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Matt DeutschLast month, we announced the winner of our “Craziest Recruiting Story of 2010” contest.  During the course of the contest, we received numerous submissions from recruiters, both inside and outside of the Network.  Some of these stories didn’t qualify for the contest because they didn’t occur in 2010, but we enjoyed them, nonetheless, and we plan to publish them in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog for the edification of our readership.  Because if it’s one thing that all recruiters have—and that they don’t mind sharing—it’s a crazy recruiting story.

This week’s story comes from a Top Echelon Network recruiter in Virginia Beach, Va.  If you’d like to submit your crazy recruiting story, email it to

“Several years ago, I was in general recruiting here in [Mobile, Ala.]  I had a long-time client that I recruited sales people for.  I had set up an interview one afternoon for a candidate that I felt was a ‘shoo-in.’  I felt his background was excellent and also that he and the hiring manager, who I knew quite well, would hit it off.  They had the same interest, personality, etc.  Later, I found out just how much they had in common!  I was really feeling good about this one.
“The interview was at 3 p.m. and knowing the hiring manager as I did, I knew I would get a call after the interview.  I waited in my office for the call until almost five and since I had not heard from the hiring manager or the candidate I called the company to check on it.
“I was told that the hiring manager was out of the office and knowing him the way I did I could understand why he had not called me so I decided to speak with the office manager to see if I could get any information.  Since I had worked with the client for so long I also knew this person quite well and as we were talking I knew something odd was going on.  He finally spilled the beans . . .

“The hiring manager’s wife apparently was having a long term affair, and during the interview he some how discovered that the candidate that I sent was the person his wife was seeing!  He came over the desk and jumped him and the fight was on!  They both ended up in the emergency room – noting serious but apparently each of them got in some really good punches.
“My candidate was not hired—not a big surprise—but I managed to keep the client and that certainly WAS a surprise!  What I never understood was why the candidate took the interview.  He had to know who he was seeing.  I never spoke with him again . . .he did not return my call.
“And now you have ‘the rest of the story’ . . .”

We’ll be publishing more crazy recruiting solutions stories in the future, and one of them could be yours!  Remember, email your story to, and your might see it in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.

Communications Coordinator Matt Deutsch and Membership Development Coordinator Drea Codispoti announce the winner of “Top Echelon Network’s Craziest Recruiting Story of 2010” contest.  And the winner is . . . Coleen Balogh-Walther of The Provident Search Group, Inc.  But her story isn’t the only one we highlight in this episode of “Top Echelon TV.”  We also give honorable mention status to a story submitted by Joe Noto of the Regency Search Group, one that’s crazy in two languages (but alas, happened in 2009).

For those of you who submitted stories, but didn’t win . . . don’t worry.  We might mention your story in a future episode, anyway.  Because we’re fun like that.  In the meantime, we want YOUR craziest recruiting story, not just from 2010, but of all-time.  You can email your stories to  Or mail them in.  Or send them via pigeon.  We’re flexible.

Betsy VincentFive Network placements in the past two years . . .  a “Success Story” profile in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog . . . part of one of the most successful recruiting firms in Top Echelon Network.  However, that all might pale in comparison to what Betsy Vincent of The Williams Company accomplished recently.

That’s right . . . Betsy won the Top Echelon Network Fantasy Football League!  Below is confirmation of that fact, in the form of an email sent to the Top Echelon Network offices by Jed Davis of Carroll Technology Services, Inc.


“Well, gang, the Top Echelon Network Fantasy Football League wrapped up last week with a new champion—Betsy Vincent of the Williams Company.  Her team, Beezer, was one of the top teams all season long, and she really turned it on during the playoffs beating yours truly (Birdland Bums) soundly, 142-101.  For the bronze medal, Steve Hillman’s Spoilermakers overcame an 0-4 start to finish the season on a high note, beating last year’s champion, Don Walker’s Eagles, for third place.

“Thanks to all who played and managed their teams for the entire season, regardless of record.  Hope to see you all back next year!”


Congratulations, Betsy, from everybody at Top Echelon Network!  (Except maybe those people who have played fantasy football year after year after year and never won anything . . . not that we’re jealous or anything . . . just sayin’.)

Matt DeutschWe received the stories, we went through them, and we enjoyed reading them.  Just like we said we would.  And at the end of the day . . . we went to sleep.  But before we did that, we chose a winner, the “Craziest Recruiting Story of 2010.”

The story is a simple one, and the reason that we chose it is this one: it met the number-one criteria, the fact that it teetered on the edge of believability.  It wasn’t unbelievable, but we found it difficult to believe that a candidate would actually do this, especially one who was interviewing for the position of Employee Relations Manager.

The recruiter who submitted the story was Top Echelon Network Preferred Member Coleen Balogh-Walther of The Provident Search Group, Inc.  That story, in her own words, is below:


Coleen Balogh-Walther“I had a candidate interviewing for an Employee Relations Manager (Human Resources) position.  He had made it through several stages of the interview process and was interviewing with the General Manager and two Assistant General Managers, and throughout the interview, he repeatedly used the f-word!  Needless to say, they were offended and did not hire him.

“When I spoke to the candidate and told him WHY he was not getting the offer, his response was that he was not using the word to be offensive, but he was using it for effect.  I told him that if the effect was to NOT get the job, he succeeded!”


Congratulations, Coleen!  As promised, your story is being highlighted in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog and will also receive mention in this week’s episode of “Top Echelon TV.”  I’d like to thank all of the recruiters who submitted stories to us.  They were all rather crazy, in their own individual ways, but unfortunately . . . there can be only one winner.

However, there was one submission that caught our eye in particular.  That’s because it would have won this year’s award IF it had happened this year.  But alas, it happened in 2009.  It was so crazy and so outrageous, though, that we decided to bestow it with an honorable mention status and also include it in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog and “Top Echelon TV.”

The recruiter involved is Joe Noto of Regency Search Group.  And the story?  Well, we’ll let Joe tell you how it went down.


Joe Noto“A candidate I placed did not show up to start work as a General Manager of Mexican Operations in Juarez, Mexico.  It was four days before he contacted the client and me because he had been abducted by Mexican drug cartel/gang members and held captive.

“They stole his laptop, credit cards, cell phone and other personal items and threatened to kill his family.  They then cleaned out his bank accounts and later released him.  As unbelievable as all this is, it really happened, and the most unbelievable part is he still took the job, starting a couple of weeks later.”


We enjoyed some of the submitted stories so much that we might include them in selected future issues of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog and episodes of “Top Echelon TV.”  In fact, we’ve had so much fun with this that I’d like to encourage you to send in your craziest recruiting stories of all-time.  Let’s open the floodgates.  I know the stories are out there.  They have to be.  This is recruiting we’re talking about!

So write them down and send them in.  The email address is  We’ll be waiting.

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(330) 455-1433, Ext. 125

Matt DeutschAt Top Echelon Network, we’re a flexible bunch.  We try to give people the benefit of the doubt . . . which is one of the reasons that we’re extending the deadline for submitting your craziest recruiting story of 2010 another few days.  Specifically, the new deadline is Friday, December 31, which makes sense, if you think about it.  The previous deadline was today—Wednesday, December 29.  What the heck.  What’s another couple of days?

After all, it’s the holidays, and things might just be hectic for some recruiters, both on their desk and within their firm, and there’s no downside to providing some flexibility.  Providing that flexibility also means that we’ll receive more submissions, and judging by the ones that we’ve already received, that can’t be a bad thing.  The ones we have so far are real doozies (to be expected), but I’m sure there are still some gems out there that have yet to be submitted.  So submit them!

As I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion, there are three ways you can submit your “Craziest Recruiting Story.”  Those three ways are listed below:

  • You can email your story to
  • You can post the story by including it in the comments section at the end of this blog post.
  • You can give me a call at (330) 455-1433, Ext. 125 and relay your story to me.

If your story is selected as the winner of the contest, then your story will be published (with your permission) in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog, along with your name and your firm’s name (once again, with your permission; you can choose to be anonymous).  We’ll also announce the winning story on a future episode of “Top Echelon TV.”

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who’s submitted stories to us thus far.  Your entries are appreciated, but more importantly, they’re crazy . . . which, of course, is the most important criteria for this contest.  If you haven’t submitted your story yet—and quite a few of you have not—then I encourage you to do so.  Take five minutes, dig deep into the recesses of your mind and track down those stories from this past year that made you scratch your head.  Or want to scream, for that matter.

So remember, the deadline has been pushed back to Friday, December 31. The exact deadline?  Midnight.  Why not?  Craziest recruiting stories of the year . . . the end of the year . . . it’s all good.

Exorcise the 2010 demons before 2011 starts.  It’ll be good for you.

(330) 455-1433, Ext. 125