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Why Transparency Matters: Navigating Global Expansion with Confidence

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Atlas Team

Atlas is a global tech company that spans over 160 countries, offering expertise and software built for the future of work.

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Published: 08 Feb 2024

As the ‘back to the office’ debate drags on, many companies continue to ride the remote working trend to achieve their international ambitions. Yet they soon learn that managing a global workforce involves getting to grips with a world of complexities, from establishing entities in new territories to updating their payment infrastructure and beyond. Many are now turning to an Employer of Record (EOR) to help them grow their footprint, meet the demands of global compliance, and create seamless experiences that win and keep talent.   

But with the intricacies of local labor laws to contend with, companies need to trust that their EOR provider of choice can be relied on to deliver. Naturally, trust of this kind hinges on transparency – the ability to communicate openly and honestly about the services companies can expect to be provided with. 

The Clarity Checklist: The Three Key Areas to Insist on Transparency  

So, what should any company concerned about transparency in the EOR relationship put on their checklist during their search for a reliable partner? Ensuring that you avoid the pitfalls in the following three areas should give you peace of mind before signing on the dotted line:  

1. Complex Chains of Employers 

Some EOR providers give the impression of being a streamlined, one-stop-shop for managing global talent. Taking a closer look, however, can reveal a complex chain of third parties spread across national boundaries. Known as the ‘indirect EOR model,’ this approach inserts more layers between you and your talent – meaning more time spent on management, more room for confusion and, crucially, higher costs. Where responsibility lies if, say, an employee needs assistance or international operations hit obstacles can also be a murky area with the indirect model, representing another significant risk to the business.  

2. Vague Service Agreements 

Managing global talent is inherently complex. Engaging an EOR to shoulder the administrative burden should take some of the pressure off in-house teams, but too often vague service agreements wind up breeding confusion and creating unnecessary friction. Ambiguity in scope, where responsibilities sit and the timeframe for deliverables are, sadly, all too common. Beyond increasing the risk of misinterpretation and disputes, a lack of clarity around ‘who does what and when’ can expose an EOR provider’s client to significant operational risks, from not meeting compliance requirements to failures in payroll processing. All of this can amount to reputational damage, financial losses, and the undermining of the employee’s experience. 

3.Hidden Fees 

Being upfront about true costs is critical to maintaining trust in the EOR-client relationship, yet it is another area in which too many providers fall down. Hidden fees can arrive as ‘gotcha’ moments, catching HR teams off guard and sending budgets into a tailspin. The consequences can be much more severe than the loss of goodwill, though. In today’s fraught economic climate, global expansion requires careful financial planning: business cases for new remote hires are built off the back of exacting financial projections. Throw unexpected expenses into the mix and it can derail plans fast. That’s why transparency here is so important: a lack of financial clarity robs companies of the opportunity to make truly informed decisions about hiring, hurting their ability to resource their next phase of growth. 

It should be clear by now that when transparency is lacking, handling the intricacies of global talent management can quickly become a minefield. Opaque EOR models, vague service agreements and hidden charges can combine to magnify risks, create confusion, and obscure the true costs of global expansion. Another way is possible, though, and it is one which places openness and honesty at the core of the EOR-client relationship. 

 

Transparency in Action: The Atlas Approach 

With Atlas, you won’t find a complicated tangle of suppliers under the hood. We operate the most streamlined EOR solution in the market: our direct model means we never outsource our legal employer status to local third-party providers, so our clients always know exactly who they are dealing with (spoiler: it’s us).  

By maintaining on-the-ground entities in more than 160 countries, we can give our clients the flexibility and visibility to speed up global expansion while staying compliant. 

Clear and Comprehensive Service Agreements 

At Atlas we take our responsibilities as both an Employer of Record and an enabler of seamless human experience management seriously. That’s why we provide every client with a Master Services Agreement (MSA) during the contracting stage. Shaped by our strong belief in the principle of transparency, it is clear, comprehensive and spells out in no uncertain terms what they can expect from us. 

Giving our clients this insight into the full range and capabilities of the services we provide, from how we manage payroll data and records to how we administer health and benefits plans, puts us all on a solid footing. We also detail the performance standards we maintain, giving our clients the framework they need to hold us to account. By dispelling any ambiguity, we get everyone on the same page from the outset and lay the foundation for a relationship built on trust. 

Of course, we don’t just file away a signed MSA and forget our commitments: we put its ethos of transparency into practice from day one. Our Customer Success team is tasked with defining a plan to keep us focused on each client’s key target areas. Together, we make sure we’re on track for achieving their vision of success, with regular reviews and open dialogue along the way. 

  

Transparent Pricing 

When it comes to costs, predictability builds confidence, and we want our clients to have the confidence to take on global expansion without any fear of nasty surprises down the road. That’s why being open and honest about our pricing structure is so important to us: as a growing business we understand that strategic planning relies on sound budgeting, and a key ingredient for this is financial certainty. We clearly set out all fees and charges our clients can expect to pay in each scheme of work, highlighting all contingencies upfront. This empowers our clients to make well-informed decisions aligned to their business goals. 

Charting a Course with Clarity: Partnering with Atlas 

Managing a global workforce demands clarity in a world of complexity. As companies increasingly lean on the expertise of EORs to stay compliant and retain talent, transparency will remain the foundation of successful EOR-client relationships. Without it, companies can quickly become lost in a minefield of legal requirements and administrative processes. But by partnering with Atlas, with its commitment to openness, they can navigate new terrain with confidence. 

  

Find out more about how Atlas can help with your global expansion efforts, contact us today.