I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of hiring pet sitting independent contractors for your business. Personally, I think investing in employees is a much better decision. If you have IC’s or are thinking about hiring IC’s, we’re going to draw some attention to some of the challenges there are with hiring pet sitting independent contractors.
The Problems With Hiring Pet Sitting Independent Contractors
Lack Of Control
To be quite honest, I have yet to meet a business owner who is not a control freak (myself included!). This is easily one of the biggest downfalls of hiring IC’s because you really can’t control what they do.
Seems weird right?
But it’s true.
With IC’s, training is only allowed by the client themselves, not by you or a manager. Yes you can offer suggestions, but you can’t train them on the important aspects of HOW to do pet sits. This could be detrimental in developing your company’s brand, because 10 different IC’s may do pet sits 10 different ways and they should! They are all representing their own business.
Check out this quote from the IRS website that gives a great summation as to what limits IC’s have:
“The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.” – IRS.gov
Strict Rules & Regulations
Many times I’ve seen businesses go through more headache and hassle with different government agencies by having IC’s! This goes hand in hand with my previous point that you as the business owner cannot control or manage what the IC does. This makes it very easy for you to inadvertently overstep your bounds, creating a potential problem. I have heard of a lot of business owners emailing instructions to their IC in writing, which is a big no-no!
I’ve found that business owners that have IC’s are frequently “on the defense” so to speak. They’re having to constantly look over their shoulder and avoid putting any communication with the IC in writing to cover themselves. I’ve actually spoken to business owners that have gotten a knock on their door for something they’ve done a year ago.
To me, no matter what benefits IC’s bring, it’s not worth the fear of getting in trouble. None of us, myself included, are legal experts or auditors, making it very easy for us to slip up and get ourselves in trouble or audited.
When you have employees, they are covered under your pet sitting insurance policy – plain and simple. This is not the case with IC’s. Sure, an insurance agency will allow them to be covered under your master policy, but then who is absorbing the cost? You are. Therefore, they would be classified as employees!
There is insurance for liability, if you are negligent on the job… but there is also workman’s compensation for if a worker is hurt on a job. Independent Contractors, by definition should have these insurance policies. Most do not.
In your client’s eyes, your IC’s represent your company. It’s really not a good look when a representative of your company is suing your client for an injury. Plus, there is the possibility they could go after you as well. Overall, it’s just a giant headache, and one that can be totally avoided by hiring employees rather than IC’s
While there are still pet sitting business owners that use IC’s, it’s not something I would recommend in today’s business world. If you’re looking to make “the switch,” from ICs to employees be sure to follow these crucial 6 steps and check out my Employee Quickstart Program.