Welcome to Nearshore Americas’ first ever product review. Our piece on Deel is the first in a series of reports designed to provide detailed insight and evaluation on products and platforms that have relevance to NSAM readers.
Though these articles will fall in the category of opinion pieces, they’re built on information that’s been provided (publicly or through press requests) by the companies behind the products and through our own independent research and fact-finding within the Nearshore community.
Founders: Alex Bouaziz & Shuo Wang
HQ: San Francisco, California (USA)
Number of employees: +1,300
ARR: $US100 million as of April 2022 (self-reported)
Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean
Deel is a remote hiring platform which facilitates staffing, onboarding and payment processes for companies seeking to hire employees or contractors, usually outside of their country of operation. Deel promises to automate HR workflows, making remote hiring, payments and talent management less burdensome and worrisome. This is achieved through:
- Handling all of the legal paperwork and compliance requirements specific to the countries you’re hiring from.
- Enabling you to pay your remote employees and contractors in “a few clicks”.
- Access to a talent pool sourced from over 150 countries.
What You Might Like
A time saver: Deel is designed to save time and lessen typical paperwork burdens around remote hiring as well as simplifying talent management.
A monitoring station: Deel’s dashboard provides a comprehensive look at what are often fragmented, and even chaotic, HR workflows.
- Easy access to a list of contracts, payments (due and done), countries where hiring is done, employee time-offs, etc.
- Each piece of information has its own dashboard, where data can be explored in detail.
Variety of payment methods and currencies: The platform allows the use of several payment methods: from credit and debit card transfers to coinbase.
- Also supports employee payments in over 20 currencies, including crypto.
- Not all payment methods support every currency available.
Integration: Deel can be integrated with other platforms that are of common use among businesses for hiring and accounting.
- Ashby, Hebob, Quickstop, Netsuite and Xero are among the services that support this feature.
- Find a list of platforms open to Deel integration here.
Hiring guides: Deel offers hiring guides free of charge. These provide detailed breakdowns of the legal requirements and hiring costs for every country in which the platform operates. The hiring guides could prove useful even for companies with no plans to use the platform.
Add and polish: Deel is a fairly young company, and its platform is still, in a way, under construction. Features keep being added and polished, which means that current problems or omissions might be fixed in the near future.
What You Might Dislike
There’s always risk: Though Deel promises to ease hiring and managing remote workers, risk remains.
- In a statement to NSAM, the company pointed out that “the level of risk varies from country to country, and it is determined by several factors. That’s why Deel makes a detailed review of every case, to help our clients with risk mitigation through our team of experts in each country.”
- Deel has legal offices in more than 90 countries and partners with around 200 local legal entities in the territories it operates in. However, the company makes no claim of zero-risk remote hiring.
- Customers are offered a premium service for extra shielding when hiring independent contractors. Though having the option is a plus, the fact that it is offered –and at an extra cost– underscores the latent risks.
Limited customer support options: Deel’s customer support team is only available through chat and email.
- Chat is available 24/7, and the company claims response times of 2 minutes or less.
- For email, filling out a help form. Responses are expected in 8 hours or less.
Problems arising from hiring and payment processes require swift and precise responses. With that in mind, users (employers, employees and contractors) would undoubtedly prefer to reach a live agent in order to have a real-time conversation.
A bit pricey: Deel offers three types of onboarding services, each with its own pricing, depending on the nature of the employer-employee relationship:
- Freelancers: For independent contractors. No minimum number of hirings required. The cost is of US$49 per contract each month. Pay US$99 for a premium service, which provides up to US$25,000 of insurance against mistakes in contract classification.
- EOR: For formally hired employees. No minimum hiring is required. Cost varies from country to country, but expect to pay at least US$599 for every contract each month.
- Global Payroll: For hiring in countries where companies have a legal entity, Deel supports a minimum of 10 employees already hired in those locations. Monthly cost for each employee varies with each country.
Small or medium sized-employers might find these fees too high to cover, especially if they plan to hire for a big operation.
Not as many options for EOR: Deel’s claim of having access to a talent pool sourced from 150 countries applies only to independent contractors. For employers of record (EOR) and Global Payroll, the pool shrinks to around 90 countries. Though the number is still high, it is considerably shortened.
Cut-off dates can be troublesome: Deel cut-off dates vary depending on whether payments are done monthly or biweekly. Cut-off dates are used by the company “to lock payroll reports and data.”
- Employers that aren’t mindful of such dates might run into trouble when trying to make adjustments to payroll after cut-off.
- For a more detailed explanation on Deel’s cut-off dates and how they work, click here.
Deel provides a very convenient solution for companies looking to hire remotely but don’t have the time or the legal expertise at hand to tackle the challenges of compliance. It must be underlined, though: a company is not immune from the risks of hiring remotely.
We insist that you do preliminary research on compliance rules from the country you plan to hire from. Take advantage of Deel’s global hiring guides. Contact third party experts, if necessary.
Our take: Our recommendation is to give Deel a modest test if you already have plans for remote hiring. Begin with a small team for a small project; calculate the amount of time and resources saved by using the product; and evaluate if the numbers justify a deeper dive.