Create a Diversity & Inclusion Policy to Build Trust

By Rebecca Ferlotti

Diversity has become something of a requirement for businesses in 2019, with 67% of job seekers identifying “diversity” as an important factor in potential employers. There are different types of diversity you can support within your business – race, culture, age, lifestyle, ability, and gender, among other things – and having a healthy mix of these groups not only reflects the clientele you serve, but it also promotes creativity and trust among your employees.

Evaluate your current team and identify your diversity issues. Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, create a diversity and inclusion (D&I) policy to hold everyone accountable and foster equity within the workplace.

What is a diversity and inclusion policy?

A diversity and inclusion policy is a section within your employee handbook (and on your website!) that primarily states that no employee or prospective employee will face discrimination for any reason; they will solely be judged upon their qualifications for the job position.

The policy contains an overarching intention statement about the importance of diversity within your company. It also addresses specific areas of concern, how you plan on reaching a more diverse candidate pool, and diversity growth objectives.

An effective diversity and inclusion policy encourages a shared attitude between all employees of an organization, promoting equity.

How to get the word out

Once your D&I policy is finalized, write a press release to let people know your company has a program in place. Consider developing a diversity and inclusion task force to assist in holding team members accountable, or even appoint a diversity manager.

Employees talk. Develop programs they would appreciate that they are more likely to share with their networks, as employee referrals are a key source for diverse talent. A few examples of these kinds of initiatives include: creating a women’s group within your company to attract top female talent, broadening your geographical search for job candidates, and considering cultural sensitivity training so employees can develop a passion for team member-driven advocacy.

Test and reevaluate as you grow

After a few months with your new policy, determine your successes and pitfalls. How was the program successful, and how could it be improved? Seek out employee input and talk with your leadership team to understand how your D&I policy works at all levels within your company.

If your team is reluctant to change, check your company culture. Figure out if there is a root to any hesitation, hold meetings to discuss the policy, and provide training for team members to improve the transition to a more inclusive environment. It’s crucial everyone buys into the D&I program. Any policy violations should be taken seriously and handled as soon as possible.

Creativity, innovation, and profitability are all reasonable business-related reasons to implement a diversity policy. More importantly, the trust you build with your existing and prospective employees will take your company to the next level. A D&I policy reflects your office’s ideals – make sure the reflection is positive.

by Catherine Tansey

You’re not alone if the first thought that temp work brings to mind is secretarial tasks; and while plenty of administrative roles are filled through staffing, firms like Nelson have expanded far beyond this narrow niche in recent decades. Some specialize in technical disciplines while others focus on light industrial services or finance and accounting staff. (Or, if they’re like Nelson, they provide temporary and direct-hire staff in all three categories – and more!). Whatever the role, temporary staffing is one of the best ways to navigate the current talent shortage and widening skills gap.

Whether you need extra help for a big project, extra staff for your busiest time of year, or people to fill unexpected manpower gap, working with a staffing agency can help your business keep costs low, find specialized help, and get an extra set of hands—fast. Why work with a staffing agency to find temporary workers? Read on below.

Improve the Productivity of Full-Timers

While there are plenty of people who work well under pressure, rarely is top-performing work completed by employees who are completely swamped or overwhelmed. Using temporary staff can help improve the productivity of your full-time employees by freeing up some of their time. By re-allocating the low-hanging fruit or administrative work elsewhere, full-timers can hone the specialized work only they can do.

Capitalize on Flexibility

Staffing agencies are designed to get you the help you need fast. And what temporary workers may lack in institutional know-how, they make up for in flexibility. For business owners or hiring managers facing unforeseen situations like an employee emergency or an incoming large order, temporary staffing can help fill in the holes while employers find a more permanent solution.

Fill Your Talent Pipeline

Temporary workers are an excellent way to “try before you buy.” Consider keeping superstar temp workers top of mind when contract work or full-time positions become available. This way, employers already have a glimpse into the often-unknowables of hiring like culture fit, work ethic, and attitude.

Lower Payroll Costs

As temporary workers are employed by a staffing agency and not by your organization, you’re off the hook for benefits, paid time off, sick time, or unemployment. This can help keep your payroll overhead down while also filling the personnel and skills gaps of the office.

Increase Morale

Diminished morale is a killer for employers. This lack of confidence or belief in your institution’s mission can spread quickly through the workforce—and is often due to a lack of resources and subsequently burned out staff. Bringing in temporary workers helps boost morale by lessening the load of full-timers, and sending a reassuring message that you see their struggles and are here to help.

Access Specialized Skills

Staffing agencies employ all sorts of people. If your business finds itself in need of highly technical work that no one of your payroll is equipped to handle, consider temporary work through a staffing agency like Nelson. Work with them to seek out specialized skills like data analytics, supply chain management, and more. Temporary workers can help you bridge the gap until you find a more permanent solution without compromising the wellbeing of your business.

Whether seeking specialized help or solving for a lack in human capital needs, temporary workers are a time-tested way to get the help you need quickly. Nelson has been matching talented job seekers with opportunities for nearly 50 years. Learn more about how we can help today.


by Catherine Tansey

The in-person interview is one of the most important aspects of the hiring process, and candidates aren’t the only ones who should be preparing for it. A resume and cover letter say a lot about a candidate’s career progression and qualifications, but an interview allows the manager a glimpse of the candidate’s intelligence, attitude, and ability to integrate into the current team. Whether you’re a first-time hiring manager or a seasoned vet, you know there’s no one-size-fits-all approach and that interviewing is an art that gets better with practice and preparation. Read on for our top interview tips for mangers below.

Come Prepared

This sounds like a no-brainer, but lack of preparation happens more often than you might think. There are all sorts of reasons managers want to “freestyle” when it comes to conducting interviews: some have grown confident in their ability to do so with little prep, while others feel better “just winging it.” Whatever your reason, it’s likely a bad one. Preparation is the most important interview tip for managers. In the candidate-driven talent market today, individuals are looking to see that prospective employers care about them. One of the best ways to do so? Re-read your interviewee’s resume and cover letter fifteen minutes before the interview. The in-depth research you’ve already conducted will be easier to recall when you’ve had a quick refresher right before you talk.

Practice Active Listening

Listening isn’t just about hearing the words but rather understanding what a person is conveying to you. This demands a focus on verbal language (the actual words), paralanguage (elements like pitch and intonation), and body language (like eye contact and hand placement). While follow-up questions can be useful, try the old journalists’ trick of pausing after a candidate has finished talking before asking the next question. Often, individuals will give their best answer after having a moment to “practice” a few thoughts first.

Vary Your Types of Questions

Much like written language, verbal language and communication is best when it’s varied. Good writers understand the power of playing with sentence length and syntax the same way expert interviewers mix up their types and styles of questions. The four most commonly-seen questions in an interview are closed-ended, open-ended, hypothetical, and off-the-wall. Draw from a variety of these types of questions to keep the interview from feeling too much like an interrogation. As for the off-the-wall question, limit to one, or feel free to omit completely if it feels “off” for your company culture.

Make the Interviewee Comfortable

The old days of intimidating a potential new hire are very much over. You want your candidate feeling wholly at ease so they can put their most authentic self forward. An important interview tip for managers is to help interviewees feel comfortable by offering water, coffee, and introducing them to others in the office. Go a step further and outline the format of the interview so the candidates know what to expect. A simple introduction of yourself and the company followed by a few words explaining that you’ll discuss the job, ask questions, and then they’ll have their turn to do the same can help level the proverbial playing field.

Ask for feedback

You want to impress the candidate just as much as they want to impress you. Show individuals you’re interested in their opinion by asking them for it. Hiring for a web developer position? Ask them one way your company could improve its own website. Seeking a content marketing manager? Offer candidates a chance to critique thought leadership content on your blog. Done well, these questions show an openness for feedback and collaboration: two must-haves for any in-demand employer.

Take Notes

It’s easy to think you’re internalizing the information from an interview as it’s happening—especially when you’ve made a strong connection with a potential new hire, but recall can be a considerable challenge after the fact. It’s best to take notes both as the interview progresses and once it’s over. Block off thirty minutes post-interview to transcribe an in-depth account of your conversation with the candidate and how you felt they performed. These notes will provide an accurate summary of your experience with the potential new hire and help trigger the impression they left with you.

Employers everywhere are trying to attract top talent. But in this increasingly lean labor market, candidates aren’t the only ones being interviewed during the process. Potential new hires want to see that a prospective employer has done their research, is listening to what they have to say, and values their opinion. Want to continue to ensure your position as an employer of choice? Lean on our top interview tips for managers today.

by Rebecca Ferlotti

Over time, “diversity” and “inclusion” have shifted from buzzwords to attainable and necessary goals for business owners. It is important to look at all types of diversity when identifying diversity shortcomings, and not only pay attention to demographics but also to psychographics as well. Many companies are moving towards a more holistic hiring approach, one that seeks out a broader talent pool and takes extra measures to remove biases.

Ultimately, the advantages of having a diverse workforce far exceed having a homogeneous team; companies that have low cultural and gender diversity are 29% less likely to achieve above average profitability. And with all the added benefits—creativity, trust, and relatability—the decision to make diversity a priority is not a difficult choice.

Diversity encourages creativity

With any business, it is important to look at the big picture to spur innovative ideas. That creative sweet spot starts with a diverse group of people, all with unique world views and experiences. If everyone on your team looks the same, acts the same, and thinks the same, business might stay steady, but it is highly unlikely it will remain on an upwards profit trajectory.

A study done for the American Psychological Association uncovered when individuals have intercultural friend groups, they were more likely to showcase desirable employee traits such as entrepreneurial spirit. When your team members are exposed to that diversity, creativity is right around the corner.

Diversity builds trust with your team

When your team members feel left out, they’re less likely to innovate, but if you support diversity and inclusion, there is an 83% uptick in innovation. A diverse team begins with an inclusive environment, so all employees and C-level managers need to be on board, continually fostering and buying into the concept that diversity is a key to success.

Train employees to use inclusive language—ensuring no one is misgendering another employee, among other protocols—and have a way for employees to report discrimination. Make diversity a crucial part of your organizational success, and your team will thrive.

A diverse workforce reflects your diverse clientele

Consumers are not all the same. The more diverse your team, the better the chances are someone will be able to relate to each customer. Much of that relatability is affected by  perceived similarities, or attributes customers believe they have in common with employees. Discussions they have with your team members cause affinity to grow as they uncover actual similarities. In a ubiquitous internet-driven world with global market capabilities, a diverse and inclusive work environment gives your company the highest chance for success in attracting a wide-ranging clientele.

Companies have made great strides in fostering a diverse and inclusive workspace, but there are always more initiatives and better ways to reach out to diverse job candidates. The crux of a diverse team is its management. Continue to hold each other accountable, no matter who needs a reminder, and your business will have a better chance to thrive.

Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

While, at Nelson, we believe that every day should be a day to celebrate administrative professionals, we also believe that admins – those who work for us and those we help place at companies all over California – deserve a special day to honor all that they do to keep our workplaces running.

To mark this special occasion, here are some fun facts about administrative professionals day and the wonderful workers it celebrates:

  1. Being an admin is more than just hard work – it’s certifiably hard! The International Association of Administrative Professionals offers a Certified Professional Secretary exam to admins who want to take their careers to the next level.
  2. “Administrative Professionals Day” used to be known as “National Secretaries Day,” which was first recognized in 1952.
  3. As of 2016, there were approximately 3,990,400 jobs for secretaries and administrative assistants in the U.S.; and as of May 2018, there were 2,438,780 people in office and administrative support positions in California alone.
  4. The annual mean wage for administrative support professionals in California is between $39,990 and $53,710, which is among the highest paying states in the country. (San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara and San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward are the metro areas with the top two highest annual mean wages for admins.)
  5. In the Los Angeles metro area, there are about 154 administrative professionals per 1000 jobs – the second-highest concentration in the country, after the New York City metro area.
  6. 85% of admins are female, and 42% have been with their company for 6 or more years.
  7. Did you know that Nelson has recruiters who are dedicated to finding Administrative Assistants and other clerical and office support professionals? Whether you’re looking for a job or looking for an amazing new admin, we have you covered.

Make sure to take some time to celebrate your administrative professionals for all of the work they do to keep the office running smoothly. They are the true heroes of the workplace!



At Nelson, we care deeply about the communities where we live, work, and play. Through the Nelson beCAUSE program, everyone at Nelson, from individual contributors to community-based teams and even the company as a whole, is empowered to give back. We support the causes we care about through volunteerism, donation-matching, and corporate grants. In this series, you’ll learn more about Nelson’s philanthropic employees:  

Meet Taylor Andres, Executive Assistant. 

Taylor Andres, Nelson executive assistant

Tell us about your favorite charity or volunteer gig.

There are several charities and volunteer gigs that I hold close to my heart. Every year my family participates in the Sacramento Pancreatic Cancer walk to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer. We unfortunately lost my grandpa to this horrible disease, so we love to support researching a cure.

In high school I was part of a volunteer group that volunteered for several different organizations. Two of my favorite activities were the event we put on for the Love-A-Child Homeless Recovery Center called April’s Angels and when we would teach children from the local homeless shelter how to swim, called Jump In. I was in charge of Jump In during my senior year. We would provide the children with swim suits, towels, flip flops, and snacks, while spending the day teaching them how to swim at the pool. As someone who grew up spending their summer on a swim team, it was amazing to see these children relax, get to be children, and also gain a sense of empowerment as they learned to swim. April’s Angels for the Love-A-Child Homeless Recovery Center was the biggest event we put on for the year. Each high-school-age group was in charge of a different aspect of the event: games for kids, haircuts and manicures for the moms, repairs and gardening around the center, and a BBQ.

Do you have a particular act of charitable giving or volunteering that stands out to you?

There is one story that really resonates with me from my years of volunteering. One night around Christmas, my family and I (mom, dad and brother) decided that instead of giving each other presents that year, we were going to take the money we would’ve spent and use it to buy toys for children in need. My mom was able to get in contact with a safe home for women and children who had escaped abusive homes and arrange for a donation. As a family, we went to Target and spent about an hour picking out toys, clothes, and other fun presents for the children. We went home and wrapped them as a family and went and delivered them to the home. Seeing the children’s faces light up as they saw all the presents will forever be engraved in my mind and my heart. Being able to bring them some extra joy is what truly touches my heart and reminds me that bringing joy to others is why I love to volunteer. 

Tell us about your involvement with the Nelson beCAUSE program.

Through Nelson, two of the events I have participated in were working a table at the Lafayette Art & Wine Festival with the Pleasanton team and working at the warming tent during this year’s Make-A-Wish event.

I loved the Make-A-Wish event, as it showed a huge sense of community to not only work to beat a horrible disease, but also bring some joy to someone fighting this disease.

What is your “beCAUSE”?

My beCAUSE is the feeling I get when I do philanthropic work. My entire life. I have always wanted to give back to others and help those less fortunate. I am very lucky to have grown up with a roof over my head, a supportive family, and never having to worry about where my next meal is going to come from. There are so many people in the world who are not as fortunate. Giving back or doing something as little as giving a homeless child time to just be a child not only makes me feel like I am making a difference, but also helps to keep me grounded and humble.

You can learn more about the Nelson beCAUSE program here.  

The employer-employee relationship has come a long way. Organizations need top talent to innovate at the increasing pace needed to compete in the modern era, and engaged employees are eager to deliver for the companies that treat them best. Now more than ever, the power balance has shifted toward recognition of this mutually beneficial dynamic. While pay isn’t the only deciding factor, it’s certainly an important consideration—and the pressure is on for organizations to manage employee expectations gracefully.

Embrace Transparency

Transparency has always been a key part of how the top global employers manage salary expectations, but in the age of online ratings and reviews, companies must be willing to discuss their pay strategy with a sense of openness. A workforce that understands its employers’ approach to incorporating market rates, prevailing practices, cost of living, and professional experience into salary considerations is more likely to feel confident they’re being compensated fairly.

Negotiate with Benefits

Salary is just one aspect of compensation. Negotiating with additional benefits can help organizations get top talent in the door while both keeping payroll in check and satisfying employee expectations. Does your company offer a revenue sharing arrangement or vested stock options? Highlighting these perks can help current and prospective employees see a more holistic picture of the value they gain through employment with your organization.

Use Your Resources

The free flow of information on the web has made conversations about the workplace more honest and open. Prospective employees relish the chance for an inside look at companies, while others use these platforms to compare their respective ongoing employment experiences. But employees aren’t the only ones who can benefit. Use workplace social media sites likes Glassdoor, Indeed, and to understand the current landscape and see what employees have to say about your organization’s pay and workplace experience.

Be Flexible

What’s important to one employee may be of little consequence to another. Try to understand specific drivers for individuals to best navigate salary and compensation conversations. For some employees, the prospect of commission is hugely motivating, while, for others, a flexible working arrangement is more enticing. The key is to explore other drivers for staff and make these options available.

Talk About Money

In the past, employers held all the power when it came to compensation discussions and decisions. That’s not the case anymore. With a lean labor market and the visibility enabled by online reviews, salary and benefits discussions have become more mutualistic. One of the best ways to manage employee salary expectations? Talk about them—and not only during the increasingly obsolete annual review, but on a regular basis. Encourage an open dialogue about what’s working and what’s not regarding pay and perks and use 1:1s as an opportunity to check-in with employees.

Managing salary expectations can be challenging, awkward, and uncomfortable but it doesn’t have to be. Be it with top tier candidates for open positions or existing employees, it’s important to make sure individuals feel that they are valued and respected and that their organization is invested in them.



The prestigious Staffing Industry Analysts listing includes Madigan after a banner year as CEO

SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 22, 2019) – Today, Nelson, one of the largest independent staffing firms in the U.S., announces that its CEO, Joe Madigan, has been recognized on the Staffing Industry Analysts 2019 Staffing 100 List.

This annual list acknowledges and celebrates leaders who are driving growth and innovation in the staffing industry. The list includes CEOs, like Madigan, as well as entrepreneurs, technologists, workforce specialists, legal advisors, data scientists and more, from a range of different kinds of companies and niches–from traditional staffing to human cloud platforms to MSP/VMS to RPO.

“The 2019 Staffing 100 North America stand out as leaders, executives and visionaries and for their significant commitment to empowering people. From job-seekers and internal talent to partners and stakeholders across the ecosystem, the Staffing 100 honorees understand that people helping people is both a competitive advantage and a way to advance the world of work for all,” said Subadhra Sriram, Editor & Publisher, Media Products, SIA. “Congratulations to those individuals named to this year’s list for their achievements and contributions and for making it, ultimately, about people.”

Madigan became the CEO of Nelson in January of 2018. He joined the company fourteen years ago as a Branch Manager and worked his way up to the top leadership position. Under his leadership, the company has grown, with 16% temp sales growth and 21% net income growth year-over-year respectively.

In addition, Madigan created the Nelson beCAUSE philanthropy program, which allows Nelson employees to support charitable causes in their communities. In 2018, the beCAUSE committee granted over $75,000 to local charities. Nelson was recognized as one of the top philanthropic companies in the Bay Area, ranking 18 out of 100 overall and fourth for most giving per employee.

“I am honored to be a part of the SIA Staffing 100 list for 2019 – helping this company grow, first as an individual contributor, and now as a leader, has been such a rewarding part of my career,” said Madigan. “In addition, this role has given me the opportunity to create rewarding careers for workers all over California and the U.S., including for those employed directly by Nelson. I look forward to continuing to make Nelson an integral part of the business communities across our state and the country.”

Nelson, which is based in Sonoma, California, has provided staffing, recruiting, and payrolling solutions to organizations of all sizes and across industries for nearly fifty years. For more information about Nelson, visit