Best book to learn about hiring employees or consultants
July 13, 2011 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a book and best practices as to how to hire independent consultants or part time employees?

I’ve been a freelance for a couple years, and there are times of the year when it gets insane in terms of the amount of work (mainly, last few months of the year). This year I’d like to be prepared and would like to be able to hire other independent consultants for small projects. I would also like to consider hiring a part-time assistant for ~ a few hours a week or even up to 20 hours a week during that time of the year at least.

Although I know my own area of industry (medical writing), I’m a complete moron in terms of my knowledge of other things such as accounting, required paperwork, hiring practices, etc.

I do plan to consult with my accountant and/or a lawyer before I actually take the steps and start contracting projects but I would rather start with a book that explains the details first rather than spending hours asking someone to define basic info. So my question: can someone could recommend a great book or resource for lay people that explains the basic issues about hiring someone. My plan is to understand most of the issues (such as what 1099 vs salaried vs corps-to-corps would mean for me, the person hiring) are and then have a few bulleted questions to ask from the accountant and/or lawyer. Thank you.

Tl;dr please recommend a book that explains in very basic terminology what each of these options are for hiring people (1099 vs corp-to-corps vs salaried), pros/cons, required paperwork (how much paperwork is required, associated costs), etc. Or if you know any other references or material that would be useful, please feel free to recommend that reference, too.

Also, if you have hired pple as a small business owner and are willing to allow me to memail you to ask about paperwork or what steps you took – this would be helpful, too.

I also just did a quick search on amazon and looked for one of my favorite types of books for this sort of stuff (Nolo), but I could not find a title that seemed to discuss this topic. But I usually like the terminology used/level of depth in Nolo if that is helpful.
posted by Wolfster to Work & Money (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Having employees is a huge pain. Lots of legal issues, expenses, tax issues, etc. They may not qualify as consultants for tax purposes, even if they agree to be consultants.

You can talk to a temp/employment agency and ask them to handle it for you. You can negotiate the fees because they aren't recruiting, assessing or training. The worker is an employee of the agency, and you pay the agency.
posted by theora55 at 10:15 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

If they're independent contractors, why are you hiring them? Give them work to do, they bill you, you pay them, they take care of their own taxes and crap. Isn't that how you do your work for other people?
posted by Lyn Never at 10:24 AM on July 13, 2011

Response by poster: This is one of those questions that I don't think I'm going to get an answer to (I KNOW what an independent contractor does, but I don't see the legal paper work, when things are due, or know how to really assess contractor/employee, which is important to do with the possible legal and tax implications). I also know that it varies quite a bit as to determining whether someone is or is not an independent contractor (some companies give me a one page form, whereas a few others have given me a massive list and told me to make copies of advertisements, etc.).

If anyone reads this questions in the future, I did find a really useful resource which I like to here. Believe it or not, it was on the IRS website but in an accessible format (small business virtual webinar), and lesson 6 in particular does address these topics (it introduces a checklist to determine employee vs contractor, and goes over paperwork requirements).

Also, I will look into Theora55's idea --a temp agency may save me the costs of doing all this. If anyone else does run across an actual book, please feel free to share. Thanks.
posted by Wolfster at 10:52 AM on July 13, 2011

Best answer: You said you looked for Nolo but did you see this? In my opinion this is an excellent guide along with and your state's employment website.
posted by michaelh at 11:17 AM on July 13, 2011

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