The digitalization of the world is steadily gaining momentum in industries and sectors across the board. Entrepreneurs are continuously delivering innovative digital solutions for solving everyday problems, while many other businesses are making the decision to migrate processes and functionality to the cloud. As a result, the growth of the SaaS industry has been robust to say the least, and is projected to grow to a colossal $99.99 billion by 2025, at a CADR of 11%. 

However, the emergence of this flood of new SaaS startups means that the industry is becoming increasingly crowded. With many of these startups centered on niche offerings, one can also speculate that the need for highly specialized and specific skill sets has grown exponentially. 

It is commonly accepted that a significant component of company success is the acquisition and retention of the required talent and skills – and in the crowded SaaS industry, the focus on procuring the right people must be razor-sharp.

The Remote Worker Solution

Most SaaS startups are run by tech enthusiasts who are not strangers to running systems and finding solutions in the online realm – including a workforce. These technophiles are entirely onboard with the value (and cost-saving) of operating a remote team and are very comfortable doing so.

However, while the SaaS industry burgeons, so does the competition for talent. In fact, building teams with the right skills is cited as one of the top challenges facing SaaS leadership. But remote employment can play a significant role in alleviating this problem. By focusing on building a distributed remote team, companies are no longer restricted to hiring only in a particular location, which drastically widens the available talent pool. As a result, those highly specialized skills required for SaaS startups are considerably easier to find.

Moreover, with the nature of a SaaS startup being commonly distinguished by sudden rapid growth, brand-new job functions can also quickly arise. The access to a broader variety of candidates, once again, is advantageous when it comes to promptly filling these new roles.

Although the benefits of access to remote talent are numerous, this blessing comes with a cost – in the form of a number of employment administration and international compliance challenges. For any leadership team absorbed in managing the multiple components required for startup success, these complex administrative demands can seem somewhat debilitating. But what are these global human resource challenges facing SaaS startups, and how are they best tackled?

Losing out to Competition

In the frenetic SaaS industry, where hunger for specific skills comes coupled with a remote employment trend that sidesteps geographic constraints, losing experienced talent to competition is a genuine concern for many. For this reason, companies need to be focused on creating an offering and team culture that is irresistible to employees.

By fully understanding the employee’s environment and needs (and culture), it is possible to formulate a benefits package that will go a long way in attracting and keeping employees loyal. For example, job perks that can be offered in conjunction with a competitive salary include health insurance, access to tech tools, flexible working hours, mental health support, gym memberships, and a generous amount of paid leave. Further to that, investing in the training and development of the team also does a great deal for fuelling motivation and loyalty. This is also a mutually beneficial investment as the organization gains directly by improving the work level and input quality of employees.

It’s important to note that a solid strategy in this regard is essential. The benefits packages offered need to be tailor-made for the particular culture and location of the employee. This is where it is hugely advantageous to have a deep insight into the local culture. Consequently, many find the services of a global outsourced human resource agency invaluable in this regard. Being familiar with regional needs, customs, and the offers of competitors, an outsourced HR team will be instrumental in building a relevant and desirable benefits package.

The Compliance Concern

When employing team members from all over the globe, the employment regulations from each location need to be carefully understood, monitored and implemented in the individual worker’s formal employment structure. Laws and regulations relating to employment can change quickly, which becomes a significant challenge when managing employees from multiple locations.

These regulations relate to numerous aspects of employment, from maternity leave and sick pay to tax and statutory payments and overtime. Non-compliance can result in costly penalties and lawsuits – but can also have an extremely detrimental effect on team morale and company reputation. Smaller SaaS startups simply can’t afford the reputational risks that larger companies often can absorb. And especially for SaaS startups, who are very focused on feeding the flames of company growth, the compliance challenges can be incredibly daunting. A considerable amount of time and effort needs to be dedicated to managing employment regulations which can often require hiring additional HR support or over-burdening current employees.

For many, outsourcing these HR issues is the most sensible decision – not only for saving time and money and avoiding mistakes, but also to free up management to focus on other HR elements of running a successful startup. This includes keeping remote team morale up through meaningful contact and communication, skills training, and team building.

Managing an Accurate Global Payroll

Equally important when managing an international workforce is ensuring that they get accurately and punctually paid. The challenge indeed grows when dealing with employees from multiple different countries. Data needs to be correct and real-time, as there can be no delays when managing the livelihood of employees – especially when staff retention is the primary goal. 

Another key consideration is how the data is stored. Consisting of information of a highly confidential nature, the system needs to be completely secure to minimize the risk of any data breaches.

For these reasons, a clear strategy for managing an international payroll is paramount. For many companies, outsourcing payroll to a global HR agency can be the solution for not having the time or resources to attempt to do it in-house. 

Outsourced HR agencies that manage global payrolls use a centralized platform to manage all data and payments securely and accurately. And not only offering assistance in managing data and making salary payments, but a global payroll system can also take care of the calculations and deductions of:

  • Worker’s compensation insurance 
  • Statutory payments, including superannuation, CPF, and social protection
  • Personal income tax
  • Leave tracking
  • Time tracking via facial recognition and GEO tagging

A global payroll system also enrolls the support of local tax experts who can further ensure accuracy by keeping track of and advising on the current tax regulations.

Forging the Pathway to Success

While tech-proficient SaaS startups are in a solid position to embrace a remote workforce, it does come with several HR challenges that need careful understanding and consideration.
As startups can experience rapid growth, it is essential that a significant focus be placed on onboarding and training. Quite simply, growing companies cannot afford to become impeded by cumbersome and confusing administrative processes.

The best approach for any company would be to formulate a dynamic strategy to tackle these challenges. The proper management of a remote team is essential, and retaining talent in a competitive industry is vital.

Outsourced HR teams can offer many services to lighten the global HR load – making it an intelligent partnership for any scaling startup. In addition, by handling the taxing administrative demands of a company, startup leadership is in a much stronger position to foster growth.