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Believe it or not, the year is almost over! Believe it or not, we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary next year! And believe it or not, we have a special 30th anniversary convention website for the 2018 National Convention in April!

I know I gave you an option, but I would really appreciate it if you’d believe all three of those statements. Especially the last one, namely because I want you to visit our special website. You can do so by clicking HERE.

Convention website time machine

One of the reasons to visit our convention website is to see our “Back in Time Photo Gallery.” After all, we’ve been holding these recruiter networking events since 1990. We have a LOT of time to go back to. It will serve as a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Another reason to visit is to get the low-down on next year’s National Convention. This includes information pertaining to the speakers, the agenda, the registration, and the location. But since I’m a nice guy, I’m going to provide a little of that information for you:

  • The dates are Tuesday, April 24, and Wednesday, April 25.
  • The main speakers will be Barb Bruno, CPC/CTS of Good as Gold Training and Greg Doersching of Bullseye Mentor.
  • The site will be the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville.

I’m also pleased to announce that Early Bird Registration for the National Convention is now available. Not only that, but the price for Early Bird is just $346 per person.

Put it on THIS year’s books!

Of course, since it’s December, many recruiters are looking to get as many business expenses on their 2017 books as they can. May I suggest something? Registering for the 2018 National Convention is a great way to do that!

This is no small deal. Being in business for 30 years is an achievement of which we are proud. However, we also recognize that we could not have done it without you, our loyal customers. That’s why we want YOU to join us in celebrating our anniversary.

I can guarantee that we will publish more information about the convention in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog in the coming weeks. In the meantime, though, I encourage you to visit our 30th anniversary convention website:

Yes, I want to see the website!

To sign up for the convention with a credit card, login to the Members’ Area. Then locate the convention registration links on the left-hand side of the page. Click on the appropriate links and follow the instructions to submit the correct information.

We want to make this one of the biggest and best conventions in the history of Top Echelon. And we need YOU to do it! So mark the dates and get ready to have fun and make money with your TE friends and trading partners.

If you have any questions about the registration process (or about any other aspect of the convention), please contact me at 330.455.1433, x156 or via email at

Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search has reached a lot of milestones as a top producer in Top Echelon’s recruiting network. He’s reached 100 placements. He’s reached $1 million cash-in. Not only that, but he’s also reached 200 placements.

So what’s next you ask? Well, $2 million cash-in, of course!

Top producer in more ways than one

TE is pleased to announce that long-time member Steve Kohn has surpassed $2 million cash-in for his Network career. Steve started recruiting in 1989 and Affinity Executive Search joined Top Echelon in July of 1994. This makes Steve a veteran of both the profession and of Network membership.

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 $300,000.

In addition, Steve has been accelerating the rate at which he makes split placements. The last couple of years, he’s averaged about 50 splits per year in TE. Speaking of which, his current placement total in the Network is 255.

So it’s only a matter of time before Steve John reaches yet another milestone as a top producer. That milestone: 300 placements. And judging by how quickly he’s been making TE splits, we’ll be announcing that milestone well before the year 2018 comes to a close.

In the meantime, 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

Keith Cornelison of Personnel Resources

Keith Cornelison

“Thanks again Steve. It is great to have a split partner like you. Looking forward to many more.”

Submitted by Keith Cornelison of Personnel Resources regarding his Network split placement with Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search


Fee Percentage—15%

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

— — —

“Thanks for the great candidate, Steve. It took some work to get the deal done, but I can’t say thanks enough for all your efforts. You are truly a great Network partner!”

Submitted by Steve Kubena of Kubena & Associates regarding his Network split placement with Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search


Fee Percentage—20%

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

TE member Larry Ploscowe’s 99th Network placement is one to remember. Actually, so was his 98th, 97th, and 96th.

Larry has been a stalwart in Top Echelon Network for quite some time. His agency, EXEK Recruiters, Ltd. joined TE in August of 1993. That means the agency will be celebrating its 25th Network anniversary next year.

Larry started in the profession in 1991. THAT means he’s been a recruiter for over 25 years. And it would be an understatement to say that Larry has been a successful one. He’s certainly enjoyed a considerable amount of success in Top Echelon’s recruiting network.

Larry’s 99th Network placement was a split with Terry Rhodes of NewCareers. The fee associated with that split placement was $43,750, good enough to earn Larry and Terry the Largest Split Fee of the Month Award!

More BIG Network placement fees

But wait, there’s more. Check out the recruiting fees associated with the four TE splits Larry made leading up to his 99th Network placement:

  • $66,000
  • $45,925
  • $43,750

With Larry’s next TE split, he will join the ranks of recruiters who have made 100 career placements in Top Echelon Network. In addition, Larry’s current Network cash-in total stands at $956,319. A few more placements, and Larry will join another exclusive TE club: the $1 Million Producer Club!

It’s only a matter of time before all of this happens. So while we congratulate Larry and Terry on this most recent split placement, we anticipate more congratulations in the future. As well as perhaps another couple of $40K splits.

Meanwhile, if you need help with your split recruiting efforts in TE, then contact Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS. You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

— — —

Largest Split Placement Fee for November:

Larry Ploscowe of EXEK Recruiters, Ltd.

Larry Ploscowe

Terry Rhodes of NewCareers

Terry Rhodes

Lawrence T. Ploscowe of EXEK Recruiters, Ltd. and Terry Rhodes of NewCareers

The position for this split placement was a Vice President of Research & Development. Larry was the job order recruiter and Terry was the candidate recruiter.

The action that stimulated this split placement was listed as “Network Jobs Feed.”

The fee for this split placement was $43,750. The fee percentage was 25%.

— — —

Top Echelon determines the monthly and quarterly winners of its Network split fee 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

We only announce the winners of these awards in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog. We do so usually (but not always) in the issue following the conclusion of each month and/or quarter.

We get it. You’re a direct hire recruiter. You earn direct hire recruiting fees. You like cashing direct hire placement checks.

All of that makes perfect sense. And we certainly don’t blame you. Bringing down $25,000 (or more) in one fell swoop is pretty sweet.

BUT . . . unless you’re also offering contract staffing, then you’re leaving your agency exposed. You’re making it more vulnerable than it has to be. Why? Because of the Stock Market.

You might be thinking, “What are you smoking? The Stock Market has been on fire! If anything, the Stock Market is why I should forget all about contracting and keep cranking out as many direct hire placements as I can.”

Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that.

“There will be a bear market”

Sure, the Stock Market has been on fire. However, its activity has produced a set of unique circumstances that have the potential to affect the broader economy in a very negative way. Don’t believe me? Then perhaps you’ll believe the strategists at Goldman Sachs International. This is what they had to say in a collective note released last week:

“It has seldom been the case that equities, bonds and credit have been similarly expensive at the same time, only in the Roaring ’20s and the Golden ’50s. All good things must come to an end. There will be a bear market, eventually.”

All good things must come to an end. There will eventually be a bear market. Hmmmm . . . what will that look like, exactly? Well, if you were in business during The Great Recession, you can probably answer that question. Actually, if you were in business during The Great Recession and you’re still in business, then you’re one of the lucky ones.

That’s because a whole lot of recruiting agencies went belly-up. And the ones that didn’t definitely felt the pain of the recession. So if the strategists at Goldman Sachs International are saying that “all good things must come to an end” and “there will be a bear market,” what should you do?

Get ready for that bear market by adding contract staffing to your business model!

Fight the bear with contracting!

Look, all those direct hire job orders are going to dry up. And that’s if we experience an average recession. What if it’s worse than average? What if it’s similar to The Great Recession? Then what?

Top Echelon Contracting has been in business for the past 25 years. We’ve seen more than our fair share of recessions. We know what happens in a recession. Companies still have to get work done, so they start hiring on a contract basis and not a direct basis. We’ve seen it happen time and time again.

Here’s the good news: we can help you add contract staffing services to your business model without you having to spend a lot of time and effort doing it. It’s actually a lot easier than you think. You just have to get yourself set up for what’s coming.

All you have to do is give us a call at (888) 627-3678. We’ll walk you step-by-step through the process. It won’t take long, and you can go back to cranking on those direct hire placements.

Until those job orders dry up, that is. Then you can shift gears and start making contract placements while other recruiting agencies start dropping like flies.

The current state of the Stock Market is WHY you should offer contracting to your clients. It’s NOT a reason why you shouldn’t.

In The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog, we talk a lot about placements made in a month, a quarter, and even a year. But what about during a recruiting career?

That’s a good question. In fact, it’s such a good question that we decided to make it a poll question in the Top Echelon Network Members’ Area.

So now that we have the results of that poll, you can measure yourself against other Network members. As you can see by those results, there’s one group that stands out from the rest.

How many placements have you made in your recruiting career?

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

  • Less than 50 — 9.4%
  • Between 50 and 100 — 11.0%
  • Between 100 and 150 — 10.2%
  • Between 151 and 200 — 9.4%
  • Between 201 and 250 — 8.7%
  • More than 250 — 51.2%

Climbing the recruiting career ladder

First, the obvious: Network recruiters have made a TON of placements during their recruiting career.

After all, more than half of poll participants (51.2%) reported that they’ve made “more than 250” placements. They could have made 251 or they could have made 500. Heck, they could have made 999, for all we know.

What does this mean? It means that the majority of Top Echelon recruiters have been in the profession for a while. Not only that, but they’ve also been extremely successful in their recruiting career, at least in terms of placements made.

After that group, the remaining poll participants were pretty evenly spread out. The next popular answer was “between 50 and 100” at 11%. After that was “between 100 and 150” at 10.2%. Hey, 150 placements is nothing to sneeze at. Neither are 100 placements.

Two answers were tied at 9.4%. They were “less than 50” and “between 150 and 200.” I suppose you could say this shows some balance in our recruiter network. Or I suppose you could say I’m making things up. Either way, let’s continue.

No coming in last place here

Coming in last place was “between 201 and 250” placements. That answer garnered 8.7% of the vote. However, any recruiter who has made that many placements in their recruiting career is NOT coming in last place.

The results of this poll speak to the high quality of Network members. We employ a four-step screening process for a reason. We want recruiters who not only have a track record of success, but who also can help their split recruiting partners enjoy more success, too.

How many of these placements are split placements? While we don’t have a definitive answer for that question, splits are definitely represented in the overall total. So the results of this poll also speak to the high value of membership in Top Echelon Network.

Our mission is to help recruiters make more placements—split or otherwise. We strive to accomplish that mission over and over, each and every day.

Looking to maximize your membership and make more placements in Top Echelon’s recruiting network?

Then contact Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS. You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to