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The Two Most Important Ways to Earn Temporary Workers’ Trust And Loyalty

The Two Most Important Ways to Earn Temporary Workers’ Trust And Loyalty 2560 1707 Alicia East

If the internet was the spark that started the digital revolution fire, COVID-19 certainly fanned the flame. Humans did what we do. We stretched our resources to adapt to the new reality. Technology carried the flag and enabled many companies and workers to stay afloat with remote workplace solutions. But, as always, technology has limits. No matter where your workers are located and whether you ever see them face to face or not, human capital is still your most valuable resource. It’s worth taking a little extra care to keep the human in your human capital management. 

Unfortunately, the reality for many temporary or contract workers is difficult. Often, they lack access to benefits, work overtime without corresponding compensation, and deal with clients who pay late or don’t pay at all. So when you go above and beyond, you earn trust and loyalty from you workers and for your brand as a whole. 

As the workplace becomes increasingly digital, the human piece becomes even more important. 

Here Are Two Ways to Keep the “Human” In Your Human Capital Management Even In a Digital World

1. Classify Workers Correctly

It’s easy to think of worker classification in terms of compliance. And it’s true! Classifying correctly keeps the IRS off your back. But it’s also a way to take care of your people. The better you do up front at classifying accurately and setting expectations clearly, the happier workers will be. 

Accurate worker classification is an essential starting place. It’s easy to get wrong, but with your reputation and large fines on the line, it’s also important to get it right. Here’s a list of the most common classification errors and how to avoid them. Here are some basic guidelines for identifying the difference between employees and independent contractors.

On the other end, employers often have a difficult time keeping up with contractor and freelancer management. It’s time consuming to stay on top of ever-evolving laws, minimum wage and overtime changes, benefits eligibility, and the differences between state and local regulations. It is a worthwhile investment, though. It raises businesses to preferred client status among contract workers and helps protect them from costly fines, to boot.

2. Pay temp employees and freelancers accurately and fairly

Pay accurately and on time. Some big companies make a habit of net 90, but we don’t recommend it. Net 30 is more ethical and ultimately better for business. Here’s why. Overtime regulations or minimum wage debates are in constant flux, but here are our suggestions on this front.

Be proactive about benefits and keep up with evolving state and local laws rather than waiting for workers to knock on your door. Transparency is a great way to build trust. 

The bottom line

We know you care about your freelancers, but they only know it if you show it. Taking these measures can help you keep the “human” in your human capital management. The major bonus of handling your freelancers in an ethical way is that it keeps you compliant.

We know you’re busy. If you don’t have the time, resources, or desire to pay attention to all the details, hire an expert to keep track of contractor and freelancer management for you. Our team of experts and our PayReel OnLine software are fully equipped to help you sort out the rules and execute processes while also balancing contractor expectations, legalities, and company budgets. This quiz can help you decide if you’d benefit from hiring a team like PayReel 

We help you care about your workers even when you’re short on time. We think happy workers and peace of mind are pretty close to priceless. 

Managing a Contingent Workforce? Here’s Your Audit Prevention Checklist

Managing a Contingent Workforce? Here’s Your Audit Prevention Checklist 150 150 Alicia East

If you work with independent contractors, you know the draw. You get to tap into outside creative resources and outsource work that is not central to your main line of business. It often allows companies to better meet budget.

On the surface, the barometer for identifying independent contractors is easy. They are self-employed and hired to do a specific job. They receive payment only for the work performed. Unlike a regular employee, they pick their projects and regularly move from client to client and business to business. Also referred to as freelancers, consultants and 1099’s, they report their own business income and pay self-employment taxes. Easy enough until you remember that nothing that involves the IRS is ever quite that simple.

 

Is Your IC really an Independent Contractor?

The IRS has very strict guidelines that define true business-to-business relationships. These guidelines are meant to prevent firms from misclassifying would-be employees and thereby avoid, either knowingly or unknowingly, a bounty of state and federal taxes.

This is a deceptively complex question that’s important to answer “yes”, because the risk of your company facing an IRS audit has never been greater.

Best Practices to Prevent an Audit

• Work with contractors who have an established business entity, with a business name and EIN to which invoice payment is made.

• Make sure your contractor provides services to businesses other than your firm.

• Have workers provide certificates of insurance, including coverage for general liability insurance and workers’ comp insurance

• Have a signed per-project agreement for services between your company and the contractor. Each project should have a contract specifying project length, compensation and liability.

• Have workers include expenses such as reimbursements for travel, phone, meals and overtime wages in their day rate.

• An independent contractor’s services should not be integral to the day-to-day functioning of your business. They should not be functioning as a division of your company.

• Watch out for pen-ended, ongoing work. The longer a contractor is with you on a full time basis, the more they take on the role of an employee.

When working with your contractors

• Do not train a contractor, direct their work responsibilities or define their work schedules. Specific instructions on these aspects of a job imply an employee relationship.

• You cannot control any aspect of their work except the results.

• Independent contractors should, when feasible, be using their own equipment. This includes computers and phones.

• Do not provide any employment benefits. Independent contractor’s should have their own health insurance, pay their own employment taxes and not receive any corporate stock options.

• You contract on a per-project basis.

• Above all, keep in mind that this is a business-to-business relationship.

Prevent an Audit

Getting audited can be costly and time-consuming even for businesses that do everything by the book. How much are you willing to pay for employee misclassification? If you have any questions about independent contractor status, trust PayReel to help you make the determination.

The Art of Delegating: How to Multiply Your Bandwidth

The Art of Delegating: How to Multiply Your Bandwidth 150 150 Alicia East

The adage goes “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” If you are the person that always gets asked, it might be time to think about how to multiply your time using the art of delegating. Engaging a partner for events, worker management, and payroll is one of the quickest ways to increase bandwidth to actually do what they do. Put some of your responsibilities on someone else’s plate and then get yourself a mug to commemorate your status as World’s Best Boss.

Whether it’s a massive event or a one-camera film shoot, when a partner who specializes in event management manages your projects, it works out well for clients and workers alike.

Make Events Easy 

Whether you’re payrolling thousands of workers, sending a crew to an NBA game, or something in between, it’s nice to know all the details are handled. 

At PayReel, we know things don’t operate on a nine-to-five schedule and neither do we. We have an after-hours phone so we can be sure to provide speedy answers. Our online system allows you to take care of just about anything…at any hour…with a few taps or clicks. 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.

Make Workers Happy With Speedy Payment And Paper-Free Paperwork

By managing all the payment details, including the mountains of W-4s, payroll becomes a non-event for our clients. 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 for a month, we make sure workers get paid quickly and accurately so if you want to hire them 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. As Michael, one of the freelancers PayReel pays, said, “[My Customer Experience Manager] has been superb in addressing whatever problems I have had.”

The bottom line

Clients work with us because we make your life easier and multiply your bandwidth for the things you do best. Not only does our team manage event payroll and payroll taxes; as the employer of record, we even take on all risk associated with a variable workforce. 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.

The Absolute Non-Negotiable When Direct Sourcing

The Absolute Non-Negotiable When Direct Sourcing 2560 1707 Alicia East

It’s easier than ever for companies to use their own talent pool to meet their contingent workforce needs. Direct Sourcing allows businesses to place workers on a temporary basis, while keeping the best workers in the pipeline between projects. Direct sourcing is a great tool in the toolbox for contingent workforce management, but companies must remain vigilant to stay compliant.

Risk and compliance when direct sourcing

The real work when direct sourcing begins with risk, compliance, and payroll. 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 in many ways, including heavy fines, damage to reputation, and loss of resources–both financially and otherwise. The rules around classification and payroll vary from state to state and on a federal level as well. Regulations change frequently as well and 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 IC classification and payrolling services as a part of its plan.

When does engaging a partner for risk compliance, worker classification, and payroll make sense?

Sometimes a partner can fill in the gaps for payroll for a contingent workforce. Companies without a specific department to fill these roles will be 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 worker type 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.  

What Can Misclassifying Employees Cost You?

What Can Misclassifying Employees Cost You? 2560 1707 Alicia East

The legal battle over which workers can be classified as independent contractors versus employees is nowhere near close to over. Wherever the battles land, one important fact remains: The IRS takes the practice of hiring independent contractors very seriously. That means companies should, too.

Misclassification Costs Businesses Money

While hiring an independent contractor is attractive for the potential money savings that come with outsourcing work that is not central to their main line of business, mistakes can quickly override any savings.

The IRS has very strict guidelines that define true business-to-business relationships.These guidelines are meant to prevent firms from misclassifying would-be employees, thereby avoiding a bounty of state and federal taxes. Making a misstep can be costly—whether it was intentional or not.

There is big-time tax money at stake. According to the court’s ruling on the landmark worker classification Dynamex decision, “the misclassification of workers as independent contractors rather than employees is a very serious problem, depriving federal and state governments of billions of dollars in tax revenue.” That’s billions with a B.

Small businesses can avoid certain taxes with fewer employees and independent contractors can write off business expenses and may also underreport their income. Hence the resulting “deprivation.” The IRS is motivated to recoup those lost dollars.

Misclassification Wastes Time

Audits and court costs alone are expensive and time-consuming even for businesses that do everything by the book. If you’re found in error, back pay adds up quickly. How much are you willing to pay in time and hassle alone?

Save the Hassle

If you have any questions about independent contractor status, trust PayReel to help you make the determination. We screen each employment situation carefully to assess the entire e relationship to make sure you are in complete compliance. 

PayReel and sister company Crew Connection have a 40 combined years of experience helping companies navigate the complex issue of compliance and working with independent contractors.  Call us at 303.526.4900 or email info@payreel.com.

How Apprenticeships May Be the Key to Your Talent Problem

How Apprenticeships May Be the Key to Your Talent Problem 2560 1707 Alicia East

It’s easy to think about apprenticeships as a relic of bygone years for cobblers and philosophers. But it does have a place in today’s world, albeit with a modern understanding and application. An apprenticeship is “a position as an apprentice: an arrangement in which someone learns an art, trade, or job under another.” Historically, apprenticeships have been a backbone of society as chefs and builders and craftspeople passed on vital skills and trades to younger generations. As skills that were necessary for the survival of their families or civilizations, the stakes were high. Students often lived with their masters for years before they were considered worthy of taking over the craft and practicing on their own. The title of a “master” was hard won. For a modern apprenticeship story, please do yourself a favor and watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Today, apprenticeship is simply a formal, organized system of On-The-Job Training (OJT) with the eventual goal of training a worker to the point of competency. An apprenticeship is decidedly different from an internship in a few key ways.

What’s the difference between apprenticeship and internship?

Internships offer temporary, usually short-term roles, often in exchange for college credit. Along with many people’s lived experiences, movies like The Devil Wears Prada have given internships a bad rap as a place where unpaid, under-appreciated, and usually very young workers are likely to do entry-level work. They may or may not have a designated mentor.

Apprenticeship programs, on the other hand, are paid programs that teach skills for specific industries. Training is usually done in a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Apprentices work closely with a mentor and upon completion of the program, the majority of workers who complete an apprenticeship program go on to retain employment.

What types of apprenticeship programs does the DOL support?

The US Department of Labor approves A Registered Apprenticeship Program hat has been validated by the DOL or State Apprenticeship Agency as well as an Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program, which is recognized by a Standards Recognition Entity in accordance with the DOL’s standards.

Apprenticeships can make filling the talent gap so much easier and more effective by:

  • Allowing you to recruit diverse workers
  • Improving your productivity
  • Reducing turnover and improving company culture

Are there financial benefits?

Well yes, as it turns out. In addition to the likelihood of training and hiring solid workers, the US Department of Labor has about $87.5 million in grants available for qualifying apprenticeship programs. Up to $40 million of those funds will be awarded to states that implement required diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

What organizations benefit from apprenticeships?

Union trade organizations are well established in the apprenticeship world while the IT, healthcare, and insurance sectors are relative newcomers. Many organizations are expanding and seeking ways to bolster their talent pools for both contingent workers and direct employees. These programs can benefit everyone, including HR and contingent workforce managers. Apprenticeship isn’t just for skilled trades and union jobs, it can work for many types of roles. Look for ways to educate workers while providing ORJ training and you could score big on the talent front as well as from government funded programs. Check out the DOJ information here and see what it might be able to do for your company.

The Counterintuitive Policy That Saves Businesses Big Money

The Counterintuitive Policy That Saves Businesses Big Money 150 150 Alicia East

For small businesses, cash flow is king, queen, and the American dream. While big businesses’ budgets tend to be a little more forgiving, small businesses and contractors have much less room to handle delayed payments or unexpected expenses. That’s in the best of times. Throw a little thing like a pandemic into the mix and small businesses can find themselves reeling, especially when multiple clients are delaying bills all at once.

Many companies have shifted even more toward hiring contractors instead of full-time employees. The businesses that treat them right create a win/win.

When you pay contractors quickly, they’re more likely to answer your calls and ramp up your projects quickly. For busy department heads with big projects and short turnaround times, there’s nothing better than diving right in with tried and true creative partners. Saving time, money, and hassle by working with people who just get what you’re looking for is priceless.

Pay contractors quickly or risk losing them

Internal processes, red tape, and backlogged accounting departments make it hard to get checks in the mail. We definitely understand. Unfortunately, your corporate freelance payment policy might prevent you from working with the best people. Top contractors get booked quickly. Paying them later than your competition can get you blacklisted or moved to the bottom of their long to do list.

Put yourself in their shoes. Freelancers are single-handedly juggling creative work, billing, marketing, and more. That means the person who sees your invoice in their red column is the same one you’re expecting to bring their all to your next project. What seems like a small invoice to a big company can have a major effect on a small business’ cash flow. Net 90 is a common practice for large companies. But even though a lot of people do it, that doesn’t justify the shady practice.

Systems, Systems, Systems!

Paying contractors quickly is worth the investment. If it’s not feasible to transform your internal process, get a partner with rock solid systems in place. Your contractors will get paid quickly and accurately and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that you’ll always be in good standing with them. With PayReel, you also get the bonus of pre-vetted workers who are always available at a moment’s notice.

Hiring contractors is a beautiful thing: It gives you a fresh perspective and talent without having to bring on full-time team members. Just make sure you do it right. Going from Net 90 to Net Now will save you time, keep you in good standing with contractors, and ensure you can feel good about the way you do business. Rather than trying to save Benjamins up front, take Benjamin Franklin’s advice and “Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”

The Most Expensive Marketing Mistake You Can Make

The Most Expensive Marketing Mistake You Can Make 900 633 Alicia East

A marketing director we will call Judy with a nonprofit we shall call Suffer No Fools came to our sister company Crew Connection upon recommendation. She was skittish. After they talked through her options and how one of our vetted crews would go about telling the nonprofit’s story, she softened. Finally, she revealed why she was skeptical.

As a nonprofit with a limited budget, they’d first hired a college student–a friend of a friend–who would produce a video for way less than anyone else she’d heard from. It was a simple job, she thought, and he could capture good quality footage without a ton of equipment.

Unfortunately, Judy had fallen victim to the idea that a good camera (for which most people can look no further than their own phones) was enough to get the results she wanted. While they’d planned to have a simple, but high-quality video at their fundraising gala that year, what they got was unusable. He filmed without a tripod (nausea all around!). He didn’t light his subjects (it would’ve taken a highly-skilled and expensive colorist to brighten the shot). And the composition of the shots were comparable to your Aunt Doris’s Facebook posts.

So they paid less than they would have if they’d hired a professional crew but they couldn’t use anything they got. That “cheap” hire turned out to be quite expensive after all.

This can happen in any marketing arena, but as the pandemic made safe on-set video production harder, videos were one of the first places to suffer. And while people were forgiving of lackluster production early on, we’re all suffering Zoom fatigue now and a polished production is as important as ever.

A Happy Ending

The next year, Judy made the case and set aside the funds to hire professionals. They’d missed a whole year of opportunity without a video that told the story and this time, they wanted to do it right. If that’s where you’re at, know this: some in-person productions are resuming and many crews are now offering remote crewing options.

It was an expensive lesson: We can’t afford not to hire the professionals.

Bottom Line

A reputable crew will have examples for you to look at. Check out their website or ask for samples that are most relevant to the project you want to do or the story you want to tell. Make sure both parties know the plan for the exact deliverables, timeline, and budget. Put it all in a contract (it protects both parties!).

Never hire based on price alone or take a chance without seeing the crew’s work. It’s just too risky to gamble on.

One of the most valuable things you get when you hire a professional video crew on Crew Connection is confidence.  Our team of professionals personally vets every crew before they make it on our database. That kind of peace of mind is priceless.

Quit Pining Away For Normal! We Have a Better Alternative!

Quit Pining Away For Normal! We Have a Better Alternative! 594 434 Alicia East

It’s 2021 and people are craving normalcy. They want to see the inside of restaurants again. They want to get massages and go to the gym. They want to hug their grandparents. What they may not want to do again? Wear pants with zippers or wait in security lines to travel for a meeting they could accomplish on Zoom.

COVID-19 has laid bare the weaknesses we didn’t know we had and the impossibilities we would be forced to make possible. Anytime we face a challenge, we have a choice. Do we pine away for what once was or do we create what could be?

What Will You Run Toward?

Instead of running away from a year that pushed us to our collective brink, let’s shift the conversation toward what we can run toward. Toward opportunities to make our systems more effective and adaptable. Toward ways we can serve our customers and clients better. Toward filling the gaps we’ve become so painfully aware of. We’ve always heard that necessity is the mother of invention. In a year with so much necessity, what will you invent?

We’ve seen some examples of people doing exactly this at our sister company, Crew Connection, where crews have figured out remote event production (a few steps up from Zoom) and how to offer pre-pandemic quality footage while keeping people safe. Check out the details here. We’re pretty proud of how they’ve adapted.

COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Can Expect For Business & Travel

COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Can Expect For Business & Travel 2560 1707 Alicia East

The first doses of the approved COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered and Dr. Fauci said, “we could really turn this thing around” by the end of 2021. So what can you expect in the coming months?

Here’s what you can expect for business and travel as the vaccine rollout continues

Business: Employers don’t usually have authority over employees’ health decision, but because this virus is deemed a direct threat, they do have a leg to stand on legally if they want to implement a mandatory vaccine policy. That said, it’s still a tricky subject, especially in these early stages, while the vaccine is approved under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Some may lean more towards encouraging the vaccine rather than requiring it, while also allowing exceptions in certain cases. Similar to the flu vaccine, some industries (i.e. healthcare) will be more likely to implement stricter policies. Get the full rundown here.

Travel: Many travelers have indefinitely hit pause on non-essential travel plans but may be itching to get out and see the world–or their families–again soon. Some destinations may require vaccinations in order to visit and some airlines have floated the idea of requiring them to fly. This post says the industry is unlikely to change much in the short term. Even as the vaccine rolls out and becomes more common, you can expect strict mask guidelines to continue, for example. Check the State DepartmentCDC, and International Air Transport Association to verify you’re meeting requirements.

Bottom Line

2020 may be coming to a close, but its effects will last well into 2021. Virtual meetings and events are still the name of the game. If you need help with yours, our sister company Crew Connection has everyone you need to pull off a remote production/shoot/event. Search for remote roles or chat with a coordinator at 303-526-4900 and we’ll tell you how.