Insights into global expansion & employee retention

Published: August 18, 2022

How to choose a global payroll provider 

Social: Global payroll providers are a dime a dozen, but how do you evaluate them to find the right fit for your business? What are the criteria, and which ones matter the most? Here is our 7-step guide to separating wheat from chaff.

Your 7-point checklist

We’ll cut right to the chase: if you’re here, you’re probably looking for a global payroll provider. The good news is that there are plenty out there. The better news is that, like any efficient marketplace, the market for global payroll providers offers a wide range of specialised offerings. These cater to specific needs, and at prices that keep everyone happy. 

The only downside to this variety is that finding the right match for your business is tricky. Here is our 7-point checklist to help you find the global payroll provider that meets your needs.

Employer of Record?

This one is first on the list because it’s crucial to expand your workforce across borders. For a large enterprise, setting up a subsidiary or legal entity in a new country might make sense. But that’s costly and time-consuming. It also carries significant risk, in the event that the project doesn’t take off.

An Employer of Record (EOR) provides a route around these obstacles by, in essence, employing people on your behalf. A good EOR provider handles compliance for you, usually through local entities they own themselves.

Needless to say, if you’re going to outsource payroll, it makes sense to focus on organisations that can also offer you an off-the-shelf solution in the country (or countries) of your choice. That narrows the list. 

Are contractors included?

Global expansion doesn’t just mean hiring international candidates as employees. There’s also a growing market for contractors and freelancers. Bringing them on board can be a game-changer, especially for highly specialized or temporary projects. You’ll need a global payroll solution that gives you equal mileage in terms of hiring permanent employees and working with contractors. If a payroll provider offers contractor management as part of its services, it’s likely to be something they advertise. To be sure, you can always ask. 

The list is getting thinner…

Is it easy to implement?

So far, we’re looking for a global payroll provider that also provides EOR services and contractor management. That’s still a fairly big set, so we need to think in terms of practicalities. You want a solution that you can implement quickly and with minimal hassle. A crucial part of this is integration: does this solution integrate with your existing HR tools? If not, it might not belong on this list.

But since you asked, we provide two-step onboarding, in minutes. Check it out.

Compliance: can they deliver?

There’s no point going further with any global payroll provider if they don’t have robust compliance procedures. And it’s not enough to talk the talk: ask tough questions to figure out whether they really can facilitate compliant hires in the countries you’re targeting.

Of all the items on this checklist, compliance is a zero-compromise issue. Misclassifying employees as contractors, or vice versa (to cite just one of many possible compliance blunders) can incur catastrophic penalties in almost all countries. 

Where’s the data?

Closely related to compliance is the matter of protecting data: yours, and that of the people in your organisation. Sharing your payroll data isn’t something you can afford to do lightly: GDPR and similar data protection frameworks place the onus on you to ensure that you’re covering your bases.

Ask any potential global payroll provider what data security measures they have in place. Customer reviews and case studies can also supply valuable information about a company’s history in this regard. 

Customer service: the key to maintaining a global payroll relationship

Throughout your partnership, you will need to be in close communication with your provider. As your workforce changes, payroll needs to be updated accordingly to avoid errors and maintain compliance.

So it’s vital that your provider offer effective customer service channels and procedures for resolving issues that will inevitably come up. We recommend taking a deep dive into client reviews.

It also helps if the platform provides some employee self-service options. This helps your own internal HR, by reducing the number of queries and requests they have to handle. But even more importantly, it keeps your remote employees happy.

And that matters, because the flip-side of a global talent pool is that a global workforce knows its worth, and is increasingly hard to please.

Payment options: the more, the merrier

SWIFT transactions aren’t a feasible way to handle international payments if you want to scale. Any global payroll provider worth it’s salt will be able to give you a way to pay quickly, in the currency of your choice, and in a way that suits your employees.

And because payroll regulations vary – sometimes wildly – from country to country, international legal expertise is indispensable for companies focused on global expansion.

Global payroll the easy way: get ready for kickoff with Playroll

That concludes our 7 steps to narrowing the field and finding the right global payroll partner for you. More than helping you to trim the fat, we’re committed to providing innovative global payroll solutions based on decades of experience as part of the VAT IT group.

We’d love to talk to you about how Playroll meets all of these needs and more.

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