Five 2016 Workforce Challenges Screaming Down Tracks



(Post by Rick Dacri, November 29, 2015)

As a manager, you will be faced with several challenges in 2016 and workforce issues are right at the top. Recruiting and retaining qualified personnel, staff development, succession planning, employee morale, competitive compensation packages, and reducing employee health care costs will dominate your attention. Like a freight train screaming down the tracks, today’s manager must tackle these issues head-on. Let’s look at five of them:

  1. Aging workforce: We’re getting older. Baby boomers are beginning to exit the workplace in what some are calling the “silver tsunami” leaving both employment spots to fill and huge gaps in knowledge to replace. Most employers are ill prepared. Recommendation: Put in place succession plans which address replacements, skills gaps, and prepares the organization for an orderly transition of talent.
  2. Creating a performance based culture: Today’s workplace culture must reward performance and productivity and foster employee engagement resulting in worker retention and attracting the best external talent. Work rules that hamper productivity must be replaced with those that support flexibility and pay should be merit based and include performance incentives. There also must be an increased emphasis on setting priorities and goals, measuring productivity and monitoring performance. And your employees must be agile, customer centric, and willing to do whatever it takes for the organization. Recommendation: Put in place training programs to prepare both supervisors and employees. Add communication initiatives to demonstrate the need for and benefits of these required changes. Recruit only employees who can thrive in a changing environment.
  3. Managing a multidimensional and changing workforce: Today’s workforce is changing and different. As boomers age out, we are seeing a different look in the workplace then we have come to expect in the past. As the workforce becomes more diverse, managers must have the skills to lead this workplace. Engaging a younger generation, who will work along side older individuals who have different views and expectations of both their boss and work, will require significant adjustments, patience, tolerance and clear understanding. Recommendation: Multicultural, mutigenerational training should become a part of your training curriculum. Employee engagement/satisfaction surveys should be conducted annually.
  4. Recruitment, retention and rewarding: There is a new “3 R’s.” Work/life balance, flexibility, career development and telecommuting will be needed in order to attract and retain this new generation of worker. And to retain them, you will have to reward workers with cash (merit pay, incentives, benefits) and non-cash (opportunities, training, titles). Recommendation: Recruitment and retention programs should be put in place that include development of a recruitment brand and tool box; compensation market surveys should be conducted; and turnover analysis should be put in place.
  5. A strategic approach to managing: Managers must make decisions about the direction of their business utilizing a strategic framework. No longer can they simply move from crisis to crisis. A big picture, business approach will be needed, discarding “how we’ve always done it” approach and re-inventing your business to address today’s and tomorrow’s realities. There will be a greater reliance on technology, creativity, innovation, and best practices and benchmarking and these require a new kind of leader to manage a workforce that can thrive in this new world along with a workforce that can blossom amongst rapid change and have the skills to learn and adapt. Recommendation: Strategic plans should be updated to reflect the changing workforce and market place.

In 2016 and beyond we all must begin to think differently, have the skills to look around corners, while making bold decisions in addressing this changing workplace.

Other posts you may like:

  1. Aging Workforce: Few Employers Prepared
  2. Succession Plan in Municipalities Assure a Steady Flow of Talent
  3. How Unhealthy Cultures Stymie Progress



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Filed under human resources, Leadership, Uncategorized

Toughest Jobs To Fill in 2016

(Post by Rick Dacri, November 19, 2015)


According to a survey by and reported in HR Magazine, the 10 toughest jobs to fill in 2016 will be:

  1. Data Scientist
  2. Electrical Engineer
  3. General and Operations Manager
  4. Home Health Aide
  5. Information Security Analyst
  6. Marketing Manager
  7. Medical Services Manager
  8. Physical Therapist
  9. Registered Nurse
  10. Software Engineer

I don’t think many employers will be surprised by this list. My public power clients are continuously challenged to recruit and retain electric engineers and general managers. Both positions are also impacting their salary structures.

Expect to see continued difficulty recruiting these positions. Employers should put in place an effective recruitment and retention strategy that includes a review of their salary structure. Its become a candidate’s market.Call me if you’d like to discuss.

Other Posts you may like:

  1. 7 Ways to Measure Your Recruitment Brand
  2. Compensation Trends: What You Must Know and Do
  3. Recruitment: Why Job Searches Fail & 6 Steps that Guarantee Success



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Filed under executive recruitment, Help Wanted, Uncategorized

Exempt? Nonexempt? What’s it mean?

I am regularly asked the difference between exempt and nonexempt and whether that means the same as classifying someone as salaried or hourly. In this 3 minute video, I explain how to properly pay and classify your workers. I will explain when someone should be classified exempt, nonexempt, salaried or hourly and how to conduct the Fair Pay Test required under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).


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Filed under Compensation, Compliance, Uncategorized

2016 Compensation Trends (Webinar)


(Webinar by Rick Dacri, November 12, 2016)

payI recently lead a webinar focusing on compensation trends, what we can expect to see for pay raises in 2016, the expected doubling of the minimum salary for exempt employees in 2016, and how to eliminate some costly wage & hour violations.

If you would like to hear or part of this 57 minute webinar, click Dacri Compensation Webinar.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below and let me know what percentage increase for pay raises your company expects to give in 2016.


Filed under Compensation, Compliance, Uncategorized

7 Ways to Measure Your Recruitment Brand

Unknown(Post by Rick Dacri, November 5, 2015)

I recently spoke at a conference on the topic of Recruitment Strategies. I spent considerable time on showing the participants how to develop a recruitment brand for their company. After the session, one of the executives in the session asked how do you measure the effectiveness of your brand. He noted, correctly, that all good management practices must be measurable.

As I had explained to the group, the purpose of a recruitment brand was to attract quality candidates to your company from a target group –those individuals who share the values of your company and who come from your industry segment. For example, LL Bean is likely to attract applicants who enjoy all things outdoors (skiing, fishing, hiking, hunting—you get the picture).

To attract the right candidates to your company, there must be three things in place: 1) awareness, 2) differentiation and 3) recognition that you are a good place to work. Without awareness, you’ll be a well-kept secret, so measuring applicant flow is critical. Potential candidates will compare you to other companies. There must be something positive about you that distinguish you from others. Part of the differentiation is demonstrating that you’re among the best places to work—and here is where your employees can be the best recruitment ambassadors.

So how do you measure this? Here are 7 ways:

  1. Applicant flow: look at the quality, quantity and diversity of your labor pool, applicants and hires.
  2. Conversion rate: measure the number of applicants that accept your job offer.
  3. Cost and time to hire: are your cost per hire and time to hire increasing or decreasing?
  4. Existing employees: are your employee engagement surveys tracking positive or negative? Is retention up or down?
  5. Performance: which way are existing employee performance and productivity tracking?
  6. Referrals: are your current employees and even your customers referring applicants to you?
  7. (add your method to measure branding below).

These are just some of the ways to measure effectiveness of your brand. There are more that I could have listed.

Measuring the effectiveness of your recruitment brand is an important component of the process. Obviously the most difficult part is understanding and developing your brand. If you are unable to effectively attract, hire and retain quality candidates, then your brand is not working. If you need assistance understanding and developing a recruitment strategy and brand, give me a call. I can help.

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Recruitment: David White Named Executive Director

16cda61I am pleased to announce that David White has been named the Executive Director of the Northeast Public Power Association (NEPPA). Dacri & Associates conducted the executive search on NEPPA’s behalf.

David joins NEPPA after serving 8 years as Director of Governmental Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy for the Massachusetts Dental Society. He had previously worked for Sage Systems as the Director of Client Services.

David is graduate of Suffolk University Law School, has an MBA from the Suffolk University Sawyer School of Management and has a BS from Northeastern University. He is a registered lobbyist and a Certified Association Executive.

If you need assistance with your executive recruitment needs, contact Dacri & Associates.

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Filed under executive recruitment, Help Wanted

Pay Increases & Trends for 2016

pay(Post by Rick Dacri, November 2, 2015)

Pay increases for 2016 are expected to remain at 3%, the same as 2015 and up from 2014’s 2.5%. Exceptional performers are likely to enjoy increases in the 4.5% range.

Regionally, wages should be higher in the Northeast. Critical, hard to find and retain positions, such as electric and software engineers, line workers, nurses and IT will demand and get more.

Employers continue to find it difficult to recognize and motivate workers with merit budgets of only 3%. It is nearly impossible to differentiate between good and average performers with so little money. As a result, more are turning to annual short term incentive plans. These plans can quickly put cash in worthy employee’s pockets and not impact base wages. Employers are also putting more dollars into benefits, particularly into supplemental retirement plans for “older” workers.

In addition to compensation, companies are relying upon non-monetary rewards including career development, education and more exciting and challenging work assignments.

If you would like to explore options for your company, call me at 207-229-5954 or

Other posts you may like:

  1. Compensation Trends & Pitfalls (Webinar)
  2. Overtime Eligibility to Double: Prepare for Changes
  3. FLSA: Record Keeping Requirements

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Filed under Compensation, Compliance