Customer Stories 9 min

German unicorn commercetools scales its global recruitment with Remote

Written by Marie Nayaka
October 11, 2023
Marie Nayaka


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commercetools is a leading composable commerce platform, enabling businesses to meet customers' ever changing omnichannel demands. Over the last decade, its cloud-native platform has been at the forefront of innovation and market expansion for some of the world’s leading brands, such as AT&T, Sephora, and BMW.

This success has led to the company becoming one of the fastest-growing digital commerce providers of all time, achieving both unicorn and centaur status.

Due to this international reach and continued market expansion, commercetools requires the best talent. And, as a result, it needs a global HR partner that can scale easily, support employee relocation, and elevate the company’s international benefits offerings.

Here’s why commercetools trusts Remote to support its international headcount growth and candidate journey.

commercetools at a glance

  • Headquarters: Germany

  • Founded: 2006

  • Hiring with Remote in: Austria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Slovakia, and Sweden

  • Industry: Software development

commercetools provides businesses with all the components needed to create and run an outstanding online shopping experience, and innovate their digital touchpoints.

Since its inception in 2006, it’s grown into a company with over 650 workers spread across over 26 countries, and for Mona Walther — the company’s senior people operations manager — this has generated its own unique challenges.

“Our previous EOR provider had limited global reach, impacting our operational efficiency and resources,” she explains. “Additionally, we also didn’t have a single point of contact to assist in resolving issues, particularly around payroll. This made our processes slower and more inefficient than necessary.”

As well as being unable to keep up with commercetools’ growth, there were other key issues.

“The benefit options between countries were inconsistent, and we weren’t able to give our people stock options,” she adds. This was creating the risk of iniquity in the company’s compensation and rewards packages, and potentially causing the company to miss out on top talent.

To scale and continue its global expansion, commercetools needed a new global employment partner.

Finding the right support 

The company’s search for a replacement was built around two key elements.

Firstly, commercetools wanted the ability to offer virtual stock options as part of its compensation plan. And secondly, it needed its future partner to guarantee compliance in a wide range of countries, to match its ambitious hiring plans.

After some thorough internal discussions commercetools settled on Remote — and the impact was immediate.

“We had 20 people in 10 different countries and we wanted to ensure the transition process was as smooth as possible for everyone involved,” says Walther. “We worked with our fantastic customer success manager at Remote to develop a detailed plan, and we mapped out every single step we needed to take.

“This included full employee communications and documentation, and the logistics of things like PTO, maternity and paternity leave, and health benefits. We had so many questions and Remote answered them all.

“Remote provided the whole package, combined with great account management.”

International hiring at scale

With the right partner, commercetools could now rapidly scale its global hiring. And as the company’s headcount grew quickly, Walther believes this support was key.

“We talked with Remote on a daily basis to make sure nothing was missed,” she says. “It would have been impossible to manage that volume of hires internally without their support.”

The onboarding process was also fast and effective, with new hires receiving ongoing assistance from the Remote team throughout the entire process. In all, commercetools added over 60 new team members in the second half of 2022 through Remote.

Remote provides all the local compliance and regulatory knowledge for each specific country in-house. Without them, we would have to hire an additional 3 or 4 people to be able to cover all the local labor laws, taxes, accounting, translation, and payroll responsibilities.

The ability to hire in new markets also increased the company’s talent pool and diversity, which has been a huge plus for Walther.

“We have the best engineers, designers, and developers in the world working on the platform,” she says. “The ecommerce market is different in every country and buying patterns vary. Having diversity of culture, background, and experience gives us first hand insight into global trends, which is so valuable.”

Simplified people management 

As an experienced people professional, Walther is impressed with the capabilities and convenience of the Remote platform.

“We’ve given our people managers access to Remote so they can see their direct reports and access their basic information, emergency contact, and employment and contract details,” she says. “They can also manage expenses and approve or decline time off.”

Integrations with other tools are another valuable addition. For instance, commercetools uses Greenhouse for applicant tracking processes, and can continue using it through Remote’s integration.

“It’s beneficial because we don’t have to duplicate information and new hires can be transferred directly to Remote,” Walther says. “It reduces complexity and is a much more efficient way of working when you’re hiring at scale.”

With Remote, we can see everything in one place, but what brings everything together is the support from our customer success manager. Our collaboration is really straightforward, which is so different to what we had before. Remote has been instrumental in our growth.

Equality and flexibility

As a global company, commercetools understands the need to create and implement a tangible culture for its employees.

“We have offices in Europe, Singapore, Australia, and North America,” says Walther. “We have people working in-office, hybrid, and remotely.

“That means we need to put special emphasis on building a culture for all our people, whether they’re employed through Remote or one of our own entities.” 

The partnership with Remote enables commercetools to be more flexible in this regard. Employees are able — and encouraged — to work from anywhere in the world for up to 60 days a year, while the company can also now support employee relocations. As well as creating a more flexible arrangement for both the company and its workers, this allows employees who had previously relocated to return home if they wish. 

“Remote enables our people to move back to their home countries if they want to — without losing their jobs,” she says. “And we don’t have to let go of talent, which is great for our people and great for the business.” 

What’s next for commercetools?

As well as continuing to improve the experience of its existing team members, commercetools wants to focus on hiring in key locations, and cultivate a strong community of remote workers. For Walther, this approach is the way forward.

“I would recommend any company to explore hiring globally,” she says. “It’s a great opportunity to find talented people and create a more diverse company culture.”

As her company continues to thrive, Remote will be there every step of the way to provide support — and Walther recommends this, too.

“It’s been a great experience working with Remote,” she concludes. “Don’t be afraid of trying it out, because it’s a great journey.”

Want to take the stress out of managing your international team?

Contact us today to schedule a friendly consultation with one of our global hiring experts.

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