The Alcott Group   Good for Your Business ~ Good for Your People
    •  Using the Internet in HR
    •  Did You Know?
    •  What's New at Alcott
    •  On the Regulatory Front
    •  Recruiting Passive Candidates
    •  Legislative Updates
    •  Alcott in the News
    •  Subscribe

Welcome to the Summer 2008 edition of the Alcott Advisor. This month's feature article discusses how small businesses are beginning to turn to the Internet to enhance the employer-employee experience.

And, there is big news at Alcott! See the article announcing the partnership between Alcott and American Fidelity Assurance.

We're also featuring an article contributed by Tricia Folliero, Director of Recruitment Advertising at the ad agency Sanna Mattson MacLeod. In her article, she discusses how to target passive candidates as a way of improving the effectiveness of your recruiting campaigns.

If you would like to author an article for The Alcott Advisor or you have a subject you would like us to research and write about in a future issue, please contact me at 631-420-0100 extension 313 or via e-mail at

Have a great Summer! See you in September.

All the best,  Al Anastasi

Using the Internet in HR

The Internet: Advancing the Employer-Employee Experience
It’s no secret that the Internet is pervasive in our lives, both at home and in the office. Many of us routinely go online for news, information, shopping, travel arrangements, banking and emailing. In the workplace, through the Internet, we email, which has become a primary form of communications, market (e-marketing), train (webinars), educate (long-distance continuing education programs) and even hold meeting (e.g., Go to Meetings). One area in which the Internet has delivered a real value to employers and their employees is in Human Resources (HR) management.

In 2002, CIGNA and Yahoo! grabbed headlines for their partnership which gave 16 million CIGNA healthcare members and retirement plan participants access to their benefit plan information online through the My Yahoo! interface. This then-revolutionary technology enabled CIGNA plan members and participants to view their retirement plans daily and make changes to their contributions, review medical claims and manage their benefit plans. For their part, employers of CIGNA plan members were gaining a tool which significantly streamlined their employee benefits administration and communications processes.

Click here to read more

What's New at Alcott

The Alcott Group and the American Fidelity Corporation
Announce a Partnership
The Alcott Group, New York State’s leading Professional Employer Organization (PEO) providing comprehensive Human Resources (HR) services, announced recently that it has formed a partnership with American Fidelity Corporation (AFC), parent company of American Fidelity Assurance Company, one of the largest, private, family-owned insurance companies in the United States. American Fidelity Corporation is headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK.

According to Alcott President Louis Basso, who along with Executive Vice President Barry Shorten, founded Alcott in 1986, “This new relationship will provide Alcott the ability to offer our clients a wealth of new products and services at competitive pricing achieved through even greater economies of scale.”

“We are excited about entering the growing PEO market and our new relationship with The Alcott Group,” said American Fidelity Corporation President and CEO Bill Cameron.

Click here to read more

Recruiting Passive Candidates

Cost Effective Methods of Targeting Passive Candidates
When companies embark on a recruiting campaign they often think only of attracting candidates that are actively looking. Not only does this limit the potential candidate pool, but it causes them to miss out on some of the highest quality candidates. When gearing up to recruit, what type of technology or medium will you opt to use? It can seem like rolling the dice when you must decide on whether to place a banner on a website, an ROP (non-classified) ad in the local paper, or sponsor an industry-specific newsletter? The criteria employed in choosing media will be critical to your results, and the proliferation of communication options for reaching your candidates makes it difficult to make decisions on logical thought process alone.

Today, the HR Recruiter needs to be a detective to find out the pertinent facts to go about this process correctly, and the place to begin investigating is among your own best people. Find commonalities among their media choices and habits, and you will be better equipped to reach more people like them.

Click here to read more

Alcott in the News

  • "Alcott Takes Manhattan" was the headline in a Building Long Island feature on Alcott’s new Manhattan office, which was accompanied by a photo of the gleaming building at 5 Penn Plaza. Newsday also covered the news with the same headline.

  • The recently announced partnership between The Alcott Group and American Fidelity Corporation (Oklahoma City, OK), appeared in various newspapers, business publications and Internet news sites, ranging from the Journal Record and Real Estate Weekly to and BNET.
Click here to read more

Did You Know?

  • A Small Business Research Board study found that 88% of small business owners and managers report that it now takes them more time than it did two years ago to comply with various government regulations. Industries where the compliance impacts were greatest included: construction, transportation, automotive, retail, distribution/wholesaling, manufacturing and food companies.

  • A National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) survey reported that nearly half of the small businesses canvassed said their healthcare premiums rose as much as 10% this year.
Click here to read more

On the Regulatory Front

  Dawn Davidson Drantch, Esq., director of employee relations and internal counsel for The Alcott Group, recently authored an article for PEO Insider’s May 2008 edition, titled “Protecting Clients’ Property and Preventing Liability When Employees Terminate.” In the article, Ms. Drantch provided her legal insights regarding what happens when an employee is terminated and the employer wants the employee to return job-related equipment provided by the company such as cell phones, pagers and Blackberry’s.

In her article, Ms. Drantch noted that many employers use the practice of withholding the terminated employee’s final paycheck until all of this equipment is returned. She warns, however, that “generally, every state has a law pertaining to how quickly an employee must be paid upon termination, whether the termination is voluntary or involuntary,” adding that “Oftentimes, those payments must be made quickly.”

Click here to read more

Legislative Updates

  • President Bush recently signed into law The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) which amends portions of various laws including HIPPA, the Public Health Service Act, the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA and the Social Security Act. The law prohibits the use of genetic information to discriminate against a person in employment effective beginning November 1st, 2009, or in group healthcare plans effective beginning May 1st, 2009. GINA places new restrictions on the use of genetic testing information, the requirement of genetic testing or the disclosure of genetic testing. Under GINA, the states can impose more stringent restrictions.

  • The Supreme Court recently ruled that a provision of the Civil Rights Act which prohibits race discrimination does permit retaliation claims. In its 6-2 decision, the Court was ruling on a case involving a terminated restaurant assistant manager who claimed his termination was due to his complaint of racial discrimination against a co-worker.
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