Hiring Part-Time

One-Man Lawn

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Midwest
Hey everyone, quick question(s),

I'm looking to possibly hire someone part-time for the coming season, starting in March. I'm very wary of people as is, but a friend I work with who is considering leaving her job has expressed interest in working with me. No issue there, we get along great and I trust her, but I need advice from someone who's used to hiring people.

Quick background: Didn't start doing this until July of 2020. I do this as well as working another job full-time and attending school full-time. Business kinda died down from November until yesterday, when I had some regulars ask for leaf cleanups.

1) How do you determine where to start their pay at? I know this person is hard working and reliable, and also what she makes now, but I don't believe she has much experience with mowing or running equipment like that. Not that it's rocket science, but I also know that not everyone gets the flow quickly. I realize I just need to talk to her about it, but it seems like an awkward conversation.

2) Does anyone have a reference guide for setting up official employment? I'd like to hire her on as legitimately as possible, but I also know that it's more expensive that way and I don't exactly have super high revenue flow at the moment. I guess cash is an option, but it's not how I'd like to start out if I don't have to. Based in Oklahoma.

3) If, for whatever reason it doesn't work out with this person, how do you recommend finding people? I understand that no one is going to care about my company or I being successful as much as I do, but I still need an employee I can count on.

I appreciate any help with this. Thanks!
 
OP
One-Man Lawn

One-Man Lawn

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Midwest
There are many legal restrictions surrounding doing this. This is a way to get into some trouble quickly if they are treated in any way like an employee. It can be done but definitely do your research first
Ugh. So it looks like if I dictate their work, they're basically an employee. Got it. Thanks for the save!
 

Crazy 4 grass

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Minnesota
Ugh. So it looks like if I dictate their work, they're basically an employee. Got it. Thanks for the save!
Exactly. You cant dictate their work.

There are many instances wherein companies try to pull a fast one and 1099 all thier employees. It seems like its a win win. Employer pockets more money. Employee doesn't have taxes taken out. Usually the IRS figures it out. The owner loses everything and the employees get stuck with a big tax bill at the the end of the year that likely they haven't saved for. I worked for a company like this 15 years ago. 20 employee's all 1099ed. It turned out poorly for everyone involved myself included.

You will be better off doing this correctly and hiring workers as w2 w4 employees.
 

JLSLLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
The Garden State
Part time helpers never caught on for me.. they seem to not be available when it’s time to work.
 
OP
One-Man Lawn

One-Man Lawn

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Midwest
So it sounds like 1099 is bad. I'm thinking maybe under-the-table until I know for sure how things will be going. Definitely not as a permanent situation though. Especially since I'm still learning and havent figured out how often they'll be working or how much they'll be paid yet.

I really appreciate all of your input! Getting them hired on legally is the next goal!
 

Mac-s Lawn & Snow

LawnSite Bronze Member
Do not 1099 anyone right now. IMO and experience the only way it would work is if they had their all their own equipment, insurance and you paid them a flat rate per cut.

Honestly after reading your post for the last 6 months you are not ready for employees yet. I don't think you have more than 10 returning customers yet. I know you have aspirations to be more than a solo-operator but I don't think you have your pricing model 100 percent figured out yet and adding a employee will need a different pricing model. Do not hire anyone until you have a workers comp policy and a unemployment account with your state.
 

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