Freelancer Management

The Game of Workforce Management is Changing: Three Topics Making News

The Game of Workforce Management is Changing: Three Topics Making News 8256 5504 Alicia East

The current employment landscape in the U.S. is shaped by several critical topics, reflecting ongoing changes and challenges in the workforce. Let’s talk about the three employment topics we’re seeing right now.

Three Current Employment Topics and What They Mean for Business

1. The Great Reshuffle: Initially termed as ‘The Great Resignation,’ this phenomenon saw millions of workers quitting their jobs in 2022 and 2023. The trend has evolved into ‘The Great Reshuffle,’ highlighting a dynamic where high quit rates are matched or exceeded by hiring rates, as workers seek better work-life balance, increased compensation, or stronger company cultures. This reshuffle has impacted industries differently, with leisure and hospitality experiencing high attrition rates, while industries like financial activities and manufacturing show lower quit rates due to their stability and higher pay​​.

2. Labor Shortage: A significant labor shortage persists, driven by multiple factors including early retirements, an aging workforce, reduced international migration, and a lack of access to childcare. The labor force participation rate has declined, contributing to a mismatch between job openings and available workers. This shortage is widespread, affecting nearly every state and industry, despite more Americans working today than before the pandemic​​. One of the ways companies are combating this challenge is engaging a contingent workforce to fill the gaps.

3. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): The upcoming changes on a federal level play a pivotal role in shaping the management of the contingent workforce in the United States. The changes to the legislation will greatly impact the segment of the workforce that is made up of temporary, part-time, freelance, and contract workers. The biggest change is that the legislation tightens the definition of an independent contractor. This makes accurate worker classification more important than ever. Misclassification of employees as independent contractors can lead to legal and financial repercussions, underscoring the importance of compliance. Employers must navigate these complexities to manage their contingent workforce effectively, balancing flexibility with compliance to safeguard workers’ rights under the FLSA.

The Bottom Line

The changes in the workforce–from the labor shortage to the FLSA’s impact on contingent workforce management underscores a broader need for employers to stay informed and agile in their labor practices. As the nature of work continues to evolve, accurate worker classification and a focus on compliance remain central to good business practices. Need help navigating? We’re here to help.

Engaging a Contingent Workforce: The Strategic Advantages and Drawbacks

Engaging a Contingent Workforce: The Strategic Advantages and Drawbacks 2560 1920 Alicia East

Throughout the labor shortage that has plagued businesses in recent years, many have turned to new strategies to fill roles and ensure continuity and growth. One such strategy is engaging a contingent workforce to fill the gaps. Everyone from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies like Google have leveraged this approach to drive success. While it’s not a new strategy, its prevalence is increasing because it allows companies to address immediate staffing needs while also offering businesses the ability to adapt quickly, access specific skills as needed, and save money.

Benefits of Engaging a Contingent Workforce

Flexibility and Scalability

A contingent workforce–made up of freelancers, independent contractors, consultants, and contract workers–provides unparalleled flexibility. Companies can scale their workforce up or down based on demand without the long-term commitments associated with permanent hires. This ability to swiftly adapt to market dynamics enables businesses to remain competitive and responsive to emerging opportunities or challenges. For instance, a retailer may engage contract workers during seasonal peaks or sports franchises may engage them for games and other large events. This allows them to manage the increased short-term demand while also ensuring a positive customer experience without changing their operational headcount or adding to the burden of permanent overheads.

Access to Specialized Skills

Engaging contract workers allows businesses to tap into a global talent pool with specialized skills that might not be available in-house. This is particularly beneficial for projects requiring niche expertise or for filling gaps in the existing workforce’s capabilities. For example, a tech company can hire a freelance cybersecurity expert for a short-term project to enhance its data protection measures, thereby benefiting from top-tier expertise without the need for a permanent position.

Cost Efficiency

Contract workers can also lead to significant cost savings. Businesses can reduce expenses related to benefits, taxes, and other employee-related overheads. Additionally, the pay-for-performance model common with contingent workers ensures that companies pay only for the work needed and completed, maximizing return on investment. This cost efficiency not only improves the bottom line but also allows for the reallocation of resources toward innovation and strategic initiatives.

Sounds Great. What are the Drawbacks of Engaging a Contingent Workforce?

While engaging a contingent workforce offers numerous benefits, it’s crucial to acknowledge and manage the inherent challenges.

Increased Burden of Onboarding and Training

One significant obstacle is the administrative burden associated with onboarding, training, and managing payments for temporary workers. Contract workers require onboarding every time a company engages them which can strain HR and administrative resources. Tailoring training programs for short-term employees also demands additional planning and investment to ensure they can contribute effectively and immediately.

Compliance Concerns

Another critical challenge is the risk of misclassifying workers. The legal landscape around contract employment is complex and varies by jurisdiction and is only increasing in significance with recent federal legislation. Incorrectly classifying an employee as a contractor can result in legal complications, financial penalties, and damage to reputation. Businesses must navigate these regulations carefully to avoid unintended consequences.
To mitigate these drawbacks, companies should invest in streamlined onboarding processes, offer targeted training that maximizes the impact of contingent workers, and stay informed about the legal requirements for worker classification. By proactively addressing these challenges, businesses can continue to leverage the contingent workforce as a strategic asset while minimizing potential downsides.

The Bottom Line

The labor shortage presents a significant challenge, but it also offers an opportunity for businesses to rethink their workforce strategies. By embracing the contingent workforce, companies can enjoy flexibility, access specialized skills, achieve cost savings, and increase their agility. As the business landscape continues to evolve, the ability to adapt and innovate with the help of a diverse and skilled contingent workforce will be a key differentiator for success. If you’re wondering how engaging a contingent workforce could impact your business from an administrative and compliance perspective, we’re here to help!

Do You Direct Source Talent? This One Thing Might Make You Want to do a Happy Dance

Do You Direct Source Talent? This One Thing Might Make You Want to do a Happy Dance 2560 1707 Alicia East

While some companies prefer to outsource their talent search and the related details, others rely on their own internal systems to find talent (i.e. direct sourcing). This means a company or organization recruits and hires temporary workers without the involvement of traditional staffing agencies or intermediaries. The company takes on the responsibility of identifying, recruiting, and managing temporary employees on its own. We’ll cover the benefits of direct sourcing as well as discuss the advantages of engaging an Employer of Record (EOR) when direct sourcing talent.

Benefits of Direct Sourcing

For companies with the appropriate internal structures in place, direct sourcing offers some benefits.

  1. Brand Engagement: Direct sourcing allows companies to directly engage with potential temporary workers and showcase their employer brand. This direct connection can enhance the company’s reputation and attract a pool of candidates who are specifically interested in working for that organization.
  2. Cost Savings: Direct sourcing can potentially result in cost savings for the company compared to using external staffing agencies. By managing the process internally, the organization may avoid paying additional fees associated with agency services.
  3. Customization: Companies can tailor their recruitment process to fit their specific needs and culture. This customization may result in better alignment between the temporary workers and the company’s values and expectations.
  4. Control and Flexibility: Direct sourcing provides greater control over the entire recruitment process and allows the organization to be more flexible in responding to changing workforce needs. This can be particularly helpful in industries with fluctuating demand for temporary labor.

Benefits of Engaging an Employer of Record When Direct Sourcing Talent 🌟

While direct sourcing offers several advantages, it also comes with challenges. The administrative burden and the responsibility of complying with labor laws and regulations often top the list of concerns. Companies need to ensure that they have the resources and expertise to effectively manage and support a temporary workforce engaged through direct sourcing. An EOR allows companies that want to source talent directly to offload the aspects of the process that are burdensome such as onboarding, worker classification responsibilities, and understanding regulations to help companies stay compliant.

When Does Engaging a Partner Make Sense?

An EOR fills the gaps and, in our case, (hi! 👋) offers custom solutions for your company’s specific needs. Companies without a department dedicated specifically to managing the details related to a contingent workforce have a great deal to gain from these services. A partner with the specific skills and bandwidth to manage the administrative details of engaging a contingent workforce can turn out to be priceless. Contact us for a free consultation!

Here’s What to Think About if You’re Expanding Your Business (And Therefore, Your Payroll)

Here’s What to Think About if You’re Expanding Your Business (And Therefore, Your Payroll) 2560 1707 Alicia East

If you’re planning to expand your business, one of your top priorities should be making sure you’re in position to classify and pay employees and independent contractors properly. This is especially important if you’re looking to hire people in any state without any red tape. Today, we’ll talk about what it takes to run payroll and when it’s helpful to engage a partner.

Doing Payroll Right

Since payroll is always a complex, high-stakes business, it’s worth investing anything required on the front end to make sure you do it right. Whether you train an in-house team or engage a partner, they need to be in position to classify correctly, stay on top of laws as they change, identify and respond to the different tax requirements, and have a system in place that allows the process to be simple, accurate, and fast. This helps you avoid future fines and legal battles.

Doing it right means doing the following:

  1. Learning local employment laws. This includes identifying regulations regarding working hours, holidays, sick pay, insurance, and more and having a (preferably automated) system in place to follow those rules.
  2. Onboarding workers. This includes collecting information such as name and date of birth as well as tax forms, background checks, benefit status, and work eligibility.
  3. Storing and securing data. Since you’re dealing people’s personally identifiable information (PII), you MUST have a way to secure that highly-sensitive data. The fines for mishandling data are serious, so you should be equally serious.
  4. Authorizing payments and ensuring your employees get paid accurately.  This includes identifying the appropriate deductions/taxes, keeping accurate records, paying on time in every location, sending out notifications, reporting as required to government institutions, etc.
  5. Having a system in place to identify and adjust to changes. You don’t always have time to wait weeks to adjust to new laws. Things evolve rapidly, so your system needs to be ready to evolve just as rapidly.
  6. Staying compliant. Laws are different from place to place and do change frequently, so your payroll management software solution should have systems in place to ensure  compliance wherever you operate.

Would Outsourcing Payroll Benefit Your Business?

Outsourcing payroll is especially valuable in certain situations. If a company needs to hire employees in multiple states, is growing rapidly, and/or needs to hire temporary workers frequently, engaging an Employer of Record (EOR) could be a game changer. An EOR mitigates compliance risks, increases payroll efficiency, and eases the administrative burdens of managing a workforce.

The Bottom Line

Payroll is one of the most complex and challenging aspects of operating a business and should be given appropriate attention by every business. When a company is growing, payroll is one of the most important aspects of business to have in good working order. The right people on your in-house team or the right partner are essential. If you think a partner would be beneficial to your business, reach out! Relax: We got it.

Direct Sourcing: How to Walk The Compliance Tight Rope

Direct Sourcing: How to Walk The Compliance Tight Rope 2560 1707 Alicia East

Direct sourcing allows businesses to place workers as needed and on a temporary basis. One of the biggest benefits is that they get to keep the best workers in the pipeline between projects and tap their pool of talent as needs arise. Direct sourcing is a great tool for managing a contingent workforce, but companies must remain vigilant to stay compliant.

Direct Sourcing And Risk & Compliance 

While direct sourcing is an incredible asset to companies, it’s important to keep risk, compliance, and payroll top of mind. Mitigating risk requires specialized skills, a great depth of knowledge, and a department with enough bandwidth to understand and follow rules on a state and federal level.

Errors can be incredibly costly. Companies can be subject to heavy fines when they classify workers incorrectly or make mistakes with payroll. In addition, companies can face damage to their reputation and end up directing resources (including time) that could otherwise be directed elsewhere. Worker classification and payroll rules vary from state to state and on a federal level as well.

Since regulations change all the time, hiring organizations must do due diligence to make sure they keep their practices compliant and their businesses in good standing. Any company using direct sourcing simply must also include effective worker classification and payrolling services as a part of its plan.

When is it Time to Engage a Partner?

For companies that use direct sourcing, engaging a partner for risk compliance, worker classification, and payroll can be an incredibly sound business move. A partner can fill in the gaps to fill payroll demands and other contingent workforce management. Companies without a specific department to fill these roles will be well served by engaging a partner with the bandwidth and skills to handle everything related to risk, compliance, worker classification, and payroll for a contingent workforce.

The best partner will be able to handle every type of worker a business employs. When direct sourcing talent, many businesses find an Employer of Record (EOR) that takes care of all the administrative details of managing a contingent workforce is an indispensable part of their team.

If you’re considering whether an EOR would be helpful to your business, let us know! This is our jam.  

Event Management And The Key to Making 1+1 Equal 10

Event Management And The Key to Making 1+1 Equal 10 2560 1707 Alicia East

The adage goes “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” But what about when you’re the one known for getting it all done? Whether you’re managing a massive event or a one-camera production, it’s time to think about multiplying your time. Engaging a partner who specializes in event management works out well for clients and workers alike. That’s because the right partner has all the tools and skills to be efficient in the worker management and payroll pieces of the process. Those skills require a huge learning curve, but when you engage someone who specializes in it, you skip all of that! It’s one of the quickest ways to increase bandwidth. When you delegate the pieces you don’t specialize in, everyone wins. Go ahead: Take some of that time saved to order yourself a World’s Best Boss mug to celebrate your victory.

Easy Events 

The right partner can handle any event, whether you’re payrolling thousands of workers, sending a crew to an NBA game, or something in between. Knowing some of the major details are handled frees you up to focus on other details (of which there are always plenty!).  

Events don’t operate on a nine-to-five schedule and neither do we. The right partner needs to be able to operate with the reality of your schedule. An after-hours phone number to provide speedy answers can come in clutch in time-sensitive situations. Our online system allows clients to take care of just about anythingand at any hour! PayReel handles all the paperwork and the bonus is that we do it without any actual paper. Not having to sift through piles of identical paperwork cluttering up your desk and your headspace makes the process quicker and easier for you and for your workers.

Speedy Payment And Paper-Free Paperwork Makes Happy Workers

Happy workers make smoother events. By managing all the payment details, including the mountains of W-4s, payroll becomes a non-event. Workers submit timecards on Mondays and we pay them on Fridays. When they’re paid quickly, they don’t need to call your office, which frees you up to do your job better. Of course, it also keeps workers happy so they are free to focus on your project and happy to come back for your next event. 

The last thing you need once you’ve hired people is to lose their loyalty on the back-end details. Whether they’re working for one day or over multiple events for months, we make sure workers get paid quickly and accurately so if you want to bring them on again, they’ll be ready to pick up the call.

We’re devoted to making every single client and worker interaction a good one, which makes working with you mighty attractive for workers.

The Bottom Line

In short: the key to multiplying your time is delegating/engaging partners whenever it makes sense. Clients work with PayReel because we make event management easier and free up clients’ time for the things they do best. Our team manage event payroll and payroll taxes and, as the employer of record, we even take on much of the risk associated with a variable workforce. Think you might benefit from hiring a payroll service? Contact us at 303-526-4900.

What to Know Before Engaging Independent Contractors in High Risk States

What to Know Before Engaging Independent Contractors in High Risk States 2560 1697 Alicia East

Hiring independent contractors can be a great way to advance your business goals without hiring additional employees for the long term. Often, contractors are the best bet for accomplishing specific, creative tasks like rebuilding a website. However, if you engage independent contractors in any of the high-risk states, it’s important to take extra care to protect your business from the associated liability. 

Which States Are Considered High Risk And Why?

Laws around documentation and classification are complicated and in certain states, it’s even more so. There are federal rules around engaging independent contractors and each state has its own regulations as well. What’s more, the rules change often and, in some cases, they even contradict each other. Even so, it’s still possible to guard against the major concerns that accompany engaging workers in these states. 

Some companies dedicate entire departments to the task, but those without an internal team/human resources department that is equipped to address those needs should partner with a company that specializes in handling them. The best partners will be aware of these risks and on top of the changes as they happen. 

The following states are considered high-risk for engaging independent contractors:

  • California
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • Maryland
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut

What Risks Will Employers Encounter?

Misclassification

While we tend to hear only about the major lawsuits against the big players (like Instacart), many companies misclassify workers without even realizing it. Moreover, a standard, objective test to determine whether a worker should be classified as an independent contractor or an employee doesn’t exist. That’s in part because each state has the power to determine some of its own rules.  

As we know, claiming ignorance is not an adequate defense strategy. Misclassifying workers can lead to fines, liability for unpaid wages and overtime, liquidated damages equal to the amount owed in unpaid wages, treble damages, attorney’s fees, tax and benefits liabilities, and more.

Audits

Even if you come out on the other side of an audit clean, it will be incredibly inconvenient and will divert resources and attention away from your business. Employers can quickly get themselves on the government’s radar by misclassifying workers. Having airtight processes–from the up-front paperwork all the way through payroll–is a good way to ensure workers are correctly classified and that they receive the corresponding benefits and accurate pay. 

Additional Training Requirements

In some states, workers are required to have additional training, which can be part of what contributes to their status as high-risk states. For example, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, and Maine all require Sexual Harassment Training at various intervals and job levels. While these are among the states that require such training, other federal regulations and court decisions make it clear that best practice is for all employers to provide anti-harassment training. Legal decisions at the federal level have demonstrated that failing to provide harassment prevention training makes companies extra vulnerable when issues come up. Precedent shows that employers without training may lose their ability to raise an affirmative defense in a harassment lawsuit. 

Would Engaging a Partner Benefit Your Business?

Engaging a partner whose core business addresses compliance concerns related to engaging workers in high-risk states has many advantages. If you think your company would benefit from having access to workers who are outside of your nexus, eliminating headcount changes, and mitigating risks, it’s time to consider engaging a partner like PayReel. Our system has defined processes for worker classification, payroll, and more. The system takes into account federal, state, and agency rules and includes a checks and balances process to ensure a solid precedent. Bottom line: We take compliance seriously! Contact us to talk about how this might benefit your business. 

Which Independent Contractors Should You Require to Have General Liability Insurance?

Which Independent Contractors Should You Require to Have General Liability Insurance? 2560 1707 Alicia East

We’re like anyone else: if there’s not a good reason for red tape, we’ll happily skip it. Sometimes, though, it seems there’s no work without a mountain of paperwork. Still, there’s one thing we know is important enough to require our independent contractors to carry: general liability insurance. We are so serious about it because we want clients to be as successful as possible. It may seem to slow things down up front, but we know it helps our clients pull off the best projects, productions, and events as possible.

Priceless Protection

Like all insurance, it can seem like overkill to carry insurance for just about everything under the sun. That is, until you need it. Once you’re in that position, the benefits are priceless. Keeping certificates of insurance on file positions you for stress-free, penalty-free audits. When an independent contractor doesn’t have coverage, it puts everyone involved at risk of costly audits and potential lawsuits. When you’re tied up in a legal battle or struggling to pay fines, it’s really hard to pull off flawless events, projects, or productions. Insurance protects clients in the event of property damage, audits, and more.

The Bottom Line

Sometimes clients don’t see the value in requiring insurance for what they perceive as low-risk roles, but let’s answer that first question right now and bust a myth while we’re at it: Requiring insurance for every independent contractor protects all parties. There’s no such thing as a low-risk role.

money and clock - PayReel

The Closest Thing to an Easy Button For Contingent Workforce Management

The Closest Thing to an Easy Button For Contingent Workforce Management 800 534 Alicia East

Ask anyone who manages a contingent workforce and the answer will be swift: an easy button to make it simple, convenient, and organized would be worth an awful. Any system or company that handles contractor payroll should include certain features (like online timecards, approvals, benefits-tracking, and more) to get as close to an easy button as possible.

Features of Headache-Free Contingent Workforce Management

Online Everything

Paper-free paperwork. It’s enough to make even the busiest folks sleep well at night. Being able to do everything from engaging/onboarding a worker to receiving timecards and submitting approvals online just makes sense.

Custom Reporting

Custom reports can serve to increase productivity or provide valuable insight into what is working well as well as where there’s room for improvement. It’s one feature that can make a huge difference in the way a system/payroll partner meets a company’s needs.

Consolidated Invoicing

When you have a bunch of invoices to pay to multiple vendors, it can get a little complicated. The vendors might be contractors themselves or the vendors that provide the contractors. Being able to bundle all invoices (according to the job, event, or in whatever way makes the most sense) and pay them as a single invoice can be a game changer for budget tracking and just plain simplicity. Having a payroll partner that offers this option can be invaluable, especially for companies managing many events or projects.

Ability to Manage Multiple Projects at Once

Speaking of multiple projects, being able to manage all of your events or productions at one time and in one place is a huge benefit. When you’re handling a multiple budgets and staff members, being able to do it all in one place is more than just convenient. An online system where you can just log in and see all of the projects you’re working on simplifies something that has the potential to be incredibly complicated. For one thing, it means you can skip some of the impeccable record-keeping previously required to manage the paperwork on concurrent projects. Online systems that allow you to pick any project/event and quickly identify the people working on them, the time cards that have been submitted, what has been approved and what still needs approvals, all broken out according to project and billing code is a huge time saver.

The Bottom Line

We know managing a contingent workforce can be challenging, but we’ve been working to make it as easy as it can be. If anything you see above might make your life better, contact us and tell us about your situation. You just might be able to hang up and say, “That was easy!” Seriously. This is our jam.

Employer record - Payreel

How to Make Hiring And Paying Workers For Events The Easiest Part of Your Day

How to Make Hiring And Paying Workers For Events The Easiest Part of Your Day 2560 2560 Alicia East

It’s always a good idea to treat your workers right. Aside from just being the right thing to do, it also makes business sense to make onboarding easy and payment quick and accurate. The current labor shortage just makes it extra important because workers have options and you want to be sure that your project is the one that gets priority and they answer the call when you need them. Whether you’re hiring temporary workers for a massive event or a one-camera shoot, having a partner equipped to onboard and pay temporary workers quickly and accurately makes both clients’ and workers’ lives easier.

How to Make Onboarding and Paying Event Workers The Easiest Part of Your Job

It’s simple: Partner with an Employer of Record (EOR). Here are some of the benefits:

  • EORs are in position to onboard and pay workers–even thousands of workers– to staff events. They can handle all the details for big and small events alike. 
  • They have the systems in place! Here at PayReel, much of the system is automated so you can take care of just about anything…at any hour…with a few taps or clicks. You don’t have to talk to anyone if you don’t want to but humans are available when you do need them. Our Client Relationship Managers are not limited to a nine-to-five schedule either. We have an after-hours phone line so we can be sure to provide speedy answers. 
  • Paper-free paperwork. Not having to sift through piles of identical paperwork cluttering up your desk and your headspace makes the process quicker and easier for clients and workers. Paperwork without the paper? Yes, please! 
  • EORs are in position to process payments in a speedy manner. In our case, workers submit timecards on Mondays and we pay them on Fridays. When they’re paid quickly, they don’t need to call your office, which frees you up to do your job better. Of course, it also keeps workers happy so they are free to focus on your project and happy to come back for your next event.
  • Keeping workers happy means the people you’ve hired once stay loyal. Whether they’re working for one day or for a month, quick and accurate payment ensures that when you’re ready to hire them again, they’ll be ready to pick up the call.
  • Not only does an EOR manage event payroll and payroll taxes; as the employer of record, they even take on all risk associated with a variable workforce.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that, by managing all the payment details, including the mountains of W-4s, an established EOR makes payroll a non-event. Here at PayReel, we’re devoted to making every single client and worker interaction a good one. Clients who put on events say they work with us because we make their lives easier. Think you might benefit from hiring a payroll service? Here’s a handy guide to find out more. Or contact us at 303-526-4900.