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Much like Top Echelon’s policies reflect our “Rules of Engagement,” so do our Golden Rules of Networking reflect proper etiquette when dealing with Network split recruiting partners.

Keep in mind, Network etiquette will get you farther with your recruiting colleagues and help your agency make more split placements.

While we do cover our Golden Rules with agency owners, please remember to have all of the recruiters in your agency read through and abide by Top Echelon’s Golden Rules and Policies.

Presenting The Golden Rules

1. Always treat all Top Echelon Network members and Top Echelon Network candidates with respect and professional courtesy (i.e., provide them with feedback and maintain professionalism with all correspondence). In other words, treat them the same way you would like to be treated.

2. Always include a candidate profile (Resume Data Sheet [RDS]) or an equivalent fact sheet when sending a candidate’s resume to a Top Echelon Network member. If you are responding to their job order, include a copy of the job order (or at least the job order TEID#) so they will understand why you are sending the resume.

3. Understand that if a member has interest in one of your candidates, they will keep you apprised of the situation. If the member does not provide feedback to you, then they are probably not interested in your candidate. Please do not waste their time by calling them to see what they think of your candidate or by trying to “sell them” on your candidate.

4. Always keep the member apprised of what is happening with their candidate. You MUST notify them in advance of any “FACE-TO-FACE” or “IN-PERSON” interviews that you have arranged. You SHOULD notify them in advance of any PHONE interviews that you have arranged. In addition, you MUST provide post-interview feedback to the other member, regardless of whether it’s a PHONE interview or a “FACE-TO-FACE” interview.

5. When sending a candidate’s resume to Top Echelon Network or any Network members, always be sure the quality of that resume is good and please DO NOT STAMP YOUR LOGO on the resume. The only marking that can be left on the resume referencing your recruiting firm is your Top Echelon Network agency code. Other than that, the resume should be able to be duplicated “as is.” It is recommended that your agency code should be placed in the upper right-hand corner of the resume.

6. Never send any Network resumes or job orders to non-Network recruiters without prior approval from the submitting agency. This is a VERY SERIOUS NETWORK OFFENSE and will cost you your Top Echelon Network privileges and reputation. See Top Echelon Network Policy #10 for details.

7. Never “source off” (or try to gain referrals from) another member’s candidate. Read Top Echelon Network Policy #2 for further details.

8. All terms of three-way splits must be agreed upon by all parties in advance and in writing. Top Echelon Network receives 6% of the TOTAL fee regardless of the manner in which the fee is split. Read Top Echelon Network Policy #3 for further details.

9. Only submit “PLACE-ABLE” candidates and “FILL-ABLE” job orders to the Network! Anything else is a waste of everybody’s time and money. Also, it is your job to close out any of your Top Echelon Network candidates or job orders that are no longer viable.

10. Split Fee Placements: After a split placement has been completed, the job order recruiter is required to issue a check for 6% to Top Echelon Network and a check for 47% of the overall fee earned to the participating agency WITHIN 24 HOURS of receiving payment from the client company. Holding another Top Echelon Network member’s portion of the fee for ANY REASON is unacceptable unless it has been agreed upon IN ADVANCE by both parties. See Top Echelon Network Policy #11 for further details.

11. Respect other Network members’ wishes when dealing with their candidates. If a candidate recruiter wants you to contact them prior to presenting their candidate to a company, do so or don’t work their candidate. Also, only contact Top Echelon Network candidates for the purpose of placing them and splitting the fee with the submitting recruiter.

12. When corresponding with another member’s candidate (whether in writing or verbally), remember to ALWAYS reference the candidate recruiter’s name and agency name. Also, identify yourself as a Top Echelon Network member, and as an option, you may want to reference your member agency code.

13. Do not ask Top Echelon Network candidates for a copy of their resume. If you need a “clean copy” of a candidate’s resume, we recommend that you contact the candidate recruiter for a copy. If you happen to ask a Top Echelon Network candidate for a copy of their resume, make sure to inform the candidate recruiter (via email, phone call, etc.) that you have done so. Asking a Top Echelon Network candidate for a copy of their resume without notifying the candidate recruiter will be viewed as an attempt to create a paper trail in order to show that you recruited the candidate on your own.

14. Make sure the candidates you submit through Top Echelon Network understand they are going out on a national network before you send them to Top Echelon for distribution! The candidate must give you permission to do so.

15. Always return a Top Echelon Network member’s phone call! As a professional courtesy, you should return all phone calls from your trading partners, regardless of whether you think it will be a waste of time or not! Any members who are unwilling to do this probably are not Top Echelon Network material.

16. Top Echelon Network keeps score! Members are encouraged to notify Top Echelon Network’s ethics chairperson about anything that doesn’t seem “right” in the Network. We keep detailed notes about each member, and if any member seems to be operating with questionable ethics, we will evaluate the situation and take the appropriate action.

17. The Shop Book Rule: Top Echelon Network members are encouraged to create and maintain records. These records will serve as “proof of evidence” of all verbal and written agreements, along with any correspondence received.

18. Top Echelon Network discourages its members from sending unsolicited resumes to other members unless it pertains to a specific job order.

If you have any questions about The Golden Rules of Networking in Top Echelon, I encourage you to contact me. You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

Countless recruiters have experienced how time has killed the placement process, resulting in job orders that have been withdrawn and hiring freezes, to name just two consequences.

So how do you combat these problems? What can you do in order to not only convince companies that hiring is the right thing to do, but also to speed up the hiring process?

Time kills all deals for recruiters . . . so how exactly do you stop that from happening? Below are three classic answers to that question:

#1—The 3 Levels of Questioning (Jon Bartos)

“Recruiters have to get to the bottom line reason of why the process is being slowed or halted, and the way to do that is to ask questions. You have to go three levels deep in your questioning. That way, you have ammunition to overcome their objection. Once you get that information, you can attack the objection.

“After you understand what the problem is, you can reset expectations. Initially, you identify the process as being ‘this and this.’ Once you know what’s changed in the process, you can re-define it based upon what will work from that point forward and then you can stick to it.

“Even if the hiring manager gives you an objection, there still may be a reason to hire your candidate. It’s up to the recruiter to discover what that reason is and to convince the hiring manager that the reason is compelling enough to hire their candidate.”

#3—The Leverage of Influence (Doug Beabout)

“A recruiter has to understand far beyond knowing what the client wants. They also have to know why the client has to have it. That gives the recruiter the leverage of influence to keep the client in motion to decide to hire the candidate.

“The recruiter also has to know how to become an extension of the company in today’s talent pool. They have to know not only the job, but also why it’s an opportunity for the candidate; the company, but also how they’re going to attract and retain top talent; and the manager, but also what about them is going to compel a person to want to work for them.

“This whole issue is also related to client control. Control is not taken, it’s granted. It can’t be seized; it can only be given. If they [company officials] are not granting you the control, either you’ve failed to become trustworthy enough or they’re not in enough pain. Who gives a doctor a scalpel until they’ve taken all the pills they can take?”

#4—Setting Expectations (Barb Bruno)

“There are several things you can do to shorten the hiring process with clients. These include obtaining three interview times when you write an order; obtaining the name of someone else you can call to confirm the interviews; obtaining a specific date to hire, not “ASAP”, “yesterday,” or “immediately”; understanding what problem exists as a result of this job being left open; finding out if there are specific individuals they would like to attract; and providing them with a list of expectations up front (i.e., what they can expect from you and what you expect from them.)

“There are also several things you can do to shorten the process with candidates. These include having them fill out your paperwork in advance so your interview can focus on clarifying their answers; re-interviewing them throughout the entire process to obtain more honest answers; never quoting salary, but always quoting a range, and telling them the offer depends on how well they interview; getting a specific target date from them; knowing what offers they’ve received and turned down; and once again, providing them with a list of expectations up front.”