Hiring Independent Contractors Versus Full-Time Employees: A Tough Decision for Hiring Managers

Hiring Independent Contractors

It’s the age-old question. Should a hiring manager employ independent contractors or permanent staff members? The answer may not be as simple as you think.

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Independent Contractors and You

Independent contractors seem like a win-win situation for the harried hiring manager. In principle, independent contractors are small businesses and individuals that are hired for a specific length of time to perform a task. Independent contractors are invaluable when your company is tasked with a certain project that’s out of the company’s general purview, and you need to get it done right away. In that instance, you can hire an independent contractor for the duration of the project and when it’s done, simply terminate the contract.

This may seem easier than hiring a full-time employee for a temporary project (even using our job portal), and it undoubtedly is. Generally, hiring managers don’t need to worry about benefits or sick time when using an independent contractor. This factor alone can save a company thousands of dollars. Paperwork is far less stringent with an independent contractor, and so is the legal liability.

When to Avoid Independent Contractors

With advantages such as those listed above, it’s not surprising that hiring independent contractors is becoming more popular. Companies relying mostly on independent contractors seem to be cropping up all over the place. However, there has been some abuse regarding the “independent contractor” term, and some states are starting to crack down on those abusing it. Here are some situations in which you want to avoid hiring an independent contractor:

1. You Need Control Over the New Hire’s Schedule

Independent contractors should always have control over their own schedules. If you are setting the hours in which a new hire works, he or she should always be considered an employee.

For example, you hire a worker to come to the office and clean out old paperwork. If the worker is an independent contractor, he or she will suggest a time to come in and do the work. The hiring manager will also need to work with the contractor to determine their availability.

Obviously, if you hire an employee, you will have control over their schedule. You can ask an employee to come in at 6 a.m. to clean out the paperwork, or 8 a.m. or whenever you want. This type of flexibility for the employer is a good reason to hire a permanent employee for a long-term position instead of choosing an independent contractor.

Now, can you hire an independent contractor and then insist that they show up at a certain time for the duration of the contract? Sure, but they may have grounds for suing your company for unpaid benefits if the contractor claims that they are actually an employee.

2. Your Core Business Would Depend on the Contractor

If your core business is making widgets, and you hire an individual for the sole purpose of making said widgets, that person should be an employee. Not only is this good common sense, but it is also the law in California, which is cracking down hard on what the state considers to be employees deliberately mislabeled as independent contractors.

What about large companies that rely almost exclusively on independent contractors as their core business? To that, we have a couple of observations.

First, many of these companies haven’t yet made a profit. While this is due to a number of factors, it’s not unreasonable to think that trying to hire independent contractors as employees may be one.

Second, certain companies are also embroiled in a lawsuit with the state of California over hiring independent contractors for their core work. Unprofitable conflicts such as these should be avoided if possible.

3. You Need the Employee Long-Term

Long-term plans are great for hired employees. Some of the most successful hiring managers continually plan paths of achievement for new hires to make sure that they don’t get frustrated and burn out. However, this mode of thinking can only be detrimental when hiring an independent contractor.

Contractors should generally only be considered for short-term projects. Any type of long-term strategizing with them is usually a waste (and may be illegal).

When to Consider Independent Contractors

Of course, there are times when hiring new employees should be avoided, and independent contractors should be hired instead. Here are a few listed below:

1. You have a Limited Headcount and the Job Is Secondary and Short

No hiring manager can hire as many employees as they deem necessary. Instead, the manager must work within the confines of the system. If a job is short-term, an independent contractor will work better for headcount than a new employee will. After all, the independent contractor will be dismissed once the job is completed, while the new employee will remain after the job is over (and may possibly have nothing to do).

2. The Job Would Require Training to Oversee

All employees require managers, especially new hires. If a manager isn’t available that matches the employee’s skill set, then it may be time to consider an independent contractor who shouldn’t need hands-on management.

For example, a hardware store needs to build a new website. No one currently working at the store knows anything about computers, and there is no long-term need for computer knowledge. In this instance, it probably would be advantageous for the company to hire an independent contractor. After all, the new hire would probably be treated as an independent contractor anyway.

The Choice Made Clear: Independent Contractors Versus Employees

The choice between independent contractor and employee seems difficult at first, although it may be easier with our Geographic information system (GIS). However, with a little bit of knowledge regarding the position being filled and some understanding of the law, the answer may become obvious. The independent contractor versus employee question may be stressful for a neophyte hiring manager without the right tools. But it shouldn’t be, and it doesn’t need to be. With this advice, any hiring manager can make the right decision.

If you’re a hiring manager trying to decide whether to hire a full-time employee or an independent contractor, contact us at Mapertunity! Our job search power tool will help you will find the latest job market trends.

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Attitude Versus Capability: A Guide for Hiring Managers

Attitude vs Capability when Hiring

Some hiring decisions are easier to make than others. For example, a perfect candidate would interview well and impress everyone. Then, after hiring, the new employee transfers seamlessly into your company’s culture and immediately shows productivity. Don’t expect this to happen too often (although it may be easier with our job portal, which is a LinkedIn Killer).

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One difficult decision a hiring manager often faces is the question of attitude versus capability. Certainly, having a candidate with clear examples of both a positive attitude and outstanding capability on a resume is the optimal situation. However, perfect candidates, much like anything perfect in life, are rare.

5 Things to Consider When Hiring the Perfect Manager

Hiring managers shouldn’t rely on an ideal candidate walking through the door in response to a job posting. Instead, the following considerations should be kept in mind.

1. Supervisor and Coworker Attitude Matters

A thorough hiring manager will generally have a meeting with the vacant position’s coworkers and supervisor before posting any sort of job listing. In this meeting, pay close attention to the supervisor’s demeanor. If the supervisor seems patient and understanding, you may want to consider a candidate with a positive attitude. Most individuals with a positive attitude can be easily trained, especially if the supervisor is willing to mentor a new employee.

However, if the supervisor seems stressed, curt, or distracted, you probably should consider an applicant with a proven capability for the position. Even if the new employee also has less of a positive attitude, skills matter in this situation. A supervisor that is obviously harried does not have time to help the new employee, who must “hit the ground running.” In this instance, capability could win out.

When attending this meeting, also consider the rest of the department. Coworkers have their own perspectives, and some employees may be more accepting of a new hire with a great attitude, while others may prefer to work with an individual with proven capability.

Office gossip generally should be avoided by hiring managers. However, it may be good to know what’s going on within the department when hiring. In these situations, a hiring manager may want to listen to what other employees say about the hiring department. However, while useful, any information gained this way should probably be taken with a grain of salt.

2. Task Yourself with Knowing the Tasks

Of course, the hiring manager should consider the position being filled when deciding between attitude and capability. For example, a positive attitude is probably what to look out for when hiring for a job that deals with the public, or a job in sales. Both occupations need employees who are pleasant, outgoing, and get the job done. Also, while skills are important for every career, these occupations rely more on quick-thinking and personality.

In other situations, such as hiring a computer programmer, capability should be given more weight in decision making than attitude. While no one wants to work with a surly employee, computer programmers, for example, do not need to have a charismatic attitude to succeed at their jobs. Provided computer programmers can communicate effectively and work within a team in an office environment, they can thrive and be productive. With jobs hinging on productivity, capability is most important.

3. Position Status Isn’t Just for Show

Trying to hire a competent individual for an entry-level position may be a mistake. Most individuals whose resumes present them as highly capable are already accomplished, and therefore have already been trained. If you are looking for an employee who accepts training easily and is open to your company’s workflow, you may want to consider an applicant with an excellent attitude. An excellent attitude in a new employee will go a long way in aiding a department in training. The employee will also be more likely to follow instructions to the letter.

However, if you are looking to hire a management-level position or higher, you probably should be looking for prospective employees with proven capability. While having a positive attitude is also desirable for these candidates, management needs to make tough calls and generally has a lot going on at any one time. These positions call for employees with a long resume that highlights their obvious capability.

4. The Trend of Increasing Capability and Decreasing Attitude

If you are torn between a candidate with great attitude versus a candidate with outstanding capability, realize that capability tends to increase while attitude tends to decrease over time. If someone has an attitude that seems mediocre during the interview process, they may become even more embittered as the daily grind takes hold. Eventually, you may end up with a difficult, resentful employee who hurts the team’s morale.

However, if you choose an individual who may be less capable at first, and your company is successful in training, that employee may grow to become outstanding at the job. They may even be able to help fellow employees achieve their full potential. A positive attitude can really give new employees a leg up when it comes to improving capability and becoming true members of the team.

5. Attitude is for Everyone

Even if you find an employee with outstanding attitude, realize that positivity needs to be nurtured. Irrelevant meetings, busy work, and cutthroat office politics take their toll on the most upbeat employee. Creating a workplace culture that is free from negative influences and avoids corporate jargon is imperative to creating and retaining employees with terrific attitudes. It may even help your business! Unfortunately, some employees may always have negative attitudes, but other workers could lighten up and come to appreciate the workplace for the opportunity it is, instead of seeing it as an obstacle to true happiness.

Attitude and Capability Can Go Hand in Hand

Being a hiring manager is challenging even under the best of circumstances. Deciding between a job candidate with a great attitude and a candidate with outstanding capability can be a difficult task. However, using the information in this article, you can make a decision that improves morale and productivity today.

If you’re a hiring manager trying to find that elusive perfect candidate, contact us at Mapertunity! Our Geographic information system (GIS) will help you locate qualified job candidates throughout the country.

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Attracting the Perfect Candidate with a Great Job Description

Writer Better Job Descriptions

All successful businesses eventually face the same problem. No matter how competent or large the core team is, eventually all growing companies must hire additional employees.

Hiring employees may seem simple. Just place an ad on an internet site and wait. However, nothing could be further from the truth. For example, how does the person placed in charge of hiring determine whether a potential employee is competent or is compatible with workplace culture?

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5 Tips to Create a Great Job Description

An experienced hiring manager probably knows how best to vet candidates, but some companies don’t hire human resources personnel until they “get established.” In those instances, you may find yourself dealing with hiring a new employee along with your other duties. In that case, you probably will need all the help you can get. Fortunately, we at Mapertunity are here to help!

Without further ado, here are five tips to help you craft an amazing job posting that you can use in conjunction with our geographic information system (GIS) to achieve the best results.

1. Ensure You Understand the Position

While this tip seems like a no-brainer, jobs are now more technical and specialized than ever, and posting accurate requirements for a position is crucial. If anything seems unclear regarding job requirements, contact the appropriate department before you submit or post anything

Assumptions can be detrimental to the job filling process, especially if the job posting is asking for skills that you don’t understand. Consider the sad fate of a hypothetical hiring manager who assumed that JAVA and JavaScript could be used interchangeably in a job description. After a short and eventful employee search process, this person would most likely be working elsewhere, in a different capacity.

2. Don’t Allow Ego to Take Control

You may be a hiring manager for a great company. However, don’t let that cloud your thinking. Ridiculously low salary offers and/or overly demanding job descriptions only serve to weed out the honest, trustworthy employees, leaving you with the desperate and the dishonest.

Unless your firm truly cannot afford it, always try to offer a competitive salary for an open position. You are vying for employees with other companies in your area, and offering a lower salary immediately puts you at a disadvantage. Perks that the company may offer can help close this gap. However, realize that many top-notch candidates will bypass your company when they hear a low salary offer.

Low salary offers also tend to attract inexperienced candidates, who may assume that the offered position is entry-level because your posted salary is so low. These candidates may be passionate, but they may also be desperate. Desperate job candidates should be avoided by any hiring manager. A desperate candidate may accept a position at your company due to their desperation, only to resign later when they realize they dislike the job.

3. Don’t Make Disproportionate or Excessive Demands

Overly demanding job descriptions are common in many job postings. Examples of overly demanding job descriptions include listings of skills not needed for the position, such as demanding that an applicant have C++ knowledge for a position in web development. Unreasonable demands for skills should be vetted before the employment listing becomes public. If a department insists that certain skills are necessary, make sure they realize that employment prospects may be limited and expensive, depending on the skills required.

Another example of an overly demanding job description would be listing that an entry-level position requires years of job experience. Entry-level positions should never require more than one or two years of experience. Dishonest applicants may simply list your required number of years of experience on their resumes, thinking that you may not check. And even if you do check, they are inclined to think it’d be impossible for you to find an applicant with the required years of experience willing to work for an entry-level wage.

Finally, does your company want to hire someone who has been in an entry-level job for three or four years? Granted, there may be some very good reasons to be stuck in an entry-level job for years. However, there may be issues with the employee’s work ethic or performance that could have caused stagnation. While all applicants should be considered, creating a job description that favors applicants that have stagnated isn’t the best policy.

4. It’s All About the Content

As with any business document, a job posting should be concise. So, long paragraphs describing your workplace, or the position should be avoided. Remember, job applicants face many of the same pressures as the employed, and most applicants want to put their resumes in front of as many people as possible. So, be brief and make sure that everything you write in your posting has value.

Also, make sure to avoid heavy jargon in your job posting. Heavy jargon may put off qualified candidates and give the impression that your company is narrow-minded and pedantic. That probably isn’t the impression you were hoping for and should be avoided.

5. Don’t Discard the Job Description Once the Employee Is Hired

After you finally find the perfect employee, you probably will be tempted to discard the job description. However, it can still come in handy! Managers can use job descriptions when discussing performance with employees. The very definition of a job is provided by its description, and it may be useful for the new employee when navigating their new position. So, make sure to save that hard work.

Rising to the Challenge of Job Descriptions

As a business professional, you are up to the challenge of writing an excellent job description. Following these tips will help you ensure that the job description is treated as a business document. Then, the job description will almost certainly help you find excellent candidates for almost any position. So, what are you waiting for? Write a job description that will rise above the rest and impress any worthwhile candidate.

If you’re a hiring manager trying to find the best employee for your open position, contact us at Mapertunity! Our job search power tool will help you find the latest job market trends, as well as compete effectively with other companies for top-notch employees.