Showing results for ""

The end of 2015 is here! (Well, almost . . . but this IS the last issue of The Pinnacle for this year.)

A lot of exciting and cool things have happened in the Network during the past 12 months. While there are too many to count, we are going to count down the top 15 moments in Top Echelon Network for 2015.

Keep in mind that these are moments, NOT milestones. We’ll be counting down milestones in a separate blog post. So, without further adieu, below are the top 15 moments in Top Echelon Network for the soon-to-be completed year of 2015:

#15—Top Echelon Network turns 27 years old.

Well, you can’t have a “Top 15” list like this unless you actually exist, and Top Echelon celebrated its 27th anniversary in spring of this year. The official birthdate of TE is March 8, 1988, when it was known as Nationwide Interchange Service. That was the day that the first Pinnacle newsletter was mailed by company founder Mike Kappel.

Click here for “27 Little-Known Facts About Top Echelon on Its 27th Anniversary.”

#14—Mark Demaree turns 50 years old.

Top Echelon President Mark Demaree will soon celebrate his 17th anniversary with the company. That means he was 33 when he joined TE. That also means that he’s 50 years old. That also means he’ll turn 51 next year, but don’t tell anybody that his birthday falls on Valentine’s Day. Oops.

Click here for photos of Mark’s birthday celebration at Top Echelon.

#13—Network members visit TE headquarters.

A couple of years ago, Top Echelon moved its headquarters from downtown Canton to the Belden Village area of the municipality. Since then, we’ve had numerous Network members visit us at our new digs. This past year, those members include Maria Hemminger and Joanna Spaun of MJ Recruiters, LLC; Trey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group; Bob Gabor of The Gabor Group; Matt O’Mara and Laura Freund of Cranbook Search Consultants; Jim Folger, CPC of One Source Technical, Inc.; and Jim Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick & Associates.

#12—Mark Demaree wrestles Drea Codispoti in a sumo suit.

Top Echelon held a fun company event this past fall in front of TE headquarters. As part of that event, employees were able to don inflatable sumo suits and wrestle each other. So of course, Top Echelon President Mark Demaree and Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS squared off. Mark was a wrestler in high school. Drea played soccer.

See what happened during this epic battle.

#11—New record for product demos

For the first time in company history, the Top Echelon sales team made 100 product demonstrations or more to prospects every month for a whole year. To help celebrate this achievement each month, we bought a commemorative cake and ate it with great fanfare. The sales team has even bigger goals for 2016, which means, of course, bigger cakes.

Click here to join the celebration.

#10—The new MEGA Database search tool

We launched a new version of the MEGA Database search tool earlier this year and have continued to refine and improve it since then. The MEGA Database is designed to help Network members find the candidates they need more quickly and with more accuracy. If you haven’t started using this tool, we encourage you to do so. The MEGA represents the future of the Network, and we need your feedback and insight to make it as robust as possible.

#9—The Fall Conference

This annual event in the Windy City of Chicago was good as it’s ever been, with a healthy number of new Network members and popular industry trainer Barb Bruno, CPC/CTS of Good as Gold Training in attendance. There were plenty of memorable moments, from attendees blowing off steam by heading downtown for a night of revelry or by hitting the bowling lanes with unabashed enthusiasm. Trading partner relationships were forged, friendships were made, and placements will result.

Click here to see photos from the Fall Conference.

#8—The National Convention

This year marked the first time that we held a National Convention in the city of Atlanta. Once again, there were a ton of newer members, plus plenty of opportunities for networking and training. Not only that, but the World of Coca-Cola museum and Georgia Aquarium were nearby, there were plenty of other things to do and see in the city, and Network recruiters continued forging friendships and relationships that will last for years to come.

Click here to see photos from the National Convention.

#7—New Top Echelon website and branding initiative

Top Echelon launched not only a new website, but also a new branding initiative. Both were effective on September 1. As a result of the initiative, Top Echelon Network and Top Echelon Contracting are now together under the Top Echelon brand, which means they share the same website and have joined forces to provide the best tools and services possible to third-party recruiting agencies across the United States and Canada. It’s the next step in world domination! (We’re just kidding . . . or are we?)

#6—The record-setting Trey Cameron

Trey is setting records in Top Echelon Network that will never be broken. Recruiter of the Year for four straight years, overall 300 career placements (now close to 400), and over $2 million career cash-in (now close to $3 million). However, the accomplishment that’s most impressive is his 105 Network split placements in a 12-month span. Trey isn’t just re-writing the Top Echelon record books, he’s setting a new standard for Network achievement. That deserves a place on this list.

#5—”All in the Family” member stories

Membership in Top Echelon Network has always been a family affair. That was the case again this past year, specifically with Colleen and Matthew Switalathe Kohns (Steve, Rebecca, Hannah, and Sara), and the Copelands (Steve and Pam). We’re talking about hundreds of split placements and well over $2 million cash-in. We love stories like these because we enjoy providing so much value to our customers that they feel compelled to share that value with their family. That’s when you know that you’re doing something right.

#4—The Top Echelon Golf Outing

The Top Echelon Golf Outing has become an annual event, in one form or another, for nearly 10 years. It’s changed dates, it’s changed locations, it’s changed format, but one thing that has remained constant is that Network recruiters show up, whether they’re good golfers or not. They’re not there to look like a PGA or LPGA pro. They show up to network with other recruiters, share war stories from the front lines of recruiting, and to help and support one another. Oh, yeah . . . and they end up making some placements, too.

Click here for “3 Reasons the Top Echelon Golf Outing Was a Success.”

#3—”Networking on the FARM!”

As impressive as the Top Echelon Golf Outing is, the annual “Networking on the FARM!” event is even more impressive. This event is hosted by Hemminger and Spaun in Tiffin, Ohio, and it includes a TON of fun activities. Those activites include swimming, volleyball, cornhole (you read that correctly), fishing, and kayaking. And it wasn’t just recruiters from Ohio that attended. Members came from as far away as Michigan, South Carolina, and North Carolina to attend. Clearly, “Networking on the FARM!” has got it going on.

Click here for photos of this year’s “Networking on the FARM!” event.

#2—Emergence of the “split placement selfie”

What do you get when you combine wild and crazy Top Echelon Network recruiters like Hemminger and Dave Sgro, CPC of True North Consultants with a technologically-driven pop culture phenomenon? You get a “split placement selfie,” that’s what! This dynamic duo coined the phrase, took the photos, and blazed a trail of excitement based on large placement checks, effective recruiter branding, and a whole lot of fun. They took the lead, and other recruiters followed suit. Here’s to many more “split placement selfies” in 2016!

#1—The largest split placement in the history of TE

As I mentioned in #15 on this list, Top Echelon Network is now 27 years old. In those 27 years, we’ve never had a split placement fee as large as the onle made by Mary Anne Buckley, CPC of Insterstate Recruiters Corp and Richard Connors of Vista Technology this past year. The amount of that placement fee: $78,750! This fee eclipsed the next-highest fee in the history of the Network by more than $10,000. They didn’t just break the record. They shattered it.

So congratulations to Mary Anne, Richard, and everybody else who enjoyed a great year in 2015. We’re looking forward to more great moments in 2016.

Happy New Year, everybody!

It’s that time of the year when Top Echelon Network members start thinking about recruiting expenses . . . you know, for tax purposes and such.

It’s also that time of the year when Network members start thinking about incurring recruiting expenses to apply to the current year’s taxes.

The solution: registering for the Top Echelon National Convention!

True, the convention isn’t until next year, but by registering now, during the current calendar year, you can apply the recruiting expenses for attending to your 2015 taxes. And don’t forget: we’re headed to Las Vegas for next year’s convention!

Recruiting expenses: a $58 room rate!

That’s just the start of the good news. Below are some of the other details regarding the convention:

  • The dates are Tuesday, April 19, and Wednesday, April 20.
  • The cost of Early Bird Registration is just $295 per person.
  • The main speaker will be Greg Doersching of Bullseye Mentor.
  • The site will be the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino.
  • Our room rate for the Monte Carlo will be $58 per night!

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

Attending the 2016 Top Echelon National Convention is not just an expense; it’s an investment in not only your Network membership, but also in the profitability of your recruiting firm in the New Year. You’ll have the chance to network with other recruiters and benefit from the expert training sessions presented by Greg Doersching.

By attending the convention, you can make 2016 an even better year for your firm, both inside the Network and outside of it. Increase your split placements, increase your placements overall, and bill more than you ever have before.

Take the first step by signing up for the National Convention.

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

When Top Echelon Network members say the same things about each other when they make split placements together, is it a coincidence?

In a word, no. It isn’t.

TE members say the same things about each other over and over, and they do it every year, year after year. This past year was no different. That has been a constant in this network during its existence—recruiters who not only have great experiences making split placements with one another, but who also enjoy praising each other for the efforts involved.

Working with recruiters in TE = placements

This week in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog, the word that Network recruiters have used most when describing what it’s like to work with each other is “a pleasure.” This speaks to the high caliber of the recruiters who are members of Top Echelon Network.

There’s a reason why we employ a four-step screening process for Network membership. One of the Four Pillars of Top Echelon Network is Quality, and we take our Pillars—and our membership—quite seriously.

We want to fill our network with as many experienced, talented, innovative, friendly, proactive, and motivated recruiters that we can possibly find. We’ve been in business for over 27 years. There is a tried-and-true formula for success in the Network, and we’re not about to start messing with a good thing.

The evidence is overwhelming: working with recruiters in Top Echelon Network is “a pleasure.” If you haven’t experienced that yet, then perhaps you just need to find the recruiters in the Network that work the best with you.

Top Echelon Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS can help you do just that. You can contact Drea at 330.455.1433, x156 or via email at

— — —

Deb North of Deb North Consulting, LLC

Deb North

Sean Napoles, CPC of Career Brokers, Inc.

Sean Napoles, CPC

“Very glad that Sean persevered through this client with me. These deals are a long time coming. Thank you for always being thorough in your screening. It’s a pleasure working with you!”

Submitted by Deb North of Deb North Consulting, LLC regarding her Network split placement with Sean Napoles, CPC of Career Brokers, Inc.


Fee Percentage—25%

(Editor’s note: This is the X Network split placement that North and Napoles have made together in Top Echelon.)

— — —

Michael Stuck of the Gables Search Group

Michael Stuck

Brenda Richardson of Steward Cooper & Coon

Brenda Richardson

“Always a complete pleasure working with Brenda. This is four fifth split together in the last couple of years. This was a difficult one, too, but was the only candidate my client interviewed, and they hired him very quickly. Brenda already has candidate interviews going on with two more clients of mine. Let’s get another before the year is out. Go, Brenda, go!”

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

Position Title—CONTROLLER

Fee Percentage—20%

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

— — —

Gary Elias of Elias Associates, Inc.

Gary Elias

Jeff Ploeger of Ploeger Recruiting Services

Jeff Ploeger

“I have worked with Gary for a long time and respect his talent evaluation skills. He’s easy to work with and straight forward. I appreciate that. He knows his business. Thanks for the help!”

Submitted by Jeff Ploeger of Ploeger Recruiting Services regarding his Network split placement with Gary Elias of Elias Associates, Inc.


Fee Percentage—20%

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

A couple of weeks ago, we announced that Greg Doersching of Bullseye Mentor was offering premium training at a discounted price to Top Echelon Network reccruiters.

This training consists of webinars offered throughout all of next year, and the first one is scheduled for next week, so we’d once again like to make you aware of this offer. The discount pertains to two recruiter training programs that Doersching is offering throughout 2016. One program is focused on fundamental desk concepts, and the other is for advanced recruiters.

As a Top Echelon Network member, you qualify for a discount on both programs. The cost for a single participant is $350 for the year (just $17 a session). The price for an office (up to three individuals) is $500.

Greg Doersching training schedule and pricing

Below is the schedule for the fundamental desk concepts series of webinars. All sessions start at noon, Central Time, and will last approximately one hour.

January 5 — Selling Your Firm
January 19 — Good Recruiting Habits
February 2 — Attracting Candidates
February 16 — Targeting New Clients
March 1 — Electronic Recruiting Tactics
March 22 — Quick Hit BD Calls
April 19 — Making Recruiting Calls
May 10 — Overcoming Objections
May 17 — Qualifying Candidates
June 7 — Negotiating Fees
July 19 — Proper Candidate Presentation
August 9 — Taking a Complete Job Order
September 6 — Push- Pull Client Control
September 27 — Negotiating Offers
October 11 — Open Q & A
October 18 — Interview Prep/Debrief
November 8 — Voice of Client Interviews & Goal Setting
December 6 — Planning for 2017

Click here to register for the “Fundamental Desk Concepts Series” as a single participant, and click here to register as an office.

Below is the schedule for the advanced recruiter series of webinars. All sessions start at 1:30 p.m., Central Time, and will last approximately one hour.

January 5 — Building “YOU” as a Brand
February 2 — Getting More out of Your Database
March 1 — How to Build a Bigger Client Footprint
April 26 — Getting the most out of a Researcher
May 17 — It’s How You Say It
June 7 — Raising the Prices on Established Clients
July 19 — Dealing with why you don’t have Candidates
August 9 — The psychology of Closing
September 6 — Getting ahead of the 4th Quarter
October 11 — Open Q & A
November 8 — Advanced Voice of Client Interviews & Goal Setting
December 6 — Top Producer Planning for 2017

Click here to register for the “Advanced Recruiter Series” as a single participant, and click here to register as an office.

Click here to register for both series as a single participant.

Click here to register for both series as an office.

Top Echelon is pleased to present this Greg Doersching recruiter training special to its Network members. Our mission statement is to help recruiters make more placements, and providing quality training opportunities is one of the ways we strive to accomplish that mission.

And don’t forget: Greg Doersching will also be the main speaker for our upcoming 2016 Top Echelon National Convention in April. If you sign up for the convention before the end of the year, you can take advantage of the special Early Bird discount price and you can apply the cost of the convention to this year’s business expenses.

We hope to see you in Las Vegas!

Recruiters provide a lot of different services for their clients . . . but do recruiters verify the employment of candidates, as well? Well, there is a question that must be asked before that question.

And of course, that question must also be answered, which is why we recently posted it in the Members’ Area. Follow the bouncing ball (you remember the bouncing ball, right?)::

Do your clients ask you to verify the employment of candidates?

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

  • No, they do not ask. — 65.0%
  • Some do ask, and I verify it myself. — 22.2%
  • Some do ask, and somebody else in my firm verifies it. — 6.0%
  • Some do ask, but I do not provide that service. — 6.8%

Recruiters verify . . . or do they?

Well over half of all clients (65%) do NOT ask their recruiters to verify the employment of candidates. That means, of course, that 35% of clients DO ask.

So, in those instances when clients do request that recruiters verify employment, what happens then? Nearly two-thirds of them verify it themselves, and when they don’t, they have somebody else in their firm verify it for them.

Another small segment of poll respondents (6.8%) indicated that their clients ask them to verify employment, but they do not provide that service.

As you can see, this is about preferences and service level offerings. What recruiters are willing to do and what they are not willing to do varies from firm to firm. This is especially the case with smaller recruiting agencies that consist of between one and three employees, and the majority of Top Echelon Network member firms fall into that category.

What about your recruiting firm? Does it verify employment if one of your clients ask you to do so? Do you perform the verification yourself, or do you have somebody else in the office do it?