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Mark Demaree

Although a good number of recruiters are optimistic about the upcoming year—as indicated by our latest Members’ Area survey—the past year did not reflect those feeling for many recruiters, both inside and outside of Top Echelon Network.

However, 2011 is almost upon us, and there are many reasons to be optimistic.  The economic recovery finally seems to be gaining momentum, and companies appear to be more willing to hire.  (Although in some cases, they seem more willing to hire on a contract basis first, as opposed to direct hire.)

Anyway, as we’ll illustrate in the statistics that we publish in next week’s issue the average number of placements per firm increased in 2010 as opposed to 2009.  That’s good news all by itself, and we believe that the number will continue to grow in 2011.

Before next week, though, the New Year will be here, and I wanted to take this opportunity to once again wish you a happy holiday.  I hope that you have the chance to spend it with family and friends and that you’re able to usher in 2011 in a big way.  That being said, I want to wish you all the happiest of New Year’s from everybody here at Top Echelon.

As a reminder, please remember that the Top Echelon offices will be closed on Friday, December 31, in observance of the New Year’s holiday.  The offices will re-open at 8 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, on Monday, January 3.

We truly appreciate your loyalty as Preferred Members of the Network, and we look forward to the New Year with both optimism and encouragement.  Have a great holiday!

Mark Demaree

I have good news for those recruiters who’d like to see the deadline for “Super Early Bird” Registration for the 2011 National Convention pushed back: we’re pushing it back.

We originally set the deadline for Friday, December 31.  One of the reasons we did that is because we know that a lot of recruiters would like to register for the convention before the end of the year so they can claim the expense of the event on their 2010 taxes.  While that’s important, it’s not the most important aspect of “Super Early Bird” Registration.  The most important aspect would be the fact that we want Preferred Members to attend the convention.

We’ve decided that there are probably plenty of recruiters who are more interested in the $275 per person “Super Early Bird” price than are interested in claiming the expense of the convention on this year’s taxes.  And if that’s the case, setting a deadline of December 31 doesn’t entirely make sense, especially since the dates of the convention are Thursday, May 12, through Saturday, May 14, and Regular Early Bird Registration is going to run for well over two months.

As a result, we’re pushing back the deadline for “Super Early Bird” to the end of the business day on Friday, January 14.  That gives you two more weeks to register for the convention at the special price of $275 per person.  But the price of the convention isn’t the ONLY reason to register.  There are plenty of others, too:

  • The site of the convention is The Westin Beach Resort in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.  That’s right, the beach will be right there for you to enjoy . . . and you’ll want to enjoy it, since the average high temperature in Ft. Lauderdale during the month of May is 86 degrees.
  • We’ve secured a room rate of $169 per night at The Westin.  You can take advantage of that rate by clicking on a special link on the registration page, but remember that we have a limited number of rooms available at that rate.  So it’s first come, first served.
  • The main speaker for the convention will be Jon Bartos of Jonathan Scott International.  Bartos is one of the most popular trainers and speakers in the recruiting industry, and this isn’t the first time that he’s presented for the Network Membership.  Bartos will be addressing the topic of working more efficiently on your desk during a time when recruiters are putting in more hours than ever.
  • Once the 50th recruiter has signed up for the convention, we’ll draw a name, and that person will be able to attend the convention for FREE.
  • The convention will feature a number of networking opportunities, both formal and informal, including our popular Gala Event.  What will the Gala Event involve?  We’re not at liberty to disclose such information at this time, but we can guarantee that whatever it is, it will be memorable.

We sent out an email a couple of weeks ago with a link to our online 2011 National Convention packet, which includes additional information about the event.  If you missed that packet, now’s the time to take a look at it.

There are already over 20 recruiters registered for the National Convention . . . and we want YOU to be there, too.  We’ve done everything we can to ensure that the cost of attending the convention is as low as possible.  We believe strongly in the power of these events and their ability to help you maximize your Network Membership.  You attend, you meet other recruiters, you form relationships, you trade hot job orders and candidates, and you make split placements.

That’s the way it works, and that’s the way it’s worked ever since we started holding these events.  If you haven’t attended one our conventions in the past, I invite you to call any one of our Top Producers and ask them what role attending such events has had in their success.  I can almost guarantee that there will be a coorelation between the two.  The New Year is poised to be one of resurgence for the recruiting industry.  Join us in that resurgence.  Attend the National Convention.  Have fun.  Meet other recruiters.  Make more placements.  Now THAT’S a happy ending.

View the preliminary agenda.
See who’s already registered.
Sign up for the convention.

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(330) 455-1433, Ext. 172

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

Maryland Regional Core Group

The Maryland Regional Core Group held its annual holiday luncheon on Wednesday, December 8, at Union Jacks in Columbia, Md.  Attending the luncheon were Dan Simmons of Continental Search & Outplacement, Inc.; Deb Simmons of Continental Search & Outplacement, Inc.; Paul Van of Thomas Sharp Recruiting; Sherri Khanna of Thomas Sharp Recruiting; Jeff Gilbert of Kingfish Technology, LLC; Lorraine Grimes of Mariana Sourcing, LLC; Bob Small of Carroll Technology Services, Inc.; Jed Davis of Carroll Technology Services, Inc.; Krista Bastianelli of Contract Placement Associates; and Janet Miller of Computer Management, Inc.

Every year, the group passes out a “Darwin Award” for the best candidate or client fiasco story.  This year, that award was bestowed to Van.  Above is a picture of the luncheon attendees.  (Incidentally, it’s ironic that a group of recruiters had their picture taken in front of a telephone booth . . . or perhaps it’s fitting.  Either way, we like it.)