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.

Recruitment: Finding Perfect Candidates

(Post by Rick Dacri, November 7, 2014)hiring

When recruiting a new executive, it is important to know where to find the best candidates. In previous newsletters and in my book Uncomplicating Management, I have covered the recruitment process in detail, but this month I want to discuss where to source great candidates.his month I want to discuss where to source great candidates.

Just today, a Trustee of a utility board I know called me about her frustration in generating good quality candidates for her open General Manager position. She had placed ads on association websites, Indeed and Monster expecting to be overwhelmed with super resumes. It didn’t happen. While her efforts were good first steps, particularly advertising on professional sites, her focus had excluded a huge population of excellent candidates-those individuals who are not looking for a job but who might make ideal candidates. Only those who are looking for a job read these ads.

I recently completed an executive search for a General Manager of a public utility and I am currently recruiting a City Manager for a medium size community. While I too placed some very targeted ads on industry specific sites, I focused primarily on a vast network of managers who are currently doing a similar job, and who may either know of managers who would fit this open position or who may be interested in learning more about it for themselves. These managers would never have seen these recruitment ads, but might be interested in making a move for the right opportunity. By networking with literally hundreds of managers (yes, hundreds), I was able to identify several well-qualified candidates who could make an immediate contribution upon hire. While this process requires having an existing network to tap and the time required to speak to these people (emails do not work), the benefits of this approach make it a must strategy.

Adding this crucial networking piece ensures you get better candidates and a better hire. Remember, successful fishermen know where the fish are biting. Successful recruiters do the same.

If you need help with your recruitment needs, give me a call at 207-967-0837.

Other Posts You Might Like:

  1. Recruitment: Why Job Searches Fail
  2. Recruitment: The 5 Pillars of a Strong Brand
  3. Recruitment: Getting a “Yes” to Every Job Offer

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Filed under Help Wanted, Job Search, Recruitment

Massachusetts: New Paid Sick Leave Law

(Post written by attorneys Amanda Marie Baer and Bob Kilroy of Mirick O’Connell)

On November 4, 2014, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question enacting M.G.L. c. 149, § 148C, which entitles Massachusetts employees to earn and use sick time.  Massachusetts is now the third state in the nation to guarantee paid sick days for certain workers.Unknown

The law provides that employees who work for public or private employers having eleven or more employees can earn and use up to 40 hours of paid sick time per calendar year.  The sick time must be compensated at the same hourly rate paid to the employee when the sick time is used.  Employees who work for employers with less than eleven employees can earn and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per calendar year.

Under the law, employees earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked.  Employees begin accruing sick hours on either (a) the date of hire; or (b) July 1, 2015, whichever is later.

Employees may begin to use earned sick time on the 90th day after hire.  After the 90 day period, employees may use earned sick time as it accrues.  Employees can only use earned sick time and miss work in order to: 

  1. Care for a physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition affecting the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse;
  2. Attend routine medical appointments of the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse; or
  3. Address the effects of domestic violence on the employee or the employee’s dependent child.

In certain circumstances, employers may require employees to provide certification of the need for sick time.

If an employee does not use all of their sick time in a calendar year, the employee may carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick time to the next calendar year.  Employees who carry over earned sick time, however, may only use up to 40 hours of sick time in a calendar year.  Employers are not required to pay an employee for unused sick time at the end of the employee’s employment.

It is unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise, any right provided under the new law.  For example, employers may not use the taking of earned sick time as a negative factor in any employment action such as an evaluation, promotion, disciplinary action or termination, or otherwise subject an employee to discipline for use of earned sick time under the law.

In light of this change in the law, employers are advised to review and update, as necessary, their sick time, vacation and/or paid time off policies.

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Filed under Compliance, Employee Relations, Insurance

Market Basket, Unemployment & Immigration

Unknown(This article, authored by Rick Dacri, originally was published in the Coast Star, October 30, 2014)

The cheering has subsided and now it’s time for Market Basket to begin to heal. It’s going to be a long haul. Much has been said about how the “little guy” was able to bring a corporate giant to its knees, and how this was proof that when managers take care of their employees, employees will remain loyal to them. Well, it was proven true here. Arthur T. DeMoulas was loved by his people because he cared. He believed in people over profits and chose to share his wealth. People loved him. But what was so extraordinary about this event was that management and employees, along with customers and vendors, banded together to exert their will over the ownership. Never have we seen anything like this. Yet, lost in the celebration and high fives is the realization that many were hurt by this family squabble. We know DeMoulas lost millions of dollars in lost sales over this 6-week boycott, but little is heard about those hourly employees who weren’t working and therefore went without pay. And what about those vendors whose products were not needed? That business is lost forever. And what about the local businesses abutting each of the 71 Market Basket stores that depend on the Market Basket traffic to fill their shops and lunch counters. Think about their lost sales, wages and tips. And now the big question: with all that debt and the costs Arthur T. incurred to buy the business, will he be able to continue his generosity to his loyal workers? Yes, the Market Basket boycott was a big win for the workers, but it came with an equally big cost. Let’s hope it was worth it.

And speaking of wages, the minimum wage debate continues without any clear resolution in sight. In one of my earlier columns, I advocated for an increase. I felt then, as I continue to believe now, that it makes good business sense to raise people’s wages. I got some heavy-duty pushback from my professional colleagues about my position, as expected, but I also got comments from others who felt we shouldn’t be giving “hand outs.”

The issue of wages often boils down to value, worth and fairness. Each year, this newspaper publishes the names and wages of the highest paid municipal employees, and the community buzzes. Much of the chatter is whether the school superintendent or town manager or police officer should be paid what they receive. And much of how we feel depends on how much we personally are earning. We compare our wages to their pays even though the jobs are not comparable. We say “why do they make that much when we only make this much?” It becomes a fairness issue. We also wonder if their pay means higher taxes for us. Pay is personal, and that’s why it is hard to have a rational debate about raising the minimum wage.

While minimum wages remains a hot topic, the debate about immigration reform is hotter. Again, in a previous column I outlined the business reason on why Congress and the President should address this issue now. I believe we should secure our borders and we have a right to control who is allowed into this country. I also know that a managed influx of immigrants is good for our country, society and economy. We are a richer nation because of immigrants. And frankly, we need them. Ask most business owner who are struggling to find skilled labor. Immigrants fill this void.

I think about whether my grandfather would have been able to enter this country today. He came to America at the beginning of the last century and yes, he legally entered the country through Ellis Island after a long voyage across the Atlantic from Italy. By the time I was born, he had lived in the U.S. for 40 years, spoke broken English at best, but he had a good factory job, paid his taxes, married and supported my grandmother and 7 kids, owned a home, and he placed FDR just a step or two below the Almighty. And, he was never on welfare, as these immigrants took care of each other. He loved his adopted country and was tested when he sent his three sons to fight against his native land and people in WWII. However, today, some might think this non-English speaking immigrant would be stealing good paying minimum wage jobs from “real” Americans. Sad.

Our beliefs, actions and votes have a ripple effect. When you toss a rock into a lake, it creates a series of ripples well into the water beyond our view. There are consequences to our actions. Boycotting, suppressing wages, building a bigger wall. Be mindful of the ripples.

Rick Dacri is a workforce expert, management consultant, and author of the book “Uncomplicating Management: Focus On Your Stars & Your Company Will Soar.” Since 1995 his firm, Dacri & Associates has helped organizations dramatically improve the performance and productivity of their workforce. He can be reached at rick@dacri.com and http://www.dacri.com.

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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 rick@dacri.com.

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

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 rick@dacri.com

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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MASSACHUSETTS PASSES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEAVE LAW

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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Filed under Leadership, Management