be a recruiter who’s new to the Network and how everything within it works.

You can make split placements by attending Top Echelon Network events.

Make plans to join us at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in March.  Bring your hot job orders and candidates.  And be ready to make some money.

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One of the indicators of how things are going for recruiters overall is their prevailing fee percentage.  Typically, that fee is 20% to 30% of the candidate’s starting salary.

Well, in this week’s breakdown of split placements within Top Echelon Network, there’s a placement with a fee of 35%.  The Preferred Member recruiters involved placed a Project Electrical Engineer, indicating that there’s a need for such candidates.

What about the other percentages for this week’s split placements?  The majority of them are 25% fees, and the others are 20% fees.  During the depth of the recession, it wasn’t unusual to see fees as low as 10%, but as the economy improves and grade-A candidates become more difficult to find (especially in high-demand industries like Information Technology), fees are beginning to rise.

What’s been YOUR experience?  Do you believe that companies are more willing to pay fees in the 25% to 30% range?  Or are they still attempting to keep fees as low as possible, no matter how badly they need the talent for which they’re looking?  Feel free to comment at the end of this blog post.

In the meantime, below are the split placements in Top Echelon Network for this week:




Ron MagnussonDave Wick, CPCJob order recruiter: Ron Magnusson of Norseman Recruiting Services

Candidate recruiter: David Wick of Career Center of Cincinnati


Fee Percentage—35%

Action causing split placement: Regular communication with another Top Echelon Network Preferred Member


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Judy KaplanJim SmiarowskiJob order recruiter: Jim Smiarowski of Atlantic Systems Group

Candidate recruiter: Judy Kaplan of Prof’l Recruiting Consultants


Fee Percentage—20%

Action causing split placement: Regular communication with another Top Echelon Network Preferred Member


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Steve KohnJan BurkeJob order recruiter: Jan Burke of MetalJobs Network

Candidate recruiter: Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search


Fee Percentage—25%

Action causing split placement: The job seeker or client was found through Steve Kohn’s Hiring Hook Website.


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Larry BakerTrey CameronJob order recruiter: Larry Baker of Computer Careers

Candidate recruiter: Trey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group


Fee Percentage—20%

Action causing split placement: The job seeker or client was found through my Hiring Hook Website.


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Eric V. Stearley, CPCEd ChambersJob order recruiter: Eric V. Stearley, CPC of Eric V. Stearley, CPC & Associates

Candidate recruiter: Ed Chambers of Search Team One


Fee Percentage—25%

Action causing split placement: Regular communication with another Top Echelon Network Preferred Member


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Lisa De BenedittisStephanie McGintyJob order recruiter: Lisa DeBenedittis of Elite Recruiting Services, Inc.

Candidate recruiter: Stephanie McGinty of Ives & Associates, Inc.


Fee Percentage—20%

Action causing split placement: Regular communication with another Top Echelon Network Preferred Member


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Debbi ReigerMelinda O'NeilJob order recruiter: Debbi Reiger of Reiger Technical Search

Candidate recruiter: Melinda O’Neil of Enterprise Search Associates


Fee Percentage—25%

Action causing split placement: Regular communication with another Top Echelon Network Preferred Member


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Stacy PursellRebecca KohnJob order recruiter: Stacy Pursell of The Pursell Group, LLC

Candidate recruiter: Rebecca Kohn of Affinity Executive Search


Fee Percentage—25%

Action causing split placement: Regular communication with another Top Echelon Network Preferred Member


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Remember, you can opt out of having your split placement highlighted.  All you have to do is send an email to indicating your desire to be left out.  Once you do so, you won’t be included in future installments of this feature.

If you’d like to see the amount of the fees associated with each of the split placements listed above, login to the Members’ Area and click on the profiles of the recruiters involved.  The fee totals will be included along with those split placements.

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(Editor’s Note: This is the next in a series of guest blog posts about contract staffing, courtesy of Top Echelon Contracting, the recruiter’s back-office solution.  Similar posts will appear in future issues of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.)

Debbie Fledderjohann

Like they often do with unemployed candidates, employers tend to automatically eliminate any candidates deemed to be overqualified.  Employers assume that overqualified candidates will not be satisfied and, as a result, will not stick around long.

But according to a recent Business News Daily article, employers who blindly dismiss all overqualified job candidates could be putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage.  A recent study discussed in the article found that if these candidates are given challenging assignments, they can have a positive impact on a company.

According to the article, overqualified candidates can thrive in complex positions where they:

  • Can freely make decisions
  • Coordinate or lead others
  • Be responsible for the outcomes of their work actions

Hmmm . . . those sound like common attributes of contract assignments.  Contractors are often brought in to take on challenging projects where they are expected to have the knowledge and skills to get the job done without a ton of oversight.  They usually decide the best way to get the job done and are responsible for the successful final outcome of a project.  Sometimes, they are even project team leaders.

Better yet, for overqualified candidates who crave a constant challenge, contracting is the perfect solution because contract assignments are only for a specific period of time.  When the project is done, they can move on to a new assignment, where they can once again put themselves to the test.

If you have candidates you are having trouble placing due to the perception that they are overqualified, you may want to consider offering them as contractors.  What may be considered a weakness in a direct-hire situation could be a great asset in a contractor.


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Gaylord Opryland ResortThis is traditionally the time of the year that we announce our plans for the following year’s National Convention, and I’m pleased to announce that we’re going to Nashville, Tenn., for the 2012 convention.

But that’s just part of the good news.  We’re also going back to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, which was the site of our National Convention in 2006.  If you haven’t been to the Gaylord Opryland, it’s one of the most impressive venues we’ve ever been to and we’re looking forward to having next year’s convention there.

Okay, I know you probably have some questions, so I will answer as many of them as I can.

The dates of the 2012 National Convention are Thursday, March 22, through Saturday, March 24.  The Easter holiday next year falls on Sunday, April 8, so the convention will be a full two weeks away from that date.  This year, we held the convention in May, and it seemed many recruiters ran into scheduling conflicts with that month, so we decided that a return to earlier in the year would be in order.

We plan to release all of the information for the convention’s Early Bird Registration (preliminary agenda, logistics, etc.) sometime in December, by the middle of the month at the latest.  That way, you’ll be able to sign up for the convention before the end of 2011, which I know many recruiters like to do for tax purposes.  As always, the earlier you register for the convention, the better the price you’ll be able to secure.

As has been the case in the past, we have a block of rooms reserved at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.  However, the number of rooms in that block is limited.  As a result, it will be in your best interest to book a room as soon as you possibly can.  In fact, if you know that you’ll be attending the convention, I recommend that you book your room at the hotel immediately.

If you have any additional questions regarding the 2012 National Convention, I encourage you to give us a call.  We look forward to a strong finish to this year, a great 2012 for the Network and the recruiting industry, and to seeing you in Nashville next March!

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Yes, it’s another installment of one of our most popular Pinnacle Newsletter Blog features . . . and another first split placement for a new Preferred Member recruiter.

'Comments' and Compliments

The recruiter in question is Rick Krumel of SearchWise, Inc., who joined Top Echelon Network in May of this year.  After just six months, Krumel has already made his first split placement and received a rather sizeable return on his investment.  Everybody here at Top Echelon Network would like to congratulate him for his first split and wish him good luck in the pursuit of many more!

However, that split placement isn’t the only one we’re highlighting this week.  There’s another one—and we’ll be highlighting even more in the future.  So if you’d like to comment one of your Trading Partners for a recent split placement, send your comments to, and they’ll appear in a future issue of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.

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Rick KrumelCindy Cordell, CPC“Cindy reviewed my job posting and referred her candidate, who was outstanding, on October 13.  We had offer acceptance in 15 days from the date of referral.”

Submitted by Rick Krumel of SearchWise, Inc. regarding his split placement with Cindy Andrew Cordell of Corporate Resources, LLC

Fee Percentage—25%

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Lisa De BenedittisStephanie McGinty“Stepanie McGinty was delightful to work with.  Stephanie was extremely patient with a slow-moving client, offered great advice on some challenges we faced with the client, and brought a rock star candidate to the table who surpassed the competition—hands down.  THANK YOU, Stephanie!  I really enjoyed working with you.”

Submitted by Lisa De Benedittis of Elite Recruiting Services, Inc. regarding her split placement with Stephanie McGinty of Ives & Associates, Inc.

Fee Percentage—20%

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Remember, if you have compliments for a Trading Partner regarding a split placement, please email them to