Strapped for resources: How start-ups can hire, manage and pay global talent while controlling costs

Aug 31, 2023 | Media Coverage

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Companies like Tablevibe, an online ordering platform for restaurants, can tap on Remote’s services to onboard overseas employees quickly and expand into international markets.

For Singapore-based Tablevibe, making the shift to a remote work model was out of necessity during the Covid-19 pandemic. It turned out to be a game-changer for the start-up, which develops online ordering systems allowing restaurants to sell directly to customers.

Mr Mathieu Sneep, co-founder and chief business officer at Tablevibe, says: “We soon realised the remote work model also has unique benefits, such as allowing us to hire the best developers and salespeople regardless of where they were located. We were no longer limited to just one country’s talent pool.”

The start-up decided to work with a global employment and HR partner who could handle the complexities of international hiring and employee management. Tablevibe narrowed the search for an employer of record (EOR) to Remote and another provider, and ultimately chose Remote because of its top service levels and competitive rates.

According to Mr Sneep, Remote’s experts have helped them hire from different countries without adding much cost.

“For us, was certainly an indispensable tool when we expanded into new markets like the Philippines and Australia,” he adds.

Mr Sneep says Remote has helped to speed up the hiring process, enabling them to onboard new employees within one to two days.

Over the past two years, Tablevibe was able to easily contract and hire talent from six countries across Asia and Europe with Remote’s help, and now has a global workforce of 14 that includes developers and account managers.

Helping to meet the talent crunch

Tablevibe’s partnership with Remote highlights one of the biggest challenges many start-ups face in finding the right talent in their home markets.

Across the globe, and especially in Singapore, businesses, including start-ups, struggle to hire amid the tight labour market and high recruitment costs. They are interested in exploring international hiring, but many aren’t sure how to do it effectively.

According to a recent Remote-sponsored survey by IDC, a global market intelligence firm, nearly half of the 400 Asia-Pacific companies polled indicated they plan to hire up to 30 per cent of their workforce from other countries in the next 12 to 18 months.

Mr Chris McNamara, chief revenue officer at Remote, says: “Start-ups, which are trying to move faster and are on very tight budgets, can access talent quickly by partnering with us as they don’t have to invest in setting up local entities or deal with compliance issues directly themselves.”

“The unique combination of addressing talent shortages, managing compliance risks and unlocking lower operating costs for businesses is making the service and the product we offer very popular throughout the region.”

To help companies, especially start-ups, who may have concerns about working with EORs for the first time due to uncertainty about the outcome and the associated costs, Remote recently launched a “Satisfaction Guarantee”. This demonstrates how confident Remote is in its services, as it will waive the management fees if a customer is not completely satisfied in the first 90 days, Mr McNamara adds.

This is the latest in a series of initiatives by Remote showcasing its commitment to delivering great customer experiences. Last year, Remote became the first EOR to display customer satisfaction data and service metrics on their website. Such transparency, says Mr McNamara, helps businesses gain the insights they need to choose the right EOR partner.

Time and cost considerations

While fees are a major consideration when choosing an EOR for many companies, it wasn’t the sole deciding factor for Tablevibe. As a start-up, it wants a flexible partner that can quickly adapt and customise its solutions to suit the fast-changing business landscape.

“Our partnership with Remote has positively influenced our company’s financial performance. Their support and services have led to increased operational efficiency and helped us effectively unlock international growth opportunities,” Mr Sneep says.

Mr McNamara points out that about 85 to 90 percent of Remote’s customers are small and medium-sized businesses or start-ups, debunking the myth that only large companies can afford to use EOR services. He says that it’s more economical for start-ups when measured against the time and costs of establishing local entities abroad and navigating legal and compliance aspects independently.

Remote charges a flat monthly fee per international employee or contractor, with a commitment to no hidden charges. Remote upholds a transparent, flat-rate pricing system, devoid of hidden costs like charges for managing the departures of newly recruited employees.

“Our goal is to partner with our customers over the long term to help them grow their businesses,” Mr McNamara says.