Customer Stories 10 min

SaaS company Semrush hires quickly across borders

Written by Marie Nayaka
February 6, 2024
Marie Nayaka


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If your business markets itself online, you’ll likely be familiar with Semrush. Since its inception in 2008, this public technology company has established itself as the online marketing visibility tool of choice for millions of marketers and business owners.

But with such a large team of developers, technical specialists, and support personnel required, Semrush needs a way to hire, manage, and pay the best talent from all over the world.

Here’s why Semrush trusts Remote to provide HR, tax, and compliance support in its operations around the globe.

Semrush at a glance

  • Headquarters: Massachusetts, USA

  • Founded: 2008

  • Hiring through Remote in: EMEA and APAC

  • Industry: SaaS

With over 50 award-winning products and add-ons, the Semrush toolkit leverages unmatched levels of data, allowing businesses to research competitors, build effective campaigns, and grow their online visibility.

Unsurprisingly, building and maintaining such a wide range of tools requires a lot of expertise, and Semrush’s global approach to hiring reflects this. It currently operates 13 offices — or hubs — across the US and Europe, with these locations serving as preferred sources of talent.

However, for Maria Shkaruppa, the company’s Senior Global Mobility and Remote Hiring Manager, the ability to be flexible is paramount.

“We’re very proud to have our global hubs,” she says. “But at the same time, we recognize that we can’t set up legal entities in every country. We want to go where the talent is, without asking people to relocate.”

Through its partnership with Remote, Semrush can hire the best possible candidate for a role — regardless of where they are based.

“Generally, if you think about having an entity, you need a greater amount of resources, employees, and tools to handle everything," Shkaruppa says. "Now, we have a team of experts at Remote to help us manage our international hiring.”

We see Remote as a leading partner in this space. The specialist local tax, compliance, and HR operations support they provide gives us more opportunities.

An ideal culture fit

For Semrush, the ability to hire remotely doesn’t just open up the talent pool; it also aligns perfectly with the company’s hybrid approach to work.

“Before COVID, we were very office-centered and even people who were hired through Remote would take regular business trips to connect with their colleagues,” she explains. “Now, we maintain a hybrid model, and that flexibility is definitely one of the perks our employees appreciate.”

As an employee-centric organization, this sense of freedom is crucial.

“The hybrid model is great for the business, but it also makes for very happy employees,” Shkaruppa says. “Everybody values more opportunities to be with their loved ones, and the ability to organize their time the way they want to.”

Relocating people

As well as the ability to hire in countries where it doesn’t have an existing entity, Semrush can also easily relocate existing employees to new countries if the business requires it. 

“The transition process is always smooth, and our people are always supported,” says HR Ops specialist, Evgeniia Maksimova. “Remote provides visa, compliance, and tax guidance throughout.”

It was great for us to know that not only is Remote an EOR provider, but it's capable of delivering immigration solutions as well.

When relocating people, Maksimova is impressed with the level of support available, too.

“Our Account Manager and CSM deliver timely updates at each stage of the process, and we are always able to reach out and get the information we need,” she says. “Our CSM explains everything in a really simple way, and we are always able to understand what needs to be done — and when.”

A fruitful relationship

For both Maksimova and Shkaruppa, this kind of support is indicative of the wider relationship.

“We’ve worked closely with Remote from the very beginning,” Shkaruppa says. “We had a number of questions and our CSM helped us understand every aspect of the partnership. We set up monthly calls for ongoing agenda items, but we can also pick up the phone or send a message for urgent or more difficult cases when they come up.”

Maksimova confers — and appreciates the constant communication.

“I don’t feel alone in the process,” she says. “Our CSM — in fact, the whole Remote team — are clear when they offer guidance. I’m not a native English speaker, and the style of communication is so pleasant: it's neither too elaborate nor too familiar. It's straight to the point and that’s something we appreciate so much.”

Straight away, we got the sense that Remote cares about our success — that there was a person at the other end who was really listening and trying to find solutions for us. We weren’t simply directed to an FAQ sheet on the website.

“Like a game on my iPhone…”

While this support is highly valued, Maksimova still enjoys the self-serve convenience of the Remote platform.

“Having all the information for our international employees in Remote’s platform makes my job easier,” she says. “I can quickly do employment checks for probation periods, salary, benefits, PTO, or upcoming public holidays, as well as find documents like contracts, visa information, and identity checks.”

She also appreciates how easy the platform is to use.

“The design is absolutely amazing, and it’s always clear where I need to go to find information,” she says. “Often we have planning meetings and if I need to check something, it takes me a few seconds to gather everything I need to share with my colleagues.

“The layout is beautiful and easy to navigate; it’s more like a game on my iPhone than a complicated IT system. It’s brilliant.”

Knowledge, transparency, and compliance

When hiring in a new country, Shkaruppa appreciates having all the information she needs at her fingertips.

“We’re frequently asked how much time it will take to hire somebody in a particular region,” she says. “Country Explorer is very useful in this regard, as it provides data on timeframes, as well as taxation, statutory benefits, probation periods, and offboarding.”

For Shkaruppa, Remote’s Cost Calculator tool is also particularly valuable.

“We can see the total cost of employment, which is essential for budget planning and comparisons,” she says. “The tool gives us a clear breakdown: gross salary, hiring costs, mandatory pension fund, and any additional benefits.

“It’s beneficial to have this transparency and it means we’re not overcommitting ourselves with hidden costs down the road.”

As a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange, compliance is another key concern — and Shkaruppa believes that the partnership offers peace of mind.

“When Remote hires people on our behalf through its own entity, it needs to make sure that everything is compliant and that there are no slips along the way,” she says. “It’s Remote’s compliance as well as ours, and it’s great to know that we all have a stake there.”

Lessons for Remote

The mutually beneficial nature of the partnership is evident for Remote, too. As a listed company, Semrush has additional compliance requirements which have forced Remote to be more flexible, while the team has also had to work on meeting demanding onboarding timelines. The lessons learned during these early stages have helped shape and enhance Remote’s approach across the board.

“Semrush, like all our partners, expect true expertise on any topic they reach out to us for,” says David Stanisic, Semrush’s CSM at Remote. “That has helped push us to get better all round.”

What’s next for Semrush?

In the short term, Shkaruppa is focusing on transforming Semrush’s benefits offerings for its international employees — and Remote has a big part to play in that. 

“One of our main goals right now is to evaluate our employee benefits and offer comprehensive coverage to all employees in all locations,” says Shkaruppa. “We’re happy to have Remote as a partner in this regard, so that we can work together to execute the benefits packages we have in mind for our people.”

On the whole, though, the company’s aim is to continue its success as an industry leader — and a happy workforce is a big part of that.

“I'm surrounded by such amazing people, each with a unique vision, who can offer so much to the company,” she says. “This will be a big factor in our future growth.”

Maksimova agrees. “For me, it's important to feel that I can help people and that I can do it quickly,” she says. “That’s why it’s been such a great journey with Remote. We’ve hired a lot of people and shared a lot of valuable information with our employees and colleagues.

“Together, we’re making great things happen.”

Want to be more flexible with your international hiring? Schedule a friendly consultation today with one of our global hiring experts!

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