All posts tagged: bristol associates
Kelly Nelson sitting in a prior Bristol office in 2004

Pictured: Kelly Nelson in a prior Bristol office in 2004

April 17, 2019 – Today marks Senior Vice President Kelly Nelson’s 24th year at Bristol Associates. Kelly joined Bristol in 1995 as an executive recruiter in the Hotels & Resorts industry. He became a key contributor in the development of the Travel/Tourism, Theme Park & Attractions, and Facilities & Concession Services practices that further expanded our Hospitality industry practice to what it is today.

He is a native of the Midwest and a proud alumnus of The University of Iowa as a member of the fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta. He is a past and/or current member of numerous professional associations, including AHLA, HSMA, SITE, MPI, USTOA, PATA, ASTA, CLIA, and IAAPA.  Prior to Bristol Associates, Kelly served as Vice President Marketing, Lady Luck Gaming; Sr. Vice President Sales and Marketing at Hawaiian Airlines; and COO of The Carlson Travel Group.

We asked Kelly a series of questions to reflect on his career journey thus far.

How did you join Bristol Associates?
In 1994, I was serving as the Vice President of Marketing for Lady Luck Gaming Corporation, based in Las Vegas. We were opening casinos in Mississippi, Iowa, and Colorado, and Bristol Associates was our executive recruiting firm of choice. I met personally with the owner, Jim Bright, and he assisted me in filling numerous property level positions. Lady Luck reorganized in late 1994, and I suddenly found myself a candidate, as opposed to a client. Jim approached me several months later and asked if I would consider executive recruiting, and the rest was history.

What is your favorite memory working at Bristol Associates?
I think assisting in the recruiting, training, and mentoring of new employees joining the company, and in so doing – adding to the development of our corporate culture. Now, I actually report to one of these (no longer so) junior associates. Our President and current owner Ben Farber joined the organization in August of 2003, and now provides direction and leadership to the organization. I find it a very memorable accomplishment to assist young people in the growth of their careers.

What is your proudest accomplishment at Bristol Associates?
My proudest accomplishment came last year. It was a story of “coming full cycle”. I started my career directly after college, and my first managerial assignment was in the travel industry working as a Branch Manager for AAA Iowa World Travel. I was a working retail travel agent, and managed a small branch in Waterloo, Iowa. Last year, Bristol Associates was selected by the National American Automobile Association (AAA) to manage their search for a key executive to lead their entire travel enterprise. While it is just one of the many significant placements that I have made in the industry, I am particularly proud that I was able to give back to an organization that was so integral to my early career success.

In what ways has Bristol Associates changed from when you first started working for the company?
The obvious answer is technology and the progressive use of the internet as a recruiting tool. However, what may be more important is to reflect on is what has not changed at Bristol Associates.  While trends and techniques have changed, we have never wavered from our steadfast commitment to ethical operation, quality, high touch customer service, and confidentiality for both clients and candidates.

In what ways have you changed since you started working at Bristol Associates?
I was virtually untrained in matters of technology – I did not even own a personal computer. Hard to imagine in retrospect. I had the other attributes for success in recruiting – transactional skills, the ability to negotiate, marketing skills, closing abilities, etc.  But, without the training provided by Bristol, I would not have been able to keep up with the advance of technology.

What has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?
I have always had a strong motivation to succeed.  I had already worked in sales and had experience in dealing with rejection.  I think principle to my success has been my ability to garner an understanding of the needs of the customer, and to find creative ways to fill that need.  I have focused on the theory of “find the need and fill it” throughout my career.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Growing up as a kid, my father was a salesperson. It became apparent to me in life that I had the ability to influence, negotiate, and close. It was just a question of where to apply those skills in a future career.  My interest in foreign travel and adventure drove me to the travel industry. Truly, my avocation became my vocation.

What hobbies do you do outside of work?
I am an avid international adventure traveler, recently returning from the Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. I have had the opportunity to travel extensively, visiting virtually all continents in the world. These adventures have included eight major trips to Africa. As a somewhat associated hobby, I am a collector of cartography (antique maps), and an amateur photographer. I generally find a way to get a round of golf in every week.

Congratulations Kelly for 24 years at Bristol Associates! Your strong dedication and commitment to the company and Hospitality industry has brought inspiration and life-changing career opportunities to many. We are fortunate to have an exemplary mentor like yourself on our team.


Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for companies in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital/healthcare, hotels/resorts, travel/tourism/attractions, facilities/concessions, and restaurant businesses.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a job seeker.

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Image of a magnifying glass hovering over the words "Dream Job." Surrounding the magnifying glass are clouds, an arrow and target, a CV resume, and a briefcase. - What Do Executive Candidates Look For In Employers?

In today’s job market, employers are competing to attract quality candidates into their companies. Because candidates have more opportunities available to them, it is important for employers to understand what they can do to be distinguished as a viable choice of employment.

Bristol recently posted the results to last year’s Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey Results, which received a total of 1,363 respondents. Executives were asked to rank six factors from highest to lowest priorities when it came down to choosing their employers. The six factors include: Career Opportunity and Growth; Compensation (i.e. base, bonus, stock, grants, and options); Corporate Culture (i.e. receiving recognition in job, relationship with co-workers and immediate supervisor, company values); Job Security; Location; and Weather and Lifestyle.

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Recruitment Tips: Hire Smart

This piece is an adaptation of a previous article written by Roberta Borer in 1995, who was a former SVP here at Bristol Associates, Inc. Roberta was in the executive search business for over 30 years and specialized in the healthcare industry.

The competition to attract, recruit, and retain employees is keen. As an employer, how do you make your job offer the one top candidates accept?

Before starting the hiring process, use the need to hire a new employee as an opportunity to examine the organization and the reason why past employees left. Take an objective look at the program and use this vacancy as an opportunity to correct or amend what can be done to benefit the organization.

Is this a “fill-able” job? If the company is experiencing high turnover, consider the following: Is the compensation offered appropriate for the position? Is the position the right need for the company? Is the company in a geographic location that makes it challenging to attract top-notch candidates?

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InMail[Image] Hiring Professional Sending InMail to Network

LinkedIn has become a fundamental resource for connecting with a diverse pool of experienced professionals. The platform provides a way to search for and approach executives via InMail – a premium feature that allows hiring authorities and executive recruiters to send messages to members who are not in their social network.

Our executive recruiters share their tips on how to reach out to quality candidates via LinkedIn InMail:

Personalize. The candidate is less likely to respond if the message appears to be sent to the masses. State the reason why the message is relevant to them, whether it be their specific industry experience or skillsets that would make a great fit for the position.

Be clear and concise. The message to the candidate should be brief and to the point. Having an InMail with too many paragraphs can overwhelm the recipient and obscure the basic message.

Emphasize through format. Bold, underline, or italicize key phrases and sentences that candidates should take away from the overall message. Also, be mindful about the amount of emphasis included in the message. Too many font changes defeats the purpose of highlighting the important areas of the InMail.

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[image] businessman jumping over hurdles / recruitment challenge

A recruiter has the opportunity to interact with diverse candidates and clients, which can lead to unique experiences for each search. While it is the recruiter’s responsibility to alleviate the absence of talent for companies needing to hire, what happens when the recruiter encounters obstacles that can hinder the recruitment process?

Our executive recruiters share recruitment challenges often faced during the search process, and helpful strategies to overcome them.

Recruitment Challenge #1: Lack of Available, Qualified Candidates

With a low unemployment rate, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find candidates. Nearly half of U.S. hiring managers report that they do not see enough qualified candidates when they have an open position. Simply employing the same tried and true recruiting methods will be insufficient in the current candidate market.

In hiring environments such as this, recruiters should be creative and proactive in their sourcing methods to find the right candidate. Networking, industry-specific job boards, and social media platforms are all ways to find candidates. Many organizations still do not utilize these channels effectively.

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[Image] Employer and candidate negotiating with recruiter in between them

By Kelly Nelson

It is common for the client and candidate to seek the recruiter’s guidance when it comes to the negotiation stage of the recruitment process. The recruiter needs to develop a true trust relationship with both the client and the candidate.

While the recruiter must understand the objectives and limitations of his or her client company, they must also understand the various motivations of the candidate. This results in the recruiter’s ability to pull both parties together in any negotiation. The experienced recruiter should have the ability to form creative solutions that draw on these understandings and provide meaningful benefit to each party.

Negotiating For Clients

The recruiter must be able to suggest creative solutions to clients that provide unique methods of reaching closure with candidates. Oftentimes, the client company is unable and unwilling to adjust the base salary when asked by the candidate. There are many ways to solve this apparent impasse. We have assisted clients in creating partial guarantee bonuses, sign on bonuses, additional perquisites, more aggressive bonus plans, and enhanced relocation packages that result in narrowing the gap between the two parties’ negotiation positions.

Read More: Ask a Recruiter: What Company Perks Do Candidates Really Want?

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business woman with question marks over head thinking about executive recruitment questions

Looking to find the right candidate for the company? Hiring an executive recruiter can be beneficial to employers – not only does it alleviate the workload of the search process, but it also brings an industry expert’s perspective in filling the position based on the needs and desires of the company. Before fully committing to the idea of utilizing an executive search firm’s services, it’s understandable for clients to have questions, especially if it’s their first time working with a recruiter.

We asked our recruiters to answer client’s commonly asked questions regarding the executive recruitment process.

Q: Bristol Associates, Inc. is based in Los Angeles, CA. Do you manage searches in areas other than the West Coast?

Kelly Nelson, Sr. Vice President

A: We have been recruiting on a National basis for the past 30 years. There was a time when recruiters were geographically focused. The advances in communications, the internet, social media, and job boards have enabled recruiters to reposition on a national (and international) basis. We regularly conduct search assignments in the Midwest, East Coast, Southeast, and Southwestern United States. With that said, the question is appropriate as there are recruiters who have not adjusted their focus. Our national reach allows us to source candidates for key positions in all market areas.

(Click here to fill out Bristol Associates’ Employer Inquiry Form today!)

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businessman with question marks over head thinking about executive recruitment questions
For potential candidates unfamiliar with the executive recruitment process, it’s common to have questions before feeling comfortable submitting a resume or participating in the hiring process of a career opportunity. At Bristol Associates, our executive recruiters do their best to give helpful and candid guidance that is beneficial to both the candidates and clients of our business.

We asked three of our recruiters to give their insight on commonly asked questions they received while working with candidates during the executive recruitment process.

Q: Can I call you to discuss the position I saw advertised on your website?

David Alford, Director

A: As recruiters, we are on the phone much of the day. To save us time and not waste your time, we like to get your resume prior to scheduling a conversation to ensure that the position you saw advertised is a good fit for both you and our client. Click here to submit your resume through our website.
 

 

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December is a month of reflection and we look back with pride on what has been an incredibly eventful year here at Bristol Associates. We celebrated a major milestone in our 50th anniversary, overcame significant business hurdles, acquired terrific technological upgrades and have solidified an outstanding team of hard-working and thoughtful recruitment experts! We are especially grateful for your business and look forward to continuing our tradition of providing exceptional executive search services.

Best wishes to you and yours this holiday season. We hope that 2017 was a year filled with fond memories and we look forward to partnering with you again in 2018.

Happy New Year!

Peter Stern and David Alford

Pictured: Peter Stern (left) and David Alford (right)

Continuing our 50-year tradition of excellence in recruitment, we are proud to announce the newest member of our team! Please welcome David Alford, Director of our Food & Beverage Manufacturing division.

David will be replacing Sr. Vice President Peter Stern, who leaves behind a tradition of excellence after 28 years of service. Peter made a positive impact on a countless number of companies and even more careers. Our firm is very proud of the successful and highly-recognized national practice that he developed and maintained.

“It’s been an honor to serve our great industry and the many people who work in it for these many years. Going forward, you’ll be in good hands with David at the helm.”

– Peter Stern

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