W-2 or 1099? 3 Steps to Help You Understand the Difference

Whether you’re adding gig work or freelancing with your “regular” work, finding jobs through a staffing agency, or just getting started on your taxes – it can be confusing to know which employment tax form to complete.

January 28, 2021
Two papers labeled W2 and 1099

Whether you’re adding gig work or freelancing with your “regular” work, finding jobs through a staffing agency, or just getting started on your taxes, it can be confusing to know which employment tax form to complete.

When comparing different forms, a common question asked is “Am I filling out the right one?” While your employer determines this when you first start working with them, it helps to know some of the key differences between a W-2 employee and a 1099-MISC worker.

The easiest differentiator between the two types of workers is whether taxes are withheld. Workers using a 1099-MISC form are considered self-employed independent contractors. Social Security and Medicare taxes are not withheld and 1099-MISC workers are required to pay their own taxes, the “self-employment” or “SE” tax.  W-2 employees have a percentage of each paycheck withheld by their employer and a portion of their employment taxes are paid for by the company. (For more information, consult the IRS and read more on their website.)

So what are other differences between 1099-MISC and W-2 employees? PeopleReady shares three key points to keep in mind.

Behavioral Control

Does your boss control what type of work you do, when, and how you do it? If yes, the company has behavioral control, most likely deeming you a W-2 worker. If you work through a staffing agency like PeopleReady, you could be a W-2 employee with the agency. 1099-MISC workers do not have a boss they must report to, but they are required to find their own jobs and clients, create their own contracts, and manage their tax deductions.

Financial Control

Financial control applies to how a worker is paid. In many W-2 scenarios, the employer decides when the worker is paid and for how much. A 1099-MISC independent contractor will define their payment through various contracts dependent on the project and clients they work with.

Relationship with Employer

Do you have set length of time you’ll work for the employer- maybe a few shifts or a set several weeks? Or is your time of employment indefinite, as there are no plans on you leaving? Each of these factors can help determine the type of relationship, whether you’re an employee or independent contractor. Working through a staffing agency can influence this: you may be a W-2 employee through the staffing agency, being connect to jobs for an outside customer or business. You may be a W-2 employee for the agency, since you will work with them for an indefinite period of time.  It’s always a good idea to double check with your recruiter or agency representative if you’re not sure of your employment type, or with a finance expert if you have questions about your tax situation.

Ready to make money doing the jobs you want, when you want? Here’s where to start

Use JobStack to Find Jobs Safely This Winter Season

What does it mean to work with a staffing company that can help you find work safely and feel secure in your job search? See how PeopleReady is committed to your safety with our app, JobStack.

January 26, 2021

What does it mean to work with a staffing company that can help you find work safely and feel secure in your job search? See how PeopleReady is committed to your safety with our app, JobStack.

"Use JobStack for Winter Safety" infographic

Avoid These 4 Common Workplace Injuries

Safety first.

It’s not just a catchphrase, it’s a guiding principle here at PeopleReady—and hopefully, it’s top of mind for you whenever you head out to any job.

January 14, 2021

Worker in a safety harness walking

Safety first.

It’s not just a catchphrase, it’s a guiding principle here at PeopleReady—and hopefully, it’s top of mind for you whenever you head out to any job. After all, every job involves some safety risks, though some more than others. That’s especially true in the warm summer months.

We’re not trying to scare anyone, but we do want to stress the importance of staying alert and exercising caution on a job site. Your safety is always our top concern—and for good reason: There are several injuries that can put you in harm’s way and keep you from working. Obviously, no one wants to get hurt, and no one wants to spend days, weeks, or even months recovering.

To help you keep an eye out for safety hazards, we’ve put together a list of common workplace injuries that keep workers out of commission:

Overexertion

Overexertion might be the first workplace injury to come to mind since it’s usually among the most common. Think of a worker hurting their back moving a heavy box. These injuries happen regularly because they can result from mistakes we all make when we’re fatigued or distracted, like not following the age-old wisdom of lifting with your legs, not your back.

Falls

Workplace falls are typically separated into two categories: falls from heights and falls on the same level. Falls from heights (or between floors) occur when a worker falls from a higher location like scaffolding or a roof. Falls on the same level can occur when you slip or trip over an object. In many cases, the easiest way to prevent falls is just to be alert.

Repetitive Motions

These injuries might sneak up on you because they’re not the result of a big event. They occur after repeatedly performing a small, seemingly innocuous task over and over again. The wear and tear on your muscles builds up over time and eventually you find yourself with an injury or condition (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) from overuse.

Cuts, Punctures or Scrapes

We spend a lot of time stressing the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE), and although you might consider it obvious advice, there’s a reason for it. Common injuries like cuts, punctures, and scrapes are largely preventable if you’re wearing the appropriate gear. These accidents occur when you’re not protected or you don’t have control of an object because you’re not wearing the proper equipment.

Now you know some common workplace injuries. So what are some tips to keep in mind to stay safe when you’re on the job site?

  • Always wear the appropriate PPE
  • Pay attention to your surroundings
  • Report any safety concerns
  • Don’t perform any task if you don’t feel properly trained or protected
  • If you experience any injury (even if it seems harmless), report it immediately.

How to Find Jobs Quickly With JobStack

These four easy steps are the best way for job seekers to make the most of JobStack and find jobs quickly and easily.

Man on his phone

Remember life before smartphones and apps? Yeah, neither do we. The joke that there’s an app for everything feels like a lifetime ago. Now, there truly does seem like to be an app for everything, ranging from the silly to the essential. There are even apps to help you manage your apps.

Luckily, there are also apps that let you conveniently find work. One example is JobStack, which lets you find on-demand work when and where you want it.

You’re probably wondering, “I already have a lot of apps—why is JobStack worth the coveted space on my home screen?” Simply put: You can find jobs more quickly than ever before just by taking steps you’re already taking. It’s no extra work on your part, but you’ll see great results.

Reggie Davis, a user of JobStack, says, "Jobstack matches me perfectly with jobs that are closer to me and shows us important information about the job that we are going to. In the morning before work, Jobstack will send me an alert to inform me that my job is about to begin and it has a notification letting the staff know I've arrived. I don't have to do anything but accept the job offer and go to work."

Here are 4 ways to use JobStack to speed up your job search:

  1. Apply to PeopleReady
    Once you’ve applied to PeopleReady and passed the review process, you’ve got the green light to start using the JobStack app. Why do we do it this way? Because we want to get the screening process out of the way so that you don’t have any delays once you start using the app. The good news is that if you’ve already used PeopleReady to find work, you’re ready to go!
  2. Accept jobs
    One of JobStack’s most innovative features is how it learns what jobs are the best match for you. It’s quite simple: The more jobs you accept, the more it understands which gigs you prefer. So over time your JobStack experience is truly unique to you, which means you spend less time browsing through jobs that don’t interest you.
  3. Ace the gig
    The app lets employers give feedback on your performance, which factor into your overall rating. Workers with low ratings because they didn’t show up to the job or who didn’t perform won’t receive job offers via JobStack, but workers with positive feedback will have more opportunities come their way. Don’t forget: The app also lets you give feedback on the jobs you take.
  4. Follow your own schedule
    The benefit of using an app to find work is that it’s always ready when you need it (and it’s still ready when you don’t need it). And since you don’t need to go into a branch to accept jobs or submit hours, you get to create the schedule that works for you.

5 Skills to Be a Successful Worker During a Natural Disaster

Here are the five most important attributes that you need on the job site during the aftermath of a natural disaster.

disaster recovery worker

When communities begin to rebuild after any sort of natural disaster, support from a disaster recovery team makes an enormous difference. Businesses of all kinds begin staffing up and hiring additional help to press forward with the work that needs to be done. While any type of help, big or small, makes an impression—there are specific skills that some disaster recovery workers embody that makes them ideal for these high-impact roles. 

Do you have the traits that make for an ideal candidate to help affected communities recuperate? Here are five attributes that help make a successful worker in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Excellent Communicator

Strong communication skills play a big part in disaster relief. Being able to properly update, convey needs, and connect with other players is key. There isn’t always much time to get a message across, so having the ability to interact and communicate well can make someone a great individual for disaster relief work. Workers with strong communication skills have the ability to engage with colleagues and people of all kinds, at different levels in the organization.

Adaptable

With so many moving parts and people, processes continually changing, and circumstances differing from place to place, being able to adapt in many scenarios is truly valuable. Operations may be going one way at a certain moment and a few beats later, completely change. It takes someone who can think quickly on their feet and use critical thinking paired with common sense to make strong decisions that may ultimately effect whole teams.

Patient

Processes aren’t likely to be running as smoothly as they would be under normal circumstances, potentially creating bottlenecks and delays in everything from scheduling and timing to deliveries and approvals. When operations are held up, it takes a worker with patience to weather last-minute changes well.

Detail-Oriented

Sometimes the smallest items can make the biggest difference. Noticing details on a job site is imperative for all aspects from safety to accounting. Disaster recovery work includes many players doing different tasks, so keeping a keen eye on details and following instructions makes progression a lot simpler.

Prompt

We never know exactly when a disaster is going to show up, which means showing up on time is especially important for workers tackling disaster recovery. There are tons of people, even whole communities, counting on your help—which means reliability and promptness is absolutely necessary when showing up for work.

Ready to use your skills to help with disaster recovery? Businesses need people like you—and PeopleReady is committed to connecting great workers with them.

Hospitality: Finding the Right Job for You

The hospitality industry has a wide range of job opportunities available from entry level to experienced. See how you can get your foot in the door or advance your career!

January 1, 2021
Illustrations of three hospitality workers

Sprawling ballrooms. Cheering crowds. Last-minute reservations. Perfectly-placed parsley. Hot towels, mud masks, and iced water. What do all of these things have in common? They’re all different aspects of the hospitality industry. While a fanatic crowd might be very different from a tranquil spa, they both fall into the realm of hospitality work and are perfect examples of the field’s diverse jobs. Which setting do you prefer, and what’s the right hospitality job for you?

You’ll find hospitality workers in hotels, restaurants, cruise lines, theme parks, stadiums, theaters, and casinos. While many are customer-facing like reception, ticketing, and hosting, there are behind-the-scenes positions like sales, kitchen staff, and cleaning. Hospitality has a wide range of opportunities from entry level to highly experienced, which means there are ample opportunities to get your foot in the door or advance in your already successful career.

What are some of the jobs PeopleReady connects workers with?

Housekeepers

As the person setting the scene for guests to come, your primary focus is getting guests’ rooms and the areas they’ll be staying in tip-top shape. Creating a welcoming space isn’t easy for everyone, so take those hours of interior decorating and makeover TV shows and put them to use! Some housekeeping responsibilities include:

  • Making beds, replenishing linens, cleaning rooms and halls.
  • Cleaning areas as assigned by supervisor.
  • Vacuuming rugs, carpets, upholstered furniture, and draperies.
  • Dusting and polishing furniture and equipment.
  • Washing windows, walls, ceilings, and woodwork.

Culinary Staff

A delicious meal can make a huge difference to any experience. You might start by preparing the food—chopping and dicing to make sure the meal service runs smoothly. You could be cooking – roasting, frying, sautéing, and basting each dish to perfection. Your duty may be plating the food that makes people happy. Or, you might be helping to ensure the kitchen is a safe, organized place to ensure freshness and quality. All are vital in a great dining experience for guests – regardless of whether you’re serving fried pickles or filet mignon. Some culinary staff responsibilities include:

  • Preparing and cooking food according to recipes.
  • Observing and testing foods to determine if they are cooked sufficiently.
  • Storing food at correct temperatures in order to ensure freshness.
  • Utilizing blenders, cutlery, and ovens to prepare food.
  • Making sure the area is clean and all quality and sanitation standards are met, including cold and hot storage.

Event Staff

There are many arms of hospitality in events and venues. Event day can look different for each type of occasion, but one thing that remains consistent is the need for self-starting, adaptable people who enjoy being in the heart of activity. Some event staff responsibilities include:

  • Greeting customers and taking orders for food and beverages, as instructed by supervisor.
  • Taking pride in the details of customer service.
  • Ensure departments are fully stocked with food, drinks, utensils, glassware, paper products.
  • May conduct transactions by accepting payment by cash, check, credit or debit cards, vouchers, then issuing receipts, refunds, credits, or change due to customers.
  • Assisting with event setup, cleaning, and dismantling, based on requests from supervisor.

More about Temporary Work

From property managers to janitorial associates to cooks to event concession associates, we help people looking for jobs in exciting industries when you want them and where you want them. Hands-on experience in different roles can be a major asset when job searching as well: a report from the American Staffing Association shows that 9 out of 10 people who worked with a staffing agency say that temporary work made them more employable. We have opportunities to gain experience in a number of careers you’re passionate about and give you access to jobs easily, through over 600 local branches and our easy-to-use, mobile app JobStack!

Do you think you have the right chops for hospitality?

6 Safety Questions to Ask on Every Job

Safety is our No. 1 priority at PeopleReady. Ask yourself these six questions before your first visit to the job site.

December 22, 2020
job safety

We get it. When it feels like you have a million things to do, safety isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind – particularly when you’re hustling to make it on time and doing the job well.

But imagine the frustration of having to miss work because of an injury. Sitting out of days, sometimes even weeks or months, of pay and on top of that, dealing with an injury. It’s not worth it! But the numbers aren’t comforting: The National Safety Council says that someone is injured on the job every seven seconds, adding up to 510 injuries each hour, 88,500 a week, and 12,600 every day.

Our goal is that when you’re on a job site with PeopleReady, you feel safe. Here are five crucial questions to ask yourself before heading out onto a job, every single time: 

1. Do I know the job?

When you’re sure of the job description and what your duties are, you can decide whether it’s a job you’re comfortable with and have the skills and proper training for. Make sure you know the details of a job before signing on.

2. Does the job look accurate?

If you show up to a job site and you’re being asked to do work that varies greatly from the description, call your branch representative about your safety concerns.

3. Am I geared up?

Don’t take your personal protective equipment (PPE) for granted; many injuries occur just because a worker isn’t wearing their PPE. And remember, PPE can be anything from steel-toed boots to a simple pair of protective glasses.

4. Do I feel safe?

If there is anything about your job site that doesn’t feel safe, do the right thing and let your supervisor and branch staff know. Respectfully informing them of any potential hazards not only protects you and your colleagues, but safeguards the business.

5. Have I reported this?

If you’re injured on the job, you need to tell the onsite supervisor and your branch representative. No matter how minor, your injury should be reviewed and taken care of. Sometimes what may seem like a small injury can turn into something much more serious. Feel free to contact the PeopleReady NurseLine to speak with a nurse about the injury and get help on what to do next. As they always say, better safe than sorry.

6. Am I up to date?

On safety training, that is. When you first start working with PeopleReady, you’ll go through a general safety assessment so we can understand how familiar you are with safety procedures and best practices. You can continue to grow your safety understanding and training with PeopleReady through various certifications, like OSHA 10, that provide you with the important safety info you need.

The top three workplace injuries that cause workers to lose workdays are overexertion, contact with or struck by objects/equipment, and slips, trips, and falls. Fortunately, these types of injuries can be prevented much of the time with a bit of foresight and awareness. We’re here to help with that.

5 Signs You’re Meant to Work in Hospitality

If you have these five qualities, you might be the perfect fit for a job in hospitality. Plus, see what work opportunities we have available.

December 7, 2020
hospitality industry

The hospitality industry is all around us and probably responsible for many of our greatest memories. A family vacation. A trip to a theme park. A championship game. Consider this: a team of talented workers behind the scenes and on the front lines makes these experiences possible. Have you thought about becoming one of the workers who help make these unforgettable experiences come to life? If these 5 qualities sound like you, PeopleReady thinks might be the perfect fit for a job in hospitality:

1. Routine bores you.

If you don’t enjoy knowing what every hour of your day will look like when you get to work, you belong in a role that keeps you guessing. Although not every day is a roller coaster ride, you can expect to adapt and reprioritize your to-do list, whether you’re working with families on vacation, thousands of attendees at the season’s championship game, or a restaurant full of hungry patrons. No two days will be identical, and you’ll learn how to adapt to whatever surprise pops up.

2. Sitting down all day doesn’t appeal to you.

For some workers, a desk job is a dream: You enjoy your comfy chair and stay put all day. For others, the idea of being locked into one spot for a workday is unbearable. Hotel and resort workers, even staff, and restaurant personnel—just to name a few of the many hospital roles—spend most of the day on their feet.

3. You’re a people person.

A bad customer experience leaves a lasting impression that you won’t soon forget. A great customer experience is just as memorable, only we don’t often talk about it as much. Those great experiences usually involve workers who fit the label “people person.” They’re personable, able to keep conversation flowing, make the customer feel like they’re the most important person in the room, and energized by these interactions. Dealing with customers all day isn’t an easy task, but anyone who thrives in this situation belongs in hospitality, where customer service can make or break a business.

4. You can multitask.

Multitasking is essential in almost every job today, but not every job requires you to keep track of so much while you’re on the move. For example, a hotel clerk might be checking in new guests and handling requests from current guests at the same time—all without forgetting any of the necessary details. In hospitality, everything on your to-do list feels urgent—and it probably is—but the ideal worker knows how to cross off each item in an order that leaves everyone happy.

5. Calm is your middle name.

You’ve probably gathered that working in hospitality is a busy, sometimes hectic, endeavor. Nothing is more welcome in those high-energy moments than someone with a level head. Not everyone has the ability to stay calm when they’re facing a long line of customers. If you have a reputation for keeping your cool when most people can’t, you possess a valuable skill.  

5 Traits Employers Are Looking For

See how you can turn your temporary position into a permanent one or score that big promotion with these career tips.

December 6, 2020
what employers are looking for

When you start a job, first-day jitters show up and you’re worried about making a big mistake. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first job or your 10th—it’s a universal experience. Luckily, the first day usually goes great—as do the days that come after. After all, you got hired because someone thought you could do the job well, and they’re right!

But if you don’t just want to do the job well—if you want to excel—then take a look at the qualities PeopleReady has found that employers want to see in their standout employees. They’re not groundbreaking, but they are often hard to find. Exhibit these traits and employers are likely to turn your temporary position into a permanent one or consider you for a promotion when the time comes.

1. Punctuality

Why? A team, no matter how big or small, only works when everyone is doing their part. If you’re late, that means customers are waiting or someone else is staying late to cover your shift. Or maybe without you there just aren’t enough people for work to get done. Managers have a lot to deal with on a daily basis; they don’t have time to wonder if their employees will show up to do their jobs.

2. Flexibility

Why? No one wants plans to fall apart—especially not the person in charge. But it’s going to happen, and the team should help take stress out of the situation, not add to it. A rigid mindset that refuses to budge is not helpful to anyone on the team. When you see a situation change, try to figure out what’s needed of you now and forget about your outdated plans.

3. Proactive Mindset

Why? Everyone is (hopefully) doing their jobs, but the boss is going to notice the person who does more than just their job. This doesn’t mean they want you doing someone else’s job and neglecting your duties, but they want to see someone who identifies an opportunity and offers up a solution.  

4. Communication

Why? First, many problems can be solved with a simple conversation. If you’ve ever gotten lost driving somewhere and thought, “I should’ve double checked the directions before I wasted all that time,” then you understand what can happen if you don’t communicate clearly with your boss about your work. Another reason is that there are a lot of moving parts to any business, so even the best manager can’t know everything that’s going on at all times. Your manager expects you to bring any pertinent problems to their attention and to give progress reports at the right times. They can’t help you if they don’t know what’s wrong, and they don’t want to hear the news from angry customers (or an angry boss).

5. Critical Thinking

Why? The most obvious reason a manager values critical thinking is that they have one more person helping them solve problems. Another reason is that they now know there is someone on their team they can trust. Whether that means a promotion in the future or more responsibility now, a manager doesn’t want to lose the worker who’s making their life easier. 

5 Resume Tips That Job Seekers Should Know

Here are some tips to help you shine and overcome some resume obstacles—and prove to your future employer that you’re their ideal candidate.

November 7, 2020

Hand writing on paper

You may not have a lot of prior experience, or maybe there are gaps in your employment. Here are some tips to help you shine and overcome some resume obstacles—and prove to your future employer that you’re their ideal candidate.

Write Concisely

Regardless of your experience,  make sure your resume is easy to understand. Communicate well and make it readable, and don’t use wacky fonts or design styles. Be sure to use proper job titles. For example, using “Refuse Dispensing Engineer” or “Waste Management Professional” may make it confusing for the potential employer to understand. Be sure to format your resume correctly, align all of the columns and ensure it was written in an acceptable “resume style.” Clean and concise is best.

Use Proper Grammar

Any resume should be error-free. If you are not a great speller/writer, be sure to have another set of eyes proofread for spelling and grammatical errors. Even the best writers make mistakes. That’s why authors have editors.

Use Relevant Keywords

Be sure that you are including keywords that best fit your experience, beefing up your most recent positions. If you were a warehouse worker, be sure to add a sentence or two about some of the tasks that you performed. Employers will be looking for keywords that fit the jobs they have available and the more detailed your resume, the better your chances of landing an interview.

Focus on Skills 

What skills have you learned and gained from your past experiences that you can bring to a future employer? More important than titles, more important than the names of the companies where you worked in the past, are the skills you will bring with you.

Share Your Experiences

Some opportunities may not seem like a good fit at first, but be open to different levels of work. Be clear on what you can do, and what jobs you want going forward. This type of information can easily be added as your opening resume objective. Your experience in a different industry than the one you are applying for may apply nicely. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you may be new to the industry, but are confident in your ability to transfer your skills from previous experience.

Define Your Past Positions

Have you had a large reduction in responsibility? For example, were you previously a plant manager but in your most recent position, a retail sales clerk? Potential employers may wonder what happened. Just be prepared to explain why. Were you looking to try something new? Did you get laid off and needed to find something else rather quickly? Be upfront about topics that some employers may perceive as a concern.

Demonstrate Commitment

Employers want to see that you have stayed long enough at previous employers to add value, learn new skills, and build longevity and loyalty with the company. Too many job shifts in too short a time period may suggest that you won’t stick around for them either. Also: Are there gaps in your employment? Be prepared to have a conversation about this during an interview or simply note this in your resume. Employers want to hire those who are going to commit to their company.

You have unique talents and gifts that will be an asset to some lucky employer. Follow these tips, and let your resume rise above the rest. At PeopleReady, we understand the interview process can be intimidating, that’s why we take pride in helping our associates prepare for the next step in their career. 

PeopleReady specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor and highly skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of blue-collar industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, waste and recycling, and hospitality. Leveraging its game-changing JobStack platform and 600-plus branch offices across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, PeopleReady served approximately 98,000 businesses and put more than 490,000 people to work in 2020.