Mistakes Most Job Seekers Make When Working With a Recruiter

Whether you are actively seeking a new position or are merely open to hearing about new opportunities, you are not alone. In a global survey by LinkedIn last year, a whopping 90 percent of professionals report being open to new career options.

A smart way to jump start your career is with the services of a professional recruiter. However, many job seekers unknowingly sabotage their relationship with a recruiter – and therefore their chances of landing a great new job – by making some common blunders.

Here are the top mistakes job seekers make with recruiters and steps you can take to avoid them:

Applying for the same position multiple ways.

Working with a recruiter involves building a business relationship. If you have applied for a position though a recruiter, don’t apply for the same position online, through the mail, or in person.

Since the hiring company trusts the recruiter’s judgment, you will be undermining your credibility by duplicating your application through these other channels. Let the recruiter do his or her job. Don’t let that dissuade you from checking available jobs listings; but remember, having two resumes in the same pile can be more detrimental then beneficial to your cause as an applicant.

Going around the recruiter.

Another way to lose the services of a top recruiter is by circumventing them and contacting the hiring employer directly.

One of the reasons a company hires a recruiter is to avoid a barrage of emails and phone calls about an open position. Hiring managers rely on the staffing company they’ve selected and that company’s recruiters to select the top candidates for the job. Be patient with the process and trust that your recruiter is working for you.

Negotiating the terms of your job offer on your own.

Let’s say your recruiter gives you the good news about a job offer. Now, it’s time to take control of the situation, right? Wrong. Allow your recruiter to negotiate your salary and benefits package for you.

Recruiters know the salaries and benefits that are standard for that employer and industry, and they are well prepared to negotiate the best deal for you. Since hiring companies usually pay professional recruiters a commission based on your pay rate or salary, you can be sure that your recruiter has your best interests in mind. Have a discussion about salary with your recruiter and negotiate with them first so that they can go to bat for you.

Acting as if you don’t care.

It is a competitive job market out there, and one sure way to turn off a recruiter is by not taking the job search seriously. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your social media presence sends an appropriate message about you.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile.
  • Clean up your resume and include keywords that pertain to your industry and your desired position.
  • Return your recruiter’s phone calls and emails promptly.
  • Be respectful of your recruiter’s time. Calling to “check in” several times a day will not win you any favors.
  • Avoid resume gimmicks. Sending your resume in the form of an infographic, using your own brand icon, or including personal stories or informal language may be big resume mistakes. These gimmicks may not elicit the response you are hoping for.
  • Be polite and send thank-you notes after interviews.


Being dishonest.

It may be tempting to add some extra work history or another degree to your resume, but your recruiter can find out the truth with just a little research.

If a recruiter discovers you have lied about your experience, you will have ended that relationship. Similarly, if a potential employer learns about your choice, you will have lost the opportunity to work at that company. Don’t burn your bridges before they’re built. Honesty is always the best policy when working with a recruiter.

Arriving unprepared for the interview.

You should treat your interview with a recruiter the same as you would any important job interview. Be ready with your updated resume and be prepared to answer some challenging questions about yourself, your experience, and your career goals. Brush up on recent industry news if you are preparing to meet with an accounting and finance recruiter. If you’re working with a creative recruiter and are looking for a job in marketing or tech that involves website work, be prepared to talk about responsive website design and the CMS or platform of the prospect employer’s website. Using tools like builtwith.com or ghostery can help to uncover information about the employer’s website and help you prepare.

Research your industry and its current trends then share what you know about the companies for which you would like to work for. Being prepared will help you to avoid awkward interview moments and ace your first impression.

Losing confidence in the process.

Finding the right job takes time. Using a job recruiter is a great step, but it is not a magic formula.

Don’t lose hope if a certain job opportunity does not work out. If you’ve made a good impression, your recruiter will keep you in mind for the next opening. If you have the right skills and the right attitude, a recruiter will want to place you in the perfect job.

As part of this process, be willing to accept your recruiter’s advice on how you present yourself, both online and in person. Remember, a recruiter knows your industry and knows a potential employer’s requirements. Respect your recruiter’s opinion and make any necessary adjustments. When they see that you’re taking their advice to heart, it will win you points as they look for the right fit for your next career move.

Utilizing the services of a top recruiter offers you many professional advantages, including access to “hidden” jobs that have not been advertised. Working with a recruiter, however, is not a one-way street and takes honest effort from all sides. By avoiding these common mistakes, you could be on your way to a new and better position much sooner than you thought.

To maximize your job search opportunities, reach out to Nelson and work with a professional recruiting company. For top job prospects in the Bay Area, see our California jobs board.

With unemployment rates remaining low and economic reports and projections for the rest of 2017 still showing strength, the U.S. economy is off to a roaring start in the first quarter of the year. But that doesn’t mean U.S. and California businesses aren’t experiencing significant challenges. When unemployment is low, it becomes more difficult for companies to find and hire qualified employees; and because human resources professionals are on the front lines of hiring, they can often share significant insights on how the economic environment is impacting a company before those trends become apparent in financial reports and other company data.

Nelson surveyed attendees at the recent HR West conference, March 6-8 in Oakland, California, to take a quick pulse check of how the economy is impacting HR professionals and companies in California. We uncovered two key insights:

Insight #1: HR professionals still report experiencing difficulties when trying to fill open positions in 2017.   

HR West 2017: Difficulty HiringNearly 83% of employers experienced at least some difficulty when trying to fill open positions in 2017. This percentage was nearly identical to one reported in a statewide survey Nelson conducted in 2016, revealing that employers are not having an easier time trying to attract talent in 2017.

HR West 2017: Difficulty Hiring (Companies >500 Employees)With unemployment rates continuing to decline, employers face more and more difficulty in finding highly specialized talent – meaning larger companies may experience even more hiring difficulties than smaller ones due to more specialized talent
needs. As companies grow and break out responsibilities into more highly specialized roles, they seek talent with very specific backgrounds and skillsets. Smaller companies may be more likely to look for people who can “wear multiple hats,” reducing the importance of extremely specific experience and skillsets.

This was reflected in our survey, with larger companies more likely than smaller companies to report recent hiring difficulty; over 96% of companies with more than 500 employees reported experiencing at least some difficulty.

Insight #2: Despite strong economic reports, HR professionals are tempered in their economic optimism.

HR West 2017: Economic Confidence LevelOnly 8% of conference attendees surveyed reported having a high level of confidence in the economic outlook for the rest of the year. Even more (14%) reported a low confidence level, while the vast majority of attendees (78%) reported a moderate confidence level.

Uncertainty due to U.S. and international political conditions, rising cost of living (especially housing costs in California), and slow gains in business and wage growth are leveling out the optimism that generally accompanies low unemployment rates and stock market gains.

HR West 2017: Low Economic Confidence LevelEconomic confidence level varied by company size, though; respondents from smaller companies were more likely to report a low economic confidence level (23% at companies with less than 100 employees, vs. just 10% at companies with more than 1,000 employees).

Confidence level also correlated with hiring difficulty experiences. Not one person who reported that hiring has been very difficult in 2017 also reported a high economic confidence level.


While economic data continue to point to growth and progress, optimism is not widespread. Throughout the rest of 2017 and beyond, companies will continue to feel the crunch of talent shortages resulting from low unemployment – especially in industries and specialties where specialized talent is in high demand. Working with a staffing company like Nelson is one strategy for overcoming these talent shortages. If your company is experiencing difficulty finding the talent you need to foster growth and success, contact Nelson to learn how we can help.

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How do I work with the millennial generation? Can they really add value in this enterprise environment? Are they only going to stay for a short time and then leave?

These are questions I hear time and again. My answer is always a resounding “YES!”

We need to hire and embrace the generation that, according to the Harvard Business Review (2012), is going to “make up 50 percent of our workforce in the next four years.”

This means our Gen X management needs to understand how to attract, develop, and retain this new talent. The rules are different this time. This generation looks for jobs through unconventional social media channels; they expect us to text them our offer letters instead of using traditional email.

Being part of the collaborative technology generation, they are well-versed in group texting, group gaming, group projects, and often prefer to work together to solve problems or to meet a deadline.

Continue reading here.


With the unemployment rate dropping below 5 percent for the first time in eight years, it’s no surprise that business owners and senior executives are increasingly concerned with driving employee engagement to retain their top talent.

According to the most recent ADP Midsized Business Owners Study, concerns over employee engagement spiked 25 percent in 2015 after being flat since 2012. The study found two out of five employers surveyed (those with 50-999 employees) now express high levels of concern over engaging their employees to be active contributors to their business.

While employee engagement isn’t a new concept, it’s become more of a hot-button issue as the job market improves. After an economic downturn, there’s typically a rise in voluntary turnover in the United States, meaning the number of employees moving to a new job usually increases.

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Think you know what works when hiring a new employee? Experts say: think again. Most managers skimp on time and energy needed to find the best candidates for a job.

You run your own company. You’ve grown it from the ground-up, and things are going so smoothly you’re ready to expand. That should be simple enough: You have a knack for finding the right people to help business thrive. Right?

Wrong, says Mark Clark, an associate professor at American University’s Kosgod School of Business. “Managers say, oh, I know what I’m looking for,” he says. “Fact is that’s the worst way to hire.”

What’s so flawed about that way of thinking, Clark says, is that it doesn’t leave time or space for the best practices of hiring that are proven to be conducive to finding employees who either become great for their company or stay with the company for the desired amount of time.

“Even though we know what works, which is putting more money up front in the form of more time from the managers, and that ends up resulting in better organizations, people don’t do it because that up-front thing is hardest to manage on a time scale,” Clark says.

Continue reading here.

A founder can’t grow a winning enterprise singlehandedly. Some may try, but it is nearly impossible to do so. Every famous entrepreneur has built a flourishing company with great employees by his or her side.

An entrepreneur can invent and even commercialize an idea as an enterprise of one. In time, however, the tasks of running a business become too great for the entrepreneur to manage alone.  At this point, a savvy leader must find and hire the best workers to help achieve the entrepreneurial dream.

In today’s economy, hiring the best people is more critical than ever. Entrepreneurs can’t afford to lose time, money and results from a bad hiring choice (a recent Forbes article by David K. Williams pegs the cost of a single bad hire at anywhere from $25-50,000). The cost of finding, interviewing, engaging and training new employees is high. Employees also require desks, computers, phones and related equipment, let alone the largest costs of being an employer—salaries, benefits and taxes.

Leaders view new employees as an investment and anticipate an excellent financial return over time.


Continue reading here.


Featuring Drake, Kanye and his G.O.O.D. crew, the women of Haim, and more.

One of 2016’s few redeeming qualities was its music. While we lost a myriad of heroes along the way, rarely has there been a year as stacked with soon-to-be-classic records (especially from black musicians). In 2017, we’ll once again be looking to music to entertain us, unite us, and carry us forward.

Already 2017’s musical forecast looks promising. MGMT has readjusted its comeback plans. Lorde seems confident in her new record. The Gorillaz camp is edging toward a new release as eccentrically as ever. And everyone from Kanye, Arcade Fire, and LCD Soundsystem to the Killers is reportedly in the studio.

But if we learned anything in 2016, it’s that the effects of a rapidly shifting music industry are re-contextualizing how albums are released entirely. In other words, things aren’t nearly as simple as they used to be. It’s grown harder to speak about upcoming albums in definite terms. For all we know, the albums that will excite us the most will arrive late, be leaked early, not come at all, or emerge entirely from left field.

Continue reading here.

Your hunt is over: Best Stuff is GQ’s destination for finding the perfect version of whatever you need. Everything we endorse has been heavily researched and thoroughly tested. You can thank us later.

GQ‘s Favorite: Garmin vivosmart HR+

>$169, buy now at Amazon

Fitness trackers have come a long way since your grandma power-walked hot laps around the local mall and checked her pedometer every time she cruised by Hot Topic. But we’ll say what everyone else in the fitness industry won’t: tracking steps is useless. It’s a meaningless metric. When was the last time you counted steps? The answer is never.

Now fitness trackers will tell you the actual distance you traveled each day with a quantifiable number—miles (or kilometers if you’ve fled this lousy country for our friendly northern border)—which feels far more tangible than hitting the arbitrary 10,000 steps benchmark. And now fitness trackers are practically glorified smartwatches with everything from wrist-based heart rate and GPS to sleep tracking and various exercise modes (swimming! yoga! cycling!). We like the Garmin vivosmart HR+ because it does, well, pretty much everything—only more accurately than other trackers, and with a ridiculously long battery life. Oh, and it’s waterproof to 50 meters for all you dudes who joined your local YMCA after the Olympics to channel your inner Phelps.

 Continue reading here.


Sometimes, even on my best days, I just need a little encouragement at work. Other times, I could use a big kick in the butt to get stuff done. With that said, I can’t always rely on a co-worker or my boss to hold me accountable and be my cheerleader.

Luckily, I can get plenty of inspiration and motivation right from my computer—and just by opening a new tab in my browser. And you can too, if you add one of these extensions to your internet homepage. (Who needs a personal trainer or life coach?)

1. To Stay on Track With Your Goals: Don’t Break the Chain

Don’t Break the Chain is a deceptively simple online tool made famous in the ’90s sitcom Seinfeld. All you do is choose the goal you want to track and then mark an X on the calendar every day you achieve it. The trick is that, once you see a few days in a row marked off, your brain will want you to continue “the chain.”

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In a perfect world, the Oscars would be like the ending of Mean Girls, with everyone getting a piece of a plastic crown. In reality, it took Leonardo DiCaprio more than two decades to take home a trophy, a woman of color hasn’t won Best Actress in the 15 years since Halle Berry’s groundbreaking moment, and, every year, countless worthy performances are overlooked.

But hey, we’ll be watching the show on February 26, anyway. In the meantime, it’s all about sizing up the contenders and perfecting those predictions for the office Oscar pool. Now that the 2017 Academy Awards nominations have been announced, we can roll up our sleeves and get down to business.

Whatever happens, you can bet that Moonlight and La La Land won’t go home empty-handed. Our predictions for who and what will win — a list we’ll be updating weekly — reflect that.

Continue reading here.

LinkedIn: the ultimate networking and career-building website out there. Serving as a digital portfolio, it’s the Resume 2.0. It allows you to showcase yourself as more than just a professional, but also a person you’d want to grab a drink with after work. But, like any social network, in order to get the most out of LinkedIn, you have to figure out the right way to use it.

As a social media marketer, Linkedin is usually a perpetually-open tab on my Mac. In addition to growing the LinkedIn business profile for the company I work for, I love sharing my own blog posts about entrepreneurship and marketing. After recently starting my own #sidehustle, LinkedIn became even more important for building a quality portfolio and connecting with those who need social media and marketing assistance.

Anyone can make a LinkedIn profile, especially in this day and age. All it takes is responding to that pesky invite email in your inbox. But it’s exponentially harder to have one that accurately and energetically conveys what you’re all about, that can be used to build new relationships.

Continue reading here.

Looking for a job can be a challenging process, regardless of whether you’re currently employed or are out of work. Of course, the advantage of being in the latter group is a little thing called time. Instead of trying to figure out how to sift through postings without your boss finding out or devoting nights and weekends to tailoring cover letters and resumes, you have the luxury of throwing yourself 100% into your search.

The downside to this is letting feelings of insecurity and anxiety over being unemployed take over. You might feel frustrated that you haven’t found a job yet. Heck, you might be genuinely worried about how you’re going to pay your bills next month, or you might be feeling like no one will ever want to hire you because if no one has by now, it’s never going to happen.

In spite of any negative feelings you may be harboring over your job status, you need to set them aside if you want to present yourself as a viable candidate. 14 career coaches weigh in on the job search mistakes unemployed people make.

Continue reading here.

You’ve purposely gone out and networked so that you’ll have people to ask for help finding a job.

But instead of responding to you with amazing job openings, they simply say, “Let me know what I can do to help.” So, you just reply with “Thanks!” because you’re not quite sure what to say back.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are lots of ways your contacts can help you job search even if they can’t get you an interview at their company, you just have to know what to ask.

Try one of these four questions:

1. To the Friend With a Sharp Eye: “Could You Proofread My Resume?”

You’ve looked at your resume so many times that you know it by heart. That’s a good thing—except when it comes to checking it over a final time. Because if you’ve missed typos on every prior read-through, there’s a chance you won’t catch them before you send in your application.

And cutting errors out of your materials is an important step to landing more interviews. Especially because most positions require attention to detail—and sending in a typo-free resume is one easy way to show that you have it.

Continue reading here.

If you’ve been applying to opening after opening and not getting any bites (read: interviews or offers), it could be because referred candidates are snagging the roles first.

While you’ve no doubt heard that it’s all about who you know when you’re looking for a job, that’s more true than ever. A recent Jobvite article shared data showing that referred applicants are 15 times more likely to be hired than applicants who apply via a job board.

Crazy, right? Well here’s another fun fact from their 2015 Recruiter Nation survey: Nearly 80% of recruiters noted referrals as the best way to find quality hires, and this figure has remained consistent.

What does this mean for you? Well, for one thing, it cements the importance of networking, but it also makes it abundantly clear where you should be putting your efforts (hint: into meeting people who work at your dream companies). You can pull this off more easily than you think.

Put the word out there that you’re looking for a job. (Literally, send this email to your friends and and family.) Ask them to connect you with anyone they think can help and would be willing to spend time speaking with you. You never know who you’ll meet who might one day have the power to connect you to an awesome opportunity. Be persistent. This isn’t the time to let your nerves get in the way.

Continue reading here.

Holiday celebrations can be a fun way to thank your employees and continue to keep everyone engaged and motivated at work; but it can be tricky to find a good balance between celebrating and keeping things work-appropriate, especially for holidays like St. Patrick’s Day with strong party traditions!

Make sure your St. Patrick’s Day holiday celebration hits all the right notes (while avoiding the wrong ones) with the suggestions from Nelson below.

  1. Prepare a traditional Irish feast.
    Corned beef and cabbage. Irish breakfast. Boxty. Shepherd’s pie. Irish soda bread. Potatoes prepared every which way. The possibilities are nearly endless, especially if you expand the menu to include green foods, regardless of whether they are traditionally Irish!
  2. Green your office.
    Relax your dress code for the day and invite employees to don their green. Pick up some fun dollar store accessories (hats/glasses/bead necklaces/etc.) or office décor and offer them up for a celebratory touch. By providing approved décor, you can also make sure décor doesn’t stray into offensive territory.
  3. Enjoy some Irish music.
    Tune in to a stream (radio or online) of traditional Irish music, or make your own mix of music from more recent Irish artists like the Cranberries and U2. If anyone in your office is musically inclined, invite them to play some traditional Irish tunes. You can also put an Irish dance performance on the office TV!
  4. Honor the Luck-o-the-Irish.
    Celebrate the luck of the holiday with traditional symbols of luck. Host a horseshoe tournament. Hide a paper four-leaf clover somewhere in the office and offer a prize to the person who finds it. Provide a bag of chocolate coins so that everyone can partake in the “gold” at the end of the rainbow!
  5. Celebrate responsibly.
    Even if alcohol is not a part of your official work-sponsored celebration, it’s always a good idea to be sure your company has and shares clear policies regarding alcohol and social engagements. That way, if partygoers choose to continue the fun beyond work hours or offsite, they understand where there might be limits.

Missed the boat on a St. Patrick’s Day celebration? Don’t miss out on the party! Make your own “green” holiday by combining Earth Day with St. Patty’s Day!

Like other holidays, St. Patrick’s Day can be a fun excuse to let loose a little at work. By celebrating in a way that’s respectful and inclusive of traditions, culture, and perspectives, you can help make sure your celebration is a hit.

At Nelson, we understand that experiencing the “Luck-o-the-Irish” in hiring takes more than just luck; it takes preparation, skill, insight, and experience. Work with Nelson, and you’ll feel like you found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with your next new hire!

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The historically difficult hiring market has been top of mind for employers in California lately, especially for those in Marin County. Continued economic growth, extremely low unemployment, soaring housing costs and few teen job seekers all contribute to challenges for employers trying to fill open roles.

On February 1, the Mill Valley, San Rafael, Corte Madera, and Tiburon Chambers of Commerce brought employers and experts together for “Employment 2017: Recruitment, Retention and Employment Law Changes.” Business leaders from around Marin joined the Chambers in Corte Madera to discuss the hiring environment and managing employees in the current economic and regulatory environment and learn from experts.

Debi Geller, account executive with Nelson Staffing in San Rafael, joined employment law attorney Dolores Cordell to provide perspectives on the current employment environment and best practices for employers.

“I’d like to thank the Chambers for this opportunity to discuss the employment environment in Marin,” said Debi. “This topic is crucial to employers struggling to find the right talent and understand the do’s and don’ts of employee management. We at Nelson are pleased to help many area companies with their hiring needs, and we look forward to assisting others as employers continue to face hiring challenges in uniquely structured low-unemployment market.”

Read more about the event and the topics covered on the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center website.

The employment experts at Nelson are constantly examining current employment trends. We stay up-to-date on the latest government and private employment facts and reports, and we also conduct proprietary research, such as the Workforce Trends Survey reported on in our annual Advisor and Salary Guide.

One piece of data we’re asked about often is turnover rate. Our company partners frequently seek to understand industry and location turnover rate averages to help them gauge progress on employee satisfaction. We understand how turnover rate can help companies understand employee engagement to address potential red flags before they become barriers to success. However, many companies don’t fully understand the context needed to understand the full implications of turnover rate.

Here are three things you need to keep in mind when calculating and examining the turnover rate for your company so you can better understand what turnover means for your workforce planning efforts.

  1. Average turnover rate can vary drastically between geographies, industries, and even companies.
    The Bureau of Labor and Statistics tracks some turnover rate data. Other estimates vary drastically depending on the study. For example, hospitality industry turnover estimates range from as low as 30% to more than 70%, depending on the types of businesses involved and where the study was conducted. Turnover rate can also be very sensitive to unemployment rate; in locations with lower unemployment, average turnover rate may be higher as companies routinely poach employees away from other local employers instead of relying on the pool of unemployed workers to hire.
  2. Turnover rate alone is a poor gauge of engagement or productivity.
    For example, if you have a low turnover rate of 5% but all your top producers are leaving, your low turnover rate may not reflect changes or circumstances that could have a tremendous impact on your business success, like an inadequate compensation structure or an incentive program that doesn’t appropriately reward performance. A high turnover rate in only one department could be a clear indicator of poor department leader performance or the conclusion of a large project for which workers were specifically engaged. Always make sure you’re examining differences between groups or departments and asking questions to explain differences or changes so you understand the story behind the numbers.
  3. While it can be beneficial to understand industry turnover rate averages, it can be more valuable to monitor and understand changes in your company’s own turnover rate.
    Knowing industry averages can give you a starting point to examine your own rates, but it may be more beneficial to monitor changes in your company’s rate. For example, if your industry’s average turnover rate is 25% but your turnover rate is 20%, you may think you’re doing well – until you see that your turnover rate from the previous year was only 10%. If you only considered industry average and not year-over-year data, you could entirely miss what business decisions are impacting your company.

As the economy improves and unemployment continues to drop, competition for talent increases which leads to increases in turnover. To combat increases in turnover and make sure your employees stay engaged, you need to understand the current hiring climate, workplace trends, and competitive salary ranges. The workforce experts at Nelson make this easy. Get started preparing your workforce strategies to achieve success in 2017 by requesting Nelson’s 2017 Advisor and Salary Guide.

Request Nelson’s 2017 Advisor and Salary Guide

New sales regional leadership positions designed to foster strategic sales focus and expand service capabilities

Nelson, a leader in California’s staffing and recruiting industry, today announced the addition of several regional sales manager (RSM) positions to facilitate the continued expansion of their workforce support services to meet rising demand. Leaders in these new RSM roles will be responsible for sales strategy implementation for all the company’s divisions within each of their assigned regions. The development of these RSM roles is part of the company’s cohesive sales strategy to optimize operational efficiencies and provide top-tier consultative service to the company’s partners
Implementation of these sales team additions have begun with the promotion of three current Nelson team members into new RSM roles:

Chris Kelley – Regional Sales Manager, Southern California
Chris, currently VP of Strategic Sales, assumes the added responsibility of Regional Sales Manager for Southern California. Chris has been with Nelson for five years and has worked in the staffing industry for over 25 years, holding several executive-level positions. She is a member of the National Human Resources Association, the Call Center Networking Group, and the Distribution Management Association, as well as various committees throughout Southern California.

Erica Kramer – Regional Sales Manager, Central Valley
Erica has successfully grown our Nelson & Associates business in Sacramento over the past two years. A Sacramento native who graduated with honors from Chico State University, Erica is actively involved in many community organizations, including Women’s Empowerment. Erica’s staffing industry experience is not limited to finance and accounting; she worked for two years in general staffing, and was named Nelson’s Rookie of the Year. In this new role, she will oversee sales efforts for Nelson’s offices in Fairfield, Sacramento, and Modesto.

Floyd Given – Regional Sales Manager, North Bay
Floyd brings experience in accounting and finance, as well as general staffing, to this role. He has been with Nelson for three years, demonstrating the unique ability to develop long-lasting relationships with company partners and co-workers. Floyd has won several awards, including being named to Nelson’s prestigious Chairman’s Club and President’s Club. Floyd is very connected in the community both professionally and personally – most notably as a member of the Professional Association of Sonoma County (PASCO) and as coach of the San Francisco Junior Giants. He will oversee sales efforts for Nelson’s offices in San Rafael, Napa, Petaluma, and Santa Rosa.

This adjustment in sales team structure will be implemented in phases, with the addition of regional sales managers in the company’s other sales regions later this year.

“Last year was a landmark year for Nelson in terms of growth and market expansion,” said Tony Bartenetti, Nelson’s president of business development and strategic partnerships. “This move positions our sales team to accommodate the increasing market demand for our full line of workforce support services. I look forward to working with all of our new sales leaders to capitalize on our industry’s current extensive market potential.”

Bartenetti will continue to oversee the company’s cohesive sales strategy and efforts, including the new RSM roles. Joe Madigan, executive vice president of Nelson, will continue to oversee the company’s field operations efforts, including recruiting structure. Both Tony, Joe, and the Nelson executive team and will continue to work closely with field leaders and professionals throughout the organization to effectively and efficiently implement strategies that will allow the company to serve even more company partners with best-in-class staffing and other workforce support services.

Last November, Nelson’s own Melissa Deurloo and 47 other Sonoma County professionals volunteered to spend a long night outside in the cold and rain. The fundraising event, called One Cold Night, is dedicated to raising awareness and support for homeless youth. It is organized by Social Advocates for Youth, a group that helps homeless and former foster youth become stable and able to rise to life’s challenges and opportunities.

This year’s event raised more than $170,000 to support SAY’s new Dream Center, the shelter for foster children and homeless youth where the event was held. Outside, participants slept on concrete and cardboard boxes while struggling to keep warm and dry. Inside, 40 formerly homeless youth slept safely – some for the first time in their lives.

Youth homelessness is a growing concern in Sonoma County. According to The Press Democrat, “…an estimated 2,906 people in Sonoma County are homeless on a given night, nearly a quarter of them, or 663, younger than 25.” The event brought significant public attention to the cause, earning coverage in The Press Democrat and on KTVU2.

Reflecting on the experience, Melissa shared:

“To think about going from waking up cold and wet, folding up my tarp that had been home, spending the day cold and wet, and then having to do it all over again really has me speechless in a certain way. I am humbled to realize I don’t think I could do it and hope that I can continue to support our community so that others don’t have to either.”

You can join Melissa in supporting SAY’s efforts to help foster children and homeless youth by donating socks, sleeping bags, gift cards, and more this winter. For information on how and what to donate, please check SAY’s Wish List posted on their website.

A huge thank you to Melissa, SAY, and the other event participants for working to support homeless youth!

One Cold Night

While Valentine’s Day is primarily known as a romantic holiday for celebrating sweethearts, it can also be a blast to celebrate at work. This Valentine’s Day, liven up your workplace celebration with some passion (work-appropriate, of course!) by trying the ideas below.

  1. Host a red party.
    Host a red party for lunch. Use only red decorations and encourage attendees to wear only red clothing and accessories, or bring red pot luck dishes. Get creative and award prizes for the most festive red outfit, most unexpected red food, the tastiest dish, etc. You can also host a “red” elephant gift exchange, with only red gifts! Match your tunes by making a playlist of songs that all have “love” or “red” in the title. Include a “Guess the Kisses” jar (with red Hershey’s Kisses, of course!) and award the winner with the kisses jar and a prize like movie tickets for two or an extra afternoon off. Don’t forget to set up a Valentine’s Day photo booth corner with red boas, wax lips, red hats, etc.!
  2. Have a “heart to heart” conversation contest.
    A day or two ahead of time, download and print our easy conversation heart contest Microsoft Word template and customize for your workplace. Print one sheet for every five people and cut out the words. Then, give each participant a stack of words and a box of conversation hearts, and instruct them to write a sentence that uses at least three conversation hearts! Award prizes for longest sentence, most applicable to your workplace, funniest, sweetest, etc.
  3. Play Valentine-themed Pictionary or charades.
    Bring paper and pens and ask participants to submit titles of (again, work-appropriate!) love-related movies, songs, etc. Then play Pictionary or charades, awarding a prize to the winning team.
  4. Focus on the real heart.
    Since February is American Heart Month, Valentine’s Day is a great reminder to focus on heart health. Get active by taking the team roller skating or hiking, or forming a company softball team. Start a healthy recipe exchange Pinterest board or invite a local nutritionist to come in and provide a seminar on cooking healthy foods. Don’t forget to promote any health-related benefits you offer, like gym membership discounts or fitness classes.
  5. Spread the love in your community.
    Valentine’s Day is the perfect time of year to show love to not just your sweetie, but also to people in need. Get involved with a local charity to spread the love! For extra teambuilding, plan an activity where most of the team can participate. Hold a month-long penny drive (try setting up a competition between departments), or put together bikes to donate to a local children’s charity. Try to offer more than one way to get involved so people have the option to donate time or funds.

With these tips, this Valentine’s Day will be one to remember!

At Nelson, we LOVE working with our partners. This Valentine’s day and beyond, if you’re looking for a special someone to add to your team, call Nelson. We’ll find you the perfect match!

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