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A major deadline for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the healthcare reform law also known as Obamacare, is coming up quickly.  If a recruiter has even one employee, they will likely have to comply.

The ACA requires employers to provide employees with a notice about coverage options available through the Marketplace, which was created by the ACA to provide an online “one-stop shop” for individuals to compare private health insurance options.

Starting on October 1, employers must provide the notice to new employees.  In addition, it must be distributed to all existing employees by October 1.  The notice must inform employees of the following:

  • The Marketplace will be available starting January 1, 2014.
  • What services the Marketplace will provide and how to contact it.
  • They may be eligible for premium tax credits if their employer doesn’t offer an plan that provides “minimum value” and that is “affordable,” as defined by the ACA.
  • They may lose their employer’s healthcare contribution (if applicable) if they choose to purchase insurance through the Marketplace.

You can find more details about the requirements under this provision.

A common misconception about Obamacare is that employers only have to worry about it if they have 50 or more employees.  This stems from the law’s employer mandate, which will require employers with 50 or more employee to provide healthcare starting in 2015.  But even the smallest employers, including recruiting firms that have any in-house employees or contractors on their payroll, have responsibilities under the ACA.

This required notice is perhaps the best example.  The ACA actually created this provision as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  So if you are subject to the FLSA, as almost every employer is, you must comply with this provision regardless of whether you offer insurance to employees.  If you are not sure if the FLSA applies to you, you can find out by visiting this page on the Department of Labor website.

Fortunately, you don’t have to write this notice from scratch.  The Department of Labor provides Model Notices for employers who offer a healthcare plan and employers who do not offer a healthcare plan.

Regardless of your firm’s size, it’s important that you stay on top of the developments surrounding the healthcare reform law.  Not only could there be implications for you as an employer, but your clients could also look to you for answers to their staffing issues that may arise as a result of Obamacare.

As the biotechnology industry grows, interest in contract staffing among both companies and workers in this area is also increasing, creating a hot new niche for contract staffing recruiters.

Biotechnology professionals are those who are involved in the use of living organisms to create certain products, such as engineered crops and pharmaceutical drugs.  These include a wide range of analysts, scientists, engineers, technicians, and specific titles such as biomedical engineer, medical scientist, biochemist, and more.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this area is expected to increase by 31% between 2010 and 2020.

Due to the nature of the work and the unique characteristics of the industry, some recruiters are noticing that a lot of that hiring is happening in contract staffing, so they’ve started to offer contractors to biotech companies.  One of these recruiters is Jim Davidson of Human Capital Resource, LLC.  Davidson’s firm has provided biotech and pharmaceutical companies with direct hire candidates since 2005, but just recently started to provide contract staffing to meet his clients’ need for cost savings and flexibility.

“Many companies in this niche are older companies with very rich benefits packages,” he said.  “It costs them a tremendous amount of money to hire on a full-time basis.  Not only that, but they could be working on a $7 billion drug that could end up being a bust or approval could be delayed, in which case they would have to scale back.”

When these companies do have to hire on a full-time or direct hire basis, they tend to be very selective.  As a result, Davidson is also noticing a growing demand for contract-to-direct services, which his firm can now provide.  Contract-to-direct arrangements, often referred to as temp-to-hire, allow clients to try a candidate before they make a direct-hire commitment.

Recruiter Raymond Gooch has noticed a similar trend.  Gooch and his firm, Spectrum Career, LLC, recently provided job search skills training to college students who received grants funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for workforce development in bioscience.

“Even though the individuals participating in the bioscience training often had transferable skills, they usually had no experience in the industry,” Gooch said.  “Hiring temps/contractors gives the employer an opportunity to evaluate the worker prior to making a long-term commitment.”

It is also an attractive option for many biotechnology professionals.  According to the recent Randstad Pharma Engagement Study, the most important factor that drives the engagement of pharmaceutical/biotech professionals is flexibility.  Contract staffing provides the ultimate in flexibility, often allowing workers to take on project-based assignments with flexible schedules.  They also have the opportunity to take time off between assignments. This is particularly popular with older workers, Davidson said.

“Those in the later stages of their careers enjoy it,” he said. “There is a lot of flexibility. They don’t have the same financial pressures as younger workers, so contracting becomes more attractive later in their careers.”

Davidson feels the sweet spot for recruiters wanting to place contractors in the biotech niche is smaller companies.

“A lot of the larger companies are very well organized when it comes to contract staffing and have vendor managers involved in the process,” he said. “It becomes very difficult.”

As the products produced by biotech companies become more and more important, we’ll be keeping an eye on this hot contract staffing niche!

Generation ZMany recruiters and employers are still trying to wrap their arms around Generation Y (or Millennials, if you prefer) and their unique look at the workplace.

Now, according to Workforce, recruiters may want to start bracing for the next generation in the workplace.

The article “Another Generation Rises: Looking Beyond the Millennials” states that there are a number of monikers used to refer to these individuals born in 1995 or after: Pluralists, Re-Generation, Generation Z, and Homelanders.

The youngest of this generation are just turning 18, and some are already making their way into the workforce.

Of course, with any new generation, experts have predicted some characteristics they think will come to define this generation:

  • Environmentally conscious
  • Fiscally conservative and willing to delay gratification
  • More likely to rent than own
  • Indifferent to technology: they grew up with it, so they aren’t as obsessed with it as Millennials
  • More likely to stay close to home due to the domestic and international turmoil they have witnessed (hence the name “Homelanders”)

There is some debate among experts whether these individuals really constitute a new generation or if they are just “late-wave Millennials.”

One thing is clear, though: the life experiences of people correlate strongly with how they work, so it is helpful to consider the events and environmental factors that have shaped their lives.

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Debbie FledderjohannThere’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to worker misclassification.

Many employers use 1099 independent contractors (ICs) to reduce the costs associated with workers. By utilizing ICs, employers avoid paying the employer share of payroll taxes, the expenses associated with Workers’ Compensation and unemployment, employee benefits costs, and the time and money associated with administering various employment tasks.

However, employers can’t just call a worker an IC to avoid those costs. The worker must meet certain criteria to qualify as an IC.

The Obama administration has been particularly concerned about cracking down on the misclassification of ICs who really should be W-2 employees.

Worker misclassification robs both state and federal governments of taxes and unemployment funds.  Up until now, most of the news about worker misclassification enforcement has come out of the IRS.  But according to a Forbes column titled “Independent Contractor Enforcement: There’s More Than The IRS To Fear” by attorney John Thomas, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has stepped up its own enforcement efforts against the misclassification of independent contractors.

This is all part of the Misclassification Initiative in which the DOL announced they would work with the IRS and share information to crackdown on worker misclassification.

This effort has resulted in several recent high dollar judgments against employers.  Most recently, the DOL announced it had recovered more than $1 million in back wages for workers at a Kentucky-based cable installation company. The Forbes column warns that many more DOL investigations are being conducted now.

It is important that you educate your clients of the ever-increasing focus on worker misclassification. Encourage them to look at their IC workforce and determine if those workers truly qualify as ICs.  In general, government agencies will be looking at the degree of control a company has over a worker and how financially dependent the worker is on the company when determining a worker’s correct classification. The best place to learn about correct IC classification is the IRS website.

Recruiters can help their client companies by offering to convert current 1099 ICs to W-2 employees.  You can offer to put those workers on contract assignments and outsource their employment to a contracting back-office that serves as the W-2 Employer of Record.

That way, your clients can still escape the administrative and financial burdens of employing their workers without the risk involved with making them ICs.

For many years, The Cornerstone, the newsletter of Top Echelon contract staffing, was sent to the recruiters of Top Echelon Network.  The Cornerstone was eventually discontinued in favor of another newsletter, Contracting Corner, which is now published once a quarter.

Contract StatisticsHowever, we at Top Echelon Network still run contracting statistics in select issues of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.  These statistics include Non-Split Contract PlacementsSplit Contract Placements, and Non-Recruited Placements, among others.

And in this week’s issue of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog, we have a boatload of contract staffing placements to show you!  As you can see, many of these placements come with hefty recruiter shares, such quite a few over $20 per hour.

Remember, that’s money that these recruiters will earn hour after hour after hour . . . while they work making direct-hire placements at the same time.  If you want to be part of this “boatload of placements,” then don’t “miss the bus.” Are you noticing a transportation theme?  That’s because contract staffing can take you where you want to go.

You’ve been a great audience! Thank you and goodnight!


PM Non-Split Contract Placements

Multiplier Used

Agency Code

Client Recruiter

Recruiter’s Firm Name

Job Title


1.70 OH112 Don Lewis The Doepker Group Field Service Technician $9.27/hr
1.40 BR03 Jim Brown Galileo Search, LLC Interim Manager- Case Management Consultant $20.00/hr
1.47 BR03 Jim Brown Galileo Search, LLC Interim Infection Prevention Consultant $20.01/hr
1.58 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Speech Language Pathologist $10.92/hr
1.51 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Speech Language Pathologist $10.06/hr
1.77 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Occupational Therapist $14.10/hr
1.63 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Physical Therapist $11.81/hr
1.67 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Speech Language Pathologist $12.14/hr
1.39 BU88 Mike Aquino MPA Companies, Inc. Mechanical Designer $3.16/hr
1.54 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Speech Language Pathologist $9.98/hr
1.43 BI32 Alan Carty Production Technical Support $8.60/hr
2.02 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Speech Language Pathologist Assistant $15.81/hr
1.46 BR03 Jim Brown Galileo Search, LLC Interim Director of Quality $20.01/hr
1.52 BF97 David Mount Onesource Professional Search, LLC Sr. Secretary – Operations $5.40/hr
1.52 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Speech Language Pathologist $10.08/hr
2.01 CA110 Kelly Tachikawa Blue Sky Management Group QA Supervisor $13.03/hr
1.50 CA49 Linda Blakemore Atlantic Pacific Group, Inc. Contract Recruiter – APRE $8.91/hr
1.54 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Speech Language Pathologist $9.98/hr
1.53 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Occupational Therapist $9.54/hr
1.45 BR03 Jim Brown Galileo Search, LLC Interim Infection Preventionist $20.01/hr
1.52 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Occupational Therapist $10.46/hr
1.48 BN37 Sheri Welsh Welsh & Associates, Inc. Recruiter $2.54/hr
1.50 CA49 Linda Blakemore Atlantic Pacific Group, Inc. Junior Recruiter/Sourcer $5.19/hr
1.62 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Speech Language Pathologist $10.96/hr
1.55 NC93 Mike Sudermann Ascent Select Talent Capital Administrative Assistant $1.49/hr
1.57 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Speech Language Pathologist $10.95/hr
1.44 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Physical Therapist $6.99/hr
1.54 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Physical Therapist $10.09/hr
1.47 BQ71 Jane H. Ko Staffing Partners, LLC AP Clerk $3.54/hr
1.55 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Occupational Therapist $7.95/hr
1.56 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Occupational Therapist $10.11/hr
2.04 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Speech Language Pathologist Assistant $16.95/hr
1.50 NY33 Jarie Doberstein, CPC, CTS Bailey Personnel Consultants Real Estate Paralegal $2.84/hr
1.50 CA49 Linda Blakemore Atlantic Pacific Group, Inc. Sales Recruiter $7.66/hr
1.60 BQ71 Glenda Sparnell Staffing Partners, LLC Data Conversion Specialist $6.84/hr
1.55 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Speech Language Pathologist $10.35/hr
1.58 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Speech Language Pathologist $10.90/hr
1.79 CO28 Carla Zinn CMZ Companies, Inc. Customer Service Rep $5.14/hr
1.63 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Physical Therapist $11.81/hr
2.05 BR03 Jim Brown Galileo Search, LLC Interim Infection Preventionist $54.51/hr
1.50 CA49 Linda Blakemore Atlantic Pacific Group, Inc. Mortgage Recruiter $10.32/hr
1.52 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Occupational Therapist $8.67/hr
1.50 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Occupational Therapist $10.40/hr
1.78 IN22 John F. Hope Tri-Force QA Test $6.73/hr
1.57 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Occupational Therapist $9.70/hr
1.57 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Occupational Therapist $11.09/hr
1.53 MA32 Donna Carroll Systems Personnel Financial Application Analyst $20.71/hr
1.50 MS04 Keith Adams PediaStaff Speech Language Pathologist $11.81/hr


PM Split Contract Placements

Multiplier Used

Agency Code

Client Recruiter

Recruiter’s Firm Name

Agency Code

Candidate Recruiter

Recruiter’s Firm Name

Job Title


2.00 AC45 Carl L Bradford Bradford Consulting Companies BC73 Tom Edwards Front Line Solutions, LLC IT Project Manager $32.20/hr


PM Employer of Record Placements (Non-Recruited)

Agency Code

Client Recruiter

Recruiter’s Firm Name

Job Title


BF97 David Mount Onesource Professional Search, LLC Regulatory Specialist $4.17/hr

Many of the Top Producers in Top Echelon Network have added contract staffing to their recruiting firm’s business model.  Not only that, but they’ve also taken advantage of the services provided by Top Echelon Contracting, the recruiter’s employer of record services.

For more information about contract staffing and the back-office services that Top Echelon Contracting provides, call (888) 627-3678, Ext. 2.

Debbie FledderjohannAccording to a recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article, I-9 audits are on the rise (SHRM membership may be required to access this article).  In 2004, only three audits were conducted compared with 3,004 in 2012.  Simple paperwork errors can cost employers up to $1,100 per violation.

If you serve as the W-2 employer for your contractors, YOU are responsible for I-9 compliance . . . and any fines assessed in an I-9 audit.  Here are some tips for making sure your I-9s pass muster.

  1. The newest version of Form I-9 must be used exclusively starting May 7, 2013.
  2. Make sure the employee completes Section 1 on their first day of work.  Inspect it to be sure that all the required information is provided and that Section 1 is signed and dated.  If anything is incomplete, don’t fill in the missing information.  Only the employee can complete or correct Section 1.
  3. Be sure that you complete Section 2 within three days of the employee’s start date.  So if a contractor starts an assignment on a Monday, Section 2 must be complete by Thursday.
  4. Remember that you must physically view each original document the employee presents in order to complete Section 2.  So what if you are too far from the employee to meet them?  The I-9 does allow for an “authorized representative” to complete Section 2 instead of the employer.  You could ask the client or a Notary Public to serve as the authorized representative.  If you encounter a lot of reluctance, you may want to work with an attorney to draw up a disclaimer that assures them they will not be held liable for I-9 penalties.
  5. Conduct annual I-9 audits and make corrections where needed.  But remember, don’t white out mistakes.  Cross them off, initial, and date any changes.  Don’t make changes to Section 1—again only employees can make changes there, so if you find a mistake, ask the employee to make the correction.  And be sure not to back date anything.  While correcting I-9s may not eliminate penalties, they could reduce them.
  6. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) normally audits companies that are connected to the nation’s “critical infrastructure,” such as power plants, food-service businesses, airports, etc., according to SHRM.  But complaints to ICE from disgruntled employees can also now initiate an audit, so don’t assume that your firm is flying under the radar.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should NOT be construed as legal advice.