Author Archives: Rick Dacri

About Rick Dacri

Rick Dacri is one of those rare individuals who can take difficult employee issues, sort through their complexities, and find solutions for employers that make sense. Dacri brings more than 25 years of experience in senior management, organizational development, and human resources, all in one package. He has consulted to a wide variety of industries, large and small, always brings to the table a practical approach, sound advice, and a sense of humor. Dacri is the president and founder of Dacri & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in helping business owners and managers improve the performance and productivity of their organization and workforce. Much of Rick’s success can be attributed to his ability to work with managers to get to the heart of their problems and provide them practical solutions with simple, straightforward steps for implementation. Rick is a recognized national speaker, speaking at conferences on leadership, organizational change and human resources. He is a prolific writer, authoring the book Uncomplicating Management and over 100 articles for a number of business publications. He is also a regular contributor to several industry associations’ journals and newsletters. He has been an adjunct professor at Clark University, Assumption College and Fitchburg State College, where he has taught courses in management, organizational behavior, and human resource management. Rick serves on a number of boards and has served as President of the Human Resource Association of Southern Maine, as the Massachusetts State Director for the Society for Human Resource Management as well as the President of the Human Resource Association of Central Massachusetts. Rick holds a MBA from Clark University and a Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude from Assumption College. He lives on the coast of Maine where the sites, sounds and smells of the ocean give him inspiration and strength.

Help Wanted Ad: City Manager, Rockland Maine

help-wantedThe City of Rockland is seeking an experienced, progressive and forward thinking City Manager.

Rockland is located in the heart of Midcoast Maine. With a thriving working waterfront, vibrant economy and downtown district, historic buildings and an art community that includes the Farnsworth Art Museum, its Wyeth Center and the Strand Theatre that contribute to the cultural pulse of the City, Rockland is an outstanding place to work, live and enjoy.

While each year tourists flock to the City, Rockland enjoys a year round population of 8,000 and a growing business community and economy that is expanding beyond commercial fishing to include boatbuilding, light manufacturing and a thriving financial service sector. The City has 100 full-time employees and a $16 million operating budget.

Rockland operates under a city charter, council-manager form of government with a five-member council elected city wide and serving three year staggered terms. The City Manager is selected by and reports to the Council.

The ideal candidate will have strong finance, operations, labor and management skills; experience as a town or city manager; and the ability to work effectively and with transparency with elected officials, citizen groups, employees and the legislature. The right candidate should possess a Bachelors degree in business or public administration, while a Masters Degree is preferred, and have at least five years of progressive municipal leadership experience.

This is a unique and exciting opportunity for the career minded manager, who thinks strategically, works collaboratively, listens attentively, and who can make tough decisions. Rockland is facing some unique challenges over the next five years: a need for increased economic development, an aging infrastructure that needs addressing, aging housing, and a municipal government that needs refocusing and reenergizing. Rockland needs a City Manager who can hit the ground running, lead a vibrant team of municipal employees, in concert with the Council, to provide leadership to the City for the future.

Rockland offers an attractive salary and comprehensive benefit package along with the opportunity to grow your career in a vibrant, supportive community. To learn more about this position, call Rick Dacri, Dacri & Associates Executive Search, at 207-967-0837 or

To apply, email or mail resume, cover letter and salary history, in confidence, to Rick Dacri, Dacri & Associates; 207-967-0837 or

The City of Rockland, Maine is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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Recruitment: Why Job Searches Fail: 6 Steps that Guarantee Success

images(Post written by Rick Dacri, September 10, 2014)

Too many searches using executive recruiters fail, often before the recruitment process even begins. In some cases, managers, eager to quickly fill an opening, hand the assignment over to the recruiter before fully thinking through their needs, and recruiters, hoping to please, jump into the search unprepared.

In my experience, successful recruitment includes six essential elements. Unfortunately, typical recruiters employ only 3 or 4 of these.

Here’s what’s needed to guarantee you hire the right person, one who is able to make an immediate contribution and what you should demand of your executive recruiter:

1. Fully understand your organization: where have you been and what brought you here; where are you going and how do you plan to get there; what are your short term and long term challenges and how will you meet them? Answers to these basic questions, often found in your strategic plan, provide the recruiter critical information essential for finding the right person. Remember, a candidate, inexperienced in addressing your challenges is likely to fail and a good recruiter knows that.
2. Know what kind of person you need to hire: what will he or she look like; who will be successful in your organization and who will not? Develop a clear candidate profile that answers these questions. Remember, this is not a beauty contest. Your recruiter needs much more than a job description to find the right person.
3. Know where the right person is located: it is frequently the case that the best candidate is employed and not looking for a new job. That’s why utilizing recruitment ads only, do not work. Make sure your recruiter does not reshuffle resumes from previous searches, but actively seeks out candidates that fit YOUR profile and needs.
4. Put candidates under a microscope: you need to know everything about the person in front of you. Make sure they meet all your needs. They must match your profile and that means multiple interviews with tough questions, conducted in multiple settings with lots of eyes on the candidate. And don’t short cut references. You should never find that the person you hired is different from the person you interviewed. Your recruiter should be asking the hard questions. Your recruiter works for you, not the candidate.
5. Be clear about expectations: Before extending a job offer, be clear with the candidate about your expectations and goals and know whether your candidate has the ability and the desire to meet them. On the other side, be sure you know what the candidate’s expectations are of you. Remember, it’s a two way street. Make sure your recruiter is able to facilitate this process.
6.Provide post hire coaching: the job isn’t over when the hire is made. Great executive recruiters provide a “100 day plan” that includes executive coaching for the new employee and his/her boss. You want a smooth transition and many candidates need support to ensure he/she will hit the road running. This is a critical element of the entire process.

Finding key managers is probably the most important responsibility of any executive. Make sure your recruiter provides you the essential help to find and retain the right person. Working with an executive recruiter requires confidence and trust, earned from having a winning a track record.

Need help developing a recruitment strategy? Contact me at

Other posts you might want to read:

  1. Recruitment: the 5 pillars of a strong recruitment brand
  2. Recruitment: Getting a “yes” to every job offer
  3. Recruitment: Landing Your Next Manager



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hammer1(Posted by Rick Dacri, September 6, 2014)

Massachusetts’ has enacted a new Domestic Violence Leave Law requiring employers with 50 or more employees to provide up to fifteen (15) days of unpaid leave to domestic violence victims.

The law mandates leaves of up to fifteen days in a 12-month period for employees, if the employee or a family member of the employee is a victim of domestic violence and needs time off to address issues directly related to the domestic violence.

There is no requisite number of hours an individual must work each week or each year to be eligible, nor is there a requirement that an employee work a certain number of months before becoming eligible to take leave.

Employers may require an employee seeking leave to exhaust all annual vacation, personal and sick leave available to the employee prior to requesting or taking leave.

An employee is entitled when:

  • the employee, or a family member of the employee, is a victim of domestic violence;
  • employee is using the leave from work to address issues directly related to the domestic violence against the employee or family member of the employee; and
  • the employee is not the perpetrator of the domestic violence against such employee’s family member.

Leave may be used for the following:

  • to seek or obtain medical attention, counseling, victim services or legal assistance;
  • secure housing;
  • obtain a protective order from a court;
  • appear in court or before a grand jury;
  • meet with a district attorney or other law enforcement official; or
  • attend child custody proceedings or address other issues directly related to the abusive behavior against the employee or family member of the employee.

An employee’s family member includes a spouse, domestic partner, individuals having a child in common, parent, child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild.

Similar to FMLA, employees must request the leave in advance (unless there is a threat of imminent danger). Employers may require an employee to provide documentation showing that the employee or the employee’s family member has been a victim of abusive behavior. In the case of a scheduled leave, the employee must provide the same amount of notice as is required by the company’s other leave policies.

In the case of unscheduled leave, an employee (or employee’s representative) must notify the employer within three (3) work days that the leave was taken or is being taken and an employer may not take negative action against the employee for an unscheduled absence if within thirty (30) days from the unauthorized absence, the employee provides sufficient documentation demonstrating the need for the leave.

Employers should immediately write and adopt a domestic violence leave policy, as the law requires employers to notify employees of their rights and responsibilities under the law. Employers should also train their supervisors about the law and how to address requests for leave.

Employers should contact Dacri & Associates for assistance in complying with this new Massachusetts leave law.

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Staffing a Volunteer Fire Department: Why Leadership matters

UnknownThis article, written by Rick Dacri, was originally published in the York County Coast Star, August 27, 2014

Imagine awakening in the middle of the night to find your loved one experiencing severe chest pain. You call 9-1-1 knowing you need help fast. Imagine the agony of waiting and waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Delay. No one comes. 5 minutes. 10 minutes. Longer. Now imagine days later finding out that an all-volunteer group, short on staff, mans the local rescue. And then you learn that your neighbor is an EMT, but she works for another town, preferring not to work in your hometown.

You wonder why. Why the delay in response, when minutes and even seconds make the difference between life and death? Why does your neighbor prefer to work away, rather than her hometown? Why is your rescue department staffed by on-call volunteers rather than having full-time staff ready, round the clock?

This scenario sounds far fetched. Doesn’t it? This clearly cannot be the case in your town. Aren’t there fire and rescue personnel in each of those fire stations, waiting for a call? If you live in a small town in Maine, those facilities are generally empty.

The all volunteer fire and rescue is a way of life in many communities. Neighbors helping neighbors. Generation after generation of primarily men (this is slowly changing) volunteering—working regular full time jobs in the community, but responding to fire and rescue calls whenever it happens. But times have changed. More and more people are not volunteering. More people now work outside their communities. Time-consuming state regulations requiring long hours of training and certifications, personal and family commitments, and a detachment from a sense of community have all contributed to a steady decline in volunteerism. And as new recruits decline and existing, long service members age, many departments find themselves desperately seeking ways to staff their operations. All of this when the demand for rescue ambulance calls is increasing.

These on-call volunteers receive minimal pay for the hours they work, are required to attend countless hours of training, and are expected to respond to calls that could occur any day, at any time. When you’re snug in bed at 2 AM on a snowy, cold February morning, you may be called to a fire or rescue call. Why would you respond? What would motivate you? Three things, primarily: a belief in what you’re doing, a love of their community and a strong sense of loyalty to your chief and “brothers and sisters.”

The volunteer fire and rescue department is the backbone of many small communities. Break it up and you destroy the fabric of the community. A love of what they are doing, embracing the value of helping their neighbor, and the camaraderie and pride that comes from service, is the magnet that draws volunteers, generation after generation. It is a fragile balance to maintain, one that community leaders struggle to preserve, and unfortunately more and more are not succeeding.

Departmental cohesiveness is critical to this balance. Departments with a strong chief—one who understands the needs of the volunteers—one who can instill a sense of pride and community; who exudes the qualities and traits that can get men and women to run into burning buildings, is essential. Without this, members become disengaged. They drop out, by either not responding to calls, not attending mandatory training, or performing at a substandard level. And without a strong chief, recruiting and retaining new staff, even from individuals living in the community, becomes nearly impossible.

The true volunteer fire and rescue departments are at a crisis level. Recruiting and retaining new on-call volunteers is becoming harder and harder. More communities are being forced to move to a full-time, round the clock, professional staff, with few or no volunteers, at a cost to the communities that few can afford. At the same time, other towns continue to enjoy the benefits from having an engaged volunteer staff, where residents want to be part of these departments. The difference? In most cases it is the leadership. While no chief can stem societal changes, they are the glue that holds the department together and they are the engines that make it work. When these volunteers are committed to their mission and believe in their chief, engagement follows and that means those 2 AM calls are answered. With the right person at the top, most communities can rest a bit more peacefully.

Another article that may interest you:

Preserving Your Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department


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LinkedIn Gets Burned with Overtime Violations

UnknownPosted by Rick Dacri, August 26, 2014

Wage and hour violations are easy to commit, tough to mitigate, and can cost you a bundle. Ask LinkedIn. The Department of Labor has ordered them to pay nearly $6 Million in overtime-back wages and liquidated damages to 359 former and current nonexempt employees. The violation? Not having the right tools in place for some employees and their managers to properly track their hours. In other words, they probably didn’t record the hours the employees worked and didn’t pay them overtime for any hours worked over 40. Simple stuff, but areas where supervisors frequently get sloppy, employees get angry for not getting paid and companies get burned.

As part of the settlement, LinkedIn also agreed to do the following:

  1. Provide compliance training and distribute its policy prohibiting off the clock work to all nonexempt employees and their managers;
  2. Meet with the managers of the current affected employees to remind them that overtime work must be recorded and paid; and
  3. Remind employees of LinkedIn’s policy prohibiting retaliation against any employee who raises concerns about workplace issues.

My advice: I strongly recommend that you review your current pay practices, not just your policy. Talk to your supervisors and managers to make sure they are fully complying with the law. Sometimes, supervisors, in an effort to comply with no overtime policies and to stay within their budgets, improperly enforce the policy and commit infractions.

The Department of Labor is vigilant in monitoring and enforcing wage and hour violations. Their penalties are steep. Call me if you need assistance in ensuring you’re fully complaint.

Other similar posts by Rick Dacri that you may find helpful:

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How The Civil Rights Act Changed the Modern Workplace


President Johnson gives Martin Luther King, Jr. the pen he used to sign the Civil Rights Act

This article was written by Rick Dacri and was originally published in the York County Coast Star on July 31, 2014

I’m old enough to remember the segregated South; the race riots of the 60’s; when jobs were divided between jobs for men and jobs for women; when schoolteachers were asked to resign because they became pregnant; and when older workers were forced to retire. These practices have ended, for the most part, because of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an act designed to end segregation; an act that also changed the American workplace. As we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of its passage; it is helpful to look back to understand where we came from, to appreciate the progress we have made, and to recognize that work that stills needs to be done.

A little history: While discrimination has been an ugly reality of American life for much of our history, acceptance of this intolerance hit a crescendo in the 1950’s and ‘60s. The Supreme Court’s banning of school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education; Rosa Park’s brave refusal to give up her seat on a public bus; and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march for racial equality became catalysts for change that ultimately resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act. That single piece of legislation, which barred discrimination based on race, color, creed, sex and national origin, advanced equality and changed America and its workplaces forever. While discrimination in some forms still exists today, the walls of intolerance began to crumble by the force of that law. Since its enactment, Congress has passed subsequent laws barring discrimination based on veteran’s status, disability, pregnancy and genetics. On the state level, protections are now afforded to individuals based on their sexual orientation.

Today it is hard to imagine a workplace where discrimination was allowed. But it wasn’t long ago when employment was denied because of color or gender; where women were relegated to low paying jobs, rarely being considered for promotion (those depictions of women in the TV series “Mad Men” are real); and when individuals with a disability were rarely considered for employment.

Today we have workplaces that embrace and even celebrate diversity; where women enjoy opportunities once prohibited; and where male only and female only jobs are simply just jobs. Fifty years after the Act’s passage, we have seen both legal changes and cultural changes in how we treat people in the workplace. Overt, blatant discrimination is no longer tolerated. And while that’s a good thing, we still see and experience signs of it. How many times have you heard, or maybe said or thought the following:

  • He’s too old to do that
  • Can’t hire her, she’s likely to get pregnant
  • Got to pay him more than her, he’s raising a family
  • Don’t think they’ll fit in with the rest of us
  • She just got back from the Afghanistan, not sure she’ll be stable
  • She’s slowing down, when is she retiring
  • They need to speak English
  • They’re taking the job of “real” Americans

Subtle, attitudinal forms of discrimination still abound, preventing real equality and unfairly holding people back. Promotion and pay are new battlegrounds. The glass ceiling prevents many women from achieving comparable pay and entrance to the boardroom. Baby Boomers, who are opting to remain in the workplace rather than taking expected retirements, are causing tensions with younger decision makers. The memories of 9-11 dredge up intolerance for certain people, religions and beliefs. And the issue of immigration is highlighting differences and resurrecting prejudices and intolerance.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 set off a wave of change unanticipated by its signers. Our workplace has changed for the better. But much more needs to be done. Employers must be diligent. Managers and supervisors need to understand the law and the importance of creating a positive work culture. Policies should be reviewed to ensure they both meet the law’s requirements, but that they promote an inclusive, diverse workplace.

In fifty years we have come to realize that the single passage of this law both barred discrimination, but it also made our workplace better. Studies consistently show that fostering a diverse workplace with different people, genders, backgrounds and ideas results in a more productive, innovative, creative workforce and profitable organizations. That’s good for our businesses; that’s good for our workers; and that’s good for our country.

If this post was of interest, you may want to read:

  1. Discrimination Claims: 7 Ways to Effectively Protect Your Company
  2. Abercrombie & Fitch Accused of Discrimination
  3. EEOC Reports Nearly 100,000 Job Discrimination Charges

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New Pregnancy Rules Require Accommodations

(This post was written by Allen Smith for SHRM. It has been edited for ease of understanding).

In its first major update of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance on pregnancy discrimination since 1983, the agency on July 14, 2014, added provisions explaining when the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) might require reasonable accommodations for workers with pregnancy-related disabilities or work restrictions.

Under the current guidance, Scott Fanning, an attorney with Fisher & Phillips in Chicago, said employers should be “cautious with pregnant employees. Treat them as you would anyone else.” He noted that under the guidance in terms of accommodations, pregnant employees with disabilities (which arguably might even include morning sickness or high blood pressure) have the same accommodation rights that any other individuals with disabilities would have.

Reasonable Accommodations

The guidance listed reasonable accommodations a pregnant worker with disabilities might need, such as: Continue reading

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