Having a remote team seems like the ultimate freedom. With all the buzz around remote work and digital nomads, it’s hard to believe there could be a “catch” when it comes to remote hiring.
But there’s a big one. Hiring remote workers doesn’t automatically mean you can hire anywhere.
To start, we’ll run through a quick overview of some labor laws as well as why traditional hiring and most virtual assistant companies can get you into some legal hot water.
All of which will explain why the subscription staffing model is the best way to hire remote.
The Not-So-Easy Task Of Hiring In-House
Let’s imagine you’ve decided to hire remote full-time employees yourself.
You can only have employees in states where your company is registered to do business. That means you have the potential for 50 different sets of rules to follow on things like vacation, sick leave, firing, insurance—the list goes on, full of complicated tax and employee laws to follow for every single remote employee you hire.
But you’re tired of being ruled over by a list of tasks and project management to-dos that keep you from growing your business, and hiring remote help seems an ideal solution.
You’ll be handling the usual things that come with hiring. Skill sets and an accurate job description has to be defined. Then there are interviews and onboarding. But there are questions you have to ask about remote staffing compliance before even beginning the hiring process.
- Are you registered to do business in that state?
- Have you considered the implications of creating a tax nexus in that state by having an employee there, which means you’ll need to pay state corporation tax, potentially charge sales tax etc.
- Are you registered with the state’s labor department so that you can actually hire employees there?
- Do you know the wage, salary, overtime, and other compensation requirements for that state? How about workers comp, benefits, and disability insurance?
- Have you met all of the requirements regarding legally required posters (which you’d have to mail to remote workers)?
- Have all necessary forms been filled out (e.g. I-9)?
- Do you know what is allowed during the hiring process (i.e. some states restrict what you can ask a potential hire during the interview process)
That’s just the short list. Read our quick guide to outsourcing vs. hiring in-house for administrative support.
You’re either going to need your HR or legal department to handle it, or you’ll have to take it on yourself. How many hours will that add to your already heavy load of administrative tasks?
Hiring from other states is expensive and time-consuming, and many companies end up simply hiring from where they’re located to avoid the hassle. Instead of accessing a wide range of talent, they self-limit the talent they could have just to avoid the administrative mess.
It sounds a lot easier to use a virtual assistant service instead.
The Risk Of Hiring Through Traditional Virtual Assistant Companies
The virtual assistant marketplace is big. Finding personal assistants seems as easy as a fast internet search and clicking a link, which is much easier than doing the hiring yourself. After all, the company supplying you with the remote executive assistant has taken care of all the legal concerns, right?
When we say that we take care of the administrative headache so you don’t have to, we really mean that, both that it’s a headache, and that we handle it.
Why would you want to miss out on incredible talent just because of red tape?
At Boldly, we handle all of that because we don’t think you should miss out on that great talent.
We’re a virtual assistant company whose team members are all W2 employees, meaning we’ve taken care of any and all legal issues. When you sign up with Boldly and bring on a new remote team member, you don’t have to worry about any of the things we mentioned above because they are not your employees.
Freelance Or Hourly Rate: Defining Rates And Employee Role For Full Compliance
Not only is there the issue of the location of your new employee, but there’s another aspect to being completely compliant; it has to do with whether someone is an independent contractor or an employee.
One way people build a remote team and try to avoid the administrative concerns we just described is to hire people as independent contractors instead of employees.
That may seem like an easy fix, but it really isn’t. You can actually get yourself into more trouble if you don’t follow the different definitions of a contractor vs. employee. According to the IRS, the difference between the two is based on these factors:
- Behavioral: Do you control, or have the right to control, what your remote team member does, and how they do their job?
- Financial: Do you control the financial aspects of your remote team member’s job? That includes how/when they’re paid, if you reimburse expenses, or if you provide them with the tools to do their job.
- Relational: Have you defined the working relationship, indicated permanency in the position, have certain types of contracts or agreements, or understand they’ll be working for you on an ongoing basis?
You can see how easy it could be to go from contractor to employee status without even realizing it (which is one of the reasons we always recommend hiring your executive assistant as a W2).
If you’re bringing someone on as an independent contractor thinking they’ll be a substitute for an employee, you’re already on the path towards non-compliance. Your intention is that they’ll do an employee’s work, and you’ll treat them accordingly.
Even if you start out following the rules for independent contractors, the longer someone works for you and the more you rely on them, the blurrier the line between contractor and employee becomes.
And let’s not forget that different states have different legal definitions of what an independent contractor is.
California’s AB5 law was the real wake-up call for many. Their new definition made people aware that contractors and employees had different definitions, and that getting it wrong meant a real penalty for companies. So it’s not just the federal guidelines you have to keep tabs on!
With Boldly, you don’t have to worry about compliance.
We hire all of our team members as W2 employees. When you subscribe to our service and get access to a team member, you don’t have to worry that you’re misusing an independent contractor as an employee. Your remote team member is already an employee at Boldly and is not considered an independent contractor when working with you.
Subscription Staffing: Incredible Talent And Experience To Grow Your Project Team
It’s pretty clear that legal compliance issues make hiring remote employees from out-of-state much more complicated than you probably thought.
Maybe it’s even enough to stop you from looking outside of your area to hire. You know there’s a world of top-notch talent that could help your business grow, but accessing it is too frustrating.
So let’s focus on something we alluded to, and that’s the reality that when you’re free from the administrative headache, you can focus on finding incredible talent, wherever it might be, to grow your team.
You can finally hand off important but repetitive tasks:
- Social media management
- Email management
- Travel Arrangements
- Customer service
- Personal tasks
Unlike a lot of other virtual assistant services who sign up a pool of workers and assign one to you as the need arises—often an independent contractor—we went a different route.
We found the most incredibly talented and experienced people out there, using our own arduous hiring process. We’re talking top-notch Fortune-500 experienced team members you might not think you’d ever have access to. Plus, they’re full employees with benefits and Boldly’s great culture to back them up.
When you get started with Boldly, we listen to you so we know exactly what you’re looking for, and we match you with someone who’s a perfect fit. We make sure that you’re working well together from the beginning.
What we do is set you up for long-term success with the same remote executive assistant.
You don’t need to worry about anything. And, because of our subscription staffing model, you don’t even have to worry about your budget. You adjust the hours your virtual assistant works based on what you need.
Ready to get started?
You don’t have to waste time on long hiring processes, compliance issues, or anything else. You can be up and running quickly with a new, fully compliant, virtual assistant, with just one click.
Published on March 23rd, 2023