Thursday, August 21, 2014

Preserving Your Payroll. Will Using Contractors Get You into Hot Water with the IRS ?



It happens. You're looking at the work ahead of you and realize your current workforce can't take it all on. But you also know your budget isn't going to allow for another full-time employee. So what's a hiring manager to do?
In the unmanned and robotics field, there will be many times where the need for contract workers versus full time employees makes sense. Perhaps there is a bid proposal you could use some assistance in writing and compiling. Or maybe you need an expert engineer to help guide a new project in its beginning stages. The beauty of hiring contractors is that you aren't responsible for providing benefits or other perks often enjoyed by full-time employees. But you have to make sure the designation is fitting in order to avoid coming up against IRS fines for violating employment laws.
·         Is the Job Short Term?  If the work you are looking to hire for is truly only short term, a contractor is probably the way to go. This is the case when you a hiring for the startup of new projects, knowing that the work itself has an expiration date. But when you continue rehiring the same contractor again and again, or you extend the project out indefinitely - you need to consider reclassifying the worker as a full-time employee.
·         Are the Skills Required Part of Your Regular Business Functions?  Hiring a contractor for something that is outside your typical scope of business is perfectly acceptable, and even advisable. Those bid proposals are a perfect example of this. Bidding on jobs is not a core function of your business, and is therefore something you may only need occasional help with. But if you are looking to hire a contractor to do the same work you have full-time employees doing on a regular basis, it can be much harder to justify the designation.
·         Has the Contractor Worked for You in the Past?  Often, a retired employee will begin working as a consultant after their full-time career has ended. This offers them more flexibility in their schedules and allows them to continue keeping up some level of work. Unfortunately, if someone has been employed full time with you in the past, it becomes more difficult to justify to the IRS your reasons for classifying them as a contractor in the future - particularly if they are taking on the same tasks they performed for you as an employee. 

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Does your Military Resume Showcase your Abilities?



Coming out of the service and entering civilian life can be a scary transition, particularly during tough economic times where no vet is guaranteed a job. The good news is that the unmanned robotics industry is primed to take off in the next several years, and for many who have served in the past, your experience may be exactly what hiring managers are looking for.
Not only do you have the proven ability to handle deployments, but you also know what it means to work as a team towards a shared goal. In many cases, the skills you gained in the military can directly apply to the unmanned robotics field. But knowing how to represent those experiences is half the battle in getting hired.
·         Focus on Your Experience, Not Your Title: It's common for those just coming out of the military to undersell the skills they gained while in service. Many have a difficult time seeing how those skills could translate into a civilian career, as they relate them so directly to the specifics of whatever job they were meant to carry out while in service. Even though you won't be going on missions or supporting entire platoons once out, the work you did is often applicable to the unmanned robotics industry. For instance, we are always looking for skilled pilots and fast learners who are able grasp some of the more technical aspects of our industry. Many hiring managers are willing to train workers; so long as they believe those workers have the background to pick up the intricacies of the job. Your skills and experience prove you have that background, and should be focused on as a result.
·         Utilize Your Connections: One great thing about the military is the connections you are able to make while in service. Chances are you already know somebody in the unmanned robotics industry. Even if you don't, there are plenty of ex-servicemen and women currently in this industry who are always looking for opportunities to help fellow vets. Use those connections and network your way into the right unmanned robotics job for you.
·         Create a Functional Resume: Update your resume to a functional format, which involves listing your skills at the top where most hiring managers are sure to look first. A standard chronological job resume can be good when you are remaining within your field, but for a career change (as with leaving the military for civilian life) it is best to make those skills the focal point so that hiring managers can see exactly what you have to offer. 

Click here to receive future advice, tips, and trends on hiring and retaining employees in the unmanned and robotics industry.  

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