talent acquisition G-P smbtech

SMBtech talks to Globalization Partners’ Charlie Ferguson

Charlie Ferguson, General Manager, Asia-Pacific, G-P (Globalization Partners), spoke to SMBtech about what his company does, its Employer of Record (EOR) technology and where it’s heading…

For someone new to G-P, can you please start by giving us a bit of history and explaining what it is that you do?

G-P was founded by Nicole Sahin in 2012, who saw the need for a business model allowing companies to employ talent around the globe without the time, cost and general hassle associated with setting up in each country as a legal entity. As such, not only did she start G-P as a company, she also founded the concept of Employer of Record (EOR) and created a brand new category and industry. Our SaaS platform allows companies to find the talent they need, wherever that person may be, and onboard them within a matter of hours rather than the months it previously took. G-P is committed to evolving the EOR space by providing the best-in-class global employment solutions and experience for our customers.

Just recently, on 31 May at the Dublin Tech Summit, G-P introduced its vision for “Global Growth Technology,” a new subset of HR Tech that will transform the EOR industry, moving it into new territory. Led by G-P, this new category has the ability to catapult businesses to success by providing the necessary tools and guidance on how to create, support, implement and manage the demands of the everywhere workforce.

We also announced the expansion of our G-PMeridian Suite products that will provide rich insights and global expertise, remove the friction for global expansion, and ensure compliant employee lifecycle management.  These include:

  • G-P Meridian IQ that will provide the intelligence companies need to inform their business growth around the world.

  • G-P Meridian eLibrary that will provide customisable and locally compliant digital document templates and software to help customers save time and deliver a richer, localised experience to their global workforce.

  • G-P Meridian Advisor that will support employee engagement, address employee issues and answer payroll or benefits questions for teams in markets around the globe using G-P’s proprietary data.

  • G-P Meridian Marketplace that will enable companies to connect directly to G-P’s certified partners through a single platform, creating one interface for customers to access products and services needed to support their global expansion.

GP’s global growth technology platform, including the G-P Meridian Suite, is a meaningful evolution of the company’s technology, filling in a once-existent gap, and connecting what used to be disparate or non-existent solutions into a single integrated platform.

How does the EOR model work and who is it for?

The EOR model empowers companies to quickly and easily expand into new markets without the traditional barriers. It is a smarter and more efficient enterprise solution to global expansion.

Traditionally, setting up a legal entity in a new jurisdiction is often expensive, time-consuming and can take months depending on the country. It is also not without risks, as the process involves legal fees, knowledge of local labour laws, compliance issues, insurance, and a lot more. All these need to be done in a legally compliant manner before a company is allowed to start hiring in the country of expansion.

Working with an established EOR like G-P, companies can skip this tedious and time-consuming process and hire in the new jurisdiction in a quick and legally compliant manner.

Companies can, therefore, hire in a matter of hours instead of months in an overseas jurisdiction. You find the talent you need, where you need it – and G-P can onboard that employee in a matter of hours with a contract that complies with local payroll, tax, legal and insurance regulations. The employees are contracted under G-P but operate as an employee of your company, with all of your company policies and culture to ensure a seamless employee experience. G-P has representation in more than 180 countries across the world so can cater for expansion into almost any market imaginable.

Our model can help companies find the employees they need in cases where the talent isn’t available locally, or in cases where our customers are looking to find new markets by putting ‘boots on the ground’ in those areas.

With talent shortages still prevalent in Australia, using an EOR makes a lot of sense. Since the pandemic has normalised remote work for so many people, it is no longer a necessity to have employees commute to a central location every day – nor even to be in the same city or country. With properly provisioned home or remote offices, employees can be just as productive – and often much happier – working from wherever they reside. It is now easy to source the talent from say, Malaysia or New Zealand in cases where it can’t be found locally.

What are you seeing in the market at present – are companies looking to expand or contract their operations?

While economic conditions have put the brakes on some companies’ plans for expansion, those looking for new opportunities are still finding them. This often means looking at new revenue streams and tapping into those by setting up in new markets. G-P can help by allowing dynamic companies to put people on the ground in these new markets very quickly, which corresponds to the generation of these new revenue streams equally quickly.

Equally, economic conditions are certainly having an impact in terms of investment in the region, and for some companies – start-ups in particular – this is having an effect on recruitment and employment strategies. To some extent, we can expect there to be more talent available due to this, which in turn is an opportunity for far-sighted organisations to snap up the employees they need to help with their expansion or broader company journey.

Is digital transformation being held back by uncertain economic forces at present?

Yes, to a certain extent, this is true. During the pandemic we witnessed a rapid acceleration of digital change strategies, firstly as companies looked to secure the digital transformations their organisation required before budgets were cut, and then due to the exceptional need to pivot to purely digital models of sales and customer interaction. Therefore, an unprecedented amount of digital change occurred in that time, and we are now seeing companies either consolidate and optimise the digital strategies they put in place over that time, or pause to take stock of the uncertainties in the market.

Are customers mainly using your services to expand into new markets, or hire staff they can’t find locally?

This is a fairly even split for G-P customers. We are seeing strong demand for sales and marketing staff in new territories as our customers look to find those new markets by putting people on the ground. Traditionally the biggest ‘export’ market for Australia companies has been China, but we are now seeing demand grow for talent in New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and other parts of the APAC region.

Again, due to the much broader acceptance of remote and regional work, more and more companies are looking to source talent from other countries now. Technical roles in particular, such as data scientists, are being filled by talented and experienced professionals in countries across the region.

Is the desire for remote working conditions really changing the talent market here?

Reports suggest that more than three-quarters of Australians now request some element of remote work when negotiating their contracts. We don’t see this phenomenon going away any time soon, flexibility is highly sought after. Business strategies may shift but organisational agility and try he ability to tap the everywhere workforce will drive success in the future of work.

Are there any examples you can provide about local companies using your platform?

Sydney-based adventure cruise company Aurora Expeditions has been using G-P’s platform for some years now, as a means of hiring and maintaining talent across the globe. During the pandemic, the company employed sales staff in places as far away as the UK, in order to find new revenue in new markets.

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