Using Peoplecaddie

Long COVID and the Workforce: How It Impacts Independent Contractors

Sick of hearing about the pandemic? You aren’t alone. But imagine instead, more than a year after COVID peaked in the United States, still being sick because of the pandemic. Long COVID isn’t a myth or a triviality. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the condition, which affects people who have previously been infected with the COVID virus, can include symptoms such as severe fatigue, respiratory issues, brain fog, depression and anxiety, and may linger for months or years. And beyond the human toll, research suggests Long COVID and the workforce is costing business, too — particularly the independent contractor market.

A recent Brookings Institute report found that about 16 million working-age (18-65) Americans currently have Long COVID, and among them as many as 4 million are out of work because of the condition. That’s an enormous drag on the job economy – roughly the equivalent of a third of the nation’s current labor shortage. No specifics were offered as part of the report, but undoubtedly a significant number of those absences represent the independent contractor market. With no clear end to the effects of Long COVID in sight, what other implications might the condition have for the contractor market?

More Options and Flexibility

For those coping with the physical effects of Long COVID, work may be the furthest thing from their minds. But for those whose symptoms are somewhat milder, or for those who feel they have no choice but to grind through them in order to pay the bills, there may be some comfort in knowing that work doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing affair.

Employers struggling to overcome the labor shortage, forced to think out of the box, are increasingly looking to nontraditional roles and employees to bridge the gap. Flex work, remote roles, part-time hours, work-as-needed – any of these opportunities may be available to a contractor. And when it isn’t specifically cited in a job listing, just ask. You might be surprised by what you hear back from an employer.

Today, there are more opportunities than ever to work remotely, part-time, and on shorter contracts – all of which could make the difference between a Long COVID sufferer earning enough to get by or earning nothing at all. Thousands of these jobs are listed on the PeopleCaddie platform, allowing contractors in our network the flexibility to avoid a commute, work comfortably in their own homes, and select positions and projects that suit their individual situations best.

Health Benefits When They’re Needed Most

In addition to opening doors financially, PeopleCaddie can help offer peace of mind – especially to those still in need of ongoing medical care. Many retirees have supplemental health insurance plans, but that still leaves a vast majority of those estimated 4 million out-of-work Long COVID sufferers without coverage – at a time when they likely need access to medical care more than ever.

Every PeopleCaddie contractor who signs on to the platform as a W2 employee has the opportunity to join our health insurance plan. It’s a perk that all our contractors find valuable, whether they are pushing through a chronic illness, have a family, or are just looking out for their well-being. For single parents, individuals caring for an elderly family member, Long COVID sufferers and any others facing special circumstances, PeopleCaddie provides more flexibility to earn and ensure your health.

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The Unique Value of the PeopleCaddie Ratings System

One of the more difficult aspects of job seeking for independent contractors has been conveying the value of skill, experience and past results to hiring professionals. Creating and updating resumes and portfolios takes time and effort, which can add up for workers on shorter contracts. Companies don’t always invest in or track the performance of contractors as they would their full-timers, leaving them at a disadvantage when attempting to attract future employment. For a contractor, putting your best foot forward often feels like an elaborate game of Twister.

And it’s no picnic on the other side. Recruiters increasingly rely on algorithms to sort through the first wave of job applicants. Even the old stand-by – references – are no longer a reliable resource. The transparency of information from candidate-provided sources has always been suspect at best, of course, but companies have also become skittish over time about potential legal liability, most commonly defamation.

PeopleCaddie has an answer to the problem: a unique ratings system that helps recruiters who access our talent cloud to better understand what a candidate may provide their company after hiring. Rather than relying on the vague qualitative analysis and uncertain motivations of traditional references, PeopleCaddie’s rating system quantifies the hiring and job-seeking process, transforming crowdsourced data into insights that help both employers and employees. Here’s how they work:

Quantitative vs. Qualitative: Making Hiring More Reliable

The varied priorities and personalities among managers and supervisors might lead one to draw dramatically different conclusions about the strengths and weaknesses of an employee than another. Rather than basing the hiring process on subjective criteria and opinions – qualitative analysis – PeopleCaddie is reinventing traditional hiring using standardized quantitative measures. And because every PeopleCaddie contractor is required to accept our terms of use, all reviewers are indemnified against any liability related to their feedback, allowing them to provide ratings without fear of legal ramifications.

The PeopleCaddie ratings system covers three key areas:

  1. Quality of work
  2. Timelines of work
  3. Contractor professionalism

Contractors are rated by former employers on a scale of 1-5 stars within each of these categories, and PeopleCaddie combines those scores to assign the contractor a composite star rating. This helps employers searching for contractors to quickly identify top candidates and compare them against one another.

Trustworthy References: No More Unverified Sources

Under the traditional hiring system, checking references was a difficult, time-consuming process that often couldn’t be verified. A hiring manager might know that a candidate worked at Company X, but they couldn’t be certain who that candidate worked for or reported to directly. A candidate had the ability to cherry-pick their best references – perhaps even peers or friendly colleagues willing to speak in glowing terms.

On the PeopleCaddie platform, however, a candidate’s rating must come from a person who was responsible for approving their timesheets or directly supervised the contractor at a previous employer. Our database even indicates how many ratings a contractor has received from employers within our network, as well as who within each company provided that contractor’s rating. And if a candidate hasn’t previously worked for a company in the PeopleCaddie network, we take the necessary steps to verify the person identified as the candidate’s supervisor, leveraging resources such as our proprietary user network, LinkedIn, Zoominfo and others in order to ensure that our clients have the benefit of full transparency.

Hiring is an inexact science. The stakes are high and the success rate historically has tended to be lower than most employers care to think about. But with a quantitative candidate evaluation system and reference verification, PeopleCaddie clients have the resources to remove the guesswork from hiring to bring on contractors confidently.

Interested in learning more about the PeopleCaddie ratings system? Contact us!

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How Contractors Can Get Paid Every Two Weeks

There was a time when you couldn’t hold a conversation about freelance work without a few key phrases popping up: “side hustle”, “supplementary income” and “temp work” come to mind. If you’re a full-time independent contractor, you’ve likely received your share of confused looks and worried glances from friends and family, along with some version of the usual question: “Wait, you want to do this?” Much the trepidation comes from the inconsistency of payment. Contractors are treated like vendors and have to wait on payment. But there’s an alternative wherein they enjoy the same, steady payment cycle as W-2 employees, and PeopleCaddie has developed a framework for how contractors can get paid every two weeks.

Our concept of contract work has changed dramatically in recent years. We’re now living in a freelance world, with an estimated 1.1 billion independent contractors making up more than a third of the global workforce – and it’s growing. As more workers in the U.S. and around the world embrace the gig economy, they aren’t blind to its pitfalls. Yet, even those are changing.

At PeopleCaddie, we aren’t just a staffing agency that sends our clients a bunch of resumes – we’re a conduit connecting independent contractors with the right companies and offering a no-hassle alternative to the traditional grind of gig work. The way we see it, it’s our business to provide contractors with all the benefits of freelancing while reducing or eliminating their most aching pain points.

Consider the typical freelancer-client transaction from the contractor’s perspective:

  • Create a vendor profile for every client, filling out and tracking paperwork each time a project begins with a new client
  • Submit an invoice for each project completed
  • Wait for confirmation from a client’s accounting department, sometimes trading emails or phone calls to ensure that an invoice is being processed
  • Often wait another 30-60 days for a check to be sent, as many companies follow a Net-60 policy for contractor payments
  • Gather documents from multiple clients for tax purposes at the end of every year

Paperwork will never not be a pain for freelancers, but PeopleCaddie significantly eases the usual frustrations by handling much of the heavy lifting for contractors. All transactions (and thus all paperwork) funneled through one central office, which is how contractors can get paid every two weeks. The advantage of receiving a steady, paycheck (direct deposit) – no matter when the client pays – is an enormous benefit.

And contractors aren’t the only beneficiaries. In addition to offering companies access to a wide network of skilled professionals, PeopleCaddie’s talent cloud helps them maintain their client-vendor relationships – often reconnecting the two parties – which helps businesses manage fluctuating labor needs, reduce training costs and time, and lighten the administrative burden by cutting down on the overall number of vendors used.

There are good reasons more workers are choosing to freelance: flexibility, variety, opportunity. Skip the commute. Work from home, in your space, at your own pace. See the world, working for nine months and traveling for three. Or cross borders through the work, signing on with bucket-list clients who would have been impossible to reach if not for the freelance economy. Even if your motivation for contract work is at a nuts-and-bolts level, a gig worker has inherent abilities that, collectively, feel like a superpower: find more opportunities while avoiding project burnout and diversifying an employment portfolio to optimize job security.

PeopleCaddie is glad to help contractors meet those goals. By teaming up with skilled vendors and working with good companies, we’re able to help freelancers take full advantage of an increasingly preferred freelance economy, achieve a healthy work-life balance and avoid many of the usual pitfalls and inconveniences of contract work.

Interested in a project on our jobs page? Contact us at [email protected].

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Getting Back to Growth with PeopleCaddie

2020 has been a challenging year. Those of us who are fortunate enough to still be gainfully employed have too often been placed in the unenviable position of having to layoff or furlough valued team members to reduce operating expenses. In addition to some of these team members being highly competent workers, frequently these are not just colleagues but friends – making the decision even more painful.

While it would be ideal to bring back these valuable employees as soon as things begin to improve, what if there is a second wave, and how long will it take for an effective vaccine to be widely available? Nobody knows for sure, and in the face of this uncertainty, many employers are choosing to leverage contingent labor, as it enables them to react more quickly to unpredictable and rapidly fluctuating market conditions.

PeopleCaddie has created a payroll service that is specifically tailored to the prevailing market environment and caters to the highly skilled business professionals that our clients value most. We believe this service will make it easier to bring back former team members as contractors or add new resources when it would be premature or imprudent to commit to hiring someone on a permanent basis.

PeopleCaddie’s payroll-only service will enable clients to:

For example, one of the most common contractor pet peeves is that they are often treated like other much larger suppliers. If an independent contractor working directly with a client submits an invoice, their invoice may be treated like those from any other supplier and subjected to the client’s standard processing cycle. This means that the contractor may have to wait 30-60 days – or occasionally even longer – to get paid. Having to wait this long may pose a significant financial hardship.

This is where PeopleCaddie can step in. Rather than forcing contractors to wait until they can get an invoice processed, through PeopleCaddie, contractors are paid every two weeks. We aspire to make contracting as attractive for clients and contractors as traditional permanent employment. Enabling contractors to be paid on the same schedule as permanent employees moves us another step in the right direction.

For more information on PeopleCaddie’s payroll-only service, feel free to contact us.

pcadminGetting Back to Growth with PeopleCaddie