TE Profile: Coleen Balogh-Walther and Debbi Reiger

“Iron sharpening iron” is what membership in Top Echelon Network is all about, and that is definitely the case with longtime Network members Coleen Balogh-Walther of The Provident Search Group and Debbi Reiger of Reiger Technical Search.

Coleen Balogh-Walther of The Provident Search Group, Inc.

Coleen Balogh-Walther

Although they didn’t make their first placement together until earlier this year, their numbers are impressive apart from one another. Debbi has made 57 split placements during her tenure in the Network, generating a cash-in total of $488K, while Coleen has made 54 splits for $314K.

Both Coleen and Debbi recruit in the Information Technology industry. After making their first split together in April of this year, they’ve made four more since then. All told, those five splits totaled over $61K.

According to both Coleen and Debbi, they had come close on making a split down through the years, but only recently “broke through” and closed a deal.

“Coleen reached out to me a few years ago about some of the positions I posted on the Network,” said Debbi. “We tried several times to make a placement, but it didn’t happen until this year.”

“Her client has had a lot of job openings, and I really found out what she was looking for and what the clients liked and didn’t like,” added Coleen. “I chalk some of it up to persistent. I’ve wanted to make a placement with Debbi for so long, and now we’ve made a bunch.” (Thus validating Top Echelon’s unwritten rule that once you make one split with another member, it makes it far easier to make multiple splits with them.)

However, let’s focus on some of the specific reasons why this split recruiting relationship works so well.


This professionalism is rooted in the experience of these two recruiters, as well as the way in which they choose to conduct themselves in split placement situations. In other words, with the utmost of quality, confidence, and trust. (Quality and Trust are two of the Four Pillars of Top Echelon Network. The other two are Communication and Active Participation.)

Debbi Reiger of Reiger Technical Search

Debbi Reiger

“Coleen is very experienced in IT placements, so she knows what to look for when I give her an opening,” said Debbi. “Or we discuss exactly what my client wants and she goes after it. I share everything with her about my client, including company name, manager names, culture, growth opportunities, etc.”

Coleen fully appreciates both the trust that Debbi shows in her, as well as the honesty she displays when working with her to complete a search.

“I’m an exporter and Debbi has several good clients,” she said. “Debbi has wonderful client control. She knows everything about them, every detail—what they like and what they don’t like. The more information I have, the better candidates I can present. She is every open and honest about everything.

“She always has the right information and she gives great feedback. I never have to bug her for feedback, whether it’s good or bad.”


This is sometimes an overlooked factor in regards to forming successful split partnerships in Top Echelon. However, when two recruiters are compatible, both in terms of their personalities and also the way in which they like to work, it lays the foundation for a successful relationship.

“We have a solid relationship and she really understands what will work and what won’t,” said Debbi of Coleen. “We have made several placements with the same client so she knows what ‘fits’ for them. We’ve formed a friendship, as well, which is an added bonus!”

“[Debbi is] consistent and productive and an incredibly nice person, too,” said Coleen. “She knows the business inside and out and that king of knowledge makes the whole process easier. She always take the time to talk with me.”

#3—Mutual respect

When your trading partner exhibits professionalism and is trustworthy, it should come as no surprise that you would have respect for that person. That is certainly the case with Coleen and Debbi, who have a deep mutual respect for one another that is rooted in a great many things. In addition to the aforementioned professionalism and trustworthiness, among these things is the talent skill they both bring to the recruiting profession.

“Debbi is a dream to work with,” said Coleen. “I call her a rock start recruiter. I’ve been in this business for over 40 years, and she’s one of the best recruiters I’ve ever worked with. And I’ve worked with a lot.”

“Coleen is a true recruiter,” said Debbi. “She doesn’t ‘post and pray.’ She does old-school searching and recruiting. I have several tier 1 clients and the typical ‘job board/low-hanging fruit candidates’ won’t work for them. Recruited, passive candidates are the best and Coleen looks for those.”

Considering all of the experience and expertise that Coleen and Debbi have accumulated, not to mention the success that they’ve both enjoyed, they have valuable advice for other Network members who want to enjoy similar levels of success.

“Communication and feedback are very important,” said Coleen. “Get back to people when they contact you. And pay attention to what the other recruiter wants, especially if you’re an exporter. If an importer tells you that a candidate doesn’t have a certain skill, don’t argue with them and tell them that the candidate can learn it. If they say no to the candidate, then move on and try to find somebody who is a fit.”

Debbi echoed Coleen’s sentiments, especially in regards to communication, feedback, and follow-up, with an emphasis on attention to detail.

“Reach out to the job recruiter and follow up with vetted candidates,” she said. “I’m constantly surprised that recruiters just send resumes to me without knowing anything about the posted jobs. Would they look at a LinkedIn ad for a company posting and blindly send resumes to that company? I doubt it. This job can be very lucrative if you do the work!

“I’ve also had TE recruiters reach out and spend time talking with me about a job and then I never hear from them. Find importers that have solid relationships with their clients and build a relationship. It could be very profitable.”

“Iron sharpening iron” is what membership in Top Echelon Network is all about, and no trading partner relationship exemplifies that more than the one between Coleen Balogh-Walther and Debbi Reiger.

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