Ok – let me give you the insiders track on this (Shhh – it’s a secret, others don’t want you to know.)
I know of at least five ‘Global PEO’s’ that offer services in 130 countries 185 countries or 190 countries. These seem to be stock marketing numbers that are thrown out to get your attention. I met with a competitor a few years ago (For context – they were trying to headhunt me) that claimed to have incorporated in EVERY country in the world. Let’s be clear, this is not true!
What these slick marketing machines leave out is that they may be able to support you in 190 countries (although I very much doubt it) but a large percentage of these will be either through existing partnerships (Delivered and supported in the territory by a local firm) or by a ‘let’s do this and find someone to deliver it as we go along’ approach!
This is fine as you are ultimately getting the service you want, but it does mean that, as a user, you have no transparency and little accountability in the supply chain. Or worse, you may be, effectively a guinea pig, trialling a territory your provider has no expertise in.
Well, why should you care?
You may have all sort of internal reasons to care about type of arrangement you enter, some valid, some totally bonkers too. I am not going to go through these as these will be down to your circumstances.
I am going to give some considerations that apply in every business. Some of these are common sense, some are lessons learnt over the last ten or so years in the global space.
Governance. If you are signing agreements with a ‘master vendor’ how are they ensuring compliance and governance in the country of work? How do you know that the payroll tax is being paid to the local government? What happens if the local partner goes bust? Secret: In most cases the global PEO will let your employees burn citing contracts between partners blah blah, not their fault etc.
Response times. We also use partners, only a select few, but we do. For us it is a necessity in a couple of countries and the partners we work with are great (financially strong and payments are guaranteed by us btw). But…… the service is not as good as the countries we deliver directly; it just can’t be. We have full autonomy to make top up payments, deductions, contractual amends and anything else you, as client may want. In countries where we partner, we can get the same result, but it takes a bit longer. Add in the language barrier, the time difference and the fact you have three parties in the chain it’s just not as efficient. Secret: If you are using a global PEO service that just uses partners you are just buying a vendor management service.
Expertise. I know that we employ the best team. We constantly invest in training and development of our team. We also retain local payroll and legal experts in each country we operate just in case. This knowledge and experience have been built up over years and gives our clients huge benefits when it come to payroll queries, employee disputes, HR needs and legal services. If you are working (blindly) through a third party how do you, or your provider know, how good these people supporting your businesses most important asset – your people- really are? Secret bit: The global PEOS I know are predominantly looking to squeeze their partners margin to the bare bones, not to invest in great service and training for their partners and clients.
So if you want to have an honest conversation about the increasing complex global PEO/GEO/EOR space and see if we are the right fit for your organisation please reach out to our team on (+44) (0)203 1370217 or drop us a line at .