1099 Training: 3 Ways To Get Contractors To Take Your Courses
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How To Get Contractors To Take Your 1099 Training Courses

Training is a gray area within the realm of worker classification. On the one hand, on-demand companies need to provide some training to their workers; on the other, requiring training can cause workers to be classified as employees.

So the question becomes, how should you handle 1099 training?

Training 1099 Workers Vs. Employees

The "control" factor is a big part of how the IRS decides who is an employee rather than an independent contractor. According to IRS Publication 15-A [1], the factors that go into classification fall broadly into 3 categories: behavioral control, financial control, and type of relationship. The types of training that a business gives to, or requires of, the worker falls under behavioral control.

Mainly, the more training workers receive from a company, the more likely they are to be considered employees. Independent contractors are expected to bring their training, skills, and methods to the job.

The problem is that it can be challenging to find enough contractors who already possess the skills your company requires, mainly if you’re growing rapidly, competing in a packed field or if you want to use a specific method. Additionally, you want to ensure your customers get a consistent level of service no matter which of your 1099 workers they’re interacting with.

It’s a paradox. You can’t make training a requirement for 1099 contractors, but you need them to have top-notch skills to meet customer expectations.

You can’t require training, but you can still offer it. Here are 3 ways to make sure your contractors will want to take it:

1. Make 1099 Training Valuable

You can require an employee to sit through a course that doesn’t seem pertinent to them, but you legally can’t ask the same of your contractors. If you want contractors to take a training course, you need to demonstrate its value.

How will this course increase their business, improve their efficiency, make their lives easier, and help them earn more money? Answer these questions, both when developing a new training course and when promoting it to 1099 workers.

2. Build In Incentives

Beyond the skills they’ll learn, what benefit will a contractor get from going through specific training? Offering additional perks sweetens the pot when it comes to promoting courses.

One way to incentivize 1099 workers to take a training course is to offer them a badge or qualification to put on their profile that advertises their skill qualifications to potential customers. When a contractor completes a course, your company could also open up access to additional job opportunities, or offer the chance to be listed in a registry of certified service providers.

3. Make Training Timely And On-Demand

Show your contractors that you respect their time by creating modular, appropriate content and delivering it through an on-demand training platform. This lets them consume lessons during breaks, and they can save their place and switch devices as needed throughout their busy days.

Not only is this training accessible whenever your workers have a minute (or the need), it’s also the most scalable solution for you.

On-demand training can be:

  • A gamified course your workers work through when they have a few minutes of downtime.
  • A library of bite-sized modules they can turn to when they’re having a specific problem.
  • An online toolkit to help 1099 workers be even more successful in their businesses.
  • An automated email campaign tied to milestones in their work.
  • A recurring newsletter with cutting-edge news and best practices.

Making 1099 Training Part Of Your Culture

Customer service and training issues arise when there’s a cultural disconnect between a company and its 1099 workers.  Emphasize a culture of learning and skills improvement in your service provider marketing, onboarding materials, and internal communications.

Although you won’t be able to exert the same excellent control over contractor training as you can with your employees, making training a part of your culture will help you attract people who are as excited about your mission, values, and customers as you are.

Not just any learning platform can integrate seamlessly with your existing training efforts, which is why companies like Airbnb, Uber, and Lyft all trust Northpass as the platform to fulfill their training needs. For more information on how Northpass can help you enable contractor success, maintain brand trust, and increase consumer satisfaction book a demo today.



  1. Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide
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