Canton Board of Selectmen Considering HR Options

An auditor presented findings to the Board of Selectmen on expanding the department.

An auditor presented findings to the last week and suggested expanding the town's current one-person Human Resources Department.

The town is in the process of hiring a new HR administrator to work for both the town and the school department, according to Town Administrator Bill Friel. The town had received 50 applications so far and a the screening committee will begin review them at the beginning of July, he told the board.

Sandy Stapincksy, president of Human Resources, Inc., did a full audit of the town's human resources department. At Tuesday's meeting, she presented the findings to the board.

After interviewing managers and comparing the town services to other towns, and comparing HR jobs with the private sector, Stapincksy recommended hiring 2.5 more personnel to fill the department.

"Now a department of one is a very difficult situation with 1,400 employees, retirees, seasonal and part-time employees," she said.

Stapincksy recommended hiring a part-time clerical employee/intern, a Human Resources assistant and having an HR administrator work in the school building.

The consultant said "realistically these additions will help you save money in the long run." Having the appropriate number of staff will make the HR department for the schools/town more efficient, faster and help to avoid any mistakes.

"In general, the town has done a good job with the core job, amazingly so with just one individual," she told the board.

Stapincksy also recommended updating the affirmative action policy, adding the missing employee relations component to HR, creating more concise handbooks for departments, having regular HR trainings, update personnel records and maintain them and strengthen legal compliance. Technology also needs to be consolidated for the HR information systems for the schools and the town, she said.

Selectman Robert Burr expressed concerns with the recommendations. The current department of one HR employee is working he said, and suggesting an increase when the number of employees is not growing "is odd."

Selectman Vice Chair Avril Elkhort said the board is "reluctant to hire any new employees," due to the economic situation.

The Board of Selectmen agreed to take the presentation findings under advisement.

The next Board of Selectmen meeting is Tuesday, July 5 at 7:00 p.m.


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