Visas and Work Permits — 6 min
See how payments automation company Primer leverages Remote’s global footprint to hire quickly in countries around the world.
Headquarters: United Kingdom
Company Size: 150+ employees
Total Employee Countries: 30
Primer is the world’s first no-code automation platform for payments and commerce. Since its founding in 2020, the company has seen remarkable growth. Today, Primer has over 150 employees (or Primigos in Primer parlance) in 30 countries building sophisticated, end-to-end payment flows and universal checkout. But just as impressive is the fact that Primer has been 100% remote since day one.
Primer’s team is driven by the belief that talent is distributed all over the world, but work opportunities are not. At Primer, remote work enhances the employee experience, as Erin Potter, Primer’s head of people and operations, explains.
Foundationally, what remote work offers is ultimate flexibility. Flexibility in where you live, how you work, when you work, where you work. Our philosophy is that we want people to bring their best selves to work. In order to do so, we give them a flexible environment, in which they essentially own their time, their work and their success. Ownership is a big thing for us.
Despite Primer's revolutionary company ethos and product, rapid international expansion was putting an operational strain on Erin and the HR team. Primer’s previous employer of record wasn’t meeting expectations, which was causing issues with the company’s talented team of global workers and putting the company’s unique and strong culture at risk. Primer needed to make a change — and quickly.
How did Primer continue its rapid expansion while avoiding compliance issues, creating a positive experience for employees, and managing payroll in multiple countries? The answer, as Primer soon learned, would be found in Remote’s international employer of record solution.
From a qualitative perspective, I was really looking for someone to be an extension of our team and understand what it's like to be in a startup and work at the pace that we do.
Primer wanted to work with a partner who understood the company’s vision for a global team and its need to provide a first-class employee experience in a multitude of countries. With Remote, Primer gets all that and more.
Remote’s industry-leading compliance and in-house local employment knowledge give Primer’s HR team the confidence to hire in unfamiliar locations quickly and easily.
Primer’s previous employer of record had poor communication and long hold times, creating more work for Primer’s HR team instead of solving problems on their behalf. With Remote, Primer always feels informed and supported.
With less time needed to spend on international hiring logistics, Primer can now focus on product development and providing a great experience for its employees.
Primer has dramatically reduced time to hire, even for employees in countries with complex employment laws.
Before Remote, Primer was not getting the needed support and turnaround on time-sensitive requests from its previous EOR. It was as if Primer was trying to hire and manage international workers with one hand tied around its back.
If Primer was going to be successful and achieve its goal of bringing opportunities to people everywhere, the company needed a partner who would take care of employment compliance, payroll, and benefits so Primer’s own team could focus their efforts on building an incredible employee experience.
Enter Remote. Erin was first introduced to Remote shortly after joining Primer in October of 2020. She was immediately drawn to Remote’s highly professional and comprehensive approach to global employment. She also appreciated that Remote and Primer were aligned in their mission to bring exceptional work opportunities to people who would not otherwise have them.
Speed of hiring was one of Primer’s greatest concerns.
We were looking for a long term partner who already owned the local legal entities and could successfully handle any issues, enabling Primer to move really quickly.
Primer had finally found a global employment partner that was a perfect fit. Remote checked all the boxes in terms of product and service excellence, and through its dashboard, Remote offered Erin and the team at Primer much greater visibility into the onboarding process. Over the last year, Remote’s product has evolved to provide customers like Primer with enhanced capabilities and more control over hiring situations that need a quick turnaround.
Remote put a lot of emphasis on product development from the beginning, using customer feedback to enhance its capabilities, which has been invaluable for Erin.
The fact that we can update salaries, we don't have to contact anyone for it, and the turnaround is super quick — that's everything I can ask for...It feels like I'm helping you help me in carrying out this very specific function of global employment. For this reason, Remote has been the best partner for us, and it’s what really distinguishes them from everyone else.
And what about the Primigos, Primer’s global team of employees? They appreciate the fact that onboarding through Remote is quick and painless. As Erin says, Primer’s team members are especially grateful that previously dreaded support requests with long wait times are now a thing of the past.
“I got comments on the speed at which you are able to get the contract set up and onboard, which again is really important for us," says Erin. "We like to do everything quickly. Remote nailing that contract process and actually enhancing it has been amazing…Working with Remote has actually made me feel very confident that in any situation, employment circumstance or otherwise, we're able to do things compliantly and really quickly as well.”
For Primer, the choice of which partner to trust with the company’s international growth plans was clear.
In the time since Remote became its EOR, Primer has seen a drastic decline in the number of employment-related queries or concerns from team members coming to HR.
I think the best success metric is when you don't have any questions…The fact that we went from having so many questions and queries about employment and remote work to literally a negligible number for me, that's a huge success. It’s epic.
Remote puts power into the hands of Primer team members, enabling them to use self-service tools for many of their everyday activities, like uploading documents or updating personal information. But as Erin explains, these tools reach further than day-to-day business operations:
"On a day-to-day basis, things are working from a product perspective, from a dashboard perspective, you enable the team to be really efficient. But you're also — for the longer term — just availing new countries all the time and also availing new opportunities, like the refugee program through Remote. That is something really interesting to us. That's an audience that we can tap into for amazing people who deserve an opportunity.”
Another advantage is the visa support that Primer has received from Remote.
"It goes beyond just being able to hire in different countries, but it's actually being able to support people in their relocation efforts around the world. It brings us ultimate flexibility which is what we look for in any sort of partnership that we enter," says Erin.
Primer can always rely on Remote’s team to quickly tackle the daily issues that used to give Primer’s HR team a slew of challenges.
I wasn't confident with the other EORs that we used, which is a dangerous game, because that puts more stress and pressure on our team to provide the follow-up. One of the biggest things Remote did was create this environment where you became an extension of our team, really followed up and overcommunicated in a lot of ways. That was vital for us, because it alleviated some of that responsibility from our team internally.
It’s been an unbelievable two years for Primer’s growth. Now it’s time for the team to take their company culture and growth to the stratosphere.
Primer has dozens of job openings and continues to grow its team in an intentional, informed manner. The goal is to deliver a perfect number of employees to support the product development.
“Everything is based around the product and delivering on our business objectives," says Erin. "When we hire someone, we do so very intentionally. So although our growth seems very significant in terms of headcount, it's actually slow and steady and it's going to continue to be slow and steady. We have about 50 jobs up on the job board. We plan to have about 200 people with Primer by the end of Q3 2022, and probably that will persist into the beginning of Q1 the next year.”
Remote will continue to back and share Primer’s mission of bringing a remote-first approach to the broader world, and make sure all Primigos are well supported. Currently, more than 60 of Primer’s 150 employees are employed via Remote, and that number will only increase as Primer continues to grow.
Want to see how your business can grow like Primer? Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of Remote’s global hiring experts. If you’re ready to get started, you can set up your profile now and begin onboarding employees and contractors around the world in minutes.
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