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12-07-2011 Issue of The Pinnacle | Pinnacle Newsletter | Top Echelon Split Network

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Announcing Changes to the Top Echelon Network Policies

(By MARK DEMAREE)


Mark Demaree

Every once in a while, we make changes to the Top Echelon Network Policies.  Sometimes those changes are small (most of the time, actually), and sometimes they’re bigger.  Our latest round of revisions to the Policies include both big and small changes.

I’ll be mentioning the bigger changes specifically in this issue of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.  However, I’m going to bypass the smaller changes, and I’m doing so because they do not significantly alter the wording or spirit of the Policies.  In the vast majority of instances, these changes were made to make the Policies more grammatically correct in terms of punctuation and usage (first person vs. third person, for example).

To point out each and every time we changed “us” to “Top Echelon Network” would probably bore you to tears . . . so we’re not going to do it.  However, we do want to point out the following, more important changes to the Top Echelon Network Policies.  The specific policies we'll be addressing are Policy #3, Policy #5Policy #9b, and Policy #11. For each of these, I'll present an "Overview," the "Old Version," and the "Revised Version."  This is a lengthy blog post, but please bear with us.  We want to communicate as clearly as possible these major changes.


Policy #3: 3-Way Splits


OVERVIEW:

The verbiage “does not encourage” has been replaced with “prohibits” as it relates to 3-way splits unless prior written consent from all parties is obtained.


OLD VERSION:

Top Echelon Network does not encourage 3-WAY SPLITS with recruiters outside of Top Echelon Network, but does not prohibit Members from participating in them.


REVISED VERSION:

Top Echelon Network prohibits 3-WAY SPLITS with recruiters inside or outside of Top Echelon Network without prior written consent from all parties involved, including Top Echelon Network.


Policy #5: The Complaint Procedure


OVERVIEW:

The Complaint Procedure was revised to provide added detail to Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the policy.  Two sections of the policy were consolidated, which were, “The Negotiations, mediation, and arbitration” section with the “I don’t agree with Top Echelon’s decision or the EAB’s decision” section.  Lastly, the location and terms of arbitration and mediation were updated.


OLD VERSION:

I don't agree with Top Echelon Network's decision or the EAB's decision

Once Top Echelon Network makes a decision on a Phase #2 dispute, the decision is final, and whatever action Top Echelon Network deems necessary will begin immediately upon the announcement of the decision. The recourse available to a recruiter who does not agree with the Phase #2 decision is as follows:

1. Pay the $1,500 processing fee and request that your dispute be re-opened, escalated to Phase #3, and heard by the Top Echelon Network EAB.
2. Get the other recruiter to agree to resolve the dispute via outside formal arbitration.
3. Hire an attorney and pursue it through the appropriate court system.

Once the Top Echelon Network EAB makes a decision on a Phase #3 dispute, the decision is final, and whatever action the EAB deems necessary will begin immediately upon announcement of the decision. The recourse available to a recruiter who does not agree with the Phase #3 decision is as follows:

1. Get the other recruiter to agree to resolve the dispute via outside formal arbitration.
2. Hire an attorney and pursue it through the appropriate court system.

Negotiations, mediation, and arbitration
If a dispute arises between any Members utilizing the services of the online system, the parties hereto shall use their best efforts to settle such disputes, claims, questions, or disagreements. To this effect, they shall consult and negotiate with each other, in good faith, recognizing their mutual interests and attempting to reach a just and equitable solution satisfactory to both parties. If a solution cannot be reached within a period of sixty (60) days, the parties agree to settle the dispute in an amicable manner by mediation administered by the American Arbitration Association under its Commercial Mediation Rules, before resorting to arbitration. Thereafter, any unresolved controversy or claim shall be settled by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its Commercial Arbitration Rules, and judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. Any such arbitration will be conducted in a mutually agreed upon city having an American Arbitration Association office, or if no agreement on locale can be reached, the arbitration will be conducted in Cleveland, Ohio. The arbitrators shall award to the prevailing party, if any, as determined by the arbitrators, all of its costs and fees. "Costs and fees" means all reasonable pre-award expenses of the arbitration, including arbitrator's fees; administrative fees; travel expenses; out-of-pocket expenses such as copying, telephone, court costs, and witness fees; and attorneys' fees.


REVISED VERSION:

Finality of Top Echelon Network’s decision or the EAB’s decision

If escalated, after the Top Echelon Network EAB makes a decision on a Phase #3 dispute, the decision is final, and whatever recourse the EAB deems necessary will begin immediately upon announcement of the decision.  A recruiter who does not agree with the Phase #3 may seek to resolve the dispute via outside formal mediation or arbitration exclusively between the recruiters to take place in Canton, Ohio, administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its Commercial Arbitration Rules, and judgment rendered by the mediator(s) or arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court of jurisdiction.  Additionally, the award to the prevailing party, if any, shall include all costs and fees.  "Costs and fees" means all reasonable pre-award expenses of the arbitration, including arbitrator’s fees; administrative fees; travel expenses; out-of-pocket expenses such as copying, telephone, court costs, and witness fees; and attorneys’ fees.

Any disputing involving Top Echelon Network as a party must be resolved in accordance with the requirements set forth in the Top Echelon Network Service Level Agreement.


Policy #9b: Candidate Ownership After a Candidate is Placed in a Direct-Hire Position


OVERVIEW:

Under the “Spirit of the Policy” section of this policy, the wording “strongly encourage” was replaced with “requires.”


OLD VERSION:

Therefore, we strongly encourage the job order agency to confer with the original candidate recruiter about the situation, and we suggest that you both share ownership in the candidate. That is, if either of you place the candidate again, you both agree to equally split whatever dollars your firm earns on that next placement of this candidate. We have seen other recruiters deal with these situations in this way, and it appears to work well.


REVISED VERSION:

Therefore, Top Echelon Network requires the job order agency to confer with the original candidate recruiter about the situation, and share ownership in the candidate.  That is, if either Preferred Member places the candidate again, both firms agree to equally split any placement dollars earned.  Historically, this is the best solution for other Preferred Members in such situations.


Policy#11: Placement Fees, Payment Terms, Refunds, Fall-offs, and Guarantees


OVERVIEW:

Throughout the policy we replaced phrases like “should be agreed upon” and “strongly advises” to “must agree” or “requires.”  Also, additional explanation of the “Fall-off” section has been added.


OLD VERSION:

Fee schedule
The fee schedule used in a placement should be agreed upon by both agencies prior to an offer being extended to the candidate, preferably in writing.


REVISED VERSION:

Fee schedule
Both agencies must agree in writing on the fee schedule to be used in a placement prior to extending an offer to the candidate.


OLD VERSION:

Fall-offs and replacement guarantee
In the event a candidate quits or is terminated (for any reason) during the guarantee period and the job order recruiter's guarantee is to replace the candidate or refund the money, Top Echelon Network considers this placement a "fall-off." The agency with the candidate and Top Echelon Network are to refund the proper percentage (normally 100%) of their portion of the fee to the job order recruiter immediately. It is then the sole responsibility of the job order recruiter to replace the candidate, return the fee to the client, or work out some other arrangement with the client. The agency supplying the originating candidate is not entitled to keep its fee, because the placement was a fall-off and its candidate did not work out.


REVISED VERSION:

Fall-offs and replacement guarantee
Top Echelon Network Members agree to honor the guarantee period and refund/replacement policy that the job order recruiter executes with the client.  In the case a guarantee refund/replacement policy is not clearly executed, Top Echelon Network considers a placement to be a “fall-off” in the event a candidate quits or is terminated (for any reason) during the guarantee period and the job order recruiter’s guarantee is to replace the candidate or refund the money.  Any act of resignation within the guarantee period qualifies as a “fall-off.” The candidate recruiter and Top Echelon Network must refund the proper percentage (normally 100%) of their portion of the fee to the job order recruiter immediately when a “fall-off” occurs.  It is then the sole responsibility of the job order recruiter to replace the candidate, return the fee to the client, or work out some other arrangement with the client.  The agency supplying the originating candidate is not entitled to keep its fee, because the placement was a “fall-off” and its candidate did not work out.  See Section, Guarantee period and refund/replacement policy. 


Remember, you can view the Network Policies by clicking on the appropriate link in the Members’ Area.  That link is located on the left-hand side of the page, directly under “Alerts Management” and above “Frequent Placer Program.”

As always, I want to thank you for your commitment as a Preferred Member recruiter in this Network and for abiding by these Policies in the spirit of making split placements for the purpose of growing your business.


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330.455.1433, Ext. 172
MDemaree@TopEchelon.com
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Registration for the 2012 National Convention Available Next Week!

(By MATT DEUTSCH)


Matt DeutschThe end of the year is hurtling toward us like a meteor careening towards Earth.  Okay, that’s not the greatest analogy in the world, but you get the idea.

My point is that there’s a limited amount of time left to do all of the things that you want to do before 2011 bids adieu . . . which is why we’re releasing Early Bird Registration for the 2012 National Convention next week.  It’s been our experience that many recruiters prefer to register for the convention before the end of the current year, so that the expense of the event is associated with that year and not the next one—and we are more than happy to oblige them.


Where are we going for the 2012 National Convention?

As we announced recently, we’re going to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.  We were at the Gaylord for the 2005 National Convention, and we had a great time.  How great of a time?  Click here to see photos from that event.


What’s the cost of Early Bird Registration?

I don’t have the answer to that yet, but I will say this: we haven’t raised the price of registration for either our National Convention OR our Fall Conference since I started working at Top Echelon—and that was two whole recessions ago.  In fact, our Early Bird Registration price for the 2011 National Convention was the lowest that we’ve ever offered.


How can I knock some money off the price of attending, anyway?

I’m so glad you asked.  If you read my blog post last week, you know that you can reduce the cost of registration by $50 by submitting a video of you singing a country song.  And that’s just for starters.  If your video is deemed to be the BEST one submitted—by a very secret, covert, and completely objective committee—then you will attend the convention for FREE.  (Hotel and travel expenses extra, void where prohibited, your cancelled check is your receipt, sanitized for your protection . . .)  So what are you waiting for?  Start sending in your videos.  I mean right now.  Chop-chop.


What are the dates for the 2012 National Convention?

The dates for the convention are Thursday, March 22, through Saturday, March 24.


What’s the room rate that Top Echelon Network has secured for the convention?

The room rate is $155 per night for Wednesday, March 21, through Saturday, March 24.  That rate is good for either a single or double occupancy.  Each additional person to a room is $20 per night for triple and quad occupancy.


Does Top Echelon Network have a room block reserved at the Gaylord?

describe the imageWe do, but it’s a small room block.  That means if you know that you’re going to attend the convention, I suggest you book your room as soon as possible.  To do so, call the Gaylord Opryland Resort directly at (615) 883-2211.  Before booking your room, identify yourself as part of Top Echelon Network and/or mention group cope X-TOPEC.


Who are the speakers for the 2012 National Convention?

The keynote speaker for the convention will be Rob Mosely of Next Level Training.  Among the sessions that Mosely will present are “Great Communication = Great Compensation,” “Behaviors That Drive Revenue,” and “Four Great Truths.”  In addition, Sam Mondalfo of LinkedIn will be on hand to discuss strategies that recruiters can use when navigating this popular social media site.  Of course, Top Echelon Internet Strategies Manager Todd Bossler will once again present training about the Big Biller recruiting software.


What are we doing for the Gala Event on Friday night?

It’s a secret.  Quit asking.  Jeez.


Okay, that’s all for right now, but rest assured that we’ll be publishing plenty more about the 2012 National Convention in the weeks and months ahead.  And of course, be on the lookout for our country music video . . . because nobody is going to make fools of themselves before WE do.


-- -- --


330.455.1433, x125

MDeutsch@TopEchelon.com
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Baby Boomers Still Struggling in the Wake of the Recession

(By DEBBIE FLEDDERJOHANN)


(Editor's Note: This is the next in a series of guest blog posts about contract staffing, courtesty of Top Echelon Contracting, the recruiter's back-office solution.  Similar posts will appear in future issues of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.)


Debbie Fledderjohann

While the recession has supposedly been over for quite some time, many people are still feeling its effects. And it is quite possible that Baby Boomers are having the hardest time bouncing back.

A recent U.S. News & World Report article examines "The Recession's Impact on Baby Boomer Retirement."  Here are some of the key take-away points from the article:

  • Although the recession affected all age groups, Baby Boomers may not have enough time to rebuild their retirement savings, forcing many to put off retirement.
  • On the other side of the coin, some were forced into early retirement because they were unable to find new employment after losing jobs during the recession.
  • This has caused household income for those ages 55-64 to fall by 6 percent.

As a result, employers need to be ready for older workers who are either remaining in the workforce longer than expected or who are returning to the workforce on a part-time basis to supplement a less than sufficient retirement income.  A recent Staffing Industry Analysts article listed policy issues that employers will have to re-examine in light of this trend.  At the top of the list?  Offering "more flexible work patterns," including telecommuting, consulting, and reduced hours.

This all plays into the retiree re-staffing trend we have been reporting on for the past couple of years.  By bringing older workers in a on part-time, consulting, or contract basis, employers can gain or retain these workers' knowledge, while the workers can supplement their income and remain active on a more flexible basis so they can enjoy other activities and time with their family.



-- -- --


888.627.3678
DFledderjohann@TopEchelonContracting.com
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Jim Strickland is the 'Recruiter of the Month' for November!

Top-Producing Recruiters

Last week, we highlighted Larry Radzely of Adel-Lawrence Associates for his consistent split placement production during his tenure as a Preferred Member recruiter in Top Echelon Network.  We also promised to highlight more recruiters just like him.  Well, this week, we are!

Actually, this recruiter—Jim Strickland of BioSource International—basically forced us to highlight him, mainly because he’s the “Recruiter of the Month” for the month of November.  Not only did he win that award, but he also earned a share of the “Highest Split Placement Fee of the Month" award.

Strickland has made a total of 77 Network placements since he became a Preferred Member recruiter in 2003.  Once again, he’s one of those recruiters who “flies beneath the radar” in the Network, but one who continues to churn out placements year after year.  Everybody at Top Echelon would like to congratulate Strickland on his accomplishments and also wish him many more split placements in the years to come!

Remember, for more information about the placements and cash-in totals associated with these awards, please login to the Members' Area and view the profiles and placement details of the recruiters involved.  Peace.


-- -- --


Jim StricklandRecruiter of the Month
Jim Strickland of BioSource International

Strickland was one of three recruiters who made two Network split placements during the month of November.  However, he edged out Rebecca Kohn of Affinity Executive Search and Carol Brinkman of Corporate Resources, LLC based upon his cash-in total for those placements, which was $33,722.50.  Although the other two recruiters also made two split placements during the month, Strickland boasted a greater cash-in total than they did.


-- -- --


Denise Milano SprungJim StricklandHighest Split Placement Fee of the Month
Jim Strickland of BioSource International and Denise Milano Sprung of JA Pharma, Inc.

This hefty fee (which helped Strickland win the "Recruiter of the Month" award) was earned by placing a Lead Neurologist.  The catalyst for this placement was Strickland's Hiring Hook website, since the candidate applied for Milano Sprung's job on his website.


-- -- --


Our criteria for these awards:

Top Echelon Network is a split placement network.  As such, we place an emphasis on split placements, and that emphasis constitutes the basis of our criteria for these awards.  We determine the monthly and quarterly award winners based upon two factors, which are listed below in order of importance:

1.) The number of split placements made
2.) The amount of cash-in dollars earned as a result of those split placements

In other words, the number of split placements that recruiters make is our first consideration.  In the event of a tie, the cash-in total earned from those split placements is the deciding factor and serves to break the tie.  Obviously, the recruiter with more cash-in dollars in the event of a tie is the recruiter who wins the award.

Do You Think and Act Like a Stage 2 Networker?

(By DREA CODISPOTI, CPC/CERS)


Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS

Last week in The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog, I closely examined the Stage 1 Networker as part of my end-of-the-year analysis of the Five Stages of a Networker.  In that blog post, I asked you to compare the attributes of a Stage 1 Networker to yourself in terms of where you believe you are as a Preferred Member recruiter in Top Echelon Network.

So as you might imagine, I’m going to ask the same of you this week . . . although this time, I’m taking a close look at the Stage 2 Networker.  This networker is further along in their development as a Preferred Member, but they still have some work to do before they can reap the full benefits of Membership.

As you read each of the points below, think about how you would rate yourself in these areas.  Are you a Stage 2 Networker?  Are you ready to take the next step as a Top Echelon Network recruiter?  This exercise will help you determine the answers to these questions.


STAGE 2 NETWORKER

The Stage Networker is now "sending out roots" to attempt to establish themselves in the Network.


Mindset

The Stage 2 Networker feels that networking can help them, but they still need to see results before they’re a true believer in split business.


Trust

They are willing to share to some degree, but they’re still cautious and will hold back their best candidates and best job orders.  They will reluctantly share the name of a client with another recruiter.


Effort

They will submit some candidates and job orders to the Network and will let the results of those items determine if they will make more of a time investment.


Maneuverability

They’ve found that running simple searches in Splitsville is relatively easy.  They also understand that the Members’ Area offers other features, but they haven’t explored those yet.


Expectations

Their expectations are normally high.  They can see the potential, but they expect other recruiters to respond to their job orders and to place their candidates.


Submissions

If they generate a flurry of activity, they may get lucky and make a placement.  If they only share a limited number of candidates and job orders, they most likely will not make a placement.  Many Stage 2 Networkers will submit some candidates and job orders a few times.  If the response is less than their expectations, they will stop altogether.


Quality

Although their intentions are good, they still hold back their excellent candidates and job orders.  They will share their mediocre candidates and job orders, but they try to keep the best for themselves.


Trading Partners

They’ve had contact with many Top Echelon Network Members.  Although most of these contacts have been pleasant, they’ve contacted enough people to have a few “not so good” experiences, as well.


Network Billings

Typically $0 to $10,000 in a 12-month period.  In a strong economy, the Stage 2 Networker does not recognize the value of the Network to their bottom line.


Planning Your Network SuccessNetwork Satisfaction

They are somewhat pleased with Top Echelon Network as a service company.  However, if expenses need to be cut, Top Echelon would be one of the first to go.


If you that believe you're a Stage 2 Networker and you want to evolve, please contact me so that we can discuss how you can take the next step in your development as a Preferred Member recruiter in Top Echelon Network.


(Editor’s Note: The above information was either taken directly or paraphrased from Planning Your Network Success: A Hands-On Approach for Developing Your Key Strategies by Top Echelon Network, copyright 1998.)


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330.455.1433, x156
Drea@TopEchelon.com
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