A Special Message from Astron Solutions
On behalf of all of us at Astron Solutions, we hope this message finds you safe and well.
How quickly the world has changed for us, and for you too. Here at Astron, during the last two weeks we’ve mobilized our remote work plans as well as aided a number of our clients transition to a new way of working.
We’ve started to receive notes of encouragement from a number of individuals. So at this time, we want to let you know that all of our team members are working remote, safely and productively. Our work continues uninterrupted, allowing us to meet our project commitments to you.
Everyone at Astron wishes you, those dear to you, and all your co-workers safety and good health – both physical and mental. You are an important part of our larger Astron family.
Many of our clients are in the healthcare and social service industries. We keep them especially close in our thoughts and prayers as they put themselves on the front lines of this war.
We encourage you to stay in touch with us, and subscribe to our blog Astronology®. We’ll include late breaking COVID-19 resources there for your use.
We’ve been through some tough times together already – 9/11, the Great Recession, and Superstorm Sandy, to name a few. We’re here for you now when you need us. And we’ll be eager to help when this storm passes, too.
Thanks for being part of the Astron family.
Be well and stay well!
National Director, Jennifer Loftus Quoted in a September 2019 Newsday Article
Astron Solutions National Director Jennifer Loftus was quoted in the article “The no-no of asking job hopefuls about salary history,” a story on the salary history ban. Read the article here.
Michael Conway Promoted to Associate Consultant!
Effective July 1, Michael Conway will be an Associate Consultant, representing a promotion from the position of Senior Statistical Analyst.
Michael joined us in December 2013, learning the art of market pricing. Since that time, he has honed his market analysis craft, and has begun to take a leadership role on client engagements. Michael demonstrates expert insight into market questions posed by clients. Michael’s professionalism, hard work, and collegial disposition have made him a valuable part of our team.
National Director, Jennifer Loftus Quoted in SHRM Article
Astron Solutions National Director Jennifer Loftus was quoted in the article “On-Demand Pay Apps Are Catching On,” a story on daily pay apps.
Read the article.
Introducing the New Flare®
As Astron approaches our 20th anniversary, we continue to enhance our quality talent management products and personable services with some new changes.
Flare®, Astron’s web-based talent management system, debuted in March 2008. Preceded by the EasyHR Kit, Flare® was developed in response to the increasing need for technology in Human Resources.
With Flare®, organizations have access to easy to use cloud-based tools tailored to the needs of their own talent management processes. This is done through Flare® feature: its library of modules that allow organizations to pick only the features necessary to mange their employees’ needs. Some more popular modules include the following:
- Job Description Module: Quickly create, edit, and keep job descriptions up-to-date.
- Performance Management Module: Save time, improve accuracy, and eliminate frustration by taking performance reviews online.
- Pay for Performance: Determine merit-based pay increase quickly, efficiently, and accurately.
- Gamification Module: Make work fun! Award points, badges, and trophies to employees for the completion of assigned tasks and activities. Redeem points for prizes that increase healthy competition and employee engagement.
All of these features and more are available at the same Astron quality and with Astron’s affordable pricing.
In Flare®’s 10th year of release, the Astron team has further enhanced Flare®’s technical quality and pricing structure, and has started on soon to be released expansions. And now, Astron introduces Flare®’s very own website!
Learn more about Flare®, view videos, and explore our new employee based pricing at www.flaretm.com!
Astron Talks: Zicklin MBA Business Consulting Practicum
Jennifer Loftus was interviewed about Astron’s experience working with the Zicklin MBA students and their insightful consulting.
Recorded Copies of the “Getting to Know Flare®” Webinar Series Available!
Under the “Resource Library” section of our website a “Getting to Know Flare®” page has been added for those that may have missed our live webinars. The section will be growing as more webinars are held throughout the year. Feel free to catch up on all that Flare® has to offer!
National Director Jennifer Loftus quoted by SHRM
SHRM reached out to Astron Solutions’ Jennifer Loftus to explore the use of Paid Time Off (PTO) banks, rather than traditional vacation & sick time programs.
National Director, Michael Maciekowich quoted in Newsday
Newsday reached out to Astron Solutions’ Michael Maciekowich to speak on how companies are turning to performance-based bonuses to attract talent, instead of relying on hefty raises.
Welcome to our New Website!
You have come to know Astron Solutions, LLC as the human resource consulting firm that stays one step ahead of the curve in cutting edge total reward and talent management services. Now we have a website to match. We are excited to announce the launch of our new website. Come check us out. If you haven’t visited for a while now’s a chance to catch up with Astron Solutions LLC. From FLSA changes to the latest in Gamification, our new site provides an entry into total rewards and talent management innovation.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Regulations Update
On May 18, 2016, the final ruling was released, updating regulations defining which white collar workers are considered protected by the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime standards.
Key Provisions of the Final Rule
The final rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative, and Professional workers to be classified as exempt. Specifically, the final rule
1. Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South ($913 per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year worker);
2. Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees (HCE) subject to a minimal duties test to the annual equivalent of the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally ($134,004); and
3. Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years to maintain the levels at the above percentiles and to ensure that they continue to provide useful and effective tests for exemption.
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.
The effective date of the final rule is December 1, 2016. The initial increases to the standard salary level (from $455 to $913 per week) and HCE total annual compensation requirement (from $100,000 to $134,004 per year) will be effective on that date. Future automatic updates to those thresholds will occur every three years, beginning on January 1, 2020.
National Director, Jennifer Loftus Quoted in wework Blog
National Director Jennifer Loftus was quoted in the wework blog’s recent article “You’ve Got a Crush on Your Co-Worker – Now What?”
Read the entire story
National Director, Jennifer Loftus Quoted in Al Jezerra America Article
Astron Solutions National Director Jennifer Loftus was quoted in the article “Up Close and Personnel,” on the history and role of HR today.
Read the article.
National Director, Jennifer Loftus Quoted by Associations Now Magazine
National Director Jennifer Loftus is quoted in the July / August 2015 issue of Associations Now magazine regarding trends in employment and compensation.
You can read the article, entitled “Hire Power: Finding Employees that Match Your Needs“.
National Director, Jennifer Loftus Honored by Gotham Family Foundation
National Director Jennifer Loftus is being honored with the 2014 Gotham Comedy Foundation Lifetime Ambassador of Laughter Award! Please join the festivities on September 17th for a fun evening while helping others!
Get more information and register.
National Director, Jennifer Loftus Featured in IT Recruiting Infographic
National Director Jennifer Loftus is a contributor to Infusive Solutions’ latest publication, The Cheat Codes to Beating Software Development Interview Processes, which has recently been turned into an infographic. The infographic leads job candidates through several levels of interviews in a format similar to those experienced in video games. Jennifer explores level 1 interviews with the Human Resources professional.
View the infographic.
National Director, Jennifer Loftus Featured in IT Recruiting Guide
National Director Jennifer Loftus is a contributing author to Infusive Solutions’ latest publication, The Cheat Codes to Beating Software Development Interview Processes. The guide leads job candidates through several levels of interviews in a format similar to those experienced in video games. Jennifer explores level 1 interviews with the Human Resources professional.
Obtain your copy of the resource.
National Director, Jennifer Loftus to Lead Webcast on Gaining PHR and SPHR Certification
On October 3, National Director Jennifer Loftus will partner with Elizabeth Moore, PHR of the Holmes Corporation, to lead a webcast entitled How to Prep for the PHR/SPHR Exam with the SHRM Learning System. Attendees will receive tips on preparing for the HR Certification Institute’s PHR and SPHR exams, as well as find out how the SHRM Learning System can boost test preparation efforts. Note: This webcast does not qualify for recertification credit.
Register for the webinar, which is free to SHRM members.
Astron Solutions Welcomes MKA Executive Planners as a Strategic Business Partner
For more than forty years, MKA has been at the forefront of retirement income planning for executives, business owners and professionals.
For more information please visit www.mkaplanners.com.
National Director, Jennifer Loftus Quoted by US News and World Report
National Director Jennifer Loftus was recently quoted in the US News and World Report article 4 Reasons Your Resume is Thrown in the Trash (And How to Pull It Out). The article explores potholes job seekers encounter when applying for positions, and ways to avoid them.
Read the entire article.
National Director, Jennifer Loftus Quoted in New Story on INC.com
Inc.com recently quoted National Director Jennifer Loftus in the article How to Interview a Recent Grad. The article succinctly provides tips interviewing candidates who are new to the job search process.
Read the complete article.