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: When A Candidates Can’t Say “Yes”

Post by By Rick Dacri, Dacri & Associates, LLC; initially published in the July 2016 MTCMA newsletter

1

Finding the perfect candidate to fill the critical position in your municipality is never easy. Search, interviewing, and reference checking can be draining to you and your staff or board. And once you find the “right” one, you’d like to believe your job is over, but it is not. Getting the candidate to say “yes” is the most important part of the entire recruitment process. Without a “yes” everything else you have done is simply practice.

When a candidate cannot say “yes” to your job offer, you have a problem. Be clear to candidates that they have no more than one week, 10 days at most, to render you an answer. Baring extenuating circumstances, without an affirmative, withdraw the offer and move on. Otherwise, you’ll be left dangling and the candidate will likely reject your offer. In my 30 years of executive recruitment, never have I seen a candidates take an extended time to contemplate an offer and eventually accept it—even during periods of tough negotiations. If they can’t (or won’t) make a decision about a job offer, how can you expect them to make a decision about other aspects of the job? Remember, they either never wanted the job or can’t make up their minds—not very good traits for a new employee.

The Board of a large public organization extended a generous job offer to a highly qualified CEO candidate. The candidate was both surprised and hesitant by the offer (red flags). After one week of negotiations, the candidate asked for additional time to think about it (another red flag). Over the next five weeks, the candidate sought multiple clarifications to the terms of the offer and a delayed starting date before the board ultimately pulled the plug. Even though the board’s executive recruiter recommended withdrawing the offer after 10 days, the board continued the process and was shocked that it came to his point.

What went wrong? Here are 12 tell tale signs that your job offer will likely be rejected:
Continue reading

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Filed under executive recruitment, municipalities, municipality, Recruitment, Uncategorized

Final Overtime Rules for Private & Public Sector Employers

 

Unknown(Post by Rick Dacri, June 1, 2016)

The Department of Labor’s (U.S. DOL) changes to overtime eligibility have been approved and are scheduled for a December 1, 2016 implementation. The waiting is over and all employers need to immediately prepare. No one will be able to avoid this.

I have outlined below a summary of the changes that apply to both private and public sector employees. Remember, this is a summary and does not constitute a complete review of all the changes to the rules nor should it be considered legal advice.

The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule:

  1. Sets the salary threshold under which employees would be nonexempt—required to receive overtime pay (regular hourly rate x 1.5 for all hours worked beyond 40 hours per week) at $913 per week or $47,476 annually for a full-year worker, more than doubling the salary threshold from the current level of $23,660.
  2. Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees (HCE) subject to a minimal duties test, to $134,004; and
  3. Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years.
  4. Additionally, the Final Rule amends the salary basis test to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level.

Earning above the $47,476 annual ($913 per week) salary level do not automatically classify an employee as exempt from mandatory overtime pay, as the duties test still comes into play.

This is a significant change to the law and all employers should review their plans now, before the December 1, 2016 implementation. Don’t wait, as changes will be complex and contain plenty of pitfalls.

To avoid problems with existing exempt workers currently being paid less than the new threshold, your options include:

  1. Reclassify affected workers as nonexempt, or
  2. Increase the employees’ salaries to at least $47,476, or
  3. Reduce the hours of these workers, or
  4. Pay a lower hourly rate so that, when multiplied by time-and-one half, weekly compensation remains unchanged

As I have noted in previous posts, none of these steps are ideal and are likely to result in employee relation issues and increased payroll costs. To make matters worse, the DOL has stepped up enforcement, expecting to dole of the law out fines, attorney fees and back pay for violations.

Rules for State and Local Governments:

The FLSA contains several provisions unique to state and local governments, including compensatory time off, under certain provisions.

  • Comp Time: State or local government agencies may arrange for their employees to earn comp time instead of cash payment for overtime hours.
  • Fire and police small-agency exemption: The FLSA also provides an exemption from overtime protection for fire protection or law enforcement employees, if they are employed by an agency that employs fewer than five fire protection or law enforcement employees, respectively.
  • Work periods rather than workweeks for fire protection or law enforcement employees: Employees engaged in fire protections or law enforcement may be paid overtime on a “work week period” basis, rather than the usual 40-hour work week of the FLSA.

Not Affected by Changes:

Many employees won’t be affected by the final rule:

  1. Hourly workers: The new threshold will have no impact on the pay of workers paid hourly.
  2. Workers with regular workweeks of 40 or fewer hours: To the extent that many salaried white-collar staff have jobs where they work no more than 40 hours, the changes to the overtime rules will have no effect on their pay.
  3. Law enforcement and fire protection employees who regularly work hours that conform to the longer work periods permitted for such employees, the changes will also not impact their pay.
  4. Workers who fail the duties test: Salaried workers who do not primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties are not eligible for the white-collar overtime exemption and therefore are not affected by the final rule.
  5. Highly compensated workers: White collar workers who fail the standard duties test but are “highly compensated”—earn more than $134,004 in a year—are almost all ineligible for overtime under the highly compensated employee exemption, which has a minimal duties test.
  6. Police and fire employees in small agencies: Fire protection or law enforcement employees in public agencies with fewer than five fire protection or law enforcement employees respectively will continue to be exempt from overtime.
  7. Elected officials, their policymaking appointees, and their personal staff and legal advisors who are not subject to civil service laws
  8. Public employees who have a comp time arrangement

To avoid problems and lawsuits:

  • Audit your compensation program and pay practices for compliance
  • Review the classification of all exempt workers, particularly those being paid under $47,476
  • Put in place a safe harbor policy, which states that if an employee feels he/she has been incorrectly paid, to bring it to your attention for review.

Develop a plan now to implement before the December 1 deadline. If you have questions, contact the Dacri HR HelpLine.

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Six Steps to Recruiting a Great Police or Fire Chief

TownandCity(This article, written by Rick Dacri, was published New Hampshire Town And City, May/June, 2016 edition)

Police and fire departments help form the fabric of your city or town. From the sounds of the sirens, to the classic blue uniforms, the fire trucks leading the Memorial Day parade, or our first responders’ bravery and strength on the front lines of a tragedy, police and fire represent your municipality’s values, beliefs, and community culture. So, when police or fire leadership must change, a tired recruitment approach and an outdated job description are insufficient to fill such an important role.

Too many personnel searches fail before the recruitment process even begins. In some cases, town managers, eager to quickly fill an opening, begin the process unprepared, without fully thinking through their needs.

Successful recruitment includes six essential elements for hiring the right police or fire chief for your municipality: Continue reading

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Vice President, Human Resources Position Open


carroll-logo-642x152Vice President, Human Resources

Carroll Enterprises, Inc.

Carroll Enterprises,headquartered in downtown Worcester, MA, with over 250 employees in multi-state locations, seeks a strong leader to serve as their new Vice President Human Resources. This is an ideal position for a Director of Human Resources or an Assistant VP who is ready to move to a VP-level position.

Since 1968, Carroll Enterprises, Inc. has met the specialized needs of insurance buyers and major corporations in the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets.  Carroll Enterprises is an entrepreneurial, technology intensive, marketing distribution and services company, serving the retail, wholesale and institutional marketplaces in the insurance and financial services industries.  

Reporting to the CEO, with full responsibility for all aspects of the HR function, the VPHR will be part of the executive committee and will manage a staff of five HR professionals. The ideal candidate will have strong HR generalist skills, demonstrated skills in managing a strategic HR function, and enjoy working as a full business partner in a growing, dynamic organization. You should possess 10 years of progressive HR responsibility, preferably from financial service or technology industry, and have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Working within an organization with a call center is ideal. An outgoing, confident, hands-on professional, who is not afraid to make decisions, will thrive in this entrepreneurial environment.

Carroll Enterprises is facing unique challenges in an industry steeped in tradition, while moving to a culture that embraces technology and ecommerce. Carroll needs an individual who can hit the ground running, operate effectively with a highly diverse workforce, and actively contributing to the senior management team.

The next VPHR will enjoy the opportunity to work in a vibrant community, with a supportive management team and staff as well as an experienced and engaged workforce. Carroll Enterprises is a recognized leader and takes pride in being a premier employer and a respected community member.

Located in the heart of Massachusetts, the city of Worcester combines historic New England charm with the conveniences and lively attractions of a bustling metropolis, that includes 10 colleges and universities, world-class medical facilities, a convention center, vibrant arts and other cultural venues, museums, college and professional sports teams, golf courses and many new dining options. For those looking for things to do while escaping traffic and parking problems, Worcester is the place to grow your career.

Carroll Enterprises offers an attractive salary and comprehensive benefit package along with the opportunity to grow your career. To learn more about this position, call Rick Dacri, Dacri & Associates Executive Search, at 207-229-5954 or rick@dacri.com.

To apply, email your resume, cover letter and salary history, in confidence, to:

Rick Dacri

Dacri & Associates, LLC

Executive Search

207-229-5954

rick@dacri.com

 

Carroll Enterprises is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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Filed under careers, executive recruitment, Uncategorized

Workers’ Comp: What’s My “Mod”?

images(Post by Rick Dacri, April 14, 2016)

When discussing your workers’ compensation premiums, you’ll often hear about the importance of reducing your “mod.” But what is a mod? Your “mod” is your Experience Modification Rating. It is the number used by your insurance company to gauge both the past cost of injuries and the future chance of your risk of additional injuries. The lower the mod, the lower your workers’ comp premiums.

Here is a quick way of looking at it. Ask your insurance carrier what your mod is. If your experience mod is 1.00, you’re doing OK. If it is less than 1.00, that’s great and obviously desirable You’re saving money and running a safe operation. If it is greater than 1.00, you’ve got work to do, as this is costing you.

As an example, if your mod is .90, than you are 10% below your industry standard. If you are at 1.10, you are 10% above the industry standard. In the former case, your premiums will begin to drop. In the latter, you will find you are in a “penalty phase” in you rates will go up.

If you don’t know what your current experience modification rating is, contact your insurance carrier to find out.  If you need help reducing it, call me.

Other Posts you might want to read:

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How To Quickly Cut Your Workers’ Comp Costs & Get Injured Employees Back to Work

Dacri-FB-WebWorkersComp

This program has been postponed

Wednesday, April 20
2PM ET
60 minute webinar
Register Today via email at rick@dacri.com or call

207-229-5954

This webinar is ideal for:

  • CEOs & Finance Managers who want to reduce costs
  • HR & Benefit Managers who want to understand how workers’ comp works
  • Managers & Supervisors who want to reduce accidents & get injured workers back to work

Here’s what you’ll learn in this webinar:

  • How to control workers’ comp costs
  • How to get your experience modification below 1
  • How to spot & prevent fraud
  • How to get injured employees back to work quickly
  • How to manage a light duty program effectively
  • How to manage claims
  • How to analyze an accident
  • How to develop a positive working relationship with your medical provider & insurer
  • How to easily understand the intricacies of workers’ comp

This webinar will provide you with the information and advice you need to develop a pre and post injury response program so you can have a safe workplace and low workers’ comp costs.

Once again, to enroll, email me at rick@dacri.com or call 207-229-5954

Cost? $125.00. Not a bad investment for learning how to save a bundle while creating a safer workplace. And Dacri & Associates’ clients receive an automatic 10% discount.

Sign up now.

I hope to see you there,

Rick Dacri
Dacri & Associates, LLC
http://www.dacri.com
rick@dacri.com

P.S. We will be recording the entire program (audio and visual). Your admission gives you access to the recording for easy reviewing after the fact.

Register Now via email at rick@dacri.com or call 207-229-5954.

Feedback from Previous Webinar Attendees:
It was excellent, clear, easy to understand and follow; applicable in many areas and overall very interesting. Thank you
EXCELLENT as Rick Dacri always is!
This was incredibly informative and I would love to attend more!
The program is great because it triggers you to look into areas of the organization that need improvement.
Thank you, Rick. Well paced and informative.
Nice work Rick! Enjoyed the presentations.
Great information to have for managing a business. You are a great resource for questions.
Great tips and information.
As always, a wonderful Rick Dacri presentation – just the right amount of information and appropriate stories to illustrate the point.
For an hours time the information covered was very valuable.
The content was incredibly helpful. Found the content on hiring right, training managers to interview well and addressing problematic performance important and useful.
It is good to have a better understanding of the HR side of the business and how to avoid potential problems

Register Now via email at rick@dacri.com or call 207-229-5954

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Workplace Drug Abuse Warning Signs

cocaine(Post written by Rick Dacri, April 4, 2016)

Recently I received a call from one of my utility clients who was positive that his operator was high on cocaine. Seems the employee had been missing work and today he came to work appearing a bit agitated and quite talkative and his pupils were dilated. My client had heard he did drugs and with his recent absences and rumors that he was a druggie, he called me asking if it was ok to fire him.

While the employee might have been on drugs, clinical diagnosis of a drug problem is not the job of the manager. The manager’s job is to assess performance. If the employee was performing erratically, posing a potential danger to himself or others, then the manager has a responsibility to step in; but never to diagnose. Managers are not qualified to do this and acting on rumor or evaluating behavior based on what you may have read on the Internet is asking for trouble. Stick to performance. A key part of every manager’s job is to remain alert to changes in an employee’s performance and to work with the employee who is having problems so that performance improves.

Substance abuse in the workplace is very costly. It’s been estimated that substance abuse costs employers more than $50 billion annually and alcohol and drug abusers are far less productive, use three times as many sick days, and are more than three times as likely to have an accident on the job and five times as likely to file workers’ compensation claims.

While one should never diagnose, managers should be mindful of the warning signs that an employee may be getting into trouble. Watch for these:

  1. Inconsistent work quality
  2. Poor concentration
  3. Lowered productivity
  4. Increased absenteeism
  5. Unexplained disappearances from the jobsite
  6. Carelessness, mistakes
  7. Errors in judgment
  8. Needless risk-taking
  9. Disregard for safety
  10. Extended lunch periods and early departures
  11. Complaints about problems at home
  12. Deterioration in personal appearance
  13. Complaints and excuses of vaguely-defined illnesses
  14. Frequent financial problems
  15. Avoidance of friends and colleagues
  16. Blaming others for own problems and shortcomings

When an employee begins to exhibit these, it is time for the manager to take immediate action. In my upcoming webinar series (How to Deal with Substance Abuse in the Workplace) I will be addressing, in detail, the warning signs, how to handle an impaired employee, the law around medical marijuana, DOT requirements, signs that an employee is under the influence and more.

For more info, click How to Deal with Substance Abuse in the Workplace or email me at rick@dacri.com.

Other Posts You May Want To Read:

  1. Booze At Work: Options to Combat
  2. Medical Marijuana Law
  3. New Maine Pot Law Clouds Rules on Drug Use

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