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We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason

Aug 18, 2008

Finding GREAT 1099 Contractors

It has been my distinct privilege for the past 3 years to manage a program
that relies heavily on outside contractors. I came to realize early on
that finding great 1099 contractors was a significantly different matter
from recruiting employees. There are many challenges facing this task
that may not come up in daily employee searches.

Here's just a few that I encounter:

-How do you find trustworthy and reliable contractors with the specific
skill sets you need?

-When you're working within a budget for your program, how do you
negotiate a fair contract, which attracts good candidates, but also keeps
you in your budget?

-How do you balance the equation in the previous question (what is the
weight of the budget vs. the quality of the contractor).

-What can you offer aside from the contract fee, i.e. why would they want
to choose to work with you with their limited time?

-How do you ensure quality control?

All these were issues I was first faced with more than 3 years ago, as I
started a program using outsourced marketing and training professionals to
support our company's growth. What I've found is that with a little
creative ingenuity, and real human understanding, these issues aren't
nearly as scary or difficult to solve as you'd think.

Here's some very simple suggestions for anyone looking for 1099 contractors:

1. FIRST contact your friends and business associates (internal and
external), and let them know the skill set and requirements you're looking
for. This is a great way to make a first pass at finding good, reliable

2. Identify the skill sets you need, write them down, and think about what
kind of work that person is doing now. (could that skill set include a
high school teacher, an architect, a electrical engineer, an admissions
counselor?) Many great 1099 contractors aren't working as 1099's
currently. Market your needs to part timers or semi-retired professionals
in the fields you've identified. You'll be AMAZED at the gems you can
find that have been looking for an opportunity to work independently, but
were afraid to take that first step.

3. Promote what makes your business or job special. Contractors are
people, after all, and people like to feel good about what they do.
Remember, while you can't provide "traditional" benefits to contractors,
your business may provide a wealth of other non-traditional benefits that
will draw the right people to your business. Are you an industry leader?
Do you do good for the community? Are you in a cutting edge field? Are
there perks that are available? Don't get down about not being able to
offer benes. 1099 contractors understand it, so don't dwell. Instead,
take the unique approach of selling those non-traditional benefits.

4. Maintain quality control by maintaining communication with your
contractors. Stay in touch, and remember that you are the client. If you
aren't satisfied with the quality of the work presented, don't be shy. Be
confident and professional. Communicate your expectations, and give
contractors the opportunity to upgrade their work.


Stephanie Ellis said...

Hello Jason,

Great blog!

The IRS has declared war on independent contractors and employers who use them. With increased governmental scrutiny of independent contractors, worker initiated class action lawsuits of late and the staggering financial penalties levied against employers related to worker misclassifications, building a defense is critical!

In an audit the employer is considered guilty of worker misclassification and must prove their innocence. At the start of the relationship is the ideal time to shield a company from potential fallout of an audit. Unfortunately most employers want to buy the insurance only after they’ve wrecked the car.

After selecting the candidate next step would be a qualification checking process. An in depth review of each worker helps uncover potential audit land mines and the opportunity to sidestep financial ruin, poor publicity and other nightmarish issues. At the end of the day the process should yield proof the worker meets both state and federal governmental requirements to be paid on a 1099. Each independent contractor should have a file which contains "evidence" (documentation) to prove the worker is in fact an independent contractor and not an employee.

The Queen
Compliance Blog

Jason said...

Stephanie, you make a TREMENDOUS point, which I completely ignored in my post.

As you state, this is a very serious issue, and must be handled with the utmost care and attention to detail.

I agree with your sentiment- go the extra mile to protect yourself in advance to save going to the cleaners later on. Contractors should have signed contracts which should always be reviewed by legal, and any employees who deal with the contractors should be properly briefed on the necessary items relevant to the employee/contractor relationship.

Thanks for checking in!

Jason Blais on FoxNews

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