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The Differences Between Employees and Independent Contractors

by Tim AustinNovember 6, 2018 3:00 PM

Employees and independent contractors all play important parts for small businesses across the country. While they can both work for the same company, there are key differences between the two.

Why does proper employment status matter? There are important legal differences between employees and independent contractors that affect payment, protections, and other key HR matters. In addition, improper employee classification can lead to serious penalties from the IRS. Here’s a breakdown on what differentiates independent contractors and employees and how it can impact a small business.

A collection of employees and independent contractors for a small business. 

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Human Resources

The Different Types of Group Health Insurance

by Tim AustinOctober 25, 2018 2:42 PM

Health insurance is one of the most sought-after benefits, but not all plans work the same way. There are several different types of group health insurance that differ in terms of how the insurance is purchased and how it affects the group’s premiums and plan options. 

While all these plans have certain advantages and disadvantages, it’s up to you to decide which makes the most sense for your needs. Here are some of the common types of group health insurance options available for small businesses.

Different types of group health insurance plans for small businesses. 

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Background Checks: What Small Business Owners Need to Consider

by Tim AustinOctober 19, 2018 2:17 PM

A good background check is a protective measure for any small company that allows employers to make a fully-informed decision on a job candidate. For example, an applicant with a past misdemeanor could have learned from his or her mistake and be a great fit for your company. However, that red flag could be a major point of concern if you’re hiring for a position of trust. The point is that a background check will help you know about these potential issues up front instead of having them be nasty surprises for the future.

There are several components to a good background check. Each of these parts provide different bits of information to help employers gain a better understanding of who an applicant is and if there are any issues. However, you also need to make sure that you’re following legal guidelines while you investigate candidates’ backgrounds as well. Here’s what you need to know to stay compliant and what you should include in your next background check.

Background check for a new job applicant. 

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Human Resources

Back-to-School: Employee Training and Performance Management Tips

by Tim AustinOctober 12, 2018 8:00 AM

You don’t need to be in school to learn a few tricks. Employees play a huge part in the success of your business. Retaining and developing a good group of employees can set your business up for bigger things in the future, especially when you consider that replacing an employee can cost up to 50 percent of that employee’s salary.

Employee training and performance management are key HR functions that can help you shape your employees into an even more successful group. Here are some back-to-school tips to help you make sure that your business is on the right path when it comes to training and performance management.

A small business owner going through a performance management review with a happy employee.

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Recruiting Millennials: Ways to Make Your Business More Attractive to Top Young Talent

by Tim AustinSeptember 20, 2018 8:00 AM

It won’t be long before millennials dominate the workforce. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that about a third of the current workforce is comprised of millennials. That same report indicates that millennials “are projected to make up 75 percent of all U.S. employees” by 2025. That means that you’ll probably want to take measures to attract top millennial talent when that generation dominates the pool of available job candidates.

Of course, each generation has different priorities when it comes to finding an employer. For example, cash doesn’t rule everything around millennials. Instead, they tend to value a good company culture and special benefits more than a high dollar number. In fact, Forbes reports that “millennials would be willing to give up $7,600 in salary every year to work at a job that provided a better environment for them.”

Millennials have different expectations than past generations. Here’s what you can do to make your business more appealing when recruiting millennials.

Young professional happily employed by a business that recruited millennials.

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What is the Difference Between Income Tax and Payroll Tax?

by Tim AustinSeptember 14, 2018 8:00 AM

Payroll taxes are complicated, especially when you don’t have any payroll training. Small business owners have several tax responsibilities that they must manage throughout the year, which can take up hours of your time each month. Of course, if you incorrectly calculate the tax withholdings for someone’s paycheck, both the employee and the federal or state government may have a bone to pick with you.

One of the most time-consuming and difficult parts of payroll tax management is that there is more than one type of tax that you need to handle. You are responsible for withholding multiple types of taxes from your employees’ wages, including income tax and payroll tax. These taxes each have specific rules in terms of how you and your employees contribute to them and what groups regulate them. Here’s a rundown of the difference between income tax and payroll tax.

Income tax and payroll tax documents for a small business. 

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How to Manage Payroll for a Small Business

by Tim AustinSeptember 12, 2018 8:00 AM

Payroll isn’t nearly as simple as just paying your employees. Payroll management encompasses several different steps and responsibilities. Each part of the payroll process requires you to take certain actions or make decisions that impact how your employees are paid and ensure that your business is compliant with any government regulations that apply.

As a small business owner, it’s your responsibility to either take care of each of these steps—or find someone that you trust to manage payroll for you. Here’s a guide to help you learn what it takes to properly manage payroll for a small business.

A small business owner managing payroll by herself.

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Payroll

HR Considerations for Remote Employees

by Tim AustinAugust 20, 2018 8:00 AM

As time goes by, more employees are working from home. CNN reported in 2017 that “the number of telecommuting workers has increased 115 percent in a decade,” and that nearly 4 million employees spend at least half of their time working remotely

Telecommuting is attractive to employees for many reasons, such as flexible work hours and more time to spend with family, but employers need to consider how the trend will impact their HR initiatives. Here are some ways that remote employees can change how you manage HR.

A small business employee working from home.

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Human Resources

5 Employee Reward and Recognition Ideas on a Budget

by Tim AustinAugust 6, 2018 8:00 AM

A small act of recognition can make a big difference for an employee’s morale. When Forbes reports that nearly two-thirds of employees would "likely leave their job if they didn't feel appreciated," these gestures can help you retain happy, talented employees.

While recognition is a good goal, you also need to make sure that these efforts make sense for your bottom line. Fortunately, there are plenty of good rewards that won’t break the bank. Here are five low-budget ideas that small business owners can use to show employees their appreciation.

A small business owner recognizing an employee for hard work.

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4 Workplace Wellness Trends You Should Consider for Your Business

by Tim AustinJuly 24, 2018 8:00 AM

When your employees are ailing, your business is also likely to suffer. The health and wellbeing of your employees can play a big part in your company’s success, as a happy, healthy workforce has several benefits, including:

  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Decreased medical costs

Many small business owners have turned to workplace wellness programs to help improve the wellbeing of their employees. Over time, these programs have evolved to address specific issues to better serve employers and their employees. Here are some recent wellness trends than may be a good fit for your business.

An office worker stretching as part of the company’s workplace wellness program.

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